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Immersion element

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Immersion element

Postby PEACOCKSUIT » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:21 pm

Has anyone done a guide for fitting an immersion element and wiring it up? I want to go down this route but I'm not certain about using one on a domestic circuit with a plug. Actually I know immersion boilers generally have their own dedicated radial circuit and breaker/fuse. In our house we the utility room is the ideal place for using my diy boiler but the central heating boiler is on the same circuit. If I was using the brew boiler and the heating boiler came on I'm sure it would overload.

That leaves the back kitchen. I'm pretty sure the sockets in here must be on a ring main. Is there a problem drawing 3kw from this circuit providing I choose a day when none else is home and therefore I can guarantee know one will start using the kettle/microwave etc?

thanks.
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Re: Immersion element

Postby GrowlingDogBeer » Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:05 pm

My boiler has a single 3kW Immersion heater in it with a stahdard 13 Amp plug. The plug does get a little warm but not too much to worry about.

The boiler is only using 12.8 ish Amps and you probably have a 30 Amp ring in your Utility room so there shouldn't be a problem. I doubt you boiler uses that much power unless it uses electric to heat the water, if it is Gas or Oil then all the electric is doing is running the controllers and the pumps etc..

PS. I am not an electrician, this is just my personal opinion.
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Re: Immersion element

Postby PEACOCKSUIT » Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:15 pm

What sort cable did you use to make the connection between the plug and the element? did you have to do anything else like bypassing built in thermostats etc?

Also what tools where needed to actually fit it into the bucket? I have tones of flat bits and a hole cutter so the hole wont be an issue. Just need to know what extra stuff might be needed to fit it.

thanks.
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Re: Immersion element

Postby onelegout » Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:21 pm

This all depends on what type of element you are using. You can always buy a very cheap wired kettle from argos or tescos or something, and cut the cable off that?
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Re: Immersion element

Postby haz66 » Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:43 pm

PEACOCKSUIT wrote:What sort cable did you use to make the connection between the plug and the element? did you have to do anything else like bypassing built in thermostats etc?

Also what tools where needed to actually fit it into the bucket? I have tones of flat bits and a hole cutter so the hole wont be an issue. Just need to know what extra stuff might be needed to fit it.

thanks.


You`ll need a mechanical flange that will fit into the wall of your boiler, then the element screws into that.
Something like this
FLANGE
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Re: Immersion element

Postby Kev888 » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:31 pm

Hi,

I posted some pics of fitting an immersion element here and here, but didn't photograph the wiring. Some people just poke the element through a hole and use a solder-in flange as a back nut, but I couldn't get enough force on that to seal with my metal tanks so went with the mechanical flange shown.

The wiring isn't too difficult if you're generally familiar with such things and understand that you do it at your own risk, but there are some important points. Firstly if you use a connector block to bypass the thermostat it must be up to the heat, so ceramic ones are best (the white plastic ones can melt easily). Secondly the cable you use should really also be rated for hot conditions as the insulation on normal flex can degrade in the heat (and of course it should be rated in excess of 13A). I got some ceramic connector blocks recently so if I get chance to fit them this weekend I'll take/post some pics on the second post linked above

My old burco boiler was 3kw and ran on a normal 13A plug; the immersion heater is no worse. However you're on the limit so I would suggest using a quality new plug and a socket by a quality manufacturer such as MK or crabtree - some warmth is produced and cheapo plugs/sockets aren't always up to it on a regular basis. Its unlikely to overload most socket circuits with one element unless you've got other appliances using notable capacity - kettles, heaters, toasters etc. but I'd suggest finding out the fuse rating for the circuit and identifying whats running on it already if you can..

Cheers
Kev
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Re: Immersion element

Postby PEACOCKSUIT » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:29 pm

All very useful info.

Cheers.
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Re: Immersion element

Postby brewzone » Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:09 pm

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He drank He drank no more.
For what He thought was H2O
was H2SO4.
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Re: Immersion element

Postby PEACOCKSUIT » Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:20 pm

I'm on a tight budget so might get the cheap element and bodge it lol.

