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Old 01-17-2010, 08:16 AM
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Processor wiring question

My processor, an Appleseed variant, quit heating yesterday while running distilation. I heard the heating element working for a few minutes before I left, but when I returned a few hours later, the reactor temp had only reached 60 degrees.

If a put a jumper over the thermostat, and the heating element still doesn't work, the thermostat would be eliminate as the problem right? The next step after work is to check voltage. If I read voltage between the red and black wires going into the heating element, that would probably mean the element died on me? If there is no voltage, then what should I get of the red and black wires coming off the breaker? Maybe the breaker tripped, although I cycled it a few times. The 115 voltage off the other breaker is still good running the pumps.
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Rushmore X View Post
My processor, an Appleseed variant, quit heating yesterday while running distilation. I heard the heating element working for a few minutes before I left, but when I returned a few hours later, the reactor temp had only reached 60 degrees.

If a put a jumper over the thermostat, and the heating element still doesn't work, the thermostat would be eliminate as the problem right? The next step after work is to check voltage. If I read voltage between the red and black wires going into the heating element, that would probably mean the element died on me? If there is no voltage, then what should I get of the red and black wires coming off the breaker? Maybe the breaker tripped, although I cycled it a few times. The 115 voltage off the other breaker is still good running the pumps.
I can't believe you left the thing running while you where away.....................

If you have 240 volts at the heating element then the element is bad.

One problem with using a submerged heating element for distillation is you can get a "bubble" of Methanol vapor surrounding the element, This will allow the element to reach a temp that will MELT the casing of the element and cause a "burn through" that will destroy it. This is why I use an external heat source. Just to much chance of a fire..........
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:27 AM
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One problem with using a submerged heating element for distillation is you can get a "bubble" of Methanol vapor surrounding the element, This will allow the element to reach a temp that will MELT the casing of the element and cause a "burn through" that will destroy it. This is why I use an external heat source. Just to much chance of a fire..........
Never thought about that happening, thanks. Something to think about. Thought as long as the element stayed submerged in circulating fluid would be ok (had the pump on).
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:38 AM
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If element was burnt or not it will still show voltage to it. Shut off breaker and use a continuity check across the element leads. This will tell you for sure if element has been burned through. I have a digital meter with a beeping continuity setting, so if in this case if heard a beep across the element leeds i would know there was a complete path for electricity through the element, if not then its fried. If you do not have a meter with that function then next test would be a ohm reading, but you would need to know the aprox resistance through a heating element. Another way is to hook a powered light in series with the element circuit...if light comes on element is fine.
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:39 AM
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It happened to a friend of mine. He was just lucky that his processor was outside, because his did start a fire! That is when I changed mine over to indirect heating.
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:51 AM
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Hey Fabman!!

Hey Fabman...did you ever see my note i left on your back door? I ventured out one say determined to hunt ya down and found out you settled in a new place. Was Last year around beginning of summer sometime, don't recall exact date now. Anyway I flew right past the No Trespassing signs thinking if you were home the least ya would do is open fire letting me that was the case hehehe. Looked like you hadn't been there that long yet, sorry i missed you. BTW looks like a fine place there Mike
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 24Seven View Post
If element was burnt or not it will still show voltage to it. Shut off breaker and use a continuity check across the element leads. This will tell you for sure if element has been burned through. I have a digital meter with a beeping continuity setting, so if in this case if heard a beep across the element leeds i would know there was a complete path for electricity through the element, if not then its fried. If you do not have a meter with that function then next test would be a ohm reading, but you would need to know the aprox resistance through a heating element. Another way is to hook a powered light in series with the element circuit...if light comes on element is fine.
If there is voltage at the element terminals, and NO heat, the element IS fried.

If you are going to use a light in series it has to be rated at 240 volts.
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:56 AM
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Hey Fabman...did you ever see my note i left on your back door? I ventured out one say determined to hunt ya down and found out you settled in a new place. Was Last year around beginning of summer sometime, don't recall exact date now. Anyway I flew right past the No Trespassing signs thinking if you were home the least ya would do is open fire letting me that was the case hehehe. Looked like you hadn't been there that long yet, sorry i missed you. BTW looks like a fine place there Mike
Mike from Heppner? I'll be damned! I never found any note..................
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:47 PM
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yes Mike from Heppner
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:10 PM
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If there is voltage at the element terminals, and NO heat, the element IS fried.
This is true Don

If you are going to use a light in series it has to be rated at 240 volts.[/quote]
Don did not your original still use a water heater element rated originally for 220 and ran it off 110? if not i must have misunderstood you there.
I have burned out several elements for my veggie oil heating tank as i run 4 elements in that bad boy for 15 minute recovery times. I have used the continuity check method on them and then when i go get a new element will take the old one with me and they check it with a home made 110 volt light cord with one wire lead broken to the light with battery charger type clamps on the leads for checking elements and other electrical items. Seemed to work great....sometimes you can't see if the element is bad by visual inspection. I buy all my elements at the local appliance and electric store here.
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:14 PM
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I have made around 500 gallons so far. I wonder if since bio is a solvent, it ate away at the element until it failed? Anyway will check it out after wook...
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:18 PM
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I have made around 500 gallons so far. I wonder if since bio is a solvent, it ate away at the element until it failed? Anyway will check it out after wook...
I don't think the bio would hurt the element. Most problems seem to occur when people try and recover the Methanol using a submerged element.
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:20 PM
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yes Mike from Heppner
I sent an email to your old email address with my new phone #, and my email address.
Don.
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:20 PM
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I'll have to look at your pic's again of your recovery setup...
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:24 PM
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I'll have to look at your pic's again of your recovery setup...
Won't do you any good...........The pics are of my old setup. I use a completely different system now.
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:24 PM
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