Advice needed on Buffalo boiler: thermal cutoff, etc...

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darlacat
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Advice needed on Buffalo boiler: thermal cutoff, etc...

Post by darlacat » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:11 pm

Disclaimer: I'm aware that there are ca. 15m discussions on modifying Buffalo boilers, but I'm not quite finding the answer to my problem. So here it goes...

I recently purchased a Buffalo GL349 (https://www.nisbets.co.uk/buffalo-manua ... iler/gl349), only to find out - while brewing - that it cuts out just under 100c. #-o

I've seen various solutions online, but I'm just wondering which is the easiest and most effective way to get around this. These methods have included, for example, bypassing the thermal cutoff switch using a ceramic block. However, would it work if I simply removed the thermostat from underneath the element, and taped this to the base of the boiler (i.e. away from the heat)? Or would I still need to bypass or disconnect the thermal cutoff?

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Advice needed on Buffalo boiler: thermal cutoff, etc...

Post by aamcle » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:40 pm

Unless you enjoy a hard time build a controller a PID/PT100/SSR combo, there reconstructions on the forum, then take the bottom off the boiler and throw ALL of the controls over your shoulder.

Wire the element directly to an appropriate socket and power it from your new control box, job done and much misery avoided.


Atb. Aamcle

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Re: Advice needed on Buffalo boiler: thermal cutoff, etc...

Post by darlacat » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:03 pm

[quote="aamcle"]Unless you enjoy a hard time build a controller a PID/PT100/SSR combo, there reconstructions on the forum, then take the bottom off the boiler and throw ALL of the controls over your shoulder.

Wire the element directly to an appropriate socket and power it from your new control box, job done and much misery avoided.


Atb. Aamcle[/quote]Would that not be an onerous task?

Maybe I'm being naive here, but wouldn't simply moving away and insulating the thermostat probe from the element prevent the thermal cut off from kicking in? I.e. because the thermostat wouldn't register the temperature reaching the cut off point?

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Re: Advice needed on Buffalo boiler: thermal cutoff, etc...

Post by aamcle » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:29 pm

If you want to have reasonable accurate control over temperature during mashing you will want to do better than the OEM controls can achieve. So in my opinion it's better to replace them than to struggle, have a look at the old threads about the Buffalo boiler here and on the HBF.

A PID will give you the highest level of control that a home build is ever likely to manage and a PT100 can be calibrated in icewater and boiling water.

If you're just using it as a boiler the a very simple control box with just a PWM (eBay cheap) will offer flexible and convenient control over the rate of boil.

!
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Fil
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Re: Advice needed on Buffalo boiler: thermal cutoff, etc...

Post by Fil » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:06 pm

Yes!! simply unbolting the thermal switch from making positive contact with the base/element underside will render it inoperative (unless the void under the element reaches the trigger temp- unlikely..) While keeping the boil dry protection offered by any thermal fuses employed.

our Pal Aamicle is spot on if your 1pot brewing or using the same pot as a hlt, or if your rolling boil is particularly feirce you could run the risk of scorching your brew which a power controller pwm or my prefered option a resistance controlled ssr will enable you to dial back the power a tad.

however my understanding of the thermal switches is they are not precision devices and yours could be one of the set that trigger at the lower end of the range so seperating it from the base may be all you need, just keep an eye on the results afterwards tho ;)
ist update for months n months..
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Re: Advice needed on Buffalo boiler: thermal cutoff, etc...

Post by Fil » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:06 pm

dbl post in error
ist update for months n months..
Fermnting: not a lot..
Conditioning: nowt
Maturing: Challenger smash, and a kit lager
Drinking: dry one minikeg left in the store
Coming Soon Lots planned for the near future nowt for the immediate :(

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Re: Advice needed on Buffalo boiler: thermal cutoff, etc...

Post by darlacat » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:18 pm

[quote="Fil"]Yes!! simply unbolting the thermal switch from making positive contact with the base/element underside will render it inoperative (unless the void under the element reaches the trigger temp- unlikely..) While keeping the boil dry protection offered by any thermal fuses employed. [/quote]


Thanks! Will it be sufficient to disconnect just the thermocouple/thermostat from the element? Or does the thermal cutoff switch also need to be disconnected?

I'll only be using the Buffalo for boiling and I don't do BIAB; I have a separate MLT.


(Edit: slightly garbled due to Tap a Talk)

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Re: Advice needed on Buffalo boiler: thermal cutoff, etc...

Post by Fil » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:51 pm

darlacat wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:18 pm
Fil wrote:Yes!! simply unbolting the thermal switch from making positive contact with the base/element underside will render it inoperative (unless the void under the element reaches the trigger temp- unlikely..) While keeping the boil dry protection offered by any thermal fuses employed.

Thanks! Will it be sufficient to disconnect just the thermocouple/thermostat from the element? Or does the thermal cutoff switch also need to be disconnected?

I'll only be using the Buffalo for boiling and I don't do BIAB; I have a separate MLT.