Depend's how difficult the work around is, doesn't sound so difficult....
Been looking for pics of the bypass but can't find any. Not sure what it entails yet so I will decide once Iv seen one for myself. If anyone has a pic btw what would be smashing.
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Re: Immersion element

Postby PEACOCKSUIT » Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:40 pm

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/11-Immersion-Heat ... _500wt_902

Are these any good? Is it just certain ones that are defiantly 'bypassable' or can it in theory be done to any of them?
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Re: Immersion element

Postby beermonsta » Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:52 pm

most modern elements can be bypassed, but by law they have a extra cut out installed. Read below for more info. That one looks fine, but you can buy new ones from 'lecci shops for £9. Or incalloy(spelling?) which is more resistant for a few quid more.

pinched someone elses photo (cheers garth!) and edited it.
Image

First you will have a cut out screwed in (and possibly wired up) this can be unscrewed and thrown away (it's to stop the element from boiling the water added for H&S after some poor girl was killed IIRC from an element which boiled water back up a pipe into a storage tank that then collapsed over her - google for full story) They can be reset by pushing a paperclip in the centre (there is a tiny hole if it trips but for us brewers it's usually unwanted as you don't want it to trip out!)
The big white thing is the thermostat where a probe measures the temperature of the liquid. Again it can be binned as it acts as a switch controlling the temp and is generally limited to 70 ish degrees. What I did is use it as a connector block (you could buy a ceramic connector block instead).
On the left is a threaded rod which is where the earth is bonded to (the metal cover which is slid over this hole and nutted, is also then electrically bonded an so increases saftey.)
The red wire you can see is where live enters the element so connect your live to this using either method above.
The other terminal is where the neutral returns and should be connected accordingly.
Ensure you use heat rated cable and the black cable grip.
IF IN DOUBT GET A QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN TO DO THIS ALL. DO NOT TAKE A CHANCE WITH YOURS OR OTHERS LIFES - ELECTRICITY KILLS!
Do this all at your own risk, as I don't take any responsibility if you do mess up. (I prefer you to be well informed and get it right, rather than not know about the risks and have a go anyway)
take care.
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Re: Immersion element

Postby beermonsta » Fri Sep 24, 2010 6:12 pm

Forgot...

Image is a 2 1/4 Inch Immersion Heater Mechanical Flange that is available at most plummers merchants. Should cost IIRC about £3-£12 not £35+ !! (similar to haz66's suggestion)
I used this set up on a 60 gallon bucket from leyland homebrew. you'll probably need a backnut spanner and/or strap wrench to tightent sufficiently though. Some good advice given previously.

http://www.diy.com/diy/jsp/bq/nav.jsp?action=detail&fh_secondid=9290562&fh_view_size=10&fh_location=%2f%2fcatalog01%2fen_GB&fh_search=heat+cable&fh_eds=%c3%9f&fh_refview=search&ts=1285348187893&isSearch=true for the cable - make sure you get one rated similar to this or better (25 amps, 6000watts - "suitable for immersion heaters")
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Re: Immersion element

Postby Kev888 » Fri Sep 24, 2010 6:18 pm

Thats a useful pic of the element innards - saved me making one :-)

The only differences I had with mine is that the cable I bought was too big to fit in whats called the 'spare terminal' in the pic at the same time as the red wire - maybe it was a cheapo thermostat with small terminals. So I ended up getting ceramic connection blocks and just taking out the thermostat entirely. Also, the cut out was part of the thermostat in mine so didn't need any unscrewing.



They're very nice; you're clearly doing this properly! Can you feel the envy? I really like the IP rated versions, to me thats the biggest failing of my cheapo ones - though its no worse than most of the kettle element alternatives I guess. They 'seem' able to cope with the boiling temperatures and of course are much less strangers to extended heating times than jug elements, but it would be nice to have something thats truly rated for the job.

Cheers
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Re: Immersion element

Postby GrowlingDogBeer » Fri Sep 24, 2010 6:20 pm

I actually bought my boiler ready made from Hamstead Brewing for 65 quid as I didn't fancy putting it together myself. It is just over 30 litre plastic bucket with 3KW Immersion heater, 1/2 inch ball tap and hop strainer. As I said I am no electrician so felt happier to get one built by someone who knows how.
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Re: Immersion element

Postby PEACOCKSUIT » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:12 pm

This thread is has everything I need. Thanks a lot. Cant wait until next week (payday) so I can get crackin' :lol:.

Cheers 8)
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