Camco 1500w

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Ferthy
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Camco 1500w

Post by Ferthy » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:20 am

I recieved my 5 gallon keg, my SD heat control kit has been ordered. I found a 1500w heat element by camco on Amazon ( https://www.amazon.com/Camco-02853-Scre ... B000KKVZUO" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow ). I have seen a couple mixed reviews on some brewing sites some very positive others, have reported rusting at the base of the element. I'm wondering if others have used this or have have something better to use.

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by bluefish_dist » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:35 am

I would not use that one. Camco makes elements with stainless steel bases which don't rust. They are made specific for brewing. I would look for one of those instead.
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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by ShineRunner » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:41 am

It will rust. Does that matter? Maybe. Mine is on a triclamp setup and I pull it out after every run and wipe it down with a rag. Not really a big deal that being said, I'd find one with a stainless base. Not sure if they make them for 1500w elements, but they do for bigger ones. Why do you want only a 1500W element?

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by Danespirit » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:03 pm

It looks like it's galvanized mild steel to me...and if that's the case don't use it..!
There are better alternatives out there in stainless steel.
I got a stainless steel 2 KW element on E-bay for just about 12 $..food for thought.
Several members in here use a Camco element that is 5,5 KW all stainless.
I assume they make stainless steel element with a lower wattage, too...?
However, why not use the element so many members in here trust..?
The power input is governed by your controller....not by the wattage of the element.
Using a 5.5 KW element, will ensure a fast heat up time... :idea:

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by joeymac » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:04 pm

I bought a "5500W Camco Stainless Ripple Element (#02962/02963/02964)" from amazon and the element is 804 stainless black alloy, but the base is NOT. Most of the Camco elements (even if they say "stainless") have zinc or galvanized coated threaded bases... the bases will eventually rust. As mentioned, the good news is that if your heater uses a triclamp for easy removal, it can be rinsed clean and wiped dry immediately after boiling. It should last a long long time. And at the end of the day, the element or it's base should not be exposed to high ABV vapor anyways.

If you're just dying to use the Camco heaters with stainless bases, the 5500W ripple element (#02965) has an all stainless steel base and is pretty easy to find if you hunt through various brew stores rather than Amazon. And the good news is that if you plug any 5500W 240V element into a 120V supply it will still produce nearly 1400W at 11.5 amps. Sounds like about exactly what you're looking for in the original post
Last edited by joeymac on Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by Ferthy » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:18 pm

Well with my current electric usage I would only have enough capacity for something in the 1500w range. With a 5 gallon keg I'm looking at 3.5 maybe 4 gallon charges. A 1500w element should get things up to temp in about an hour or less. I'm just trying to find one that would fit in the bottom of a 5 gallon keg with a 9.25 inch diameter. I have seen some specific stainless steel elements in the 1500w range but those are 9 inches long. I'[m just worried that the tip of the element might be a bit to close to the edge of the keg. Though perhaps with the right weld spud or tri clamp kit that would allow it to fit just right in there.

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by joeymac » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:44 pm

You might consider a 1500-1800w hotplate or induction plate if your boiler has a flat bottom.

I ran an 8 gallon kettle with 5-6 gallon charges on an 1800w hotplate for a couple years and it wasn't too bad for heat up time. I'd turn the heat on and then do something for 40+ minutes like cleaning out ferment buckets or set up other equipment for the run... or reading HD.
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So evidently, God wants us to drink our whiskeys single barrel and our Bourbons neat.

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by Ferthy » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:59 pm

Joeymac my keg does not have a flat bottom. I did a bit more looking and think these two look more promising

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B018S4AP ... 6PSATTYSF8" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

https://www.brewhardware.com/product_p/ ... _short.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by joeymac » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:53 pm

If you're feeling gutsy, you could always find two outlets near each other that are on different legs of your panel's power supply and make a two-legged extension cord to draw 240v power using both outlets. :shock:

You should be able to draw up to about 4000w pulling less than 17A from each circuit as long you know there's no other power being drawn from those circuits elsewhere in the house. This is marginally safe if you know what you're doing, are confident your house wiring is proper, and each opposing circuit is on a 20A breaker. Also, if you do manage to pop one of the circuit breakers, you gotta know that your 240V circuit is still half live.
"Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks" - God (Isaiah 5:22)
So evidently, God wants us to drink our whiskeys single barrel and our Bourbons neat.

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by Ferthy » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:59 pm

I don't feel gutsy enougj to do that. And an element that length wouldn't fit into my boiler.

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by still_stirrin » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:51 pm

Ferthy,

The low watt design (fold-back element) says it is 8" long, which should fit into your 5 gallon (20-liter) keg. But, the threads are 1" NPT (according to the advertisement), more likely 1" NPS (which is what most heater elements are state side). The fold-back design requires a larger opening to insert the element into than the thread insert is, so you would need an adapter to install it.

If you use a 2" TC ferrule on your keg and a element adapter fitting (see Still Dragon), then you should be able to screw in the element into the adapter and clamp it to the ferrule on your keg. This is a safe method of integrating this solution for your boiler. Not the cheapest, but definitely safer.

