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Old 04-23-2012, 06:44 PM   #531
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What volume of water are you heating? I get a vigorous boil using 2600 watts and 7 gallons of wort.
Insulating the kettle will help as well as partially covering the top of the kettle. I wrap my kettle with a movers blanket. If the metallic bubble wrap is cheap okay, but otherwise find something around the house.
You might have a voltage drop problem if you are not close to the main breaker panel. If you have a volt meter check the voltage at the socket with no load and then with one stick running, see if the supply voltage takes a big dip.

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Old 03-02-2014, 10:29 PM   #532
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worthogs View Post
Heatsticks with no jb weld.

I rounded the nut on the heater element and this allowed it to slip back in the metal drain pipe which then allowed the 1 1/2" to 1 1/4" drain pipe nut to seal on the gasket. Heater element was first pushed through the gray gasket and was able to use a 1" copper female pipe thread fitting to draw the heater element to the gray gasket. My only concern is the gray gasket and may replace with a silicone high temp food grade gasket.

Haven't done a full brew session yet but did bring 7gal of 120º starting water to boil in 35 min using both 2000 watt sticks. Heat rose at a rate 10º every 4 min.
I took your idea and used a 1" NPS stainless steel lock nut and a silicone o-ring. Got the lock nut from bargainfittings.com. I could not get a seal without it. I thought filing the nut on the element would be much more difficult, but it's made of a very soft material (aluminum I guess) and a bastard file made quick work of it, took me about 30 minutes. I will be testing the assembly this week sometime.
07-element-filed.jpg   09-element-assebled.jpg   10-tube-element-assembled.jpg   05-element-assembly-order.jpg  
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:13 AM   #533
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Would love to see a DIY for this sealant-free stick! I need to make one and would prefer to avoid using any sealants if possible.

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Old 05-02-2014, 05:59 PM   #534
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Finding a gasket was not easy. I ended up using a 1" Tri Clover Gasket Silicone.

Here's the link:
http://www.brewershardware.com/1-Tri...SILGASKET.html

I had to alter it so I didn't get leaks. The copper fitting I used I ended up cutting the excess copper off the fitting so I basically just had a copper nut that screwed onto the stick. What I had left over was used as a punch for the center of silicone gasket. I sharpened the copper pipe fitting end and centered it on the gasket and used a hammer to punch out the center hole so that it fit snugly over the heating element. I also had to carefully cut of the raised ring that runs on both sides of the gasket so that it was flat on both sides. The reward off all this is that I now have a stick I can take apart and replace elements if I need to.

I have brewed 7 12 gallon batches so far with no problem.
Would you be able to post dissembled pics of your new set-up? Going to try building one of these but def want to stay away from any sealant.
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Old 05-04-2014, 01:35 PM   #535
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmoody View Post
I took your idea and used a 1" NPS stainless steel lock nut and a silicone o-ring. Got the lock nut from bargainfittings.com. I could not get a seal without it. I thought filing the nut on the element would be much more difficult, but it's made of a very soft material (aluminum I guess) and a bastard file made quick work of it, took me about 30 minutes. I will be testing the assembly this week sometime.
I did this as well. Never thought to post it. I didn't need to round the element, simply center it and tighten the nut. I did use a dab of sealant on the threads with Teflon tape. I don't trust tape on coarse threads like that.

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Old 05-04-2014, 01:41 PM   #536
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1" Silicon sealing washer (if you search silicon gasket you'll never find it) also available from Zorro tools. Got mine off them via eBay.

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Old 05-07-2014, 12:37 PM   #537
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1" Silicon sealing washer (if you search silicon gasket you'll never find it) also available from Zorro tools. Got mine off them via eBay.

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Any pictures of your version without the filed element collar? Curious to see how it fits without the filing.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:51 PM   #538
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No, I'd rather not disassemble it. It simply fit inside the bell of the pipe and I placed the nut over it. It was a hassle to keep it strait as I tightened everything together. A round element base would have been better, but this worked. The threads received a bit of Teflon tape and silicon sealant. The sealant should be food safe. Mine wasn't, but there isn't really any exposed and I let it cure for a week, then boiled with it in 5% ph for an hour to remove any possible flavors/surface contaminates. A sealing washer goes over the compression nut, and a 1" npt ss nut over that. Also used Teflon tape and a bit of sealant on the threads here. I was worried that wort might make its way through the threads and short out the stick, that is the reason for the sealant on the threads.

BTW, I did not seal contacts on the backside of the element with jb weld or whatnot. I figured that if it is built right there is no need for it. It works great!

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Old 05-07-2014, 11:56 PM   #539
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I just don't get how a good seal is being made between the pipe and compression nut. Does the rounded element go in deep enough for the flat sealing washer to contact both surfaces? If so then that is perfect!

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Old 05-08-2014, 01:56 AM   #540
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Quote:
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I just don't get how a good seal is being made between the pipe and compression nut

As said above, with Teflon tape and silicon sealant.

The weak link will still be the pipe connection and plumbing nut.

I have made and repaired heat sticks for years, and have found cleaning contact surfaces with rubbing alcohol and sealing with silicon sealant to work pretty darn well, yea nothing lasts forever, but that's why I keep a spare or two ready to go.

Fwiw, I would still coat the electrical connections on the element with silicon sealant as an extra measure. Also, leave the end of the stick open for a few days, as I found out the hard way uncured sealant is a conductor not an insulator.


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