In planning my second eBrewery, I've looked at some of the handywork of members building heatsticks. Some of the newer designs (tri-clamp elbow type) have some real merit. Rather than discuss differing designs, I am interested to hear pro/cons and experience-based opinions between 240V heatsticks to the tradiditional thru-the-wall (TTW) element design.
Right now I'm using TTW for both my BK and HLT. The biggest annoyance I have is the pig-tail and it's propensity to get in the way when a thorough cleaning requires me to move and/or wash the kettle down. I'm using a 2" gray PVC endcap over my element connections with a 5/8" hole for the cord to pass through. The cap is sealed to the kettle using hi-temp silicone, so it's fairly small considering. The connector ends are water resistand twist-lok. (see attached) But, it's still a pain. I've thought about having a recepticle in a box mounted directly to the keg, but this would get fairly large and add potential for water intrusion.
I was thinking of using a 240V heatstick for my new 20g kettles - figuring I can always drill holes, mount and re-sell the heatstick if I did not like it.
Then there's also the question of why i need to move/hose off my kettles - probably because that's they way I've always done it. Clean in place sounds nice, but inevitably, drips dribbles, condensation the possibility of a boilover have me thinking of convenience.
So, do you love 'em or hate 'em, and why?