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Old 11-13-2010, 06:17 PM   #1
pfooti
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Default Supplies for braided steel ring manifold

Hi Forum- I've been poking around, trying to figure out the solution to my problem, searches of many types are being frustrating.

Anyway, I built a MLT out of a 10 gallon victory cooler, and wanted to be fancy, so I made the ring braid manifold out of How To Brew. The problem I'm running into is connecting the manifold output to my ball valve.

What I've got is a 3/8" ball valve screwed into a 3/8" x 3/8" MIP/MIP nipple. That's what is exposed on the inside of the MLT, 3/8 MIP. The ring braid is built around a 5/8" compression T joint. What I did originally was get a 3/8" compression nut and run a very short piece of tubing between the two parts. This is, naturally, unsatisfying- the tubing has a tendency to pull out (happily it only happened during cleanup phases so far, and not mid-run). It is also unsatisfying because the actual space required for this franken-adapter is long enough that the back end of the ring bumps up against the wall of the MLT.

The reason I've got that connection is because I am completely unable to find anything that runs basicially from a 5/8 male thread to a 3/8 male thread in one part. I have the sense that I'm more-or-less stuck at this point and should probably start over with a different pipe gauge either in the braid T or in the ball valve. Maybe I could find a better pipe nipple instead.

Any advice on this problem? In a nutshell, I need to connect a 3/8" ball valve to a 5/8" compression T in a small number of parts and low-ish price.

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Old 11-17-2010, 07:31 PM   #2
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I've managed to work out a solution to my problem.

The braid ring design in HTB calls for the two ends of the braid to be connected to the straight-line run of a 5/8 compression T joint. This is the problematic part, because it's pretty much impossible to run anything *except* 5/8 tube from that joint to the ball valve, since there's really no such thing as a 5/8" female NPT connector (and I'm not convinced that the screws on a compression joint have the same turn rate as on NPT, meaning that if one existed it might not fit anyway).

The trick is to instead use a 3/8 female NPT T joint. You can buy 3/8" MIP to 5/8" compression converters as well (Watts A323, I believe), which will serve to anchor the two ends of the braid. The benefit here is that this setup is a LOT easier to connect to the ball valve, since you've got 3/8" NPT pretty much straight through.

I'm working on a few final details. The new setup is a bit too short actually, so the braid now bumps into the near edge of the cooler instead of the far one. I would also like the design to be modular enough that I can separately deal with the waterproofing of the ball valve seal and the attachment of the ring manifold - right now the T joint of the manifold is providing the pressure up against the inside gaskets.

Once I get those worked out (mainly just need to add an extra spacer), I'll post some pictures and a worked-out plan for posterity.

And yeah, I know- I should have just gone with the more standard straight braid manifold that's in all the threads. I wanted more complexity.

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Old 12-04-2010, 11:05 PM   #3
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I decided to gussy up my solution and made a blog post about it. If anyone else is interested in doing a braided steel ring manifold, here's where to read about it.

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Old 06-10-2012, 01:33 AM   #4
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Bringing one back from the dead to say THANK YOU!

I've been dealing with the same issue and was about ready to give up and go with the straight braid.

I found that the 1/2" compression threads from a 5/8" x 5/8" x 1/2" compression tee almost thread into a 3/8" FIP connector. Just enough to give me hope, but not enough to work.

(And I laughed the first time I heard that plumbing always ends up being a "three trip" job. I'll be on my fourth [and now final] trip to the hardware store.)

Thanks again!

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