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Fixing multiple pin holes in kettle

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  • Fixing multiple pin holes in kettle

    I have a 100 gallon kettle that I just spent a bunch of time and money outfitting this kettle for all my electric heating elements and valves. I filled it about a 1/4 full and to my dismay, I had multiple pinholes seeping out water! This kettle is old and thick and really hard to drill holes into, so was not expecting pinholes. I tried to silver solder but the solder just balled up and rolled off, not sure if maybe I just didn't get enough flux in the hole? Was thinking of trying to drill them out a bit and try again? Anyone have to deal with something similar

  • #2
    Hire a welder who knows his TIG welding and stainless steel. I've patched some sloppy welds with the vessel full of water. You can see the leaks to fix them and the water means no back-gassing is needed.

    I would look carefully at the kettle. I'm not feeling good about an SS alloy that develops pinholes unless they are in the welds--in which case it's a crappy weld job.
    Last edited by TGTimm; 10-26-2020, 03:20 PM.
    Timm Turrentine

    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.


    • #3
      Sounds like someone has got a bad case of halide corrosion there (chlorine, iodophors, bromine compounds used as sterilants or in the case of chlorine, used for improved cleaning but without adequate causticity - perhaps even used the stuff with acid). Only answer is to attempt to weld up the stainless, using inert gas when welding, leak check and then passivate properly. And finally, never let chlorine anywhere near the stainless again.