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Old 11-23-2010, 12:10 PM   #1
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Default Oxyclean vs. Sight gauge?

I just brewed a batch with my new kettle. The brewing went great, but I left the pot to soak overnight in some oxyclean, and SWMBO just woke me up to tell me there's water all over the floor. To my dismay, the sight gauge on my kettle is all cracked up, which allowed a slow leak over the course of the night.

I'm wondering if the Oxyclean soak is responsible. Anyone else with a similar experience?

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Old 11-23-2010, 12:57 PM   #2
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probably not. Did you accidently hit the sight glass somehow? Did your wife?

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Old 11-23-2010, 01:44 PM   #3
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Coulda been a temp thing.....maybe you cooled the kettle too fast?

Funny, for anyone that's been brewing a while, we've all discovered "something" on the floor...

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Old 11-23-2010, 04:14 PM   #4
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Given the way it was cracked, but not broken apart, I doubt it was physical shock. It may well have been thermal shock, though I didn't heat or cool it rapidly.

Interesting. And frustrating.

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Old 11-23-2010, 04:20 PM   #5
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Is it a polycarbonate tube? Is it a vertical or radial crack? I've heard of this one other time and it was also after an oxiclean soak. However, I've left pieces of polycarbonate in various strength solutions of oxi, starsan, pbw, etc for a week and non of them had any effect. I also believe it might come down to thermal shock but I'm not sure.

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Old 11-23-2010, 06:27 PM   #6
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I believe it to be polycarbonate... It's the bargainfittings sight gauge. And the cracks are radial.

Though it seems the most likely culprit, I kinda doubt thermal shock. After the boil, I used my CFC to cool the wort, then let the pot continue cooling to room temp naturally. I rinsed the pot out with plain hot tap water a couple of times, then filled it with about 5-6 gallons of hot tap water (something I'd done several times before, when leak checking, graduating the sight gauge, etc. with no problems) and a couple of scoops of Oxyclean. Stirred, and let sit overnight.

Woke up this morning to a puddle.

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Old 11-23-2010, 07:00 PM   #7
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Its polycarbonate tubing and should not form cracks if soaked in oxygen based cleaners of starsan.

Does the entire length of tube show cracking?

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Old 11-23-2010, 07:51 PM   #8
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Not the entire length, but the portion that had the cleaner solution in it.

I'm at work right now, but I can take pictures of the remaining portion when I get home later tonight.

I'm 99.9% sure I didn't bump it. The only other thing I can possibly think of... I had placed the kettle on the floor, and turned it so the valve and sight gauge were facing the wall... Maybe my cat tried to squeeze between? Though I can't really see that either, as the space wasn't THAT narrow, and the tube has some give to it.

But maybe... Warm/hot water in tube + stupid cat = cracked sight gauge? That's somewhat consistent with my kind of luck...

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Old 11-23-2010, 08:17 PM   #9
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This is very odd stuff for sure, and it sounds exactly like what happened to a customer of mine a while back. After trying a LOT of test soaks on "virgin" polycarb tubing, I even thought that maybe a boil cycle followed by a soak would more closely simulate the actual problem but every sample came out looking brand new with no damage. The only thing I didn't try was overheating the tubing (over 260F) and then soaking.

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Old 11-23-2010, 08:23 PM   #10
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My stove was barely able to maintain a boil on 3 gallons. I'm sure I didn't overheat the tube lol.

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