I used Kal's method for installing a Camco ULWD 5500W ripple element in a 20 gallon Boilermaker. It is controlled with a simple single PID/SSR/GFCI setup. I tested everything twice and it worked great. I brewed with it last weekend. As I was pumping the mash water water to the tun, I forget to cut the power to the element. The element fired once the water level dropped below the RTD. I heard a "pop" from the element just before I cut the power and I was worried that I had fried the element. I tested the resistance of the element and it was 11 ohms. I thought it should be around 10.5 using volts^2 ÷ watts = Ω. I figured that was close enough. I added the sparge water and fired it up. It worked just fine for heating the sparge water and throughout the boil. Other than the dry fire incident, the brew day went pretty well and electro-brewing is awesome!
I know that these elements can withstand being dry fired (thankfully) and that is why they are often used, but does it shorten the element lifespan? And for those that use these elements, how often have you had to replace them? Thanks!