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View Full Version : 5500w Elements Melt On Fist Use



Magnitude10.0
09-10-2017, 11:12 AM
Hi all, I just finished piecing together an electric 1 BBL system, and on the first use, water only the 2 5500w elements on the Boil Kettle melted around the prongs, it looks like liquid entered through the inside of the kettle. Faulty product?

mmussen
09-11-2017, 07:08 AM
That looks more like an electrical problem to me - my guess is something is wired incorrectly/sized wrong and when drawing power your plugs are getting hot. Get that looked at ASAP.

rdcpro
09-11-2017, 09:10 PM
That looks more like an electrical problem to me - my guess is something is wired incorrectly/sized wrong and when drawing power your plugs are getting hot. Get that looked at ASAP.

++1

The melting/burning of the plastic (bakelite?) is a classic sign of a bad or undersized connection (internal to that element). It might also be poorly engineered. I know it seems like a good idea to have a motor base directly installed on the end of the element, because then all you need to do is plug in an L6-30R cord end on it, so it's easy to remove for cleaning. But there's a lot of heat that is very close to the terminals on that motor base, and I doubt any of it's rated for the actual conductor temperature. Wiring to a heating element typically has high temperature insulation and never with a plug connection that depends on spring tension for the electrical connection.

But, it also appears that the ground connection overheated...I can't quite tell from the photo if the ground prong is darkened from heat, but it looks like it. This indicates a much worse problem. Possibly a ground fault, but it should have tripped your circuit protection. You do have the kettle well grounded? Do you have GFCI protection on it? The heat damage around the ground prong has me wondering if you have it wired correctly. Of course, it could be transmitted heat from the element...I don't know what the inside of that thing looks like. Sorry to say, the element is toast in my opinion. If the prongs get this hot, they can cause the spring loaded cord end connections to weaken, which will eventually result in an electrical fire.

Call up the manufacturer of that element right away and get it sorted out before using the kettle again.

Regards,
Mike Sharp,

Magnitude10.0
09-12-2017, 03:40 PM
Thanks for the Input. I contacted the manufacturer and they are aware of the issue. It has to do with the inner glue not curing correctly. They will be replaced. My panel operated as it should and the breaker tripped. Any chance there could be damage to the ssr?

rdcpro
09-13-2017, 02:05 PM
Thanks for the Input. I contacted the manufacturer and they are aware of the issue. It has to do with the inner glue not curing correctly. They will be replaced. My panel operated as it should and the breaker tripped. Any chance there could be damage to the ssr?

If it was a magnetic trip breaker, I'm hopeful the SSR survived the fault, but I can only guess. My fingers are crossed, though. If you're concerned, you can probably rig up a load test for it. Or, order a set of spares just in case.

Regards,
Mike Sharp

augiedoggy
01-31-2018, 05:50 AM
++1

The melting/burning of the plastic (bakelite?) is a classic sign of a bad or undersized connection (internal to that element). It might also be poorly engineered. I know it seems like a good idea to have a motor base directly installed on the end of the element, because then all you need to do is plug in an L6-30R cord end on it, so it's easy to remove for cleaning. But there's a lot of heat that is very close to the terminals on that motor base, and I doubt any of it's rated for the actual conductor temperature. Wiring to a heating element typically has high temperature insulation and never with a plug connection that depends on spring tension for the electrical connection.

But, it also appears that the ground connection overheated...I can't quite tell from the photo if the ground prong is darkened from heat, but it looks like it. This indicates a much worse problem. Possibly a ground fault, but it should have tripped your circuit protection. You do have the kettle well grounded? Do you have GFCI protection on it? The heat damage around the ground prong has me wondering if you have it wired correctly. Of course, it could be transmitted heat from the element...I don't know what the inside of that thing looks like. Sorry to say, the element is toast in my opinion. If the prongs get this hot, they can cause the spring loaded cord end connections to weaken, which will eventually result in an electrical fire.

Call up the manufacturer of that element right away and get it sorted out before using the kettle again.

Regards,
Mike Sharp,
These elements have been used in the home brewing world for almost two years and this is the first I've seen of an issue from the plug being mounted on them. Ive been using a couple myself in my home brewery for over a year now with zero issues as well. I dont think that aspect of the design was the problem.

rdcpro
02-09-2018, 09:19 AM
These elements have been used in the home brewing world for almost two years and this is the first I've seen of an issue from the plug being mounted on them. Ive been using a couple myself in my home brewery for over a year now with zero issues as well. I dont think that aspect of the design was the problem.

In this case, the OP said it was improperly cured glue that allowed water from the kettle to enter the housing, resulting in a ground fault; that's probably why the ground prong was discolored. If the panel was GFCI protected, it probably wouldn't have caused that much damage.

My point on over heating was that if the prongs get that hot, eventually the spring loaded connection will fail. I've seen it many times. Also home brewers probably don't exercise their stuff as much as a commercial 1bbl brewery, who is likely brewing multiple turns per day. I don't think the receptacle is rated for the temperature. Does it work for home brewing? Probably--I like the convenience of a disconnectable power cord. For commercial applications, I'd like to see something intended for the use.

Regards,
Mike