Cleaning the heating element

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kokonutz

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Hi...attached are some images of my Camco 2955 heating element. It's pretty dirty from boiling wort now, and I am curious of the best method for cleaning this bad boy. Currently I am just rinsing in hot water with a soft toothbrush. How clean can/should I get this guy?
IMG_5390.jpgIMG_5392.jpgIMG_5391.jpg
 

marc1

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Hi...attached are some images of my Camco 2955 heating element. It's pretty dirty from boiling wort now, and I am curious of the best method for cleaning this bad boy. Currently I am just rinsing in hot water with a soft toothbrush. How clean can/should I get this guy?
View attachment 726689View attachment 726687View attachment 726688
Is that rust or wort/trub residue?

Mine is stainless and I clean it in the kettle by covering with water, adding sodium percarbonate and metasilicate, bringing the temp up to 160/170, turning it off and leaving overnight. I scrub with a brush in the morning and it gets pretty clean, never blackened like that. Is it supposed to be that color?

I looked your element up, and it says it's resistant to dry firing. There was someone on here that always cleaned their element that way... I'd be wary of that but it is an intriguing option if you're out of other ones.

 
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kokonutz

kokonutz

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wort residue. Are there household names for sodium percarbonate and metasilicate?
 
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kokonutz

kokonutz

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I think my question is more can I just boil some oxi-clean or would that be a bad idea?
 

bjhbrew

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Oxy clean is what I use with great results. As I understand it oxyclean is mostly sodium percarbonate.
 

marc1

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wort residue. Are there household names for sodium percarbonate and metasilicate?
They are the majority of what is in PBW. I bought them in 10 and 15 pound packs on Amazon, but they seem to be sold out or really expensive on there now across the board.
Sodium percarbonate breaks down into washing soda and O2 and is in Oxiclean. If you get Oxiclean make sure you get unscented.
Sodium metasilicate is in some formulations of Phosphate free "TSP"

I think PBW is supposed to work better at 150-170 or so instead of boiling, so you might not need to boil.

Using a few scoops of cleaner and letting heat and time do the work is far easier and works much better than scrubbing by hand. I could never get between the coils well.
 

chessking

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Here is a discussion on dry fire elements. It does make cleaning easier, however your mileage may vary.

 

gello22

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I've used oxiclean it gets the residue softened well enough but always leaves residue with my hard water. Then I would clean the residue off with citric acid which is around $15 for 5lbs.

Now I just use citric acid and heat it up with enough water to cover the element. My shiny stainless element is still shiny as a result.

That element is really collapsed on itself not allowing good flow which is creating some really hot spots. I'm surprised you don't have some extra caramel or smoke flavor. Of course if you like caramel malts and it hasn't gotten bad enough to taste burnt you may like the result. There should be more gap both top to bottom and side to side. You can see some of the material is charred black.

You should be able to bend it further apart and prevent the charring.
 

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burtom

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I've used oxiclean it gets the residue softened well enough but always leaves residue with my hard water. Then I would clean the residue off with citric acid which is around $15 for 5lbs.

Now I just use citric acid and heat it up with enough water to cover the element. My shiny stainless element is still shiny as a result.

That element is really collapsed on itself not allowing good flow which is creating some really hot spots. I'm surprised you don't have some extra caramel or smoke flavor. Of course if you like caramel malts and it hasn't gotten bad enough to taste burnt you may like the result. There should be more gap both top to bottom and side to side. You can see some of the material is charred black.

You should be able to bend it further apart and prevent the charring.
How much citric acid?
 

marc1

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I've used oxiclean it gets the residue softened well enough but always leaves residue with my hard water. Then I would clean the residue off with citric acid which is around $15 for 5lbs.

Now I just use citric acid and heat it up with enough water to cover the element. My shiny stainless element is still shiny as a result.

That element is really collapsed on itself not allowing good flow which is creating some really hot spots. I'm surprised you don't have some extra caramel or smoke flavor. Of course if you like caramel malts and it hasn't gotten bad enough to taste burnt you may like the result. There should be more gap both top to bottom and side to side. You can see some of the material is charred black.

You should be able to bend it further apart and prevent the charring.
Hmmmm... maybe I'll try citric acid - I've got a ton of it from making bath bombs. You've found that a hot soak with only that will remove the filmy residue leftover from a boil?
 
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Hmmmm... maybe I'll try citric acid - I've got a ton of it from making bath bombs. You've found that a hot soak with only that will remove the filmy residue leftover from a boil?
Burn it with fire. Believe me, get that element cherry red for a few seconds and it'll be clean as a whistle after. I used to scrub to get that nasty plaque off there, what a pain in the back. One day I said f-it, dry-fired my element until it glowed, let it cool and hosed it off. 10 yrs later I'm still using it that element, cleaned it that way many many times. YMMV.
 

marc1

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Burn it with fire. Believe me, get that element cherry red for a few seconds and it'll be clean as a whistle after. I used to scrub to get that nasty plaque off there, what a pain in the back. One day I said f-it, dry-fired my element until it glowed, let it cool and hosed it off. 10 yrs later I'm still using it that element, cleaned it that way many many times. YMMV.
The homemade PBW overnight hot soak works well for me, I hit it with a toilet brush the next day and it's pretty clean. I've just got lots of citric acid siting around too, so might change it up the next time around :)

Plus the smoke could be an issue - the condenser works great for the boil, but if I have the lid off to see the glow it'll be pretty stinky in here.
 
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