After the initial purchase of a kegerator and a keg there is little cost to maintain the unit. The average cost to maintain a kegerator is $113.00 annually. These costs include monthly line cleaning, co2 refills, and expected electricity costs. Below is a breakdown of the annual costs.
How much does it cost to clean a Kegerator?
Purchasing a Kegerator cleaning kit will be the most expensive cost to maintain your kegerator after the purchase of the Kegerator. To clean your tap lines you will need a simple hand pump cleaning kit or a more sophisticated pressurized beer line cleaning kit. The equipment for cleaning the lines is a one time purchase, however you will need to purchase more cleaning solution as you use it. Read on to learn more about the line cleaning kits.
Kegerator Line cleaning solution – Acid line cleaner is used to clean and sanitize kegerator lines. A standard 32oz concentrated container will yield 16 gallons of solution. A standard kegerator tube measures 3/16” and is 5 feet long, this holds just short of 1oz of liquid. When cleaning tap lines you will run the chemical through the line until it runs clear, even if it takes 20oz to clear the line one bottle will last you over 100 line cleanings. A 32 oz cocnetrated container of line cleaning solution will cost you $20.
How much does co2 cost for a kegerator?
Your Kegerator will come with a 5-10lb co2 tank. The cost to fill a standard 5lb co2 tank will run about $20. To fill your tank you can visit a local welding shop. The standard 5lb co2 tank will last 4-5 half barrels or 13-15 ⅙ barrels. Assuming you will go through 1 half barrel per month you will need to refill your co2 tank 2-3 times annually. Costing you $40-$60 per year averaging $50.
How much does it cost to replace Kegerator lines?
To maintain clean untainted lines we recommend you replace the lines once annually. This cost is minimal. A 3/16 inch tubing will run you about $1 per foot. The standard length of a kegerator line is 5 ½ feet. The cost to replace the lines will be about $6 and an hour’s work.
How much does it cost to run a Kegerator?
According to sfgate.com it will cost $27 – $47 to run a mini fridge annually with the average being $37. With kegerators kicking out the same electricity use of a mini refrigerator you can expect that you pay a little over $3 per month.
One time Costs to Consider
The Kegerator itself is a one time cost and should last you 4-12 years with the life expectancy of 8 years, but with proper care for the unit you should easily be able to get 10 years out of it. If you buy a $1000 unit that lasts you 10 years you are paying about $8.33 per month for your kegerator.
Kegerator cleaning Kits
The cleaning kit for your Kegerator is a must. BrewersAssocication.org recommends that you clean the lines every time you change the keg or every two weeks. Cleaning tap lines is a simple process but you need to correct tools to get the job done right. You have two options for cleaning your lines properly. You can use the standard hand pump or take the hands free approach and use a pressurized beer line cleaning kit.
Kegerator Line Cleaning Kit with Hand pump
If you opt for the hand pump kegerator line cleaning kit you will spend about $65 for a starter kit. Kits will have the basic things you need to clean a single line, including the cleaning solution, a hand pump with a faucet coupler cleaning attachment and faucet wrench.
Kegerator Pressurized Beer Line Cleaning Kit
Your second option, the pressurized beer line cleaning kit is a self pumping machine that gets the job done quickly without hand pumping. These kits often come with the same basic cleaning materials and cleaning solution. A pressurized line cleaning kit will set you back about $160.
Other supplies you will need to clean your lines
Both the hand pump and pressurized beer line cleaning kits have the basic materials you need to clean your lines, however you will need a few more items to thoroughly clean your Kegerator. These tools will cost you a total of $36 and last you the entirety of your kegerators life.
Coupler Brush ($10) – Coupler brushes clean the coupler that attaches the keg to the kegerator. When purchasing a coupler brush make sure you get the correct brush for your system. Most american kegerators are Sankey D system keg couplers.
Hose Brush ($6) – A hose brush is a long brush on the end of a wire. The brush removes additional build up of yeast and sugars in the line.
Jumper Hose ($10) – A jumper hose can be used when you have two or more tap lines to clean. The hose connects the lines so you only need to pump the solution through once.
Faucet Wrench sometimes called a spanner wrench ($10) – A faucet wrench loosens and tighten the faucet and on a shank tower. You will need to remove the faucet to properly clean all its parts.