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Shakedown run on new PDA-1

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  • phillip_jefferies
    Hi all, I did a shakedown run with water only on my new PDA-1 tonight. On two elements (a guess of 1500W as the makers of the boiler wont answer my emails -
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 6, 2007
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      Hi all,

      I did a shakedown run with water only on my new PDA-1 tonight.

      On two elements (a guess of 1500W as the makers of the boiler wont
      answer my emails - take a hint and dont buy anything from
      www.oldesettlers.com)
      I am getting a little pressure from the small hole at the top of the
      still, with a bit of moisture in. Its not very hot though. the
      distillate is coming out in spurts, ie nothing for 10 seconds then a
      fast stream, then nothing again for ten seconds or so except a couple
      of drips, almost like a pressure is building and pushing the
      distillate out. This was with the needle valve full open.
      I did think that maybe there wasnt enough water pressure on the coil,
      but with the tap on full the water exiting the coil was barely warm.

      With only one element on there is no discharge from the top vent, but
      the product is still coming in spurts. It may be that I have two
      1000W elements? The elements are constantly on, so it is not surge
      boiling.

      I dont have town water, only tank water with my own pump. I do have
      the equivalent to mains pressure though (I get a good shower and my
      bath fills very quickly).

      A very well made still, with a lot of attention to build quality. I
      am very happy with it.

      As a total newcomer to this hobby I dont know what the signs mean,
      any help appreciated. I have had a search of the forums and no luck
      yet.

      Phil.
    • Harry
      ... the ... a ... couple ... coil, ... warm. ... but ... Sounds very like too much power to me. The PDA-1 usually operates on ~750w. If you don t know the
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 6, 2007
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        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "phillip_jefferies"
        <phillip_jefferies@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi all,
        >
        > I did a shakedown run with water only on my new PDA-1 tonight.
        >
        > On two elements (a guess of 1500W as the makers of the boiler wont
        > answer my emails - take a hint and dont buy anything from
        > www.oldesettlers.com)
        > I am getting a little pressure from the small hole at the top of
        the
        > still, with a bit of moisture in. Its not very hot though. the
        > distillate is coming out in spurts, ie nothing for 10 seconds then
        a
        > fast stream, then nothing again for ten seconds or so except a
        couple
        > of drips, almost like a pressure is building and pushing the
        > distillate out. This was with the needle valve full open.
        > I did think that maybe there wasnt enough water pressure on the
        coil,
        > but with the tap on full the water exiting the coil was barely
        warm.
        >
        > With only one element on there is no discharge from the top vent,
        but
        > the product is still coming in spurts. It may be that I have two
        > 1000W elements? The elements are constantly on, so it is not surge
        > boiling.
        >
        > I dont have town water, only tank water with my own pump. I do have
        > the equivalent to mains pressure though (I get a good shower and my
        > bath fills very quickly).
        >
        > A very well made still, with a lot of attention to build quality. I
        > am very happy with it.
        >
        > As a total newcomer to this hobby I dont know what the signs mean,
        > any help appreciated. I have had a search of the forums and no luck
        > yet.
        >
        > Phil.
        >


        Sounds very like too much power to me. The PDA-1 usually operates
        on ~750w. If you don't know the rating of the element/s and can't
        get into them to see (usually stamped on them somewhere), then get a
        multimeter and measure the resistance of the element. Then use
        Ohm's Law to figure out the wattage.
        http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Bill_Bowden/ohmslaw.htm

        If you have any queries about the PDA-1 I'm sure Mike Nixon or Mike
        McCaw from the Amphora Society will be only too glad to help.
        They're the makers and long-time distillers members.

        Slainte!
        regards Harry
      • phillip_jefferies
        Hi Harry, thanks for the link to the calculator. I ll get my multimeter on the boiler in the morning. I wont bother the Mikes about it until I know the
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 6, 2007
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          Hi Harry, thanks for the link to the calculator. I'll get my multimeter
          on the boiler in the morning. I wont bother the Mikes about it until I
          know the wattage of the boilers elements as I may have more watts than
          I reckoned for.

