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Old 12-27-2010, 07:52 PM   #11
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My kettle and MT/LT are inverted sanke kegs with the spear/valves removed. I attach the drains with 2" tri-clovers. For cleanup I scoop out as much of the grains/hops as I can, then I pull the false bottoms and remove the tri-clovers. The rest of the grain and hops gets hosed out onto the patio then swept up later. As far as washing I run hot oxyclean through the entire system for about 20 mins (with the drains re-installed) followed by water. Using this system I don't have to worry about the wires.

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Old 12-27-2010, 08:29 PM   #12
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For my HLT I don't really need to clean it out since all that touches it is hot water. However, I plan on also building an electric boil kettle that will need cleaned out. For that I suppose I'll just unplug the heating element and clean it over the sink being careful not to soak the electrical box, although it is in a weather tight box...

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Old 12-28-2010, 03:39 PM   #13
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How to attach the elements to our Blichmann kettles in a safe and secure manner took some thinking. I spent many months on this. We wanted the entire kettle to be electrically grounded for safety reasons the same way any power tool or appliance chassis is grounded.

Grounding means that the entire metal chassis (in this case the entire kettle) is connected to your house's electrical system ground plane. This ensure that any stray current can find its way to ground instead of through something else (such as the brewer!) in the off chance that something goes wrong and one of the 'hot' wires becomes disconnected and touches the kettle. Without proper grounding the kettle would instead simply become energized and pose a great danger to the brewer. A proper electric brewing setup should always have everything properly grounded!

I also don't want any wires exposed as they could be easily damaged. Kettles are heavy and moving them around while you clean them means the brewer will inadvertently bump parts sticking out against other things. No matter how careful you are, it will happen. I wanted the wires to be protected as much as possible and completely covered up.

So I stole ideas from how Blichmann does weldless fittings and came up with this:







Complete instructions with parts list is here: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/heating-elements

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Old 12-28-2010, 04:46 PM   #14
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Kal,

I understand. I too have 3 Blichmann's (10 gallon) and I am gearing up to do all electric. As you know I have already copied you chiller to the exact specifications from your site (and donated ) and study the rest of your build, and others, on a daily basis until I my brain hurts (which doesn't take much ).

The reason I ask is that I want to be able to do the same as the OP and be able to disconnect my cord at both ends. By doing so on a Blichmann, is it not possible to do it correctly?

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Old 12-28-2010, 04:58 PM   #15
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I knocked out the back of a deep octagon box to 1". I inserted the element as below and welded (just two tacks) the element nut to the box. With the rubber washer all it takes is hand tightening and you can get a pretty good grip on the box. I have a 1" stainless half coupling soldered to the keg. Just took a few minutes with the right tools.



Here it is installed in my HLT.

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Old 12-28-2010, 05:32 PM   #16
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Lots of different ways to do this....for those that are watching, I'd shy away from putting your box on the "thread side" of the element...(see the above pic by Ischiavo, his box is on the BACK of the element, away from the threads).....there's the potential for water to leak past the o-ring, through the threads, and potentially into your box. If you're dead set on doing it this way, you need to COMPLETELY cover (pot) the element connections with epoxy....so that if moisture is in the box, there is very little chance you can have a short.

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Old 12-28-2010, 06:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
If you're dead set on doing it this way, you need to COMPLETELY cover (pot) the element connections with epoxy....so that if moisture is in the box, there is very little chance you can have a short.
I thought about this, but I prefer to keep the element replaceable so I can change it out at a moment's notice. I was very careful in the construction, and took no shortcuts with Kal's method; it's rock solid. No leaks, ever. For an added layer of protection, I applied a generous amount of silicone around the element inside the box, just as Kal did. I'm confident that it won't leak.

In the unlikely event that it does, it will short and trip the gfci or breaker. And I never touch my system while it's "hot." For me, epoxy just isn't the answer; and even epoxy isn't fail-safe.
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:23 PM   #18
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Am I the only one using teflon around my element threads, screwing it into the couple and calling that water tight? I then plan on some heat shrink around the terminal section with either and o-ring or silicone bead under the heat shrink on either side.

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Old 12-28-2010, 06:34 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by IrregularPulse View Post
Am I the only one using teflon around my element threads, screwing it into the couple and calling that water tight? I then plan on some heat shrink around the terminal section with either and o-ring or silicone bead under the heat shrink on either side.
I may have used some teflon tape when I installed my element. I can't recall. The rubber ring that comes with the element should be sufficient though if installed with the seal against the coupling and not the electrical box.

We are not talking about a pressurized vessel after all and that is how they are meant to be installed in a water heater (which is pressurized). I don't think the use of any additional sealant is necessary and would only seem to make replacement more difficult.
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:35 PM   #20
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I mean I just used it instead of the seal. The 1" coupler I bought from bargain fittings isn't straight threaded. it's tapered so the element only screws in so far. but the teflon secures it fine by itself, just like every other fitting on my keggle. I have welded fittings btw.

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