Manifolds allow you to have one CO2 tank with multiple lines. Each line can be turned off individually without affecting flow to other kegs. Each ball valve contains a check valve that ensures no beer or gas can flow between the two kegs. The barbs are all 5/16", standard for gas line in the beer industry.
I bought the 4 way manifold a year back, and it worked great. Until one day I came home to an empty CO2 tank. After doing a leak test I discovered cracks in two of the assemblies. After removing the cracked ones and installing a replacement one, a crack developed in a third one. The fittings are made from solid brass, but the main T body is made from a lesser quality type of brass.
I use this in my frig to divert CO2 to all my Cornies. I then bought two more and added them to the existing four for a total of six. AWESOME... six cornies full of beer and the CO2 valves make it easy to keep the brew bubblely.
I got this product back in 2012, and now in 2014 is working great! BUT, when I first got it, it leaked a lot. Had to submerge the whole unit, take it apart, and reassemble some pieces with teflon tape. I overtightened one piece and cracked one of the T's.
I also wouldn't put a lot of faith in the check valves. I don't know how much pressure it takes to push back through one, but I have inadvertently pushed beer through the manifold. It probably slowed the rate down a bit, but it was still a huge cross contaminated mess.
I've also noticed certain valves are at a very annoying resonance frequency with the gas, making an incredibly loud whine when first connecting a keg or force carbonating.
That being said, it works good, and is very easy to see which lines are on or off. It also looks quite awesome in my Keezer!
I hooked this up and lost a new tank of C02 progressively over a couple of weeks. I unhooked all my connections and submerged it in a washing bowl to find that 3 out of the 4 shut offs were leaking and the end valve was too.
I took my adjustable wrench and I must have tightened each one of them a full turn which says to me someone got lazy at the manufacturing plant.
Now that I've fixed it and lost a tank of gas at a circa $19+gas cost to me it's working swimmingly. My advice is to submerge it which attached to you gas line before use to check connections. Ensure that your high pressure/tank gauge doesn't go down - I tested mine over a 24 hour+ period to be sure.
This has lasted me so far over a year with no issues or leaks. Only thing I wish it would do it slow the rate as you turn the nobs. Currently the nobs only turn off or on fully. But great for multiple kegs.
I recently built a keezer. I checked this item "as is" for gas leaks and had none. While assembling my collar I realized that I needed the barbed end switched. It caused the manifold to twist in a few spots due to tightening. But I rechecked for gas leaks and had none. Very pleased to have no gas leaks.
This has been a good product, once I got all the connections properly sealed. The disadvantage of how modular it is, is all those joints. There were two joints that needed the Teflon tape replaced to get a proper seal. After that has been working great.
It's one of the biggest conundrums when purchasing equipment: Purchase just what I need, or try and future-proof buy overbuying. These manifolds solve that by allowing you to purchase an extra manifold at any time, for a very reasonable price.
These are the best priced valves I was able to find, and I did some extensive searching on the internet! They work great, been using these for over a year with no issues! The only draw back? They aren't visually appealing. Minor flaw, but if I'm going to put the time into making a killer keezer, I want it to look good!
If mine didn't make an ungodly pitched noise when gas was flowing then I would give it 5 stars. I like everything about this manifold however the angle of the mounting holes is ~45 degrees. 30 would have been plenty. My 2 cents.
I got this originally to increase my carbonating capacity, it worked great. I ended up converting an old fridge into a four tap kegerator. Compared to a four way regulator which would cost you a couple hundred dollars this manifold does the job just fine. It is also very convenient to use with the Blichmann counter pressure bottle filler, I am able to easily hook up the co2 without having to mess with my regulator at all.
The first one leaked gas out of the relief valve. They shipped me a second one right away, and it leaked too. The third one worked like a charm and has been serving me well (literally and figuratively) ever since.
The manifold really helped clean up the "spaghetti"of gas lines in my kegerator. the four shut offs give me piece of mind knowing i can isolate a leaking corny, if i suspect a leak i just shut off the gas for an hour or so when i turn it back on if i hear gas in the regulator moving i know where the culpret is.its the little things we do that make our life easier.