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Old 09-03-2009, 06:04 PM   #1
ajs349
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Default 5 gallon Igloo cooler to HLT

Since upgrading to a larger MLT I have a 5 gallon Igloo cooler sitting in the garage without a purpose. I'd like to make a HLT but I had a few questions.

I was planning on heating it with a heating element should I be looking for a "screw in" type like these?

Could I then wire it into a RANCO controller and finally a wall outlet?

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Old 09-03-2009, 06:52 PM   #2
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Sounds like you have the right plan. My only concern would be the amount of heat it puts out. Because you're using a plastic cooler, I would be worried about it melting if you place the element within a few inches of the cooler walls. It's been done before though, so it shouldn't be an issue.

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Old 09-03-2009, 07:08 PM   #3
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Yes, and yes. I did this with my old 10 gallon MLT. It's now a 1440W HLT. I don't see the need to use a temperature controller as the temp doesn't rise all that quickly. Just give it a stir and check the temp periodically and turn it off (unplug it) when you're at your target temperature. You can always drop it down a few degrees by adding some cool water if necessary. I used the stainless steel lock nut from Bargain Fittings with their high-temp o-ring and it doesn't leak. Very happy with this setup.

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Old 09-04-2009, 12:24 AM   #4
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Yes an electric element will power a cooler HLT nicely...rather than using the ranco, you could put it on a timer...with a bit of trial and error, you will be close or over strike temps and can temper w/ a few ice cubes or cold water.

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Old 09-04-2009, 12:47 PM   #5
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Thanks guys for the quick responses. I'm going to go out this weekend and see if I could find one at Lowes or Home Depot. If everything works as planned it should be an inexpensive HLT (since I already have the cooler and valve).

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Old 08-27-2010, 06:30 PM   #6
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what size hardware did you use to do this? Is there some sort of "spacer" you can use to keep the heatstick away from the bottom of the HLT?

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