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Old 03-20-2010, 02:43 AM   #11
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I just got aluminum lock nuts from Wayne at bargain fittings. They seal nicely with a silicone washer. Preliminary results after two test boils = no rust. I was getting noticeable rust with SS lock nuts and my all SS system.

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Old 03-20-2010, 03:18 AM   #12
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Good idea on the aluminum nut. I had bought some aluminum flashing to put behind the SS nut in my new system, thus creating an anode out of the aluminum so that it will take the corrosion instead of the steel (since SS is more noble than the mild steel, we get galvanic corrosion)

But the aluminum nut is even better, I'll buy that!

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Old 03-20-2010, 03:29 AM   #13
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You can throw in one of those fire starters for camping. They are magnesium - will act as a sacrificial anode. Which is what your aluminum nut will do too - eventually corrode away.
There's another thread around here on sacrificial anodes....

too much time on my hands.... rust discussion

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Old 03-20-2010, 09:33 PM   #14
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I'm gonna try to put a small piece of aluminum in my HLT and see if that works. If I notice any improvements I'll buy the aluminum locknut.

beerocd - have you used the fire starters? Any noticable affect on your beer. Is the rate of corrosion noticable? Those things contain a small percentage of zinc, isn't a problem for our brews?

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Old 03-20-2010, 11:15 PM   #15
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I will be soon, just finished my electric setup. AiredAle is currently using magnesium in his kettle. Basically the idea is the same as in hot water heaters. The anodes are either aluminum or magnesium rods. Maybe I can fasten it to the dip tube somehow instead of drilling the kettle.

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Old 03-20-2010, 11:20 PM   #16
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We'll see how long the aluminum nuts last. I always have the SS ones sitting around if they go that fast. They are pretty thick and sturdy, I think they will last a while.

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Old 03-20-2010, 11:24 PM   #17
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You could just toss the nut in, and leave the stainless stuff in place. And when the aluminum pits, corrodes and whatever it doesn't affect the integrity of your kettle.

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Old 03-21-2010, 05:48 PM   #18
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Well you need the aluminum or magnesium to be in contact with the mild steel for it to act as a sacrficial anode. That's why I bought aluminum sheet to go behind the locknut (in contact with the base of the element) and also why the aluminum locknut works.

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Old 03-21-2010, 06:04 PM   #19
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I was pretty sure the water provided the "contact". The anode in your water heater doesn't touch the walls of the heater or the elements. This is just academic now - you've got your solution. I'd just like to know if my thinking is wrong or not.

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Old 03-22-2010, 01:40 AM   #20
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Hmm good point about the liquid making the contact. In the water heater I do think the annode is screwed into the lid and thus in direct contact with the mild steel (though I think a lot of the better water heaters are glass lined as well). I suppose it would be simple to test this. Since I know my kettle will rust mild steel, I'll just throw a piece in there with water, boil it for an hour or so, see if it rusts, which it should. Then put some aluminum on the bottom of the kettle plus the mild steel, not touching, see if it rusts.

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