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-   -   Not perfect. (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/not-perfect-359513/)

weasello 10-07-2012 10:06 PM

Not perfect.
I know my (brand new!) electric setup isn't exactly perfect, but it works. Any thoughts on how *safe* it is? I want to make sure I live old enough to get cranky.

It was setup with the advising of an electrician, and the help of a friend who setup something similar for himself. This system has been used, electrocution-free, for several years now. Not that I trust anecdotal evidence!


I've got two 120V 2000W hot water elements mounted to the bottom of my pot. Lopped ends off of a 3-prong extension cord and wired it up, used a self-boring conductive screw to tap into the base of the heating element for a ground.

Wrapped it all up in electrician's tape and used a piece of PVC piping to cover the whole thing up.

The element is just screwed on (using Electric Brewery's advice on weldless fittings) with a silicon O-Ring.

Reading some other threads, I believe the silicon o-ring is on the wrong side, but I haven't had leaks yet.


Inside of the pot:


Uncovered wiring (the part I'm most worried about):




(I have yet to epoxy it or something so the cap stops slipping off).

The not (yet) leaking o-ring on the inside:


Any thoughts? Am I going to kill myself? Any quick fixes I can do to make it better? Long term suggestions for an upgrade?

Tinga 10-07-2012 10:19 PM

You should seal off the pvc covering with some silicone caulk so that no moisture can get in. Most people do put the silicone o-ring on the outside but if it isn't leaking I don't see a reason to change it.

BradleyBrew 10-07-2012 10:42 PM

yes, you need to "pot" the pvc piping over the wires. I used epoxy and then jb weld on mine. You could probably hit it with a baseball bat and it would remain intact. Also, are you using any type of gfci outlet? I would not rely solely on a ground wire to save your a$$ because it will not.

KramE 10-07-2012 11:44 PM

I second the GFI

weasello 10-08-2012 07:54 AM

Great, I'll get the end-caps attached properly and I'll be off to the races then. :)

I've got one of the elements plugged into a GFCI in the bathroom, but the other is just on a wall outlet. I'll convert it!

audger 10-08-2012 06:04 PM


Reading some other threads, I believe the silicon o-ring is on the wrong side, but I haven't had leaks yet.
the reason for this is because you want to seal two impermiable surfaces with the o ring. the way you have it, only the surface between the nut and the kettle is sealed- but there is still the non-sealed threads of the element between it and the nut that liquid can work its way past, and then to the other side of the pot which is not sealed at all.

having it on the outside seals the surfaces between the solid element base and the pot, which are both completely solid themselves.

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