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Old 11-23-2010, 09:23 PM   #11
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I'm betting the wife did it with a candlestick in the study .....but thats just me
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:31 PM   #12
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I'm betting the wife did it with a candlestick in the study .....but thats just me
Eww, I hope she washed it first.

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Old 11-24-2010, 12:47 AM   #13
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What type of oxiclean? The one with fragrance or the classic oxiclean free version.

Maybe there is a version with an additive.

 
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:57 AM   #14
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Oxyclean Free. AFAIK, nothing special about it. Will check the container when I get home.
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:58 AM   #15
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Been there, done that.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/bobb...-gauge-195031/
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:46 PM   #16
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Sorry to dredge up an old thread but...

I've noticed the same thing. I like to soak my Keggle in Oxyclean for a couple days after brewing both for cleaning and removing labels from any new bottles I have laying around. I installed one of Bobby_Ms sight glasses a few months ago and it cracked during one of these soaks. I figured I had inadvertently bumped it so I ordered a new one. It cracked after the first brew or two as well, even though I was extremely careful while cleaning that time.

Recently, I bought some polycarbonate tubing from McMaster Carr and threaded it just like Bobby does and it cracked during a soak as well. Since I have a surplus of tubing now, I figured I'd experiment. I re-threaded the other end of the sight-glass and re-installed. I filled the Keggle to about 7 gallons of plain water and let it sit for about two weeks--no cracks. I drained and refilled with 7 gallons of oxyclean yesterday and found the first crack this morning.

The cracks tend to be low in the tube but not necessarily at the bottom. They also tend to start radially and then propagate at a 45-ish degree angle. They almost look like textbook shear failure from torsion loads for you engineering geeks. They also seem to start from the inside of the tube rather than outside like you would expect a physically induced crack to start.

My MLT has a similar sight-glass installed that has never seen Oxyclean nor has it failed.
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:27 AM   #17
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An engineer at 5-star told me over the phone that alkaline cleaners can steal carbon from the polycarbonate or something like that. My next question was why the PBW tech sheet says "safe on polycarbonate surfaces" without any caveats. No answer.

Here's the really confusing rub. No matter what I do, I can't make it happen using my tap water. I've left a test pot filled to the top with various strengths of oxyclean or PBW for weeks straight. No crazing (cracking). My recommendation via the website is to limit the length of any PBW or oxy soaks to 30-60 minutes. If you want to do more than that, remove the kit temporarily and plug the hole with a stopper. There must be something about certain tap water chemistry that makes the difference. I know for sure based on how few reports I get.
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:42 PM   #18
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Well there's definitely something happening. I'm up to three perfectly radial cracks now. Since this is a sacrificial piece of tubing, I'm going to try soaking a batch made with RO drinking water. I'll report back here.

For the record Bobby, this is no slam on your products. They are extremely well made and I'd reccomend your stuff to anyone.
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:20 PM   #19
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I had the same problem with my sight glass. I used to brew and clean everything up to the point my kettle full of oxyclean soaking. Usually I would let that sit overnight and clean/drain the kettle out the next day. A few months ago I got busy, it sat for 4-5 days and I found that I had a bunch of cracks in my sight glass when I finally got around to cleaning...

I went to Bobby's website and saw the disclaimer about the prolonged soak. I just ordered another one and chalked this up as one of life's lessons about being lazy! Now the possibility of sight glass failure motivates me to finish clean up ON brew day - which is actually a good thing

Interesting that it seems to have to with water chemistry. Portland, OR has very soft water so maybe there are minerals we don't have that help prevent this??

 
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:40 PM   #20
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Hardness or softness in the water is certainly not the problem then. Ours is quite hard down here.

I've re-tapped and re-installed my sacrificial tube. I'll be filling it with RO or distilled water this evening.
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