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Old 08-24-2013, 02:57 AM   #1
Oct 2011
Orlando, FL
Posts: 33
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I had been testing my new setup and left water in the kettle for three days. I noticed some rust forming at the base of my elements. I cleaned off most with vinegar and baking soda, but is that normal? I know I screwed up leaving water in the kettle for that long, but since I use tap water I normally fill my kettle with water a day or two before brewing to let the chlorine burn off and don't want to fight rust all of the time. Ill have to look up my exact elements, but they're they're the $10 Camcorder 1500 watt ones from Home Depot.

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Old 08-24-2013, 11:57 AM   #2
ChuckO's Avatar
Oct 2008
Keyrock, WV
Posts: 1,028
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Most elements are made with a ferrous base that will rust. You can install a magnesium anode in your kettle if the kettle is stainless. That will keep down the rust. I put a thin layer of silicone adhesive over the base of the heating element inside the pot after it was all put together with the retaining nut. Works quite well but might have to be redone in a couple of years.

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Old 08-24-2013, 10:04 PM   #3
Apr 2012
Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 1,235
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I put in one of these Magnesium anodes, fine so far touch wood.

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Old 08-25-2013, 12:21 AM   #4
Dgonza9's Avatar
May 2010
Evanston, Illinois
Posts: 1,182
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As far as the chlorine goes, you can get a filter to remove chlorine. I use an RV filter that's rate NSF since I'm using a hose to fill mine.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:44 AM   #5
Mar 2012
Waldorf, MD
Posts: 371
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There is no need to leave your kettles full. Just clean and drain them when your done. If you are worried about the chlorine look into a carbon filter or campden tablets at 1 pill per 20 gals.

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Old 08-26-2013, 04:32 AM   #6
Feb 2012
Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 302
Liked 31 Times on 26 Posts

I had bad rust too, even with a magnesium anode and not leaving water in the HLT for more than 5 or 6 hours. I've never had rust issues in the BK but the wort eventually forms a black protective layer on the element base that the HLT will never get. If you don't want to put in an anode or just want to be sure it won't rust, go with the food grade silicone all over the element base and lock nut.

Both my HLT and BK had anodes and I verified electrical connection between the element base and anode base. No idea why I'd get rust with that configuration but I did. So silicone it was for the HLT. BK has never had a problem.

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Old 08-27-2013, 12:05 AM   #7
Oct 2012
Woodinville, WA
Posts: 862
Liked 126 Times on 95 Posts

The rust is the #1 issue with these elements. They're definitely not made for brewing; they're made for hot water heaters.

There are non-rusting stainless ones that appear for sale from time to time but they're hard to find.

It would be great if Camco or someone else would make a stainless version for us.
(I put food grade NSF certified silicone over the base of my elements because someone said that that would keep them from rusting... Not so much...)

Once someone starts making and selling non-rusting versions at least it will be relatively easy to swap them out...


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Old 08-27-2013, 04:01 AM   #8
Feb 2012
Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 302
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I ran across this a while back but decided sanitary silicone was cheaper:

I'd still be curious how it works out though...

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Old 08-27-2013, 05:45 AM   #9
orangehero's Avatar
Apr 2010
Posts: 1,750
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Their elements don't actually appear to be stainless steel, more orange in color, though it is magnetic. They say the discoloration is a result of the manufacturing process.

In any case 430 is cheap and less corrosion resistant compared to 304.

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Old 08-27-2013, 12:07 PM   #10
Feb 2011
Powell, Ohio
Posts: 257
Liked 13 Times on 13 Posts

I would also be worried about these cheaper elements and if they were low watt density. I used two cheap camcos for a while before I realized after a really bad batch that they had been scorching the wort. I thought there was a funny taste for a while before hand but not too bad. Then I got one just a couple bucks more that was ULWD.

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