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Death by Quick Connect

Fired up the new 8" 320L yesterday for the first time. No issues so far other than the coolant. The 8" dephlegmator has 3/4" FPT connections and the push connects (I knew this was just going to be a stopgap until I got something permanent) just sprayed water everywhere (user error I'm sure). Major coolant failure, but since it was just water, it wasn't a big deal. So in such a configuration what is recommended for leakproof cooling? I'd like to run piping. 3/4" to TC seems to be a hard find though and I need to do the product condenser too (1/2" I think). Pipe all the way to pump? Pipe to tube to pump? What exact fittings? Where to buy them? I need to solve this problem ASAP.

Beautiful system otherwise. Lots of oohs and aaahs. Thanks SD; just help me solve the coolant problem.


  • I find the quick connect to work well, but the tube needs to be cut very cleanly and it firmly pushed in all the way into the QC. For a fixed installation where you will never change the setup, solid metal piping would be best.

  • @jbierling I found that you need to make sure they are pushed in really well. Sometimes it helps if you pull back the blue release piece as you insert the tube. You will feel when the tubing is fully inserted.

  • edited October 2013

    Also the stainless straight QC's seem to be a better fitting than the plastic elbows. I generally supply PC1M's with complete units unless requested other wise.

    A trick a lot of plumbing fittings use is to chamfer the outside ends of the tube with a file.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • Thanks for the responses.

    I pushed in the tube as well as I could. The ends were "factory" ends. It just seemed that the connection even if it had worked for my first test run was prone to failure in the future and didn't seem like it would be reliable. Any suggestions for a permanent setup in terms of parts? I'm in the US.

  • If it is staying in place rather than being torn down often i would consider hard plumbing it with copper to a hosetail away from the column.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • If I wanted to get away from the tubing I would use pex over PVC or copper. Take your fittings to Lowes so your sure on the size.

  • I would swagelok stainless tubing for the hot side, lots of great finds on ebay for the fittings

  • I use these for all my cooling water quick connects. Never had any issues. The Female side unit I use is a hose barb but I could not find a link to the right picture. Never had any leaks. Strong positive lock.

    1/2" S.T. NIPPLE, 1/2" M-NPTF, BRAS and Straight Through Quick-Connect Male Coupler

  • @RedDoorDistillery How are you buying those fittings? they look great but no way to buy other then get a quote

  • I buy them from a local company that sells and services hydraulic lines.

  • If you have a small flow requirement you could probably use Air Compressor Air Line Quick Disconnects as well. They hold air pressure so they should hold water.

  • How might at least partially running the coolant inside standard SD triclamp pipe work?

  • @jbierling said: How might at least partially running the coolant inside standard SD triclamp pipe work?

    How do do mean that jbierling? Using the TC pipe as a manifold?

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • I mean instead of hoses, pex, copper, or some other steel pipe with proprietary [quick] connectors like Swagelok and Dixon valves just to connect everything up with standard triclamps and triclamp piping. You'd still need a TC->NPT connection for the condenser and dephlegmator of course.

  • Yeah you could do that. If you had TC ferrule welded on your Coolers. Then you could just use a TC Endcap to NPT with a barb fitting for the hose. You could then disconnect the lines by undoing the TC clamp. I think that would be more costly and a bigger pain then it was worth.

  • I ALMOST opted to have 3/4" ferrules put on the condensers instead of couplers but that would have made the condensers more expensive to plumb out. With threaded couplings the customer's options are almost endless. With a TC ferrule you are locked in to a more expensive, but maybe easier?, option.

  • I will be welding on the 3/4" TC for a way to better attach my thermostatic expansion valve to the PC...

  • Yeah, I have a couple 3/4" NPT to 1.5" TC's and 1/2" NPT to 3/4" TC's coming today so I'll see how they work. I wasn't planning on welding them in, but I'm a bit tired of drip drip drip.

  • Another way to stop the drip is loctite (or other anaerobic thread sealant).. has never failed me when teflon tape becomes a pain in the butt on a fitting... These really helped when connecting NPT to BSP. I have used the medium and high strength, but strength is not what we are after, so the low-strength is probably best...

  • Im starting to accumulate and order parts. Is the 4" dephleg 1/2" NPT fittings?

  • It is 3/8" NPT FPT (USA national pipe thread, female pipe thread).
    6 pipes inside the 4" dephleg are being phased out and 9 pipes will soon be the SD standard. They carry a price premium, of course, and your distributor probably does not have them in stock yet but 9 pipes will be the new SD 4" dephleg standard.
    If you can get the 6 pipe from your distributor, I'd say snatch it up quick, because the 9 pipe will reflect the much higher cost of stainless steel. About 30% better reflux with 9 pipe vs 6 but the new, higher SS price is applied to them.
    Snatch up any SS that you can afford right now.

  • Any changes to the 8" dephleg?

  • Thank you as always Lloyd.

  • We already have the 8" super reflux condensor.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • Ok, I understand. The super RC is the newer version.

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