For my scenario I couldn't justify the cost of the stainless elements. I went with a regular Camco 5500w element and used silicone chaulking on it to seal the face. I tried to be very diligent with it. It seems to be holding well as of now. In the end I figured if this idea failed at least I would have a spare element I could use if I indeed have to buy a more expensive element some day and it craps out mid brew session. Regardless, I make sure to never leave water sitting in my HLT overnight as I think this is how most people get into trouble.