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Old 04-14-2009, 09:20 PM   #1
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Was at the hardware store when the makings of a heatstick jumped into my cart. The pic below shows the dry fit. I was wondering if it is safe to touch the metal while it's in operation becauce most pics I've seen has a plastic extension. Since my elbow is 15" I was just going to cap it. So is it safe to touch the metal while it's in operation or should I put a plastic extension on it?

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Old 04-14-2009, 09:25 PM   #2
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If you plug it into a GFCI, (you'd be crazy not to) you should be fine. I'd use the plastic anyway, though. It won't get as hot as the metal.
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:51 PM   #3
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I'm liking design 2 better. The "J" will allow this to hang nicely on my tall 6 gallon pot and still give me some plastic to hold on to.

Thanks for bringing up the GFIC, I hadn't thought of that. I would have to install one in my "brewhaus" but it got me thinking... I have a electric pressure washer that has a GFIC built into the plug that started leaking badly last year so I won't be using it again. I'll have to check the cord and see if it will handle the 2000 watt element. I'm not sure how to do that other than to eyeball it as "pretty darn thick" or "that's just to thin". I'm remembering that it's not much thicker than an orange outdoor extension cord that I commonly run power tools/compressor on... but they aren't drawing that much wattage I'm sure.

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Old 04-15-2009, 09:12 PM   #4
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I'm going to dial this back to 1500 watts instead of 2000. Less flipped circuits that way.

I checked the cord fromt the pressure washer and it's only 16 gauge, but only 2 wire. How can a gfic plug be so if it doesn't have a ground?
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:07 PM   #5
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Contrary to popular myth, a GFCI will work just fine without a ground wire. That is why the NEC requires all ungrounded circuits in older homes to be GFCI protected when replacing the old 2-prong receptacles with grounded receptacles.

That said, 16 gauge wire isn't big enough. Get yourself back to the hardware store and get some 12-3 SO cord . That'll take care of it.
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:12 PM   #6
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When you have this working nicely, can you post a parts list? My gas stovetop boil is slowing me down way too much.

 
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Picobrew View Post
When you have this working nicely, can you post a parts list? My gas stovetop boil is slowing me down way too much.
How to Build an Electric Homebrewing Heatstick Audio Tutorial Podcast and Step by Step Photo Instructions

 
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:48 PM   #8
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+1 on recklessDeck's link . i followed it and it works great. the picture from the poster looks simpler though. did you use any epoxy?
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:42 PM   #9
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I like this method for bonding the ground wire to the drain pipe, very simple yet effective.

alfter.us - Heatstick Construction

Coat all the internal connections w/ jb weld epoxy, also apply jb weld liberally to the interior of the unit prior to assembly so as to waterprof the head. I use a couple of electrical zip ties on the cord just inside the end cap to provide strain relief.


 
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:20 PM   #10
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I'd still want to use a ground attached to that outer tube.
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