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-   -   Heat Stick Ground Question (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/heat-stick-ground-question-282727/)

rivertranced 11-22-2011 03:38 PM

Heat Stick Ground Question
I've read a fair amount about heat stick builds and wiring, especially the big mamma jamma thread called Heatstick = Awesome!

I still have a couple ground questions to which I've not found an answer.

When building a heat stick using a chrome plated brass pipe, is it better to mount the ground in the brass pipe above or below the water/wort line? The Cedar Creek guy shows to do it below the water line, but I've seen others do it above. Is there an advantage or disadvantage to each?

Also, i'm planning to use these to supplement my burner in my keggles. Do I need to worry about grounding issues if using these in the stainless steel of the keggles? For example, I thought I read that the brass pipe should contact the keggle somewhere, but in my set up this won't necessarily happen (I was going to build a PVC joint at the top that would allow it to hang from the side of the keggle). Would that be a safety risk?

nebben 11-22-2011 11:19 PM

I'm not an electrician, but here's my take on this.

In my heatstick, I have 3 wires that go down to the end. I fixed my ground to one of the nuts that is holding two sections of the pipe together. My rationale for this is that if water fills the tube somehow or if there is a short that reaches the water somehow, I know that the water is already grounded via that 3rd wire. I suppose if using a metal tun, you had a ground that was connected to the pot itself, that would be sufficient as well.

I don't think I would ever do it where the ground wasn't in or in contact with the water.

Dgonza9 11-25-2011 02:11 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the kettle is grounded if the element is touching it, no?

rivertranced 11-27-2011 01:45 PM

In my set-up, my element will not touch the bottom of the keggle. Does that create a risk?

I think I'll put the ground at the end so it is submerged though. That will be cleaner from a wiring perspective.

Any other feedback on this?

szazman73 11-29-2011 05:09 AM

Definitely put the ground wire low on the metal pipe. I use two heat sticks that are almost identical to what you have described which is an 8" chrome plated brass pipe with PVC extension that makes a hook at the end to hang on the kettle. The element coming in contact with the pot does not cause any problems other then possible heat loss from direct transfer into the pot instead of the liquid. I don't know what directions you are going to use to build your heatsticks but I found one that suggested using JB weld apoxy to seal the ends. For me this was a major peace of mind thing knowing that there was no way water could get in. Let me know if you have any other questions or if you wanted pictures of what I use.

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