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Exhaust fan dripping

 
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cnowlan



Joined: 23 Sep 2015
Posts: 9
Location: Calgary


PostLink    Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 2:34 pm    Post subject: Exhaust fan dripping Reply with quote


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So ran my first we test of my brewery last night. I really wanted to see how the exhaust system was going to perform so I boiled hard for 1.5 hours and boiled off 2.25 of 12 gallons. I installed a large stainless hood that I got for cheep and a vortex s-line fan (340 CFM if I recall correctly) (http://www.atmosphere.com/s-lineaaaaa) on a fan control speed switch as Kal recomends. As I was getting near the end of the boil water started dripping out of the box that I built to enclose the fan. I quickly shut everything down. Water was condensing inside the fan and duct work and was dripping out of the box, comming out of the fan control speed switch (installed on the underside of the box). I cut power off at the pannel and cleaned up the mess.

Any input would be appreaciated but I was thinking I would need to drill a small hole in the bottom of the fan attach a small lenght of hose so any condensation can escape in future and not build up the way it did. I know that in Kal's instructions he suggests leaving a drip hold but the S-line is fully enclosed (plastic) so though I may be ok.

Is this a common issue? Does it mean my fan is under powered? (There wasn't any inssues with moisture until this)

I'll see if I can post some pics..
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10294
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, London Pride, Weizen, Citra DIPA, Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Kolsch


PostLink    Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is all normal. See my ventilation article here: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/ventilation?page=4
I create a drip hole and sealed the electrical box.

Kal

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cnowlan



Joined: 23 Sep 2015
Posts: 9
Location: Calgary


PostLink    Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Kal,
How did you deal with drips in your new build? It looks like in your new brewery your fan is enclosed. Is there some way for the water to come out?
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10294
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, London Pride, Weizen, Citra DIPA, Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Kolsch


PostLink    Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to run it into the trough in the hood which then has a drain in the corner that drips into the sink, but given the low amount of water involved (about a cup per hour of boiling) I simply have a small bowl under the fan that I dump at the end of the brew day.

Kal

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cnowlan



Joined: 23 Sep 2015
Posts: 9
Location: Calgary


PostLink    Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank Kal,
I've spent most of the day working on this. I've moved the fan switch so its now on the verticle side of the box, it's a little more difficult to reach but works well. I also installed a GFCI recpticle in front of it in case I have water issues in the future. As for the drain I drilled a 3/16 hole in the bottom of the fan and pounded in a 3/16 by 3/16 brass barb. I also applied some clear silicone around it just in case. I then attached a a few feet of 3/16 beer line I had laying arouind and clamped it on. The hose is now sticking out of the bottom side of the box until I figgure out what I want to do with it. Tonight I'll do another boil test and see how this works.
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cnowlan



Joined: 23 Sep 2015
Posts: 9
Location: Calgary


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I tested the system again and I was still getting lots of water leakage. My contractor spoke with a HVAC guy and he's suggesting a few changes to the system:

1) Currently the duct work is metal, he's suggesting we go with a "grey pipe" (I think some kind of PVC rated for removing steam). The idea here as I understand it is that this new pipe will make less condensation than the metal.
2) vent the exhaust stright out the side of the house, currently it travles up 1.5 feet over about 2 feet to the wall. I'm not really sure what difference this is supposed to make.
3) Change out the vent for one that will allow water to drip out. I'm not sure that the one we've already installed wont allow for water to drip out, but it's somethign that we're going to look at.

I wanted to get the experts thoughts on these options. The second one concerns me as it will mean cutting a hole in the cement vs. the wood stuco vent we've already put in.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10294
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, London Pride, Weizen, Citra DIPA, Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Kolsch


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some suggestions:

1. Make sure that any horizontal duct work is tilted down towards the fan so that any condensation that forms finds its way out there. There should be no other low spots for water to pool.
2. Tape up all seams with silver foil tape. This stuff: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/Aluminum-foil-tape

Once you only have water dripping out the fan by doing the above, wrap it all in duct insulation to keep the steam as warm as possible on its way out of the house. This stuff: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/Duct-insulation
This will lessen the amount of condensation that forms.

Kal

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cnowlan



Joined: 23 Sep 2015
Posts: 9
Location: Calgary


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Kal, we'll be working on this through the week and I'll post results when I can do another boil test this weekend.
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10294
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, London Pride, Weizen, Citra DIPA, Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Kolsch


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let us know how it goes. The trick is to not stop all condensation but to try and limit it and have whatever condenses to end up at the right spot (at the bottom of the fan where there's a drip hole).

Good luck!

Kal

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VaWineSnob



Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 89



PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An alternative is to slope your vent pipe away from the fan and let it drain to the exterior. I'm not certain, but I think the standard is 1/4" slope per 12" length of pipe. So a 4' length of pipe would be an inch higher on the fan end. Of course if you don't want the condensate dripping down the exterior of your (house, brew shed, shelter, whatever) then this solution is not recommended.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10294
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, London Pride, Weizen, Citra DIPA, Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Kolsch


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely! I should have mentioned that - if you can slop down to the outside that's much better. I would think that most basement breweries however have the exhaust above the fan because of how foundations are poured and you'd want to go out over that, but you never know.

The 1/4" slope per foot is for plumbing drainage (greywater pipes from your sink, etc). Given that this is not really going to handle that amount of water I wouldn't be too concerned about having that much slope.

Kal

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blnickel



Joined: 22 Dec 2017
Posts: 1
Location: Red Deer, AB


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cnowlan wrote:
Thank Kal,
I've spent most of the day working on this. I've moved the fan switch so its now on the verticle side of the box, it's a little more difficult to reach but works well. I also installed a GFCI recpticle in front of it in case I have water issues in the future. As for the drain I drilled a 3/16 hole in the bottom of the fan and pounded in a 3/16 by 3/16 brass barb. I also applied some clear silicone around it just in case. I then attached a a few feet of 3/16 beer line I had laying arouind and clamped it on. The hose is now sticking out of the bottom side of the box until I figgure out what I want to do with it. Tonight I'll do another boil test and see how this works.


Can you post pics of the hole you drilled and in what position on the fan? I have the s-line 6" and am having similar issues and don't want to drill into the electrical components. Thx!
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GrumpyWally



Joined: 06 Mar 2015
Posts: 58
Location: San Diego, CA

Drinking: California Common, Schwarzbier, Roggenbier, Tripwire Tripel, Dubel, 2 Brown Porters

Working on: Tripwire Tripel, California Common


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a picture of my brewery toward the end of: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30943,

If you zoom into the picture you can see the drain plug I added to the fan housing as well as the tape I put around the seam in the fan. I also did the fan box sealing that Kal recommends with one added "feature": I drilled a few really tiny holes in the bottom corner of the plastic box to provide a drain in case there is any leakage. For the first few brew sessions I would periodically put a dry paper towel against the holes to check for moisture.

Wally
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dward4421



Joined: 21 Jan 2016
Posts: 36



PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does the location of the fan change the amount of condensation drips through the fan ? Meaning placing the fan closer or farther away from the condensation hood? Would more steam get outside if it didnít pass through the fan right from the hood? I just moved and have to start all over again with my electric brewery. The ventilation is my biggest concern.
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10294
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, London Pride, Weizen, Citra DIPA, Dubbel, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Kolsch


PostLink    Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dward4421 wrote:
Does the location of the fan change the amount of condensation drips through the fan ? Meaning placing the fan closer or farther away from the condensation hood? Would more steam get outside if it didnít pass through the fan right from the hood? I just moved and have to start all over again with my electric brewery. The ventilation is my biggest concern.

Good questions - I'm not sure there's one simple answer.

The farther the fan is from the heat source, the more the steam will have cooled (and possibly condensed) so you'd likely have less water in the fan if the fan is far away from the heat source. But do you want that? That condensation is then forming in the vent pipe.

No matter where the fan is in the system, some condensation will always form. Insulating the duct will minimize condensation as it'll keep the steam hot, but it all depends on the run length, ambient temp, and so forth. You can use PVC too and use cement on any elbows and then the whole system will be sealed, but you still need to allow for condensation to escape somewhere.

I always run my fan on low for ~30 mins after the boil too to make sure that the inside of the vent line is completely dry.

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
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