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Old 10-28-2010, 07:42 PM   #1
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Default my take on covering the heating element connections

as I was roaming around the depot with element in hand trying pvc parts and whatnot, I came upon this guy:


It is slip fit 1" on one side, and threaded 1/2" on the other. the slip fit is snug around the back of the element, and I threaded a 1/2" electrical compression fitting into the other.

I drilled a hole on the inside crook of the elbow to let the ground wire out. A little silicone to keep everything sealed and in place and it is done.

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Old 10-28-2010, 07:55 PM   #2
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How did you ground this element, and how much did that wire thing cost/where was it in the store?

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Old 10-28-2010, 07:56 PM   #3
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Did you pot it with epoxy inside the PVC? Or are you relying on the silicone alone? Have you boiled with it yet? Looks like a creative solution!

TB

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Old 10-28-2010, 08:29 PM   #4
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I like it!

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Originally Posted by Ecnerwal View Post
What does the primary pressure gauge on the tank tell us? That's right, the temperature. Put it on a scale if you want to know how much is in it...
Put some duct tape over the gauge - Or better yet - Replace the high pressure gauge with a plug - High pressure gauges are useless!
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:51 PM   #5
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I like it!
Me too.

Gotta remember that if I ever get around to mounting the elements in the kegs.

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Old 10-28-2010, 08:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by devilishprune View Post
How did you ground this element, and how much did that wire thing cost/where was it in the store?
I grounded it by soldering that copper ground lug (you can see it in the last pic) right to the keg when i soldered on the locknut that holds the element. I ended up using a brass locknut i had left over from a recent sink faucet install instead of the $8.00 bargain fittings one.
The compression fitting for the wire is in the electrical/conduit fittings area. It has a piece of rubber that gets compressed as you tighten down the nut, making it watertight. It is the same thread pitch as the PVC piece but not tapered, so a little heat applied to the pvc allowed it to screw right in tightly. I can't believe the connection is not also watertight. The connectors come in a 2 pack for a couple of bucks.

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Did you pot it with epoxy inside the PVC? Or are you relying on the silicone alone? Have you boiled with it yet? Looks like a creative solution!

TB
I did not pot the connections. I used a bead of silicone between the element and the pvc to seal it and also hold the pvc in place. a little dab of silicone also went where the ground wire exits the underside of the elbow, although that probably wasn't necessary due to the tight fit and location of the hole.
This is on my HLT, so technically i haven't boiled with it, but i did use it up to 170 deg with absolutely no problem.
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:11 PM   #7
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This seems like a great idea, I think that I'm going to use this this weekend when I mount my elements in my kettle!

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Old 10-28-2010, 09:28 PM   #8
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Looks like its insulated, but is it strain relieved? In other words, if you pull the cord will the PVC stay in place?

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Old 10-28-2010, 09:42 PM   #9
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Looks like its insulated, but is it strain relieved? In other words, if you pull the cord will the PVC stay in place?
well, I pulled the cable taught before I tightened the comp. fitting, so if you pulled on the cable hard enough you would have to break the silicone seal (tenacious stuff) and then rip the wires from behind the screws, then pull the ground wire out of the lug. If after all that you were still pulling, then yes you would trip the GFCI or breaker because of the wires shorting out. Personally I am still doing a 3 tier gravity setup, so 7 gallons of hot water would pour down on me before it got to that point.
I am not saying this is the greatest/safest way to do things, It just works for me, and I think is as safe as i need to be when mixing water and electricity.
I do have to give props to the outdoor electrical box over the connections setup. I was thinking about going that way until I came upon this elbow piece for 97 cents.


edit- i actually just realized there is a safety factor built in, because the hot and neutral would pull away before the ground would, keeping the kettle grounded... like most electrical plugs where the ground is longer that the hot and neutral for the same reasons.
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:49 PM   #10
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I wasn't trying to be nit-picky... Looks like a nice solution for insulating the connections. I was just wondering if you had found a way to build a strain relief into it that I wasn't seeing.

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