rims heater

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the rims heater is made from stock 304 ss 1 1/2" pipe fittings ordered from mcmaster-carr.  the main body is a 12" nipple with a tee at each end.  the right hand tee has a 1" bushing for the heater element and a 1/2" bushing for the outlet plumbing.  the left end has a plug and a 1/2" bushing for the inlet plumbing. 

why a tee and not an elbow on the inlet end?  the heater needs to be thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis.  the plug makes it easier to get a clear shot through the heater tube with a brush.

the thermocouple is an omega cf-000-j-2-60-1 mounted in a fitting i made from 1/2" copper pipe, two male sweat adapters, and an 1/8" brass pipe nipple filed down to fit the curvature of the pipe. 

heating is provided by a 230 volt, 4500 low watt density stainless steel hot water heater element obtained from one of the local home supply stores.  it is operating on 115 vac supplied through a 10 amp solid state relay (ssr) in the controller and provides approximately 1000 watts.

the red-handled valve on the left is used to dump liquid from the heater and the blue-handled valve on the right controls the output flow the the mash tun return manifold.

the protective cap over the heater wiring was made from a 2" pvc coupling, a 2" elbow, a 2" to 3/4" reducing bushing (a standard 3/4" electrical cable clamp can be force threaded into the bushing), and a large hose clamp.  one end of the coupling had to be enlarged to fit over the end of the stainless steel tee.  i clamped the coupling (a difficult task) in my drill press vice and drilled one end very slowly with a 2" hole saw to a depth of about 1/2".  the drilled end was then slotted with a hacksaw to allow it to compress when the hose clamp is tightened.

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