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Old 04-25-2011, 04:36 AM   #11
onthekeg
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An anode will cure the rust issue, but you still don't need to have any water in the tank when its not in use. I wouldn't worry too much about them rusting.

 
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:42 AM   #12
Junkster
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I think I would just go with the cheaper, standard heater elements considering the huge price difference. Assuming you're going to have some other fittings welded on the vessel, a couple more won't increase your one-time, initial cost that much and the elements are readily available.

As far as longevity of the 3-phase elements goes, I know of a small brewery that used them in their hot liquor tank and I don't think they ever had a problem except for occasional cleaning.

 
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:04 PM   #13
Ranger9913
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I have the same setup you are hoping to put together. You need 2-5500w elements per HLT and BK. At $32 per kettle for Home Depot elements you can afford to change them out every year or two if you are that worried about rust. I do as mentioned above and dry my elements after each brew.

 
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:40 PM   #14
jkarp
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onthekeg View Post
My water heater elements were in my house when I purchased it in 1991 and they are still going. I am not worried that the ones I have in my kettle as being any worse then the standard water heater element. I wouldn't worry too much about it and just go with standard single phase elements.
But your water heater does't operate continuously at boiling temps in a 5pH liquid. HLT elements tend to last a long time, but plan to replace boiling kettle elements every year or two, depending on your brewing volume. I have found the Rheem copper elements tend to hold up to wort better than standard ones.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:11 PM   #15
onthekeg
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Nope and they don't operate continuously at boiling temps in my brew kettle either. They run about 1 hour a week.

 
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:28 AM   #16
kevink
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I use a Hitachi SJ200 VFD to convert single phase 240 to 3 phase 240 to run a 3 phase motor on a milling machine at my house which has no 3 phase. I have no idea if one of these will work for a heating element, but a call to Hitachi will tell you.

 
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:56 PM   #17
AiredAle
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Home Depot sells some stainless steel elements. At least they did up to a few months ago. My local store had them. Not sure if the base is stainless or not, never did do the magnet trick to check.

 
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:45 PM   #18
Inodoro_Pereyra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevink View Post
I use a Hitachi SJ200 VFD to convert single phase 240 to 3 phase 240 to run a 3 phase motor on a milling machine at my house which has no 3 phase. I have no idea if one of these will work for a heating element, but a call to Hitachi will tell you.
They do work, but it makes no sense to buy an element that's more than 10 times as expensive as a normal element, just to keep wasting even more money on a VFD, which, in turn, will make you waste even more money in electricity.
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:08 PM   #19
EarthBound
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkarp View Post
But your water heater does't operate continuously at boiling temps in a 5pH liquid. HLT elements tend to last a long time, but plan to replace boiling kettle elements every year or two, depending on your brewing volume. I have found the Rheem copper elements tend to hold up to wort better than standard ones.
Agreed. Like one of these elements?
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthBound View Post
Agreed. Like one of these elements?
No, like these.
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