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Old 11-04-2008, 09:40 PM   #1
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Default The No-Leak MLT bulkhead design

I've been pretty hard on weldless setups and I won't concede on that for metal vessels but if you HAVE to use a weldless setup, this post is for you. Of course, when you're converting a cooler for use as a MLT, you have no choice but to use weldless. This design is similar to all of them with a couple nit-picky details that I think are absolutely important to keeping it from leaking. First, sorry for the big pic...



1. 1/2" coupling, 1/2" NPT hose barb (for stainless braid designs), or 1/2" male adapter if using manifold.

2. 3/4" SS washers (meant for use with 3/4" bolts so the ID is close to the 1/2" NPT OD. Use enough washers so that the Oring's inside diameter sits on NON THREADED portion of nipple. The washer touching the oring should be slid all the way down to where the threads end and it should stop there.

3. Silicone ORING AS568A Dash Number 314 3/4" ID.

4. Inside wall of the cooler drilled to 7/8" hole.

5. Stainless pipe nipple 1/2" NPT (.84" OD actual)

6. short piece of schedule 40 3/4" PVC pipe, just long enough to reach from the inside wall to the outside wall of the cooler. Slit lengthwise with a hacksaw to stretch over 1/2" nipple.

7. Outside wall of cooler (and insulation) drilled out to 1-1/8" so PVC will fit inside.

8. 3/4" washers (meant for use with 3/4" bolts so the ID is close to the 1/2" NPT OD. Use as many washers as necessary to make up for a slightly "too long" nipple. You may have to dremel out the ID to fit over the unthreaded portion of the nipple or use a slightly larger washer. These don't have to be stainless.

9. 1/2" NPT brass Locknut. Can also get away with an electrical conduit nut for very cheap.

10. 1/2" NPT ball valve.


So why is this a superior design? First, having the inside (and only) Oring sitting on the nipple flat doesn't require any huge buildup of teflon tape to keep liquid from getting past the Oring through the threads. Second, the PVC reinforcement holds the inside wall from caving in and ruining the seal. Third, No Orings used on the outside. Any design that suggests trapping liquid inside the wall of the cooler is flawed. Do you want wort soaking into the insulation if the inner seal fails? If you ever smelled a 2 day old mash, you know the answer.

Discuss...

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Old 11-04-2008, 09:50 PM   #2
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I like it. On one of my conversions I actually cut away the outside of the cooler and insulation for a 3x3" area and made my watertight seal just on the inner wall itself. So I really like that you've taken the compression of the cooler wall out of the equation.

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Old 11-04-2008, 10:57 PM   #3
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post a picture! (preferably tonight so I can go to fastenal in the morning!

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Old 11-05-2008, 04:52 AM   #4
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I just did this exact thing. Great pic.

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Old 11-05-2008, 05:46 PM   #6
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Sounds good. Hmm,

Skills? Made a hole in a cooler, stick drawings in MS word, nun chuck skills, bow hunting skills.

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Old 05-15-2009, 11:00 PM   #7
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Nice design. I just followed your blueprint to make one, I'm at 45 minutes now and no drips. Thanks very much!

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Old 05-16-2009, 03:12 AM   #8
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conpewter,

how long of a nipple did you use on the conversion where you cut away in the outer shell?

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Old 05-16-2009, 03:20 AM   #9
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going to use for my step up to 10 gall batches and famous orange cooler

Is this as simple as Fly Guy's ?

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Old 05-16-2009, 03:47 AM   #10
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It's really dependent on how thick the cooler wall is. It's probably easiest to buy a few different nipples and return the ones you don't use.

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