Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > ULWD element dry firing and element lifespan
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-03-2011, 10:54 PM   #1
Ajgeo
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Ajgeo's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 134
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default ULWD element dry firing and element lifespan

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!

__________________
Ajgeo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-04-2011, 03:21 PM   #2
JKoravos
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Chelmsford, MA
Posts: 964
Liked 18 Times on 14 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

I'm sure it does shorten the lifespan, but probably not enough for it to matter for us. Our typical duty cycle on these elements is probably less than 1% of what they are designed for. We treat them with kid gloves compared to a typical application.

__________________
JKoravos is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-04-2011, 04:34 PM   #3
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 22,286
Liked 1078 Times on 716 Posts
Likes Given: 28

Default

I wonder if it would be worth putting an interlock feature that makes it impossible to run the HLT element while Pump 1 was running. If that is too extreme (maybe you need the HLT temp maintained during a slow sparge for example), maybe when both are energized, a very bright indicator light comes on to warn you to be more careful?

__________________
BrewHardware.com has a new website. Please check it out and let me know what you think!
New 100% Stainless Steel Heating Elements are IN!
Chugger Pumps, Pump Kits, Camlocks, Sightglasses, Clear USA made Silicone Tubing, RIMS, Electric Install Parts, etc. Did you know we are also now a full service homebrew shop selling malt, hops, yeast (Wyeast), etc?
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-04-2011, 05:53 PM   #4
Ajgeo
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Ajgeo's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 134
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

My pump is not currently controlled with my control panel. I suppose a float switch connected to the element relay would be the best way to make sure I don't dry fire again. I run both the element and the pump at the same time when I am pre-heating my tun. Or I could just be more careful.

__________________
Ajgeo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-04-2011, 08:37 PM   #5
Maxkling
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 509
Liked 23 Times on 10 Posts

Default

Brewmation uses float switches, http://www.brewmation.com/Panels.html

A simple switch like this will work.

__________________

"It’s so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don’t say it."

"Gun Control Means Using Both Hands."

Maxkling is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-04-2011, 08:42 PM   #6
onthekeg
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,793
Liked 76 Times on 61 Posts
Likes Given: 15

Default

Wire this in between the SSR and the PID
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/MAD...554?Pid=search

__________________
onthekeg is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
tri-clover removable element - brewershardware element adapter canyonbrewer Electric Brewing 44 04-22-2013 03:24 AM
Element rust no more! bbognerks Electric Brewing 93 09-06-2012 09:30 PM
What does your element look like? dboblitt Electric Brewing 4 01-10-2012 04:08 PM
how big is the installed element? kappclark Electric Brewing 3 03-20-2011 10:21 PM
Element Install in a 1/2 Keg LiverDance Electric Brewing 7 12-05-2010 05:36 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS