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Element Failure During Brewing

 
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willisar



Joined: 23 Nov 2015
Posts: 4



PostLink    Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:14 am    Post subject: Element Failure During Brewing Reply with quote


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I need some help troubleshooting a failure of both the boil and HLT elements. I've been running my system for about 1.5 years now without issue, but suddenly my HLT/Boil elements stopped working today during the mash. I have power to the panel, and both pumps will run, but neither element will fire. I can hear the relays contact, but the voltage reads a constant 0.00, even with the pumps running.

I can also hear the power relay click when I turn on the key. Everything works except the elements. I read through the troubleshooting section but didn't find anything that really helps. I can't imagine it's either of the SS relays because neither side works.

Any ideas?
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9979
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi!

Which panel are you running? Was it pre-built for you? Built from a kit? Or did you source your own parts?

First guess is that your second HOT line is somehow disconnected. You're getting 120V from the NEUTRAL and the first HOT line to get 120V to most things, but the second HOT line isn't available so you don't have 240V to the heating elements.

Kal

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willisar



Joined: 23 Nov 2015
Posts: 4



PostLink    Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was built from a kit. I went through and probed out everything and noticed that there is only like 10 volts coming through the relay for some reason. Could I have a bad power relay? Maybe I will first check for corrosion on the second HOT line (all lines going to the power relay for that matter) and then swap the HLT relay with the power relay as a last resort. I think that I can save this batch of beer with those options.

Thanks for responding Kal!
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9979
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may have a connection that wasn't properly tightened that corroded over time due to heat. Pull the wires out near the problem spot and confirm/retighten.

Relays don't tend to go bad. The coil may burn out if you connect it incorrectly the first time, but that's about it. If you hear it opening/closing when you apply 120V across the coil then the contacts should work fine.

Kal

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willisar



Joined: 23 Nov 2015
Posts: 4



PostLink    Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As usual, you were right. I took the plug apart first, because of your last comment and one of the 120V contacts was completely corroded. The other ones were fine so I went to the local electrical supply house and replaced it. Everything works perfect now and I saved my batch of Mint Rosemary Saison! Thank you so much Kal!

-Shayne
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9979
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad to hear it worked out Shayne!

Kal

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LGarby



Joined: 18 May 2014
Posts: 68



PostLink    Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

willisar wrote:
As usual, you were right. I took the plug apart first, because of your last comment and one of the 120V contacts was completely corroded. The other ones were fine so I went to the local electrical supply house and replaced it. Everything works perfect now and I saved my batch of Mint Rosemary Saison! Thank you so much Kal!

-Shayne


Shayne, was the corrosion in the female side of the main power cord? Where do you store your brew system when not i use? I am planning on brewing outside and storing the system in my garage. I live in norcal so it doesn't rain much and is not very humid but I am still a bit concerned about humidity and corrosion or various components.

Does anyone else store their system in a non temp/humidity controlled environment and have you run into any issues with corrosion?

-Loren
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mjo2125



Joined: 27 Feb 2017
Posts: 198
Location: Dayton, OH

Drinking: FuP Helles Bock

Working on: TBD


PostLink    Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently replaced my van's tail lights and the auto parts store gave me a small packet of special lubricant/light grease - they told me to smear some of the that on the light bulb contacts to prevent corrosion at the electrical connection. I wonder if something like that would help in a non-temp controlled environment?
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