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-   -   Grounding an element in a plastic cooler (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/grounding-element-plastic-cooler-220599/)

ascha 01-26-2011 01:52 PM

Grounding an element in a plastic cooler
 
I think this should work but I wanted to double check before I go using my body to complete any circuits.

I'm going to make a hlt out of a 10g cooler with a 2000 watt heating element. I was planning on cutting a rectangular hole in the outside wall and remove the foam insulation in that rectangular hole and place a metal electrical box in that hole. So the element would be housed in that electrical box and I could attach the ground wire to that box.

It would be very similar to the Electric Brewery did it http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/he...lements?page=7.

Of course I'm still going to use a GFI but will this setup keep me safe?

IrregularPulse 01-26-2011 01:56 PM

As long as your element is grounded to something metal, yes you'll be safe.

ascha 01-26-2011 02:07 PM

Right, it should be as the element will be in the metal box and the metal box will be grounded.

PurpleJeepXJ 01-26-2011 09:36 PM

But don't you have to ground the water? That is why most tuns with elements are metal. All you would do is be grounding the element and if it broke and you were somehow the shortest ground then grounding just the box would not work.

ascha 01-27-2011 12:21 PM

How do you ground the water? If the metal box is grounded then the element which would be attached to the box should be grounded too. How else could I ground the water in a plastic cooler?

Bobby_M 01-27-2011 02:57 PM

If you ground the base of the element, it extends into the water grounding the water.

jkarp 01-27-2011 03:12 PM

Wort isn't conductive so you're not "grounding the water". Ideally, you want to ground any touchable metal surfaces. In your cooler's case there really isn't any except the element itself so ground to the threaded portion and that box.

samc 01-27-2011 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jkarp (Post 2589652)
Wort isn't conductive so you're not "grounding the water". Ideally, you want to ground any touchable metal surfaces. In your cooler's case there really isn't any except the element itself so ground to the threaded portion and that box.

I'm not a scientist but I can't believe that wort is not conductive to some degree. It has minerals, it is not pure H20.

devilishprune 01-27-2011 08:13 PM

This is for an HLT, which won't have wort in it. If you ground the base of the element (which is touching the water) then you will ground the water.

jkarp 01-27-2011 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samc

I'm not a scientist but I can't believe that wort is not conductive to some degree. It has minerals, it is not pure H20.

So pull out your multimeter and test. I did.


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