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Old 08-25-2012, 08:44 PM   #1
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Default Dry fired. Is my element dead?

I just dry fired my element for 10 seconds tops. It was enough to glow and smoke a bit.

The element looks fine, but as soon as I plug it in, the breaker trips.

Is it dead? Anything I can do to save it?

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Old 08-25-2012, 08:57 PM   #2
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Well, if you cant get it to stay on then I think you answered your own question sadly. Thats my biggest fear with my ekeggle.

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Old 08-26-2012, 02:16 PM   #3
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Its not the end of the world to replace it, elements are $12 at HD...

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Old 08-26-2012, 02:31 PM   #4
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I'm no electrician, but wouldn't a heating element that fired dry (and was not meant to) fail due to the element cracking/melting, thus breaking the electrical circuit? What would cause the breaker to trip if the element is bad? Could it be something more serious than the element? I'm only working off of very limited experience with a defrost element in a fridge and an igniter in a furnace.

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Old 08-26-2012, 03:52 PM   #5
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I think your correct. The element gets so hot it needs the water to displace the heat. Without water they just burn up. Very technical writing I know

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Old 08-26-2012, 03:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewD View Post
I'm no electrician, but wouldn't a heating element that fired dry (and was not meant to) fail due to the element cracking/melting, thus breaking the electrical circuit? What would cause the breaker to trip if the element is bad? Could it be something more serious than the element? I'm only working off of very limited experience with a defrost element in a fridge and an igniter in a furnace.
It would trip the breaker with water surrounding it, as the water will cause a short.
If it was dry it may not trip the breaker since there would be nothing to short out the current.
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Old 08-26-2012, 05:28 PM   #7
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What's the wattage of the element?

I dry-fired a 5500W 240VAC element. After doing the math, I should measure 10.5 ohms. Sure enough, the element I didn't dry-fire measures 10.5 ohms. The one I did dry-fire measures about 10.8 ohms. After doing the math, I will have a reduced wattage of 5333W. Sounds like no big deal to me, so I'll try it it with water soon. I'm sure it'll work fine. I'll let you know if it doesn't.

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Old 08-26-2012, 05:49 PM   #8
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Only the Ultra Low Watt elements can be dry fired for a short period of time. Sound like yours is cooked...

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Old 08-27-2012, 03:55 PM   #9
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It was a 5500 watt element. Luckily, the dry fire didn't happen during a brew session. I was heating up water to Sous Vide some steaks.

I ended up going to Lowes and buying a new one for $15 yesterday. It works just fine.

I find it difficult to balance the water level between my mash tun and HLT when I'm recirculating. My ball valve coming out of the pump has to be in the exact right spot or the water level drops in one of the vessels. I guess I'll be looking into a float switch to make sure this doesn't happen again.

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Old 08-30-2012, 06:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgeebc View Post
It was a 5500 watt element. Luckily, the dry fire didn't happen during a brew session. I was heating up water to Sous Vide some steaks.

I ended up going to Lowes and buying a new one for $15 yesterday. It works just fine.

I find it difficult to balance the water level between my mash tun and HLT when I'm recirculating. My ball valve coming out of the pump has to be in the exact right spot or the water level drops in one of the vessels. I guess I'll be looking into a float switch to make sure this doesn't happen again.
I just started learning about electric brewing setups and I'm confused as to how this would happen. Isn't the fluid from the mash tun separate from the fluid in the HLT? I thought that the fluid from the mash tun circulated through the HLT inside of an immersed coil, but did not mix with the HLT fluid. If this is correct, how can the fluid drop if it is just being recirculated back into the vessel it came from?
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