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Old 12-11-2012, 01:35 PM   #1
dbennett78
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Default Heat Tape Question for HLT

Would it be possible to wrap say copper line with heat tape to preheat water going into the HLT? I dont have any hot water faucets in my garage, and am looking to shave off some time to heat up water if I can preheat it going into the HLT somehow (while avoiding sediment from Hot Water Heater).

Anyone attempt this before?
What temperature would I expect to be able to get the water up to using heat tape?

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Old 12-11-2012, 01:51 PM   #2
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Interesting theory, but I don’t know that you would get much bang for your buck out of it. If your thinking of the same stuff, Home Depot’s heat tape is usually about 50 bucks for 200 watts of power.

Unless you had access to multiple (cheap) tapes ran along a length of pipe, I don’t know how much real time savings you would have. I would imagine you would have to run the water through the line at an extremely slow rate in order to get any real significant temperature change.

You could look at some sort of RIMS system, where the water is pushed through a cylinder of some sort and is instantly heated by a hot water heater element. You could rig up a 1500 or 2000 watt element to be able to plug into a standard 110v (GFCI) outlet.

Also, this may not be the safest idea but what about running the water through a copper coil that is being directly heated by flame, say your propane burner?

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Old 12-11-2012, 04:41 PM   #3
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Yeah I thought about a coil above the burner, but wouldnt want to remove it before turning on the burner full blast to bring the HLT up to temp. Seems like any kind of piping would degrade quickly if left over a flame for a long time.

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Old 12-11-2012, 05:16 PM   #4
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Take a look at some of the RIMS design on here. If you are somewhat mechanically inclined/handy it can be done fairly easily.

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Old 12-11-2012, 06:11 PM   #5
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If I were to build a RIMS tube just for doing this hot water heating, what output temperature could I expect to get from say 60 degree water?

Could I run the water heater on a 120v outlet with just an on/off switch? Just trying to keep things simple as I dont want to break the bank too badly and have to run 220 line/get PIDs/BCS etc. If I need all that I can just continue waiting to heat the water in the HLT.

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Old 12-11-2012, 06:19 PM   #6
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You would not want this to be a permanent fixture of your home, but you COULD do something along these lines to pre-heat your water. Heck... Just do this and fill your kettles THROUGH it. Then use it for mashing.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/electric-heating-element-rims-eherms-293810/

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Old 12-11-2012, 08:07 PM   #7
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You won't get an appreciable rise using 120v. Username "SIZZ" was getting 100F rise using a 5500w element, but that was at a quart per minute.

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Old 12-13-2012, 11:52 PM   #8
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McMaster Carr, 4550T141 extreme temp heat tape gives 626 Watts on 120VAC (5.2 Amps) and costs $73.46

This link might be of use
http://www.deltat.com/pdf/Quick%20estimates%20for%20wattage%20requirements.p df

The 500 watts should take 10 gallons up 1 degree every 3 three minutes. (if insulated and turbulent flow[good heat transfer]). I double up heat tape wrapped tubes, and get 1-2 degree rise on 5 gallons (depending on ambient temp) for the mash.

Plan to use low density elements to heat the sparge water, since it is clean water. (shooting for 1500 watts, insulate and will use a PID controller, small circulating pump to keep the temp uniform).

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