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Old 05-07-2010, 11:27 AM   #1
BrewBarron
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Default Any tips on installing a 1500 watt element?

I am having a few issues installing a 1500 watt element inside my round cooler. I have tried installing it a few different ways (rubber gasket on the inside, gasket on the outside) but I still end up springing a leak. Any tips on getting a good seal with the element and a 1 inch nut? Once I get a good seal I will protect the wiring with a pvc sleave and JB weld it together.

Also, I have seen these set ups built with a home-made copper washer and some without. Can anyone tell me if this copper washer/ground is necessary in this set up, or not?

thanks for your help.


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Old 05-07-2010, 12:21 PM   #2
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I used the big stainless locknut on the inside of the cooler, with a rubber washer between the cooler and the element. The locknut has a grooved side and a flat side. I made sure the flat side was facing the cooler.

For a ground, I drilled a hole and tapped one of the flanges on the element. after attaching the ground with a machine screw, I filled in the hole on the other (sealing) side with JB Weld. I've used it a couple times without issue.


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Old 05-07-2010, 01:08 PM   #3
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Your ground wire should make contact with the wort or hot water. Otherwise, if the conductor inside the element somehow comes in contact with the liquid, nothing will happen until YOU touch the liquid. With the liquid properly grounded, your breaker or GFCI will trip the instant the fault occurs.
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Old 05-08-2010, 02:21 AM   #4
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Thanks lustreking, passedpawn,

I drilled into the flange and installed a screw so that should take care of my ground. I'm still having problems getting a good seal with the element though. I bought the nut and rubber gasket from bargain fittings and have tried a number of combinations of installation, but the cooler still has a slow leak.

I'll keep trying. Thanks again for the advice.
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Old 05-08-2010, 02:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewBarron View Post
Thanks lustreking, passedpawn,

I drilled into the flange and installed a screw so that should take care of my ground. I'm still having problems getting a good seal with the element though. I bought the nut and rubber gasket from bargain fittings and have tried a number of combinations of installation, but the cooler still has a slow leak.

I'll keep trying. Thanks again for the advice.
How tight are you trying to get it?

Just snug should be sufficient.
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Old 05-08-2010, 12:25 PM   #6
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I am actually just hand tightening it. I have tried the rubber gasket in the grove on the nut on the inside of the cooler, I have tried the flatter side of the nut on the inside and a gasket on the outside, I think I have even tried a gasket on both sides, still no good seal.

????
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Old 05-08-2010, 01:18 PM   #7
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I used a flat rubber washer that I found in the plumbing dept of Lowes, as opposed to an o-ring. I think that gives me a little more sealing surface.
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Old 05-08-2010, 01:24 PM   #8
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I had a slow leak in mine and fixed it by applying a thin coat of silicone aquarium sealant to the gasket and the contact areas on the cooler and element. Hasn't leaked a drop since.
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Old 05-08-2010, 05:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewBarron View Post
I am actually just hand tightening it. I have tried the rubber gasket in the grove on the nut on the inside of the cooler, I have tried the flatter side of the nut on the inside and a gasket on the outside, I think I have even tried a gasket on both sides, still no good seal.

????
examine the hole you drilled for the element to make sure there are no small splits or cracks on the edge. I enlarged the drain hole on my 10 gal orange Rubbermaid for 1/2" nipple and did have a small irregularity that would not seal leak free. I used a step bit to clean the hole up slightly and now am leak free.
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Old 05-09-2010, 12:59 AM   #10
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If all else fails, pick up some food-grade silicone sealant. I used it on my cooler and have never leaked a drop...


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