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Elements Help Needed

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locost

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I have two (cylindrical) stainless steel vessels (height 400mm,
diameter 400mm) that I intent to use a a HLT and copper and I want to install elements in them both

So a few questions for the collective:

1. Bolt on or screw in?

2. Needed wattage, I've tried a 2400W over the side immersion element but an not impressed so I think 3,000w at least. Is that practical with my domestic power supply? My meter box says the power supply at our place is rated for 16A.

3. Control of temperature. Clearly a termostat would be great in the HLT but will a simmerstat do?

4. Good suppliers of the doings for the above.
 

MAH

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locost said:
2. Needed wattage, I've tried a 2400W over the side immersion element but an not impressed so I think 3,000w at least. Is that practical with my domestic power supply? My meter box says the power supply at our place is rated for 16A.
The amps of any device equals watts/volts. Therefore for a 3kw element, it's 3000/240 or 12.5 amps. If you have other appliances on the same circuit, which would be running at the same time, you need to add up their amps. If the amps of these appliances plus the 12.5amps for the element are greater than 16, it will trip the circuit.

And just to keep in mind, it's not always your biggest appliances that will use the most amps. Many modern quick boil kettles are 2400watts, thats 10 amps.

Cheers
MAH
 

Justin

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Have a look at my HLT in the gallery. It has 2 kettle elements in it, an 1800W and a 2200W. Works a treat, and seals against the side of the vessel great. I just run them off two extension leads to different circuits in the house. Also considering doing the same for my boil kettle.

If you want to run a thermostat to control them your going to need relays to handle the voltage/amperage as most thermostats wont handle the power (although the tobins one would-16A, get the higher temp model). Starts to get complicated though but up to you. A simmerstat won't be any good to you I wouldn't think.

I'll see what I can come up with as I have a thermostat and relay control set up for my HLT, I'll see if I can dig up the wiring diagram, might help you out.

Cheers, Justin
 

Plastic Man

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The Belle Kettle from Big W has a 2200W element in it that is easy to pull out and install. "$9.83 Every Day Price" (usual disclaimmer about electricity and water blah blah) For the HLT it's perfect. Not sure about the kettle (as in beer not tea) yet..........

As per Justins note - install two of these and run off separate circuits if you are doing over say 25l batches. I've only got one installed and it brought 27l to strike temp pretty quick when I tested it a few weekends ago, (still haven't brewed with it yet).

Try it in a cheap plastic container first before you drill holes in your nice shiney ones.

Hope this helps....
 

GMK

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Actually a simmerstat would work - because it controls the current flow...

I have one that i will eventually hard wire into my Electric Copper Washer so that i can wire up the other 1.5KW element and infinitely control the heat....via the current.
 

Plastic Man

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Your stove controls are simmerstats (I'm pretty sure), and they control a boil on the stove. Not as elegant as a thermostat but a pretty easy option.

There's a fair bit of info on them in HBD if you do a search. The cheapest place to get them is off an old stove. I think Tobins or one of the others sell em for about $150 - so they aint cheap if you buy em.
 

roach

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Plastic Man said:
The Belle Kettle from Big W has a 2200W element in it that is easy to pull out and install. "$9.83 Every Day Price" For the HLT it's perfect.

I've only got one installed and it brought 27l to strike temp pretty quick..
Top tip Plastic Man. I am needing a HLT(currently) moving hot water from stove to tun outside. This way I can pick up an old mayo bucket, clean it up, add the element and a tap and then I have a HLT for prolly less than $20 all up.


When u say quickly with the 1 element - how quick?


Cheers
Roach
 

GMK

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I got mine from a lighting place in tuggernong canberra - all up for the 3.6KW rheostat, dial knob, led indicator for on - came to under 50.00...

Thought it was/would be a good investment...

pm and i can give you make and model numbers etc...
 

Justin

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I wouldn't buy one new, I'd ring an appliance repairman and have a chat, bet you'd get one for nothing from an old oven/stove top-or go to the tip and scrounge one there. I think I've seen them in places like the salvos and Vinnies etc too.

I'm surprised that you would get any sort of temp control out of them though (hey, I'm not an electrician) I thought that it would just slow down the speed of the element-ie the power (and hence time it takes to warm up). I guess with playing about you could find a setting that may not let you get any hotter than your desired temp due to heat loss etc but isn't this just going to draw out how long it takes to heat your water-eg. your element runs at about 30%. For controlling the boil this is great, but I wouldn't have thought so for your HLT.

