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Offline CWC  
#1 Posted : Saturday, January 21, 2012 2:15:32 PM(UTC)
CWC


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I am new to distilling and ready to purchase the Essentail Extractor PSII HC with 15 gal. premium kettle but want to add an internal heating element. I have read many forum ideas and designs, many with home-made electrical controllers above my level of understanding, and wanted to get some input on a very simple design to see if it will work. An electrician told me to use a stainless universal hot water heater element 120v 1500 watt wired to a 2000 watt dimmer switch (http://www.amazon.com/Lutron-Ce...id=1327192514&sr=1-1). Just need a 1" NPSM threaded fitting on the kettle when ordering. Can anyone give me some opinions or experiences. Will the 1500 watt element heat up enough? Thanks.
Offline heeler  
#2 Posted : Sunday, January 22, 2012 3:58:08 AM(UTC)
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"CWC, most electritions know that a light switch dimmer will not work with a water heating element. I cant remember why exactly but for safety sake get a router speed controller ($35 is pretty close) ebay will deliver it to your door.

Ive never seen a stainless water heating element but the cost would prolly be prohibitive for me and besides the regular $20.00 will do just fine.

With that still you mentioned if you request when you buy they will add a threaded piece to the boiler at the time of sale. And that fitting is called - a SS half coupling with NPT threads (national pipe thread) Brewhaus know that and will take care of it for you.RollEyes"
Offline CWC  
#3 Posted : Sunday, January 22, 2012 10:59:19 AM(UTC)
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"Thanks for your info. Heeler-I sure appreciate the help. I will check out the router speed controller idea-I have read that in the forums but never knew what it was and had assumed the dimmer would have been the cheapest solution. The router controller sounds cheaper anway than the 2000 watt dimmer-the dimmer is about $83.00 or so. I will check again with the electrician but he knew what I was doing and said the 2000 watt dimmer should work with the 1500 watt element. If you happen to remember what the issue with the 2000 watt dimmer is in the near future, I would appreciate knowing. Am checking E-bay next for router speed controllers.

I was originally just going to mount a hot water heater replacement thermostat against the kettle wall to maintain the appropriate heat and am waiting to hear back from some vendors that supposedly have a 200 degree high limit thermostats (most in stores don't go high enough). Have you ever heard or tried anything like this configuration?

I was going with the stainless water heater element because many of them are copper with zinc coating and I wasn't sure how that would hold up or if the zinc coating would be an issue. Do you have any thoughts on this?

I am not sure but have found some info. that the threading needs to be NPSM (I am finding info. online like these elements for sale: http://www.plumbingsupply.com/elements.html ). I know the industrial immersion elements like McMaster-Carr are NPT but from what I am finding universal water heater replacement elements might be NPSM. Please let me know if I am mistaken because I went to Lowes & Home Depot but can't tell which thread was which.

Thanks, would appreciate any comments or suggestions."
Offline CWC  
#4 Posted : Sunday, January 22, 2012 12:10:39 PM(UTC)
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"Just found the router speed control on ebay-found heavy duty 20 amp model. This is much better than the dimmer as it already has a box built around it with a plug saving me the time and expense.

Now I just need to confirm the electric water heater element thread type Monday and then order!! I had no idea how much time it would take to just make the ordering decision!

Thanks again."
Offline scotty  
#5 Posted : Monday, January 23, 2012 1:30:45 AM(UTC)
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"cwc you did the correct thing by bying the router control. If you used the controlls from a hot water heater you would have a cycling effect which is not acceptable. The router control will allow you to apply the minimum amount of heat necessary at a constant rate which is exactly what you need.

Good luck:)"
Offline scotty  
#6 Posted : Monday, January 23, 2012 1:36:20 AM(UTC)
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"just another note. i believe heeler said that any hot water heater element will work. (he is correct no mater what any electrician says). You might also consider using a 6kw 220 volt element which is the same as a 1500 watt element when you apply 120 volts to it.

Also with that large of a tank you will be able to use 220 volts at 6KW for heat up then switch to 120 to fine tune your output.

