How to install an ULWD heating element so it is leak free

(Note: BREWHA has improved its Water Heating Element design as of August, 2014 so these instructions are no longer used for new purchases as the element comes fully assembled. Read about the new elements here.) 

Attaching a heating element to a tri-clamp fitting and having it be leak-free is not difficult, but here are a few suggestions that might help you get it done right the first time.

 

How to install an electric heating element in beer brew kettle

 

 

1. These are the tools that will be needed. Scissors, utitliy knife, screwdriver and 1" coupling (comes with all BREWHA vessels). The following are provided with all BREWHA ULWD Electric Heating Elements: non-toxic teflon sealant (NSF approved for potable water), teflon plumbers tape, and Camco tool for tightening elements.

How to install an electric heating element in beer brew kettle 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Apply non-toxic teflon sealant around the heating element thread. Wipe off any excess. 

 

How to install an electric heating element in beer brew kettle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Apply non-toxic teflon sealant to the threads inside the tri-clamp coupling. Wipe off any excess.

 

How to install an electric heating element in beer brew kettle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Apply the teflon plumbers tape to the threads on the heating element. Wrap it in a clockwise direction so that when the coupling is tightened to the heating element, the tightening action tightens the tape as well. About 8 turns are recommended but you may want to do a few less or more to alter how quickly the coupling tightens on the element; more tape will cause it to tighten with less turns, less tape will cause it to move further along the thread before tightening.

 

 

Using ULWD electric heating element to brew beer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Install the rubber or silicone gasket (you may need to attach the element to the coupling first to see how much room you have between the element base and the coupling—you want there to be 1/16" or 1/8" gap). This gasket will seal the box on the inside so no water can enter the box from the element hole (either coming through the threads or being splashed on it from the outside). 

 

How to install an electric heating element in beer brew kettle

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. If the heating element is not leak free but you cannot turn it any tighter, you can allow a bit more room for tightening by cutting the rubber gasket in half using scissors or a utility knife. (You can also add more teflon plumber's tape to the thread which will cause it to tighten earlier.)

 

 

How to install an electric heating element in beer brew kettle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Insert the heating element through the box.

 

 

 

 

Using ULWD electric heating element to brew beer

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Thread on the heating element needs to be far enough through the box to allow sufficient turns for the coupling to seal tightly and the box should be snug up against the coupling so it doesn't turn freely. For adjusting the distance to tighten threads, see step 6 above. 

 

How to install an electric heating element in beer brew kettle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Attach the tri-clamp coupling to the element thread.

 

Camco 5500W electric element tool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10a. Tighten the element to the coupling by using a Camco heating element tool or a 1.5" socket. 

 

 

How to install an electric heating element in beer brew kettle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10b. Inserting a screwdriver through the Camco element tool, will give more torque for tightening. The easiest way to hold the tri-clamp coupling secure while you tighten the element it is by installing the coupling on your vessel.

 

How to ULWD electric heating element to brew beer

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Attach wires to the element. The green wire is to the ground in the box. It doesn't matter which post the two remaining wires attach to.

 

How to ULWD electric heating element to brew beer

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. Attach the cover plat to the box. Ensure the foam seal is even and outside all portions of the cap. This ensures a water resistant seal against water that may splash on the box. Prior to plugging the element in, fill your vessel to the brim with water and check for leaks. It is also a good idea to monitor for leaks both inside and outside the box throughout the first few brews. Unplug the element whenever looking inside the box to ensure the wires are not live.