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Old 12-18-2009, 04:31 AM   #1
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Default Silicone and HLT... Do or don't

I had JB welded my quick disconnect to the outside of my aluminum electric hot liquor tank. On my last boil I found the HLT sitting in a large puddle. Not a nice thought when it is electric....

I quickly took my Dremel to it and removed the disconnect. Went down to the brass and fitting shop, and bought a 1/4in brass bulkhead connector. I fastened it on with rubber gasket and O-ring on the inside. and rubber gasket, lock washer, and nut on the outside. Then connected a 1/4in ball valve.

When filling with water I still get a small drip however.

I am worried that the constant connecting/disconnecting I have done with the hole, has left it too warped for the O-ring to give it a proper seal. The metal is no longer entirely straight.

I am thinking, since the leak is small, to seal the outside only with silicone. The silicone is rated to 400F, but has no food safety certification. Basic silicone from Home Depot.

My thoughts are that since it will only be on the outside it should be OK.

Am I off my rocker.

If this is a bad idea, does anyone have a better one?

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Old 12-18-2009, 04:33 AM   #2
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what about some food grade sealant like GE's Silicone II.?I think it is safe once it dries but someone else may want to chime in
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:00 AM   #3
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I think that is what I have it is Silicone II anyway. Not sure if it is GE. But it doesn't say food safe on it.

The bigger question though is whether it even matters, as the sealant will only be on the outside of the tank. There theoretically could be a small bit of sealant that might be able to leach in some how, but not sure. there.

I have the element attached with JB Weld, but was under the impression that JB weld is food safe.

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Old 12-18-2009, 01:11 PM   #4
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So I checked and what I have is GE Silicone II. There is a disclaimer below the instructions for use that states:

Quote:
NOT FOR: Surfaces that will exceed 400F, conditions where FDA compliance is necessary, or aquariums. Suitable for in-home use only.
So does anyone know if there is anything in there that will volitolize to the point of seeping in through any small crack it might be filling, or should I be alright since is is going to be on the outside?

Anyone use this stuff successfully for and HLT or an MLT?
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slouch View Post
I fastened it on with rubber gasket and O-ring on the inside. and rubber gasket, lock washer, and nut on the outside. Then connected a 1/4in ball valve.

I am worried that the constant connecting/disconnecting I have done with the hole, has left it too warped for the O-ring to give it a proper seal. The metal is no longer entirely straight.
Take some oversized washers on both sides and a thru bolt and a nut - tighten it down... flat hole again. But I think you have too many gaskets trying to make the seal and can't get it tightened properly.
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:27 PM   #6
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That is a great idea on the washers to straighten out the hole.

As for the gaskets, would you take away the one on the outside? drop to only a gasket or O-ring on inside? Both?

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Old 12-18-2009, 01:42 PM   #7
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Please describe exactly what parts you're using to make the bulkhead. It does sound like too many gaskets.

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Old 12-18-2009, 02:27 PM   #8
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It is a 1/4in brass bulkhead. On the inside I have an O-ring next to the wall, and a rubber hose gasket between the O-ring and the bulkhead. The outside has a rubber hose gasket next to the wall, then a lock washer, then the nut.

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Old 12-18-2009, 06:08 PM   #9
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OK. So I straightened the hole out using the washer technique. There is still a leak, but i think it is because there might be a small crack in the metal....

If this is the case is there anyway to repair it?

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Old 12-18-2009, 06:31 PM   #10
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aquarium silicone is FDA compliant when it's dried and washed properly.

also, don't over tighten!

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