:):):)

Fittings size.

http://www.buyfittingsonline.co...chined304ssr177s163.aspx"
Offline CWC  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, January 24, 2012 1:27:52 PM(UTC)
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Thanks for the info. Scotty. There is much to figure out here and your info. helped-link to buyfittingsonline also helpful. I have the router contol ordered and a couple of stainless steel hot water heater elements ordered. I had originally talked to Rick about having a 1" NPT coupling installed to fit the immersion heater elements at McMaster-Carr he recommended but they were like $190.00 so I found a $15.00 Rheem stainless steel element (120v,1500watt) but the vendor and the manufacturer both said the threading on the universal hot water replacement elements in the industry are 1" NPSM. Rick is not familiar with that threading and so now I have some things to figure out. Do you or does anyone know if the water heater elements (all supposedly 1" NPSM according to the manufacturers) will fit into a 1" NPT fitting. I have read various pieces and bits in the forums but none were clear-some said they had to use excess teflon tape, etc. and I want to do this right. Thanks for any help:)
Offline scotty  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, January 24, 2012 3:52:43 PM(UTC)
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"http://fittingsandadapters.com/amdryspipthr.html

I think your answer is here.

As far as i know, all hot water heater elements are 1 inch NPT. ill have to re read this article. You want 1 inch npt installed. if your elements dont fit change elements to 1 inch npt types.


now ill re read the article.BigGrin"
Offline scotty  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, January 24, 2012 3:56:55 PM(UTC)
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"Both NPT and NPTF have the same threads-per-inch, pitch diameters, and taper-per-inch. The differences come in the major and minor diameters, the root and crest of the threads.

The NPTF thread crests fall with in the parameters of the NPT requirements, but have a smaller range than the NPT.

The NPTF thread roots are different than the NPT thread roots. NPTF thread roots are designed to interfere with the crest of the mating thread with the intention of creating a mechanical seal through thread form deformation at assembly. NPTF threads have two classes identified: Class 1 and Class 2. NPT thread roots are designed to allow clearance with the mating thread crests on assembly.


------------------- OhMyGod ((( I copied this ))"
Offline heeler  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, January 25, 2012 2:32:53 AM(UTC)
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CWC, not to worry mate, order your still and take the boiler to Lowes or HD and screw in every element until you find the one you want to use. I PROMISE YOU WILL FIND SEVERAL THAT WILL FIT!!!!! Remember Rick at Brewhaus does this everyday. Have him weld the fitting in the boiler so when it gets home your ready to go. Or just have him get the element and install it for you too.(for a minimumal fee of course)
Offline scotty  
#11 Posted : Wednesday, January 25, 2012 5:55:52 AM(UTC)
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Yes have brewhaus install the fitting. Thats the hardest part of the job. BigGrin
Offline CWC  
#12 Posted : Wednesday, February 15, 2012 8:11:07 AM(UTC)
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"Thanks for you advice -heeler and scotty. You helped me figure out my initial configuration by using a water heater element and a router speed control. Both which I have purchased already and am now waiting on my first order to ship. I wanted to ask you or anyone else who has some experience with using the router speed control to confirm that in practice (not only theory) a 20 amp router speed control will work with an internal 120v 1500 watt stainless water heater element on a 15 gallon kettle. I have read about this working in this forum but recently just read ""The Compleat Distiller"" (Dec. 2010), which is supposedly one of the main reference books on distilling, that one should "" NEVER use a motor speed controller for heating element control. The load current in these controllers is limited only by the back emf (electromotive force) of the motor windings, and when used with a purely resistive load, like a heater element, they will burn out."" It sounds like the 20 amp router speed control I purchased is a ""motor speed controller"" but I am not sure and have never tried this before. Just want to be prepared if there is a chance this won't work.

I would appreciate anyone's help on this-I am considering also having a 240V stainless heater element standing by for back-up with a ""jumper"" cord allowing the 240 v element be plugged into 120v service to obtain what I understand is 25% of the 240v wattage. If someone has used the router speed control in practice and it works, please let me know so I can avoid the 240v element and jumper cord expense.

