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Re: using a standard water heater - plastic inside

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  • jamesonbeam1
    Three words - YES,YES,YES Tiretz.... If you do a search here or Advanced Distillers on plastic or ABS, or PVC, you will see many discussions on how any
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 2, 2008
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      Three words - YES,YES,YES Tiretz....

      If you do a search here or Advanced Distillers on plastic or ABS, or
      PVC, you will see many discussions on how any plastics in the vapor
      path of a still will cause leeching of chemicals into the distillate
      (a very bad thing).

      The only materials that should come in contact with the distilled
      vapors are Copper (1st choice), Stainless steel (2nd choice) or
      Aluminum (3rd choice). Materials in columns or lyne armes are copper
      or stainless steel (sometimes brass fittings - but the lead must be
      leeched out first),

      Vino es Veritas,
      Jim.



      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tiretz" <tiretz@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi All,
      >
      > I am planning on using a water heater for a pot still. It runs
      from a
      > standard bbq gas bottle. It is the sort that has a central column
      > (flu) filled with fins to help transfer the heat to the
      > water.
      >
      > The outlet at the top as a curved plastic pipe that goes into the
      tank
      > and so that it takes water from the very top. This little sucker
      > looks like it is going to be hard to get out.
      >
      > Does anyone think this plastic pipe will be a bad thing to leave
      in?
      >
      >
      > regards
      >
      > Tiretz
      >
    • bbornais
      I cannot tell you, unless I have more information. The hot water take off is usually on the side of the tank. The only things on the top should be your gas
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 2, 2008
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        I cannot tell you, unless I have more information. The hot water take
        off is usually on the side of the tank. The only things on the top
        should be your gas vent and the sacrificial anode.

        On the tanks with the pipe on the side, there is a bent plastic piece
        on the inside that points to the top of the inside of the tank.

        I would tend to say that it is probably not a big concern, as you
        will just block the ¾ fitting with a ball valve anyways, and have
        your take off through the sacrificial anode hole, once it is removed.

        I took mine out, however:

        1. Remove the top of the tank cover, and the insulation under it to
        access the base of the fittings. They are all threaded in using 3/4in
        pipe threads.

        2. grab the metal part of the fitting with a pipe wrench and remove
        the water take off line.

        3. Replace it with a ¾ male 1in nipple, made of brass, and put a ball
        valve on it.

        4. While the lid and insulation is off, remove the sacrificial anode,
        and test the stillhead connection now

        Hope this helps.

        I would not recommend using a hot water tank as a pot still, as you
        will never be able to get inside to clean it out properly.

        The one exception is if you have a converted keg pot still, and use
        it to for wash runs, then do only spirit runs in your water tank
        boiler.

        Good Luck,

        Bryan.
        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tiretz" <tiretz@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi All,
        >
        > I am planning on using a water heater for a pot still. It runs
        from a
        > standard bbq gas bottle. It is the sort that has a central column
        > (flu) filled with fins to help transfer the heat to the
        > water.
        >
        > The outlet at the top as a curved plastic pipe that goes into the
        tank
        > and so that it takes water from the very top. This little sucker
        > looks like it is going to be hard to get out.
        >
        > Does anyone think this plastic pipe will be a bad thing to leave
        in?
        >
        >
        > regards
        >
        > Tiretz
        >
      • Harry
        ... ball ... ...........If the brass is machined parts, you may also want to treat it to remove any surface lead. There s instructions somewhere around here.
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 2, 2008
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          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "bbornais" <bbornais@...> wrote:
          >
          > 3. Replace it with a ¾ male 1in nipple, made of brass, and put a
          ball
          > valve on it.


          ...........If the brass is machined parts, you may also want to treat
          it to remove any surface lead. There's instructions somewhere around
          here. Do a search.

          > I would not recommend using a hot water tank as a pot still, as you
          > will never be able to get inside to clean it out properly.

          ...........I agree. If it's a new tank, it's not so bad. You can
          flush it and drain it after each run. But if it's a used tank, there
          WILL BE a buildup of mud in the bottom. No water supply is perfectly
          clean and many carry micron sized particles of clay, dirt, rust,
          giardia & other gunk that settles over time. I had occasion to
          backflush a 200 litre tank recently that had been in service for 6
          years. I got 5 litres of evil-smelling solids outta that thing. I
          wasn't intending to re-commission it as a still, and just as well.
          Can you imagine what that crap would do to a booze run? The mind (and
          stomach) boggles!


          Slainte!
          regards Harry
        • bbornais
          I would think that it could be cleaned out with care. The inside of the tank is glass lined, and so a vinegar solution and/or sodium carbonate solution and/or
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 2, 2008
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            I would think that it could be cleaned out with care. The inside of
            the tank is glass lined, and so a vinegar solution and/or sodium
            carbonate solution and/or PBW (powdered brewery wash), should clean
            it.

            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "bbornais" <bbornais@> wrote:
            > >
            > > 3. Replace it with a ¾ male 1in nipple, made of brass, and put a
            > ball
            > > valve on it.
            >
            >
            > ...........If the brass is machined parts, you may also want to
            treat
            > it to remove any surface lead. There's instructions somewhere
            around
            > here. Do a search.
            >
            > > I would not recommend using a hot water tank as a pot still, as
            you
            > > will never be able to get inside to clean it out properly.
            >
            > ...........I agree. If it's a new tank, it's not so bad. You can
            > flush it and drain it after each run. But if it's a used tank,
            there
            > WILL BE a buildup of mud in the bottom. No water supply is
            perfectly
            > clean and many carry micron sized particles of clay, dirt, rust,
            > giardia & other gunk that settles over time. I had occasion to
            > backflush a 200 litre tank recently that had been in service for 6
            > years. I got 5 litres of evil-smelling solids outta that thing. I
            > wasn't intending to re-commission it as a still, and just as well.
            > Can you imagine what that crap would do to a booze run? The mind
            (and
            > stomach) boggles!
            >
            >
            > Slainte!
            > regards Harry
            >
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