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Old 05-04-2011, 04:13 AM   #1
Andrwb33
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Default 1/2 couplers and heating elements

So I have searched all over but cannot seem to get a straight answer.

What is the technique for seating heating elements in a 1 inch 1/2 couplers. I am about to have them welded to my keggles but I want a straight answer first.

Since the threads are different do I just teflon tape the element and crank it down as far as I can get it or are there better options.

Thanks for the help. I have learned so much from this site.

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Old 05-04-2011, 04:40 AM   #2
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not sure about the 1/2 couplers but the diffferent thread types always had me worried. i found a unit that had mpt, wired, and enclosed, all with stainless for 60$ went with that.

i think a lot of people did what you talked about, add a lot of teflon tape. you might also want to try pipe dope. or if you can get the element in far enough, some sort of gasket might help too.

good luck!

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Old 05-04-2011, 04:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kegtoe View Post
not sure about the 1/2 couplers but the diffferent thread types always had me worried. i found a unit that had mpt, wired, and enclosed, all with stainless for 60$ went with that.

i think a lot of people did what you talked about, add a lot of teflon tape. you might also want to try pipe dope. or if you can get the element in far enough, some sort of gasket might help too.

good luck!
Edit: Ignore this post if you have NPT threads - this post only applies to British Standard Pipe threads.
What different thread types are you talking about kegtoe, you mean parrellel or tapered? AFAIK (and that only goes as far as BSP threads really not NPT) I thought most coupling/sockets/internal pipe threads were usually parrellel/straight and pipe/plugs/external pipe threads were tapered. So it would be a matter of checking if the thread was deep enough to seal on the face of the element. Again I only really deal with BSP threads, not American NPT.
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:13 AM   #4
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nearly all water heater elements are straight threads. most of the other fittings that are available are NPT. If you try to screw a straight male end into a tapere female fitting, you often dont acheive a good seal.

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Old 05-04-2011, 01:20 PM   #5
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Default Pipe Threads

Quote:
Originally Posted by kegtoe View Post
nearly all water heater elements are straight threads. most of the other fittings that are available are NPT. If you try to screw a straight male end into a tapere female fitting, you often dont acheive a good seal.
Kegtoe is right, the elements are 1" NPS (National Pipe Straight) thread while most pipe fittings are 1" NPT (National Pipe Tapered). The tolerance on thread depth is plus or minus 1 turn when a fitting is tapped. This means that a straight thread element might or might not seat in a tapered fitting to seal on the threads. It would be an imperfect seal if it does seal at all.

If the face of the fitting is smooth enough to seal with the gasket on the element it is easy to have a plumber tap the fitting an additional 1/2 or 1 turn deeper. If you remove the gasket and hand fit the element to the fitting you can measure the gap. At 11.5 threads per inch you can calculate how many turns deeper the tap must go. This will ensure that the element threads into the fitting sufficiently for the shoulder and gasket to seal with the fitting. Another way is to selectively fit the element into a number of fittings before assembly.

There are some straight threaded pipe couplings which would be suitable, but they are hard to find. They would be labeled NPSC (National Pipe Straight Coupling) and are designed to seal to a tapered male pipe for low pressure applications but they would work with the straight thread on an element.
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckO View Post
Kegtoe is right, the elements are 1" NPS (National Pipe Straight) thread while most pipe fittings are 1" NPT (National Pipe Tapered)...
...There are some straight threaded pipe couplings which would be suitable, but they are hard to find. They would be labeled NPSC (National Pipe Straight Coupling) and are designed to seal to a tapered male pipe for low pressure applications but they would work with the straight thread on an element.
OK ignore my post above, as I said I have little experience/knowledge on your guys pipe threads. This has made me a little bit happier knowing that I am getting something out of paying 3-5X more for my elements/fittings (just due to not living in USA we things seem to be cheap(er)), as BSP is the standard pipe thread here in NZ and the coupling/sockets are straight threaded.
I would go with the approach of trying the couplings on you element untill you find one that seats down far enough.
Good luck.
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:01 PM   #7
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Im using 1 1/2" NPT half couplers in my E kettles and they seal better than most of other fittings i have. The elements screw in far enough to mate the rubber seal and its possible to keep on going to really squish it down, but its not necessary to do so.

I was concerned the same way the OP was, but i just went to the shop that sells that stuff, hand tightened an element to the coupler and saw that it would probably make a good seal and it did.

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Old 05-05-2011, 02:25 AM   #8
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Thanks for the help. Looks like I need to buy my elements and see what fits before I do any welding.

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Old 05-05-2011, 03:09 AM   #9
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Mine seal great. I used teflon tape. I suggest getting a socket designed for the elements. Made tighting it real easy. They run like 6 bucks on ebay

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Old 05-05-2011, 03:12 AM   #10
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Buy a SS locknut from bargainfittings.com and weld that on. Cleanest solution as far as fittings mating correctly.

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