Originally Posted by millsware
So "*Sensitive potentiometer for precise heater control" is not what I'm looking for? What is the difference between a potentiometer and rheostat?
I suppose we should step back, what is your goal? It seems to me that you just want the ability to control your boil rate correct?
If so it seems to me your cheapest option is to go with a potentiometer/SSR (Solid State Relay) setup
They way this works is the power is routed through the SSR. The potentiometer also attaches to this SSR, you can use the knob on the potentiometer to control how often the SSR allows power to flow to your element. So at potentiometer level 50 your element is OFF 50% of the time and ON 50% of the time. It does not lower the voltage going to the element, but no matter I can attest that that method does work just fine. As far as I know if you want to lower the voltage (power level of the element) you will need something like a rheostat and that will get more pricey.
The link you posted for $144 HERE
seems to also be a SSR setup, but I am not sure without looking inside the device. I went with THIS
one as it was the cheapest package without buying my own parts separately.
So yes a potentiometer is what you want but that is just part of it, what it controls is what makes the difference such as a SSR, rheostat or something else.
I hope I am being clear if not please let me know! Or if someone else has ideas please feel free to share.