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Old 02-25-2013, 07:21 PM   #1
makubex
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I have a 42 qt stainless kettle with a 1" NPT stainless spud welded through the side for use with a 2000W heating element.

I was originally planning on using Kai's weldless method with a gang box however, being the moron that I am, I purchased a conduit punch which gave me a hole in my kettle that was a half inch too large. The beauty of that method being that the ground terminal is built right into the box.

Thankfully, I was able to find a local brewer who did an excellent welding job on my kettle, and now I've got a spud which the element threads right into with no leaks. My issue is that now I'm not sure how to protect the outside of the element from water, or where to ground to.

I don't have the ability to solder to stainless (in an apartment without an area to operate a torch) so any suggestions which don't require having to weld/solder anything additional to the kettle would be preferred.

Thank you in advance!

 
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:57 PM   #2
makubex
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After reading a bit about soldering to stainless, I've run into several places online where they say specifically not to use silver solder for electrical connections; so I guess that option is completely out of the question.

Has anyone had any luck with drilling a small hole and attaching their ground eyelet to a screw/gasket/nut in their kettle?

 
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:41 PM   #3
Walker
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Sorry... what is a "spud" in this context? A coupling?
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:46 PM   #4
Walker
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nevermind, I looked it up.

If it's thick enough, you could tap/drill a shallow hole in the side of it and attach the ground wire to it. Or, if there is enough there to grab, maybe just put a big worm clamp around it and pinch the ground wire between the clamp and the spud?
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:57 PM   #5
alien
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You can use silver bearing solder for electrical connections. But there is no need, you can use a ground clamp to attach to some part of the rim.

 
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:58 PM   #6
makubex
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I'll take a look when I get home, but I get the feeling that I'd have to use a really tiny screw if I were to drill/tap into the spud, this might be worth looking in to though. The worm clamp is another good idea, but I don't know there there's enough surface area around the outside of the spud to really clamp on to.

Something that I just though of, I have a small hole drilled in my kettle above the water line for an eyebolt which holds my sight glass in place. I could attach the eyelet to that and just have a long, ugly, ground wire running from the bottom of my kettle up there. Are there any concerns about having a ground wire that is approx 2' longer than your power cord?

 
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:15 PM   #7
makubex
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Thinking a bit more on this, I do plan on wrapping the kettle in insulation, so I guess I don't have to worry about running a ground wire up the side of the kettle, since the insulation will hide it. The ground clip isn't a bad idea either.

I guess my last question would be: since I'll be attaching the ground eyelet to an eyebolt which protrudes into the kettle, is it okay that the eyebolt could potentially make contact with water?

 
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:25 PM   #8
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So complicated...

Just go to HD/Lowes/Grainger/ACE and buy a groung lug terminal.



Silver solder it in place to the outside of the kettle and then use the screw terminal to secure the ground wire.

Problem solved.

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Old 02-25-2013, 10:34 PM   #9
Shockerengr
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I can't think of good reasons why you couldn't use silver solder to put a lug in place for your ground. Silver is used in a lot of lead free solders for electrical connections. The really high percentage ones may be less ideal because of the higher temps needed (closer to brazing than soldering) but if you use P-J's suggestion above, that won't be an issue.

Also keep in mind that a ground doesn't normally conduct electricity. It's purpose is to provide a path for current to return that is lower impedance than you would be if an electrical fault occurs. So you'll want a connection that's durable because odd's are you won't know if it's bad until something else fails.

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Old 02-25-2013, 10:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shockerengr View Post
I can't think of good reasons why you couldn't use silver solder to put a lug in place for your ground. Silver is used in a lot of lead free solders for electrical connections. The really high percentage ones may be less ideal because of the higher temps needed (closer to brazing than soldering) but if you use P-J's suggestion above, that won't be an issue.

Also keep in mind that a ground doesn't normally conduct electricity. It's purpose is to provide a path for current to return that is lower impedance than you would be if an electrical fault occurs. So you'll want a connection that's durable because odd's are you won't know if it's bad until something else fails.
Very well said. Also - the solder joint using silver solder and flux is not part of the electrical connection to the wire. It is the connection to the kettle. The wire is connected with a terminal screw. Done deal & no problem!

 
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