Oh, and make sure you locate the element as low as you can in your keg. That'll keep it fully "wetted" under all running conditions. You don't want to dry fire an electric element.
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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by rad14701 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:37 pm

You should be able to bend the element to fit if it isn't too much too big... Members here claim to have made fold-backs from straight elements so they are fairly forgiving...

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by Ferthy » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:39 pm

Thanks for the advice still_stirrin ad Rad. I looked at the fold back element on amazon and it said that the threads are NPSM 1 inch. The straight skinny one is NPSL. Anymore advice or tips are welcome as I head to the drawing boards. I will look into the SD kit as well or something like it.

Also on a side note I would prefer to have a tc ferrule welded to the bottom of the keg and not soldered for the element. When I ask someone to do this do I ask them to preform a sanitary weld? Or just say weld this thing on for me? Excuse my lack of welding knowledge.

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by still_stirrin » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:59 pm

Ferthy wrote:I would prefer to have a tc ferrule welded to the bottom of the keg and not soldered for the element. When I ask someone to do this do I ask them to preform a sanitary weld? Or just say weld this thing on for me? Excuse my lack of welding knowledge.
The welder I used was licensed for commercial sanitary welds, like used in chemical plants, dairy processing, and beverage producers. Because he was licensed, he was more expensive. But, the welds are clean and very solid (no inclusions).

If you go to your local weld shop, that can do TiG welding, just have them use purge gas (argon gas) to reduce or eliminate sugaring. It will keep your welds cleaner.

Also, if you reshape the ferrule to fit like a saddle around the tank radius, it will make the weld easier and cleaner (quicker) for the welder.

I think the best way to weld the ferrule on is to weld it before drilling a hole. That way, you can drill the keg and clean up grind the inside of the ferrule when you get it home....more your labor instead of the expensive welder's. If you have a plasma cutter, that would speed the hole-making process too. But be prepared to grind the joint to clean it up.
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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by bluefish_dist » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:51 pm

The welder I use is a sanitary welder and he will not use a plasma. He drills all the holes with a hole saw. Claims that you don't get all the slag out after the plasma cutting.
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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by SaltyStaves » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:31 pm

Ferthy wrote:Well with my current electric usage I would only have enough capacity for something in the 1500w range.
http://www.ebrewsupply.com/304-stainles ... s-element/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

I have had the 4500W for a year now. It has a stainless steel base.
As far as I know, Camco only make stainless base models in 4500 and 5500W.

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by sdj755 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:29 am

I have the Camco 1500w. It does indeed rust very quickly. I use it for a sous vide cooker so it doesn't matter so much there. If I were building, I would use one like this.

https://www.amazon.com/Dernord-Foldback ... 018S4AP5Y/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

I also have one of these, and so far no rust...
Last edited by sdj755 on Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by sdj755 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:32 am

You can also use a 240v on 120v circuit. bear in mind that you wil only get 1/4 the power out of it. eg. that 4500w 240v is the same as 1125w on 120v...

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by Ferthy » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:05 am

The only problem with a 240v element is they are just a bit to big for my 5 gallon keg that has a 9.25 inch diameter. If they were a little shorter I might chance bending one to fit but right now with no experience I would rather not. The home brewing element seems to be pretty legit. All stainless, and home brew forums have talked them up pretty well some devulged that they use them for distilling and have had no problems with rust or corrosion. With a 2 inch ferrule and cover kit it would fit nicely.

Also my wife of all people found a welder through a friend at work. He is also is a distiller so we are supposed to talk sometime soon.

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by Ferthy » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:18 am

Salty the home brew supply element is very similar to the on you posted. They have a long one that is 12 inches as well as a short that is 9 inches both at 1500w. If I could I would get the 12 inch one but I still think it would be a hair to big to fit even with a tc ferrule so I'm goin with the short one.

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by Danespirit » Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:35 am

still_stirrin wrote:
Ferthy wrote:I would prefer to have a tc ferrule welded to the bottom of the keg and not soldered for the element. When I ask someone to do this do I ask them to preform a sanitary weld? Or just say weld this thing on for me? Excuse my lack of welding knowledge.
The welder I used was licensed for commercial sanitary welds, like used in chemical plants, dairy processing, and beverage producers. Because he was licensed, he was more expensive. But, the welds are clean and very solid (no inclusions).

If you go to your local weld shop, that can do TiG welding, just have them use purge gas (argon gas) to reduce or eliminate sugaring. It will keep your welds cleaner.

Also, if you reshape the ferrule to fit like a saddle around the tank radius, it will make the weld easier and cleaner (quicker) for the welder.