          Phil.
        • tyler_97355
          It could be too much power like Harry said, or you could have put too much water in there. If you fill the boiler too full, it can boil up into the column and
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 6, 2007
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            It could be too much power like Harry said, or you could have put
            too much water in there. If you fill the boiler too full, it can
            boil up into the column and "puke" out in spurts. Thats happened to
            me a few times. I would say, make sure that the boiler is only 1/2 -
            2/3 full. If that doesn't help. Try reducing the power.

            Just my two cents.

            -Tyler




            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "phillip_jefferies"
            <phillip_jefferies@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi all,
            >
            > I did a shakedown run with water only on my new PDA-1 tonight.
            >
            > On two elements (a guess of 1500W as the makers of the boiler wont
            > answer my emails - take a hint and dont buy anything from
            > www.oldesettlers.com)
            > I am getting a little pressure from the small hole at the top of
            the
            > still, with a bit of moisture in. Its not very hot though. the
            > distillate is coming out in spurts, ie nothing for 10 seconds then
            a
            > fast stream, then nothing again for ten seconds or so except a
            couple
            > of drips, almost like a pressure is building and pushing the
            > distillate out. This was with the needle valve full open.
            > I did think that maybe there wasnt enough water pressure on the
            coil,
            > but with the tap on full the water exiting the coil was barely
            warm.
            >
            > With only one element on there is no discharge from the top vent,
            but
            > the product is still coming in spurts. It may be that I have two
            > 1000W elements? The elements are constantly on, so it is not surge
            > boiling.
            >
            > I dont have town water, only tank water with my own pump. I do have
            > the equivalent to mains pressure though (I get a good shower and my
            > bath fills very quickly).
            >
            > A very well made still, with a lot of attention to build quality. I
            > am very happy with it.
            >
            > As a total newcomer to this hobby I dont know what the signs mean,
            > any help appreciated. I have had a search of the forums and no luck
            > yet.
            >
            > Phil.
            >
          • phillip_jefferies
            Hi, The elements are 1kw each. I will have to get a dimmer/controller or replace one of the elements with a 750w. I ran 20 litres of turbo today, as soon as
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 6, 2007
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              Hi,

              The elements are 1kw each. I will have to get a dimmer/controller or
              replace one of the elements with a 750w.

              I ran 20 litres of turbo today, as soon as it boiled I turned one
              element off. I opened the reflux valve wide for a stripping run and
              got one litre in 45 minutes. It all came through at 88C except for
              200ml at the start which was 82C. When I tested it it was 75%
              alcohol, with no reflux running. I think that for a stripping run a
              little more power is required. I was still getting a little product
              evaporating through the top vent as well.
              I shut down at 90C having collected 1.5 litres (in 1hr 20 min)as I am
              intending to add the remaining 5 litres of wash and run again. Is
              this ok to do?
              Is my high wine a bit too high? :>)

              The exiting coolant was about 10C warmer than incoming, the high run
              temp has me baffled though, is it because of my 1kw input?

              Next run is not going to be a turbo, & its time to buy another
              fermenter!

              Phil.

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tyler_97355" <kd7enm@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > It could be too much power like Harry said, or you could have put
              > too much water in there. If you fill the boiler too full, it can
              > boil up into the column and "puke" out in spurts. Thats happened to
              > me a few times. I would say, make sure that the boiler is only 1/2 -

              > 2/3 full. If that doesn't help. Try reducing the power.
              >
              > Just my two cents.
              >
              > -Tyler
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "phillip_jefferies"
              > <phillip_jefferies@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Hi all,
              > >
              > > I did a shakedown run with water only on my new PDA-1 tonight.
              > >
              > > On two elements (a guess of 1500W as the makers of the boiler
              wont
              > > answer my emails - take a hint and dont buy anything from
              > > www.oldesettlers.com)
              > > I am getting a little pressure from the small hole at the top of
              > the
              > > still, with a bit of moisture in. Its not very hot though. the
              > > distillate is coming out in spurts, ie nothing for 10 seconds
              then
              > a
              > > fast stream, then nothing again for ten seconds or so except a
              > couple
              > > of drips, almost like a pressure is building and pushing the
              > > distillate out. This was with the needle valve full open.
              > > I did think that maybe there wasnt enough water pressure on the
              > coil,
              > > but with the tap on full the water exiting the coil was barely
              > warm.
              > >
              > > With only one element on there is no discharge from the top vent,
              > but
              > > the product is still coming in spurts. It may be that I have two
              > > 1000W elements? The elements are constantly on, so it is not surge
              > > boiling.
              > >
              > > I dont have town water, only tank water with my own pump. I do
              have
              > > the equivalent to mains pressure though (I get a good shower and
              my
              > > bath fills very quickly).
              > >
              > > A very well made still, with a lot of attention to build quality.
              I
              > > am very happy with it.
              > >
              > > As a total newcomer to this hobby I dont know what the signs mean,
              > > any help appreciated. I have had a search of the forums and no
              luck
              > > yet.
              > >
              > > Phil.
              > >
              >
            • abbababbaccc
              You shouldn t have any spurts running at 1kW. One possibility is that the packing is touching the the downcomer pipe in LM reservoir. When the packing is wet
              Message 6 of 7 , Jul 7, 2007
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                You shouldn't have any spurts running at 1kW. One possibility is
                that the packing is touching the the downcomer pipe in LM reservoir.
                When the packing is wet it may cause flooding and spurting. Moving
                the packing 1-2cm downwards should fix the problem.

