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Old 10-04-2013, 03:40 PM   #1
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Default All stainless (weld free & JB weld free) heatstick design on the cheap

So I've been looking at making a heatstick to decrease my time to heat strike water and bring wort up to a boil. I'm not a huge fan of the "JB Weld it until it doesn't leak" mentality so I went searching for other options.

I found a thread on HBT that uses tri-clamp fittings from a still supplier here. I like this idea, but the OP on this thread said it cost him $120 for this design which is a bit steep for a heatstick IMO.

I tried costing out some other options that converted to threaded pipe to bring the cost down (Something like this). Cheapest I could get with this design was around $90 - better but still steep.

Enter my final idea - all threaded stainless fittings. I searched HBT for someone that's done this before but couldn't find anything. Has this been done before?

Purchased all parts off zoro tools.

120v 1500w heating element - $8
2" x 1" hex bushing - $13.26
2" x 1/2" reducing couping - $12.52
1/2" street elbow - $3.82
1/2" pipe 12" long - $8.93
1/2" 90 elbow (2x) - $7.12
1/2" pipe 1.5" long (2x) - 4.30

Total - $58.95

Best part about zoro tools is that they have coupons all over the web and free shipping on anything over $50. I found a coupon for $10 off $50 purchase.

New total - $48.95

I've priced out the "JB Weld" version of this and it's right around $35-$50 depending on where you get your parts. I've seen other HBT'ers confirming this. So for me, it's worth the extra $10 to have no JB weld. Best part is everyone can do it - no tig welding or extra steps required.

I know you all love pics so here you go. Still waiting on my heating element. I'll post more pics and update this thread once I get the element and test it out.



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Old 10-04-2013, 04:55 PM   #2
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I don't think you're going to have much luck threading the element into the back of the bushing as the tapered threads are going to be their smallest diameter.

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Old 10-05-2013, 02:27 AM   #3
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Interesting, I look forward to reading how it turns out.

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Old 10-05-2013, 11:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Interesting, I look forward to reading how it turns out.
Ditto
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Old 10-05-2013, 11:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Interesting, I look forward to reading how it turns out.
me also
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:25 PM   #6
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Element (straight thread) won't screw into the back end of thread as previously stated. Do you plan to re-thread? Not gonna be easy!

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Old 10-05-2013, 12:54 PM   #7
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I love the simplicity of the idea and I hope you can make it work.

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Old 10-05-2013, 02:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poobah58
Element (straight thread) won't screw into the back end of thread as previously stated. Do you plan to re-thread? Not gonna be easy!
This is correct. However, it shouldn't be too difficult to rethread this. I've done it before for other applications. What size is it? 1"?
Of course buying a large NPT tap would defeat the purpose of your lower cost design....

Please confirm the size you need and I might have a tap you can borrow. I'll have to check in my shop on Monday. I have several large NPT taps.

You'll need a strong vise and some anti-seize paste. When your done, you won't have as much thread sealing ability since you'll be overriding the original taper of the fitting. But in this low pressure, low temp application, you should have no trouble getting a seal with some good quality PTFE tape.
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Old 10-05-2013, 05:02 PM   #9
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He's going to need a 1" NPS tap assuming a typical water heater element and gasket scenario.

I'd have to agree that it's not going to be very easy either. Wouldn't you have to drill the hole out just a bit to tap it to NPS?

I like the idea though. I hope you can make it work.

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Old 10-05-2013, 07:31 PM   #10
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I wasn't thinking about it being straight thread, but you're right. I don't have any NPS taps though.

However, NPT and NPS have the same pitch. If the tap is run through far enough, it should thread in far enough to seat the gasket.

I've tapped reverse to the taper on NPT without any issues. Just work it back and forth slowly and use anti seize. If the tap has trouble starting in the back end, then it can be run through the front until it bottoms out. This will open up most fittings a little bit more, allowing easier entry into the other side.

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