New Giveaway - Wort Monster Conical Fermenter!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Electric Mashtun Leaks...




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-22-2010, 04:35 PM   #1
maztec
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 416
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default Electric Mashtun Leaks...

Put my electric Kettle [updated text] together last weekend. I basically followed the design located here: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/node/9?page=show

So, here is the problem. If I connect the electric box, by putting it between the washer and the head of the heater element, my rig leaks. I remove the box, connect the heater element directly, and it doesn't leak. It seems that the connection to the box is too thick to allow the other the element to seal correctly when it is included.

One reason this happened, my hole was cut a touch too big. *sigh* I asked for it to be cut to 1 1/4", it was cut to 1 3/8". If anyone has a suggestion on how to compensate for a hole that is a smidge too big, I would love it - I'm going to try a slightly bigger o-ring, but am not sure how well it will work. I could try welding something in, but I don't weld, and I don't know anyone in Washington who could do it for me.

The other option seems to be to find a different way to mount the electrical box over the end of the heating element, so the wiring is protected. If anyone has a suggest, I am all ears! Perhaps a simple cap arrangement over the end (where to find such a cap that would be water tight)? Or something...?

Thanks for the tips!



__________________

Last edited by maztec; 03-24-2010 at 06:31 PM.
maztec is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-22-2010, 05:23 PM   #2
LayMeister
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 321
Default

In the design you reference he uses RTV to solve this problem. I think it would have been better to use a second O-ring (or washer) to form the seal between the element and the electrical box. If you do this, make sure you Ground Bond the box to the keg in some other way (i.e. a ground wire).

Paul



__________________
Future Brews: SMASH Double Bock/Paulaner Salvator Clone

Last edited by LayMeister; 03-22-2010 at 06:59 PM.
LayMeister is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-22-2010, 05:33 PM   #3
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Piscataway, NJ
Posts: 21,733
Liked 853 Times on 572 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

The leak path is through the thread valleys. The oring is doing a great job to keep liquid from dripping between the vessel the box, but I assume your leak is inside the box right?

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-22-2010, 05:39 PM   #4
Ohio-Ed
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Ohio-Ed's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,074
Liked 18 Times on 17 Posts

Default

Did you wrap the threads with Teflon tape?

I used a modified version of this technique and have had no problems (I did use Teflon tape on the threads).

With a 1/8" over sized hole your only hope is to have the element perfectly centered or the o-ring will not cover the gap.

I think the over sized hole is a likely problem but I would try Teflon tape before throwing in the towel. You might also try a thicker o-ring.

I also read a thread from someone that used a silicon baking sheet as gasket material (not sure were it came from).

Good luck,

Ed

__________________
Ohio-Ed is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-22-2010, 06:33 PM   #5
maztec
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 416
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

I did not wrap the threads in Teflon tape. I had not thought of that, good idea!

I believe his use of RTV was mostly a "just in case".

Double gasketing is a good idea, but the screw length does not seem to be enough for that.

I will see what an o-ring with a greater fractional width does, throw a little teflon tape on, and smear on some food safe silicon. May be overkill, but better than a leak that can harbor bacteria and electrocute me!

I suppose the other option is a gasketed locknut, but I never found any that were food safe.

__________________
maztec is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-22-2010, 07:32 PM   #6
klyph
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: North Pole, Alaska
Posts: 1,808
Liked 37 Times on 33 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

I'm guessing the teflon tape will solve your problem.

__________________
10 gallon electric system
Stovetop 110v single vessel 5 gallon system

Primary: saison
Secondary: nada
Conditioning: macaroon stout
Drinking: store bought
klyph is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-23-2010, 12:27 AM   #7
maztec
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 416
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Went into Lowe's. Looked at their Teflon tape. On the box it had a posted temperature range of "-30F to 150F" and is made in China, no indication of its health impact. Somehow, I do not think that is going to work. Funny thing is i go online, look up Teflon tape, and it is generally rated -450F to 550F.

I guess I will have to go to a different hardware store, but I thought I would share what I found at Lowe's.

__________________
maztec is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-23-2010, 01:17 AM   #8
P-J
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 3,154
Liked 234 Times on 188 Posts
Likes Given: 398

Default

I'm probably not understanding the issue properly. I've read the thread a number of times and am still puzzled. (I just went back again and looked) A heating element has straight threads - not - tapered pipe threads. Teflon tape will not reliably seal that connection. The electric heating element is sealed with a washer that is compressed between the element hex flange and the receiving flange. If there is anything between these 2 mating surfaces, it WILL leak. Teflon tape will NOT help.

__________________
P-J is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-23-2010, 01:33 AM   #9
maztec
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 416
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by P-J View Post
I'm probably not understanding the issue properly. I've read the thread a number of times and am still puzzled. (I just went back again and looked) A heating element has straight threads - not - tapered pipe threads. Teflon tape will not reliably seal that connection. The electric heating element is sealed with a washer that is compressed between the element hex flange and the receiving flange. If there is anything between these 2 mating surfaces, it WILL leak. Teflon tape will NOT help.

Good to know! I think what is happening is that my hole is just a smidge too big, so when I include the connecting panel for the power panel the o-ring "might" slip, and if it slips it goes through the hole, and thus does not seal the hole, and we have a leak.
__________________
maztec is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-23-2010, 01:42 AM   #10
Ranger9913
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Nashville
Posts: 299
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Default

I also followed the "electric brewery" with sever different combinations of washers, O-rings, teflon tape ect. I had success one time but I had to crank the crap out of it and the O-ring was bulging out the side. I picked up a small bottle of liquid acid flux and some lead-free solder and within 10 mins I soldered two 1" nuts to two kettles and had both elements installed with no leaks. They have been sitting for about 3-4hrs now with 10gals of water in each and not a drip. I would seriously recommend just soldering these nuts in place. This would also solves your slightly larger hole problem



__________________
Ranger9913 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Air leaks from keg below 10 psi TXhophead Bottling/Kegging 13 03-02-2009 01:57 AM
Leaks vav DIY Projects 2 02-22-2009 05:34 PM
Possible leaks and what to do? Roman Brewer Bottling/Kegging 6 07-10-2008 06:07 PM
Lid leaks on new keg Hillbillie PHiL Bottling/Kegging 13 12-21-2007 03:48 PM
Air Leaks. bs22619 Bottling/Kegging 8 12-19-2007 04:34 PM