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Old 05-22-2011, 10:54 PM   #11
pfooti
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Yep, I went and screwed that pooch. Got all my parts from mcmaster, put it together with teflon tape assuming that if it leaked, I could just undo it and use better silicone sealant. Ran it on plain water to test (and cooked a sous vide dinner at the same time, heh), and each joint leaked just a little bit. Ended up tightening them down a bit more, but still leaky. So I went to disassemble it in preparation for the better sealant.

All six of the 1.5" joins are stuck firm (the pipe nipple to the two tees, plus the 1.5" x 0.75" bushing on the other parts of the tees). I managed to back out the 0.75" bushings that I was using to reduce down to the QDs and RTD ports, but that's it. Also got out the heater element.

Going to spend the day working with penetrating oil and see if that helps, but at this point my choices are: invest in a big 2" wrench and hope, or switch over to a different technique. I think I might try a copper/sweat solution after all. If I'm clever, I can probably get that working relatively cheaply.

My other option is to put the whole thing back together and maybe use some kind of silicone caulk to manually seal the leaky parts of the thread, but that's unsatisfying.

There's a neat picture I found online of a dude who put a flange on a piece of copper pipe (basically soldering a bit of 6-gauge wire all around it), so I will try to do the same thing- cut the tube in half and add the flange / triclover joint to make cleaning easier. Pricing it out makes it still seem a lot cheaper than stainless (even cheaper than aluminum, but you've got to actually know how to sweat the pipe yourself).

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Old 08-19-2011, 02:14 AM   #12
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Yep, I went and screwed that pooch. Got all my parts from mcmaster, put it together with teflon tape assuming that if it leaked, I could just undo it and use better silicone sealant. Ran it on plain water to test (and cooked a sous vide dinner at the same time, heh), and each joint leaked just a little bit. Ended up tightening them down a bit more, but still leaky. So I went to disassemble it in preparation for the better sealant.

All six of the 1.5" joins are stuck firm (the pipe nipple to the two tees, plus the 1.5" x 0.75" bushing on the other parts of the tees). I managed to back out the 0.75" bushings that I was using to reduce down to the QDs and RTD ports, but that's it. Also got out the heater element.

Going to spend the day working with penetrating oil and see if that helps, but at this point my choices are: invest in a big 2" wrench and hope, or switch over to a different technique. I think I might try a copper/sweat solution after all. If I'm clever, I can probably get that working relatively cheaply.

My other option is to put the whole thing back together and maybe use some kind of silicone caulk to manually seal the leaky parts of the thread, but that's unsatisfying.

There's a neat picture I found online of a dude who put a flange on a piece of copper pipe (basically soldering a bit of 6-gauge wire all around it), so I will try to do the same thing- cut the tube in half and add the flange / triclover joint to make cleaning easier. Pricing it out makes it still seem a lot cheaper than stainless (even cheaper than aluminum, but you've got to actually know how to sweat the pipe yourself).
How did this end? Did you get it working?
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Old 08-19-2011, 02:25 AM   #13
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Nope. I just looked at it today, actually. Still totally sealed up. I ended up making a copper tube instead- worked pretty well, I just had to be imaginative with the parts at the local plumbing shop (there's a great store near me, with lots more stuff than a typical home despot).

The current setup is a lot like the picture I liked, but without the cut and triclover part for easy drying. I think I'm going to add that, though, as right now I get a little bit of rust in the water when I rinse it out due to incomplete drainage whenever I use it. Probably not the end of the world, since I clean it pretty thoroughly before use, but still.

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Old 08-19-2011, 05:10 AM   #14
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Rust? Did you use steel somewhere in the build?

Copper and solder shouldn't rust.

can you post a picture?

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Old 08-19-2011, 05:14 AM   #15
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Yeah rust is a bad thing. Maybe you used galvanized parts in there somewhere?

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Old 08-19-2011, 06:34 AM   #16
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The rust seems to be coming from either the heating element or its base. I used a 220V ULWD element, but I think the exterior to the element itself is mild steel. I might have been better served with a (much) smaller, but stainless 120V HWD element, even if that means it might snap if I fire it dry.

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Old 08-19-2011, 02:39 PM   #17
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The rust seems to be coming from either the heating element or its base. I used a 220V ULWD element, but I think the exterior to the element itself is mild steel. I might have been better served with a (much) smaller, but stainless 120V HWD element, even if that means it might snap if I fire it dry.
I dry fired my 220v 5500W Incoloy (stainless steel) element a couple of batches back. It is run at 110v, but it was heating up for a couple of minutes. When I pulled it out to check it, there wasn't any problem at all. It did just fine. Maybe it wouldn't have tolerated the heating if it was powered at 220v. At least I didn't have to replace it.
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