I had the exact same problem, but unfortunately I didn't find this forum until a nightmarish set of exchanges with the supplier, and many trips to local hardware stores.
Apparently, they get these valve assemblies prepacked, and they haven't been doing any quality inspection before they ship. So when I ordered the kettle assembly, they sent me a sealed package that said "kettle," but actually had the wrong sized nipple in it.
NB caries two SS 1/2" NPT nipples:
- the one for COOLERS is 1 1/2" long, and has a space in the middle of the two threaded sides.
- the one for KETTLES is called "close" or "full-threaded", and has no space, and is closer to 1" long (exactly 1.125")
If you have trouble assembling the MegaPot valve kit, or a NB kit you order separately, be sure to call their customer service line. Once they realize the problem, they'll ship you the correct part via FedEx 2 day (for free, of course). [They also sent me a few free pint glasses ]
But in my case, it took me a long time to convince them that they'd shipped me the incorrect part. (They shipped me two more of the incorrect-sized 1.5"long nipples before sending me the right product. What a HEADACHE!)
Also, I found out the hard way that STAINLESS FITTINGS ARE NOT AVAILABLE AT LOCAL STORES. In the Chicago area, the following five stores carry brass, galvanized, & "black steel" NPT fittings, but NOT stainless steel:
- Home Depot
- Crafty Beaver