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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > At 4mm thick, is my aluminum pot too thick to install an element?
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:33 PM   #1
Geordan
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Default At 4mm thick, is my aluminum pot too thick to install an element?

Recently bought a 4mm thick aluminum pot to brew in only to discover it's too damn big to bring to a boil on my stove. So I've put together all the bits and bobs in a list and was just about to order the required parts to install an element in the kettle, only to have an epiphany just before ordering that all of the resources I've found are for stainless steel pots, and not my much heavier 4mm aluminum. I've tried searching the forum, but only found a single reference to an aluminum pot being too thick to install in, and there was no measurement given.

So, ladies and gentlemen, am I out of luck?

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Old 12-30-2011, 07:47 PM   #2
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If Your worried it's 4mm thick and you can't get a nut to thread on the inside you can have the hole drilled and tapped with 1" pipe thread so the element screws into the pot. I think 4mm is enough to cut threads that it should seal.

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Old 12-30-2011, 08:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRems View Post
If Your worried it's 4mm thick and you can't get a nut to thread on the inside you can have the hole drilled and tapped with 1" pipe thread so the element screws into the pot. I think 4mm is enough to cut threads that it should seal.
Any thoughts on what this might cost or where I would get it done? My Googlefu has failed me, and the three machine shops I've contacted have told me it's "way too small a job" for them. Advice?
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:11 PM   #4
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You may want to get an aluminum pipe fitting, And just have it welded in. Then just Screw you heater in. 4mm is not alot of thread although it may work. Jay

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Old 12-30-2011, 08:23 PM   #5
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I can't say from experience as my aluminum pot is less than 4mm thick (maybe 2-3mm) but I think I've heard of people successfully mount an element with that thickness.

For my own experience, I have that 2-3mm thick aluminum pot, a normal heater element with the typical threads, the typical SS locknut and typical silicon oring. Most people, I think, do not include the black oring that comes with the element, however I do have mine on still, on the outside of the pot. So I technically have an extra 2-3mm worth of oring padding it up.

It wasn't EASY to screw the nut on, like the initial grabbing of the threads was really awkward to get going, but once I had it grabbing I could thread that sucker down a number of turns until tight.

So probably you'll be fine, and if need be you could also use a grinder or slightly larger hole saw to make the area of contact for the nut, oring, etc. LESS than 4mm. You could definitely DIY on that with a dremel or the right sized hole saw.

Good luck!

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Old 12-30-2011, 09:26 PM   #6
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... make the area of contact for the nut, oring, etc. LESS than 4mm. You could definitely DIY on that with a dremel or the right sized hole saw.
You know, I had the same thought, and then dismissed it as madness... but is there any reason shaving down the pot wall around the hole would be a bad idea? Would it compromise the pot's integrity?
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:08 PM   #7
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My aluminum kettle is 4mm thick. I have two elements installed in it, as well as two ball valves. No problems whatsoever getting everything to fit. Just don't use the black o-ring that comes with the element. And use lots of teflon tape on the inside!

Really - you should have no problems with any standard element. And I'd definitely make absolutely sure it doesn't work before doing something as drastic as shaving down the pot wall.

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