Function of a surge breaker

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Birrofilo
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Function of a surge breaker

Post by Birrofilo » Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:44 am

It is not clear to me what a surge breaker is for.

I am considering buying a distilling parrot, and I would like to buy a "married" parrot, to be connected to the final condenser through the 2" tri-clamp connection.

If I buy such a parrot, I will dismount my present "surge breaker", which is like a funnel but with a hole on one side (hole which I presume is the actual "surge breaker") and mount the parrot in its stead.

With that modification, my still will not any more have a "surge breaker". I see that some parrots (even "divorced" parrots) have some kind of a surge breaker, and some (even "married" parrots) don't have it.

My question is: what is this thing for? Is it necessary for safety? Or, which are the working conditions which make it necessary for safety?

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Re: Function of a surge breaker

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:55 am

Here's a hint. If you don't use one, buy more than one hydrometer.
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Re: Function of a surge breaker

Post by Birrofilo » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:31 pm

ShineonCrazyDiamond wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:55 am
Here's a hint. If you don't use one, buy more than one hydrometer.
I suppose your answer refers to the use of a parrot. I agree that it saves alcoholmeters in the long run, although I still haven't broken one :shh:

My question is about surge breakers. I want to buy a parrot, but I don't know why/if I have to maintain the surge breaker.

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Yummyrum
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Re: Function of a surge breaker

Post by Yummyrum » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:52 pm

It vents the PC output to the atmosphere.
There will be small movements of air in and out of the end of the PC .
If you have a married parrot , you must use one otherwise the alc meter will bounce around in the parrot as the air movement sucks and blows on the liquid in the parrot .

You do not need one with a seperate parrot as the RC will already be open to atmosphere.

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Demy
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Re: Function of a surge breaker

Post by Demy » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:54 pm

I highly recommend a separate parrot, (open in atmosphire)

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Re: Function of a surge breaker

Post by Birrofilo » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:14 pm

In answer to myself, I think I am seeing part of the picture.

For a married parrot, the problem is that the elbow "pushes" the vapours down the final condenser. Even though those vapours are condensed, I think I understand that some a pressure is created at the end of the final condenser.
If the parrot is married to the final condenser, this pressure arrives to the cylinder containing the alcohol and the alcoholmeter, making it bubble irregularly.

If that's the case, I think it can be solved by linking the parrot to the condenser without gasket, or with a not-tight gasket, e.g. 4 segments of 45° each leaving half the connection open to the air, while ensuring a firm clamping, that should de-couple the pressure in the condenser from the parrot. But it might piss some alcohol from the clamp :think:

Still, I don't understand why certain unmarried parrots have a surge breaker or something that appears to have that function. An unmarried parrot is always decoupled from the condenser.

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Re: Function of a surge breaker

Post by LWTCS » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:04 pm

Seems like you've got it.
It is a vent.
Imagine turning a fuel can completely upside down with no vent on the fuel can.
The discharge would glug,glug,glug if you see my meaning?

The vent allows for a more uniform flow / discharge.
Any hydraulic effect that is influenced by pressure and the alcohol meter will not provide a very accurate reading,,,,not that it does otherwise...
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Re: Function of a surge breaker

Post by Birrofilo » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:38 pm

thanks @LWTCS

I don't know if I got it right. For a married parrot, I think to get it. The alcohol which is forced to overflow the parrot by the insertion of the hydrometer will, in turn, create a depression in the condenser. A hole in the lower part of the condenser will allow air to enter and alcohol to exit, just like a hole in the upper part of a vial allows the air to enter and the medicine to fall in the glass from the lower part of the vial (for those who are old enough to remember how glass vials work).

Let's now consider this "divorced" parrot:



ASIN: B087GD213V

It seems to have a surge breaker near the collecting funnel, but as the system is opened to the air in any case through the funnel, what's the purpose of this? For a divorced parrot, the alcoholmeter should float just like it floats inside a typical graduate cylinder.

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