From the HBD Archive
From: djt2@po.CWRU.Edu (Dennis J. Templeton)
Subject: Water heater parts for an electric immersion heater?
Date: 1992-02-24 23:30:11 GMT

Hi all;

I've been toying with the possibility of building an immersion heater to
heat sparge water and boil wort outside of the kitchen. It started while
considering the Bruheat boiler, followed by my buying a 6000watt 240v (9.6
amp) "tank heater" for a few bucks at a surplus shop.

My idea is to suspend this heater (a rod-shaped loop) dipping into the
wort, (so I don't have to bore into my boiling vessel) but I'm having a
problem finding either a switch to regulate the output of this thing so I
don't have to turn it on and off by yanking the plug (conveniently located
behind the dryer).

I first considered an electric stove knob, but after looking at those on my
stove, I see that these 240v switches use a +, -, and comm connection
instead of the two-leads on my heating element, and I'm unsure now if this
will work.

Now I'm thinking about electric water heaters... These clearly have
switches for similar heating elements, and I might be able to use a
thermostatic switch too (that would be ideal). Electric water heaters are
pretty rare here, though, and I haven't found the parts, (or better a free
leaky heater to scavange them) and I remain uncertain if this will work as
planned.

Does anyone here have the slightest idea what I'm talking about? The guy
at the hardware store thinks its all pretty funny, and the only other
advice I can get here is to pay up my fire insurance before I plug it in.
Any input on how you guys might have built similar items, or sources for
the kind of switches I need would be very much appreciated.

thanks,
dennis

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