                Cheers, Riku

                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "phillip_jefferies"
                <phillip_jefferies@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                > Hi,
                >
                > The elements are 1kw each. I will have to get a dimmer/controller
                or
                > replace one of the elements with a 750w.
                >
                > I ran 20 litres of turbo today, as soon as it boiled I turned one
                > element off. I opened the reflux valve wide for a stripping run
                and
                > got one litre in 45 minutes. It all came through at 88C except
                for
                > 200ml at the start which was 82C. When I tested it it was 75%
                > alcohol, with no reflux running. I think that for a stripping run
                a
                > little more power is required. I was still getting a little
                product
                > evaporating through the top vent as well.
                > I shut down at 90C having collected 1.5 litres (in 1hr 20 min)as I
                am
                > intending to add the remaining 5 litres of wash and run again. Is
                > this ok to do?
                > Is my high wine a bit too high? :>)
                >
                > The exiting coolant was about 10C warmer than incoming, the high
                run
                > temp has me baffled though, is it because of my 1kw input?
                >
                > Next run is not going to be a turbo, & its time to buy another
                > fermenter!
                >
                > Phil.
                >
              • phillip_jefferies
                Thanks Riku, that hit the nail on the head! The packing was touching the LM downcomer, moved it down to its proper position and the temp and spurt problems
                Message 7 of 7 , Jul 8, 2007
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                  Thanks Riku, that hit the nail on the head!

                  The packing was touching the LM downcomer, moved it down to its
                  proper position and the temp and spurt problems have gone away.

                  Phil.


                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc"
                  <abbababbaccc@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > You shouldn't have any spurts running at 1kW. One possibility is
                  > that the packing is touching the the downcomer pipe in LM
                  reservoir.
                  > When the packing is wet it may cause flooding and spurting. Moving
                  > the packing 1-2cm downwards should fix the problem.
                  >
                  > Cheers, Riku
                  >
                  > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "phillip_jefferies"
                  > <phillip_jefferies@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Hi,
                  > >
                  > > The elements are 1kw each. I will have to get a
                  dimmer/controller
                  > or
                  > > replace one of the elements with a 750w.
                  > >
                  > > I ran 20 litres of turbo today, as soon as it boiled I turned one
                  > > element off. I opened the reflux valve wide for a stripping run
                  > and
                  > > got one litre in 45 minutes. It all came through at 88C except
                  > for
                  > > 200ml at the start which was 82C. When I tested it it was 75%
                  > > alcohol, with no reflux running. I think that for a stripping
                  run
                  > a
                  > > little more power is required. I was still getting a little
                  > product
                  > > evaporating through the top vent as well.
                  > > I shut down at 90C having collected 1.5 litres (in 1hr 20 min)as
                  I
                  > am
                  > > intending to add the remaining 5 litres of wash and run again.
                  Is
                  > > this ok to do?
                  > > Is my high wine a bit too high? :>)
                  > >
                  > > The exiting coolant was about 10C warmer than incoming, the high
                  > run
                  > > temp has me baffled though, is it because of my 1kw input?
                  > >
                  > > Next run is not going to be a turbo, & its time to buy another
                  > > fermenter!
                  > >
                  > > Phil.
                  > >
                  >
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