FWIW I thought simmerstats worked by varying the on/off cycle of the element (varying the time that the element is on and off, want it hotter then the element stays on longer). I must say I can be wrong.

Cheers, Justin
 

Plastic Man

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Justin

That's my understanding as well, (though I'm no expert). A simmerstat just turns the element on or off - rather than adjusting the power.

I agree - probably not much use for the HLT but would be of use in the kettle to help throttle things back if needed.
 

roach

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thread hijack - Plasticman - do u know a source for a plastic HLT container bigger than the std 20 litre mayo bucket?
 

Plastic Man

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Roach,

I looked around for while for a decent sized container. I think OH&S issues have meant that the largest container you seem to be able to get, (as in freebies), is 25l - I'm assumings it something to do with not being able to lift anymore than 25kgs.

Grumpys and ESB sell a 30l fermenter that may work though it will cost about $30.

I ended up buying a 25l drum from bunnings for $16 for the HLT and the 30l cube for the Kettle - $14. The drum was good becuase it already had a thread for a tap. I just bought a 20mm to 15mm brass male reducer, (down in teh plumbing section), and then a ball cock screwed straight into this. Bunning are currently selling 25l buckets for $8 which would also do the trick - but by the time you add the $'s for some sort of bulkhead fitting you may as well pay the extra for the drum. The drum seems thicker and more robust anyway - which makes standing next to it a bit more relaxing when you have 20 + litres of water bubbling away...

I cut the hole for the element with a 38mm hole saw. It fit well with no leaks.

The 30l cube didn't have a bung hole so I brought a plastic skin fitting from Whitworths for $4.95, and wacked that in. It had a fair bit of 15mm thread with a hose barb on one end - so I chopped this in half and put a ball cock in the middle. Worked OK during the test boil.

I haven't brewed with this set up yet. But I have filled both up with water and boiled it for a while to try and get some of the plastic smell out. It worked OK. The taps didn't leak and the element didn't leak. The plastic gets a bit soft - especially around the element but it didn't seem too much of an issue. My only concern is that the kettle element will burn the wort and affect flavour - but I'll crank it up next weekend and see what happens. But if you are only looking for a HLT thsi has got to be one of the easiest options. Heaps cheaper than an urn.

25l drum pic attached. I'll attach the 30l pic on the next reply.

Also I scored a 60l plastic container and thought about using this. Heaps of room, easy to clean, no worries for boilovers. I'll see hwo teh 30l cube goes before trying this. Places like Viscount Plastics in NSW and Silverlock in WA have the big tanks.

(usual discalimer about water and electricity....be careful. Don't touch the water just in case, use earth leakage detection, etc etc....)

100_0047.JPG
 

roach

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nice one plastic man - reckon i'll get down to bunnings 2morow and build the sucker.

cheers
roach
 

sintax69

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Palsticman is that a belle element if so would you discribe (or pic) of the out size of the element and how you mounted it
I bought a belle and completly stuffed it kept leaking (did you use the silcon gasget from the kettle)have just found and installed another 2000w HWS element seems OK but would like couple extra elements to supplemnt this one.

On the issue of current ratings ohms law is fine but there is also inefficiencies in element disegn voltage drop etc the above 2000w element should pull 8.3 Amp real life it pulls 13.25 amps (there goes the power bill)

One thing that you can think of using is your Air con supply I just added a Outlet to that CCT I just dont brew and have the aircon on and now have 20Amp outlet outside.

sintax
 

Plastic Man

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Sintax

I just pulled the element out of the Belle kettle, measured the hole left, it was about 38mm so used a 38mm hole saw to drill a hole in a drum, and then used the silicon gasket, (or whatever it is), in the new hole and installed the element. It worked OK.

The element had a sort of switch on it that would switch it off in the original kettle when steam hit it. I just pulled this off - which basically meant the element was stuck on all the time.

I took a few pics and will post then in the gallery in the next day or so.

Got three kids going nuts at the moment so need a quiet time to post them.

(anyone know the secret of getting kids to go to bed...???)
 

bonk

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another place to get big plastic containers is a pool shop. i know chlorine and all that. however a few good boils and sun exposure should fix that. for $10 i got a 40L kettle :)
 

roach

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nice one Bonk - might try that one. Can you post a piccy?
 

bonk

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roach, i'll try, i've only got my crappy phone camera at the moment. shall see how bad it looks.
 

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