Thanks again for everyone's help and advice on this."
Offline heeler  
#13 Posted : Wednesday, February 15, 2012 9:04:01 AM(UTC)
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CWC, I have never read that little tidbit of info but can attest first hand that the router speed controller --will-- work with a water heating element. Now I cant say for sure about stainless steel elements but I'm pretty sure they will work the same. Cant think of any reason SS element would work any different. Also dont know what kind of RSC you purchased but the only restriction I found with the one I purchased was not to use it with a brushless motor --- and I dont know what the hell that means either. Dont buy anything else until you get the unit in your hand ---- oh and you will have to make a pigtail of sorts to wire into the element and then plug into thte RSCer. I just bought a $15 ext. cord and cut the end that I did'nt need off and there ya go.
Offline CWC  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, February 15, 2012 9:15:27 AM(UTC)
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Thanks heeler for your time-I appreciate knowing the idea works in practice. It sounds like you are using the router speed control with a hot plate and not a water heater internal element. I would think it would work the same. My router is a 20 amp MLCS brand with the same restriction you mentioned (not brushless motors, and also not soft/slow start routers-whatever they are?). Anyway, thanks again.
Offline heeler  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, February 15, 2012 9:20:52 AM(UTC)
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You got it, but no I dont use a hotplate. I use a 15 gallon beer keg with a internal heating element. I cant say if the RSC works with a hotplate and I wont give advice on that since I dont know. I'm sure others will add some info on that. I think you will like the RSC with the internal element -- I know it beats the shit out of the gas powered system. I still use the gas to get up to cooking temp cause its just speeds up the process, but then the gas is off and the electric takes over. Thats the best way to go --IMHO.
Offline CWC  
#16 Posted : Wednesday, February 15, 2012 10:57:14 AM(UTC)
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Thanks again heeler-I feel much more comfortable now. I am using a 120v 1500 watt internal hot water heater element with the 20 am router speed control. Are you using the same or a 240v and X watts? I know you said you use propane to get up to temperature and then electric. When you tried electric only, how long did it take you to get up to temperature with just electric?
Offline heeler  
#17 Posted : Friday, February 17, 2012 6:04:27 AM(UTC)
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"Ya know I dont remember exactly how long it takes with electric only. I just always use the gas and then just the element. I would guess it would be faster than a hotplate but I'm just guessing. When I made mine setup I bought a 4500watt 220 volt element and my thinking was if I'm pushing 110 volts to it it should last longer (you know built tougher so it should last longer ) I'm sure any will work that was just my rational.
I think read that you are useing a 110v 1500watt element on a 15 gallon keg??? If you put in 15 gallons of wash I bet that would take a long time to get to temp!!!!! But you dont have to put in 15 gallons just do 5 gallon washes and use that as a learning step. I think you are off and running."
Offline heeler  
#18 Posted : Friday, February 17, 2012 6:14:37 AM(UTC)
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"Something I like to do when I'm cooking and have time to spare, I get my electric meter out and take readings right from the element. I'm gonna try to remember -- on the variable setting during cooking I think it only pulls 8 amps and during heatup with the RSC set to full I think it pulls 11 amps. Still there is plenty of room on that circut for the other items with out fear of fires.
Its real easy to do, the end of the element is accessable as you will see, so once you are heating up (RSC on full) take a reading and write it down, then when you are cooking and its holding steady in the collection mode take another reading. That will really put your mind at ease. Just some things I do to pass the time.BigGrin"
Offline heeler  
#19 Posted : Monday, August 06, 2012 1:26:16 AM(UTC)
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"This is my RSC and as you can see the orange plug is the pigtail I made to go to the heating element on the boiler. Nothing new just sharing the pic.

UserPostedImage"
Offline ratflinger  
#20 Posted : Monday, August 06, 2012 10:04:47 AM(UTC)
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Just finished my electrics. New 240v 20a outlet for the 4500w wh element. The element has a 6L-30 male pigtail. I have a 6L-30 extension cord to the 240v outlet. When it gets hot I have a pigtail with a 6L-30 receptacle down to a 15a 120v plug. This will plug into my router controller for the final. Let you know how it works tomorrow.
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