(Edit: slightly garbled due to Tap a Talk)
#1 i am no electrician nor am i qualified to give advice..

if you dont want the basic power control offerd by the built in controller you can bypass/remove it but why bother?? personally i would leave the built in thermopcouple and control well alone unless when set to max it is this that is cutting off the power??

Perhaps a little experimentation is in order to confirm, try removing the thermal switch (round thing secured with a clip and 2x nuts or screws.) from the underside of the pot base and IF? you still experience unwanted cut offs during the boil perhaps the temp controller may indeed need some attention ??

If you electrically disconnect any element such as the thermal switch be mindful to employ a suitably heat and power rated connector to re-establish the elctrical circuit. imho leaving it in place in the circuit and just separating it from the pot base should be a sufficient mod.
ist update for months n months..
Fermnting: not a lot..
Conditioning: nowt
Maturing: Challenger smash, and a kit lager
Drinking: dry one minikeg left in the store
Coming Soon Lots planned for the near future nowt for the immediate :(

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Re: Advice needed on Buffalo boiler: thermal cutoff, etc...

Post by darlacat » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:59 pm

[quote=Fil post_id=833765 time=1528289487 user_id=8767]
#1 i am no electrician nor am i qualified to give advice..

if you dont want the basic power control offerd by the built in controller you can bypass/remove it but why bother?? personally i would leave the built in thermopcouple and control well alone unless when set to max it is this that is cutting off the power??

Perhaps a little experimentation is in order to confirm, try removing the thermal switch (round thing secured with a clip and 2x nuts or screws.) from the underside of the pot base and IF? you still experience unwanted cut offs during the boil perhaps the temp controller may indeed need some attention ??

If you electrically disconnect any element such as the thermal switch be mindful to employ a suitably heat and power rated connector to re-establish the elctrical circuit. imho leaving it in place in the circuit and just separating it from the pot base should be a sufficient mod.
[/quote]

All I want to achieve is for the boiler to perform a rolling boil. At the moment it cuts out when it reaches a boil - as a kettle would. Ultimately, I want to keep modifications and electrical tampering to a minimum.

Would it make most sense then if I just remove the thermal cutoff in the first instance?

In other words: is it the thermal cutoff switch that reads the temperature exceeding 95c (or whatever the limit is)? Or does it work off what the thermocoupler - also attached to the element and wired to the thermostat control - is reading? The culprit is clearly one of these two, so identifying which one and removing it from the element should solve the issue.

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Re: Advice needed on Buffalo boiler: thermal cutoff, etc...

Post by Fil » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:02 pm

I dont have a boiler like yours..
The components you may have involved in the control circuit are
1) Thermal switch
2) thermal fuse
3)thermostat control.



the thermal switch will look something like this:
Image


I would suggest unbolting this from the underside of the pot base so its not monitoring the pot temp directly.

the thermal fuse can be ruled out as a problem as that is a blow once and replace device, and will be set to trigger at dry boil temps.

the thermostat may be limiting the boil??? though i doubt it if set to max for the boil, but as its issolation will involve more surgery than anything else i would strongly suggest you start investigations with the thermal switch.
ist update for months n months..
Fermnting: not a lot..
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darlacat
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Re: Advice needed on Buffalo boiler: thermal cutoff, etc...

Post by darlacat » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:15 pm

Fil wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:02 pm

the thermostat may be limiting the boil??? though i doubt it if set to max for the boil, but as its issolation will involve more surgery than anything else i would strongly suggest you start investigations with the thermal switch.
Not the thermostat, but the thermocoupler - the thermometer wired to the thermostat that is also attached to the element. This is measuring the temperature for the thermostat. Does the the thermal cutoff switch monitor temperature independently? Or does it cut off based on what the the thermocoupler is reading?

Here's an image of the electrics in my model. Note that I've taken this from someone else's mod project where they've bypassed the thermal cutoff switch with a ceramic block. I've labeled the various components.

Image

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Re: Advice needed on Buffalo boiler: thermal cutoff, etc...

Post by themadhippy » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:23 pm

Does the the thermal cutoff switch monitor temperature independently? Or does it cut off based on what the the thermocoupler is reading?
the thermal cutout is standalone and has nothing to do with the thermocouple
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Re: Advice needed on Buffalo boiler: thermal cutoff, etc...

Post by Fil » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:14 pm

just separate the thermal switch from the base and do a test boil with a salt solution to raise the boil temp close to that of wort.
if it still cuts out also pull the temp probe from making positive contact with the pot underside.
ist update for months n months..
Fermnting: not a lot..
Conditioning: nowt
Maturing: Challenger smash, and a kit lager
Drinking: dry one minikeg left in the store
Coming Soon Lots planned for the near future nowt for the immediate :(

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Re: Advice needed on Buffalo boiler: thermal cutoff, etc...

Post by Donald » Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:09 pm

I found that the probelm with these was the setting dial did not turn enough to allow 100deg+ boiling, but cut out at 98 ish.

To solve it i opened up the insides and snipped off the part of the ceramic block that the dial screws ito and restricts its movement.

ie my dial can spin 360degrees rather than 300. this allows the standard thermostat to boil at 100degrees whiele maintaining the existing boil dry cut out etc.etc.

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