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Old 02-09-2012, 01:47 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by epcgordy View Post
Because liquid can follow the threads on the base of the element past the O-ring on the outside, there needs to be a gasket or washer (I used the black one that comes with the element) under the base of the element, inside the box. That, and the gasket or O-ring between the box and the coupling would isolate the box. This would leave only the threads of the element, which can rust or corrode, to make the ground connection between the box and the kettle. By using the stainless washer sandwiched between the outside of the box and the coupler, a solid connection, virtually corrosion-proof, is made between all the parts. No external ground wires, no sealants, no JB-weld required. And, the element can be changed in minutes if necessary.
I guess that's why I was thinking a gasket (either stock or a new silicone one) would be better than an o-ring - it should seal better and not allow any leaks at all
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:47 PM   #22
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Not against it, just that I cannot do it myself. And don't want to pay for it.

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Old 02-09-2012, 03:36 PM   #23
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I guess that's why I was thinking a gasket (either stock or a new silicone one) would be better than an o-ring - it should seal better and not allow any leaks at all
That's not quite true - while a flat gasket or washer can seal quite well on the two flat surfaces, it can't seal against the threads on the element. Liquid can follow the threads right past the gasket, all the way to the where the threads end on the element base - which winds up being inside the box. That's why a gasket between the element and the box. This seals the last possible path for the liquid, preventing it from making it inside.
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:38 PM   #24
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Ok, so your setup goes like this?:
flat element base > stock gasket > electrical box > o-ring/washer > coupling

Going with that design, I probably wouldn't have to worry about the element threading far enough into the coupling - which I believe you also mentioned earlier. Thanks

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Old 02-09-2012, 04:59 PM   #25
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Thats it! I built my element housing per the instructions here: http://theelectricbrewery.com/heating-elements (Thanks Kal!)

Because one of my goals was to get away from the leaks I experienced with the weldless fittings on my old kettle, I decided to attach the box to the kettle with the dimpled and soldered half coupling. it was a bit of work, but I couldn't be happier with the results. It hasn't leaked a single drop, and its strong as can be. I expect it last a very long time.

I'll try to get some pictures posted soon.

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Old 02-10-2012, 04:13 PM   #26
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So, I took some pictures when I got home last night. The second picture shows how the OD of the O-ring is slightly smaller than the ID of the stainless washer. When compressed between the box and kettle, the washer prevents the O-ring from deforming.

half-coupling.jpg   element-washers.jpg   inside-element-housing.jpg   close-up-box-attached-kettle.jpg  
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:43 PM   #27
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epcgordy, excellent pics. Thank you.

So that looks like a 1" half coupling, dimpled "into" the kettle?

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Old 02-10-2012, 06:33 PM   #28
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Right, 1" half coupling, dimpled and soldered. I used a Bayou Classic 62qt. kettle, and making the dimple was a piece of cake. Might be a little more challenging on a keggle, though. What are you planing to use?

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Old 02-10-2012, 08:01 PM   #29
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epcgordy, very nice work! The install looks nice and sturdy. How did you make the dimple? Did you just use a larger version of the classic DIY dimple tool?

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Old 02-10-2012, 08:19 PM   #30
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Very nice work. When are you coming to DFW to do that for my kettles?

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