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Old 07-16-2012, 08:41 PM   #1
Brulosopher
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Default Heatstick HELP!!

Alright... I use propane to brew. I have 2 10" banjos and a 30 psi valve that will heat 10 gallons of water to 165 in about 25 minutes. But, I was bored and decided to build THIS heatstick, without paying any attention to my houses power "stuff."

*Truth* I am not an electrician, but I like to dabble in all kinds of DIY sh*t.

The build went great and the heatstick is beautiful! I submerged it in 4 gallons of water, plugged it in, and it began to work... for about 15 minutes. I've tried this 3 times now and the same thing keeps happening- as soon as the water gets to about 120F (which takes about 15 minutes from 65F), my GCFI pops and the heating ceases. I've theorized as to what the problem could be, but I'm retarded when it comes to this stuff. Anyone have any ideas? I really don't think any water is getting in, as I was incredibly anal about making sure the JB Weld was in all the nooks and crannies.

Thanks!

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Old 07-16-2012, 09:44 PM   #2
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Hi

Most likely - there is water getting in with the electricity. The GCFI is doing what it's supposed to do and keeping you alive.

Less likely - The GCFI is also a breaker, and the hot stick plus what ever else are simply too much of a load.

Them's about the only options.

Bob

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Old 07-16-2012, 09:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlisle_bob
Hi

Most likely - there is water getting in with the electricity. The GCFI is doing what it's supposed to do and keeping you alive.

Less likely - The GCFI is also a breaker, and the hot stick plus what ever else are simply too much of a load.

Them's about the only options.

Bob
Thank you so much. I'd like to think the latter explanation is the case... as I'm afraid I won't be able to take the stick apart. I there anything I can use on the exterior, by the base of the element, to seal it?
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:51 PM   #4
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Silicone anywhere other than the element itself. I'm guessing the higher heat softens some seal and is allowing water in.

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Old 07-16-2012, 10:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Brulosopher View Post
Thank you so much. I'd like to think the latter explanation is the case... as I'm afraid I won't be able to take the stick apart. I there anything I can use on the exterior, by the base of the element, to seal it?
Hi

If it's leaking, do you really want to patch it up? The patch may / may not hold. GCFI's are nice, but sometimes they don't quite catch things in time.... They rely on current moving to ground. Also, there's likely water sloshing around in with the element. If so I'd worry about it rusting.

Bob
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:45 PM   #6
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Thanks, all. Now I'm wondering I'd I can even salvage the element?

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Old 07-16-2012, 11:44 PM   #7
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I seem to remember some threads about using JB Weld to pot the connection and it not working....The interior layers of JB Weld could not fully cure before the outer layer cured, and that resulted in shorting out of the element.

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Old 07-17-2012, 01:54 AM   #8
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So, did you use JB weld or silicone? I've done both. For the silicone it was tripping the CGFI, so I took it a part a few months later and the silicone on the inside had never dried!

It was easy to take apart, so I did it with JB weld. JB weld does not need contact with air to dry. But I was having similar problems. Thinking that maybe somehow there might be a bit of water inside, I took a propane torch to it and it works now and I have never had a problem with it since. I didn't put the torch directly on it for a long time. You can remove JB Weld if you put a torch to it for too long, but just enough to heat it up and I guess evaporate whatever water was in there.

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Old 07-17-2012, 02:05 PM   #9
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polyurethane sealant under the PL label at HD or lowes .. we use it for all water applications on koi pond filters

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Old 07-18-2012, 12:14 PM   #10
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polyurethane sealant under the PL label at HD or lowes .. we use it for all water applications on koi pond filters
Thanks... what's "PL label?"
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