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Old 07-17-2008, 01:28 AM   #1
jmmarvel
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Default Installing a Valve/Therm

Lets say I wanted to install a thermometer or a valve at the bottom of my stainless steel kettle. How impossible is this? What is the easiest/best/cheapest way to puncture a hole/holes into a stockpot? I'm sure I missed a post about this somewhere, so if someone could let me know, that would be great.

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Old 07-17-2008, 01:35 AM   #2
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Most good hole saws will drill through it, just go slow and use cutting compound. Then you either weld a bush/nipple fitting on with TIG or oxy, or fit a bolt through bulkhead with hi temp silicone seals.
Step drills aren't that great, as the previous size hardens up the edges for the next size. Get a high qual hole saw and arbor for $40, or the cheap way is lots or small holes carefully drilled and then filed out round. That's harder to weld as it might be slightly out of shape or too large buy the time it's perfectly round, but no dramas with a bulkhead fitting.

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Old 07-17-2008, 01:40 AM   #3
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No disrespect, but I understood about 3 words of that. It may be out of the question for me to do this. It's not of dire necessity so i'll most likely just use my pots as is.

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Old 07-17-2008, 01:50 AM   #4
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Use one of these:


Install one of these:


And something like this:


and get this:

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Old 07-17-2008, 02:02 AM   #5
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Sweet. Me likey pictures

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Old 07-17-2008, 03:22 AM   #6
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drill a hole...get a valve...get washers...connect valve with washers into the hole

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Old 07-17-2008, 03:38 AM   #7
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So easy even I can do it.

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Old 07-17-2008, 04:57 AM   #8
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Another option is to take your pot to a stainless steel welder and get him to weld in two 1/2 inch full couplings for you. You'll need a minimum of two; one for the valve and one for the thermometer. If you mount the thermometer a couple of inches above the valve, it'll be far enough away from any flame to avoid damage, and the valve will act as a kind of heat shield for it.

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Old 07-18-2008, 02:01 PM   #9
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what would a welder charge me for something like this? ballpark.

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Old 07-19-2008, 02:39 AM   #10
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I'm sure it can vary widely. I just had four 1/2 inch couplings welded into two kegs, two per keg, and the welder charged me $30 per coupling. He drilled the holes and TIG welded in the couplings with argon gas back flushing. I thought it was a fair price, especially considering the high quality of the work.

Make sure to specify that you need sanitary welds. If you have a home brew supply store near you, ask them about it. They probably know one or more welders who do quality sanitary SS work.

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