I think the best way to weld the ferrule on is to weld it before drilling a hole. That way, you can drill the keg and clean up grind the inside of the ferrule when you get it home....more your labor instead of the expensive welder's. If you have a plasma cutter, that would speed the hole-making process too. But be prepared to grind the joint to clean it up.
ss
+1
An experienced blacksmith/welder, will either weld both sides (just run the back of weld 1 over with the torch) or use purging gas if he can't run them over with the torch.
Either way, will result in no black slag on the back side of the welding....that means no need for grinding or cleaning the weld up.
Inclusions, undercuts, root defects, or even holes are totally unacceptable...
Pre-shaping the workpieces prior to welding will spare the welder a lot of time and you a lot of $$$$..
Edit:
Btw...you were worried about the small distance from the element to the side of the boiler.
You shouldn't worry. As long as there is liquid between the element and the wall of the boiler, nothing will go wrong there.
Be aware of the height the element is mounted, too. It will be inconvenient to have an element let's say half way up on the keg..you'll have to fill a lot of water in there to do a spirit run. :!:

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by Ferthy » Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:46 am

Danespirit I was actually worried about the space between the element and keg so that is good to know. The one I plan to get will fit with plenty of room. Now that you said this though I have noticed that one of the 5500w brewing elements made by camco is about 9.75 inches from threads to element tip and should fit just as well. I think when it come time to replace the element I will give one of those s try.

As for the welder I have yet to hear from him. I don't believe he is a commercial welder but he has been reported to be the best welder alive. My back up plan is to use some Harris SB #8, some SB flux the acidic kind, and a tc ferrule specifically made for the use of solder from brewhardware.com. Which I might do anyways since I would prefer to do as much work in house, it is a pride thing. Also I was told that this welder runs several stills. And I get the impression that he does this more commercially and let us say off the books. Which is fine if that is what he wants to do. But I'm new to all this and the legal ramifications are always on the back of my mind. I wouldn't mind keeping my distance from something that might draw attention to what I'm doing. So right now my gut and paranoia are telling me to proceed with caution. So we will see.

Also, I do plan on putting the element as low as possible in the keg. Thanks for the reminder.

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by Danespirit » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:07 am

Ahh...best welder alive..? He'll have to put up with me first. :mrgreen: :lol:
Silver soldering is an option, too.
The only culprit is to keep things fitting tightly together. If you have a gap somewhere, soldering it will be a PITA.
Also, keep in mind the parts have to be clean...and I mean so clean you could operate with the damned things..
There is no such thing as too much flux...so be generous with it.
Please post some pictures of the final result.

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by Ferthy » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:06 am

I'll pass the word on to him. As for the soldering thanks for the advice. I remember seeing a video where the guy sanded everything good. After that he said don't touch with your fingers becuase of oil and dirt that might be on them. He said if you touch the area needing to be soldered then clean it all again and re sand it. I als start a new thread in the boiler forum about flaring and dimpling my keg from the outside before I solder it.


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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by joeymac » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:12 pm

For copper or brass, you can get away with roughing smoething up and generous flux. If you're doing Stainless with liquid flux and silver bearing solder... yes, it has to be SUPER SUPER clean.
"Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks" - God (Isaiah 5:22)
So evidently, God wants us to drink our whiskeys single barrel and our Bourbons neat.

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by Ferthy » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:16 pm

I got they stay clean liquid flux and Harris stay brite 8. I plan to sand the heck out of the keg near they hole and the ferrule itself. Do you suggest any sort of cleaner like paint stripper or acetone before I add the flux?


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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by StillerBoy » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:17 pm

Ferthy wrote:Do you suggest any sort of cleaner like paint stripper or acetone before I add the flux
I wouldn't use paint stripper.. use a lacquer paint thinner or acetone.. also clean the piece of solder end..

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by joeymac » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:15 pm

Do it outside, not in the garage. That flux is like pure hydrochloric acid or something and you'll be coughing for like 10 minutes if you breathe the fumes while soldering. It is NOTHING like the smell of regular plumbing flux paste.
"Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks" - God (Isaiah 5:22)
So evidently, God wants us to drink our whiskeys single barrel and our Bourbons neat.

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by Danespirit » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:24 pm

StillerBoy wrote:
Ferthy wrote:Do you suggest any sort of cleaner like paint stripper or acetone before I add the flux
I wouldn't use paint stripper.. use a lacquer paint thinner or acetone.. also clean the piece of solder end..

Mars
+1 Mars

Anything with oils /Turpentine or the like will ruin the job (especially with stainless steel).
Benzine, as it is used in a household for stain removing, is also a good choice..DO NOT use plain Gasoline.
Stainless steel will form an oxidized layer on the surface very fast.
The reaction (as all chemical reactions), will accelerate when heat is applied.
So it's important to keep some flux at hand when you start heating and re-flux before you hit it with the solder.
Use indirect heat, so you don't burn the flux...and get the surrounding area heated thoroughly.
Big things like a keg, will draw the heat unbelievable fast and thereby cool the soldering area.
I found two good videos on Youtube, that shows the correct way to do it.
Think I've linked to them before, unfortunately I can't remember the thread.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv87yVkyJR0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIkvP55UbxM" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

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Re: Camco 1500w

Post by Ferthy » Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:58 pm

Okay. Thanks Danespirit for the info and YouTube vids. Still waiting on the hardware to should be arriving this next week.

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