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Old 01-16-2011, 08:27 PM   #1
Gritsak
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I've been using my heatstick with no problems for the past year. Yesterday i was brewing a barleywine and about 25min into the boil the heatstick stopped working. I thought maybe the outlet tripped--no. Pulled it out to see one side of the element completely charred black and the other side a small section melted, creating a gap or break in the element.

I'll try and get a picture up today. Anyone heard of this happening before? Any idea what could have caused this?

 
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:13 PM   #2
LakewoodBrew
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Sounds like it was dry fired for a little bit. Any way there was an air pocket? I know that runing my in-line heater horizontally will eventually result in this kind of bummer.

 
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:25 PM   #3
Gritsak
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It was submerged in 8g of wort and had been boiling for 25min, so i don't think it could have been an air pocket, but i could be wrong.

 
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Old 01-17-2011, 05:13 AM   #4
LakewoodBrew
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I can't possibly know what happened but it seems plausible that if you were running the element with more power than was needed to maintain a steady boil you could have developed a superheated gas (vapor) envelope around portions of the element and blam-o.

 
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Old 01-17-2011, 05:39 AM   #5
Crabnut
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Unfortunately, I had the exact same "melt down" happen to me. My 5500 watt 220 volt high density heat stick had to be bent 90 degrees to properly fit in both my boil kettle. I knew that right at the bend, there was a small crack in the ceramic or what ever material surrounds the nicrom wire, and my guess is that over time, some moisture eventually got in there and either shorted or exploded, ending that particular heat stick. At the time, I had been using it for heating my sparge water along with helping start the boil. It exploded when I tried to run the complete boil using the heat stick, and either the extent of the time involved or the overall heat was too much. Prior to that, I had been doing most of the boil with my burner, so I finished that boil with that, hoping against hope that there was something to save. I fermented it as normal, and kegged it, but it had an extreme charcoal taste. I ended up throwing it out. I did build a new heat stick, bent as before, but more gently, and still use that for sparge water and for heating up my mash if necessary. I now have gone all electric with a low density 5500 watt 220 volt element in my boil keggle, and it works wonders. The new heat stick also works fine, even though it does have a hairline crack in the covering at the bend.

 
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:51 PM   #6
Gritsak
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Mine was never bent. I guess it's possible it could have gotten dinged up at some point, but it didn't show any visible damage.

 
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:54 PM   #7
Gritsak
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Well here's a crappy picture of the damage. I've already taken the stick apart and ordered a low density 120v 2000W stainless steel element.


 
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:06 PM   #8
wilserbrewer
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Where did you find a 120v 2000w low density?

 
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:22 PM   #9
Gritsak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
Where did you find a 120v 2000w low density?
After looking for a long time i got lucky and came across this:

http://famousparts.com/120v20wsp.html

but, buy it here:

http://bostonheatingsupply.com/rheem...mp=101gny34c74

Boston heating supply was GREAT. priority shipping was only $6 and i got it in 2 days.

Element length is said to be 9.5", but it's actually a hair under 9".

 
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