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Old 02-16-2009, 03:44 AM   #1
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Default My Chiller Build



I spent some time this afternoon working on my immersion chiller. I used some information that I gathered from this site and broke from it in some areas as well. I used 50' of 1/2" OD copper refrigeration tubing, but instead of just bending it or soldering on copper elbows, I decided to try out the Watts A-215 Tube-to-Tube brass compression fittings shown below:



I still have a little more work to do on it though. Unfortunately, 3 of the 4 elbows are leaking and I need to tighten them up some more, but I ran out of time this afternoon before I had to deal with other things. I hope to get it tightened up and tested this week so I can use it for a brew next Sunday. A leaky immersion chiller ain't gonna cut it


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Old 02-16-2009, 03:57 AM   #2
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Teflon Tape on your metal to metal threads. Also called Plumbers tape.

Teflon tape is a very thin white tape used to wrap the threaded ends of pipes to improve the watertightness of a joint. The alternative is to use pipe dope, a paste type material which seals and lubricates, allowing for a tighter joint. There is also a another variety of thread seal tape that is yellow. The yellow tape is heavier and is for use on gas line connections. Never use regular, white, teflon tape on gas connections.



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Old 02-16-2009, 04:40 AM   #3
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I have to respectfully disagree with using teflon tape on a the nuts of a compression fitting. That's not how the seal is made.

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Old 02-16-2009, 04:44 AM   #4
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The compression fittings and all look nice, but is there any reason why you went that route vice just bending the ends 90 degrees? Seems like too many more potential leak points.

It's a beautiful chiller.

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Old 02-16-2009, 05:09 AM   #5
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I can tell you why I liked the idea of sweated 90's (which is what he's mirroring here) is because 1/2" tubing is on the threshold for kinking. It could be done with a spring bender if you have one.

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Old 02-16-2009, 05:41 AM   #6
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I didn't want to just bend the tubing. After watching Bobby's video on his build, I liked the extra rigidity provided by putting it together this way. The reason I didn't choose the soldered method is because my soldering skills are practically non-existant and I don't have the tools necessary to do it on my own. I do have a spring bender but it's for 3/8" tubing and I didn't want to buy another one. I'm 99.5% confident that simply tightening up these fittings a little more is going to make it good as gold... or maybe good as copper

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Old 02-16-2009, 07:57 PM   #7
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I think the .5% possibility that this configuration won't work is coming into play. I messed around with it for a while this afternoon trying to tighten the fittings and I'm still unable to prevent the leaking. I think I may have to pursue the solder route to make it functional.

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Old 02-16-2009, 08:01 PM   #8
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i think its a lost cause. i'll get rid of it for you, just send it to me

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Old 02-16-2009, 08:08 PM   #9
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I wonder why the compression fittings are giving you trouble. They are usually pretty fool proof.

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Old 02-16-2009, 08:12 PM   #10
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It's great that you chose to do this your own way.

But for those considering doing their own immersion chiller, I would point out that constant heating and cooling could cause a compression fitting to leak raw hose water into your finish boiled wort. This is the reason that so many use soldered joints.

I have a set of springs, and still chose to use Bobby's method of elbows, to insure a safe seal at all points, and to bring all the tubing as close together as possible, for the purpose of having a solid assembly. I tied 14g copper wire around each loop at three points of the periphery, and tied the inlet and outlet together. I then soldered the inlet/outlet ties together.

I do not believe that soldering is any big skill-you simply scuff the areas to be soldered, you apply a soldering paste to chemically clean that area, you heat the area until the paste starts smoking, then you attempt to put the solder on the joint until it sucks itself into the joint. You wipe with a wet rag to remove any excess solder-you are done.

I finished the tying and took these pics. Later, soldered the ties and pushed the ends of the copper ties down to avoid snags.



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