I went with a 6 gallon water heater that is designed as point of use for recreational vehicles. Based on my prior experience with a 5 gallon bucket steamer I built and operated for a year or two and factor in the insulation and airtight connections accept for the outlet, i can run this approximately 24 hours before having to refill it once my steaming chamber is up to temp.
As with most of the stuff i do not put together clean teks such as starting off with a materials list and links where to find the items and etc but i will be detailed enough that it is easily comprehended and i will say that all the items can be purchased from Amazon. I did buy the water heater from a local brick and mortar store. As a home owner i had most of tools laying around and as with anything, the proper tool for the job will make the task more easily accomplished. Ever did electrical work with a butter knife and razor blade? I have!!!
The unmodified unit.
First thing I did was to remove the top cover to access the anode rod. This is probably the most difficult part so I wanted it out of the way first. It requires a seriously agressive approach to loosen the nut on a nee water heater so I couldnt imagine a old water heater.
Anyway they are standard across all make and models requiring a 1/2" drive 6 point 1 1/16" socket with a long ratchet or breaker bar. I have a telescopic ratchet that extends out to 17" which barley got the job done. Do not even try using a pipe wrench.....
After the lid was off there were 3 layers of insulation to dig through. To get down to the nut.
While the lid is off I placed a line on the side of the water heater that was parallel to the hole then measured from the edge of the water heater, rough measurement I wasnt worried about being dead center. I placed the lid back on and went to drill a hole using a hole saw but them realized i had a wood bit so i used my teeth instead......actually i used my wire cutters and nipped away at it.
Next I removed the lid again to install a 3/4" male NPT 1/4" female NPT bushing. I used some pipe dope which is entirley optional for this application. I used a pipe wrench to tighten.
Next I installed the most important component, a adjustable pressure release valve that can be set from 0 to 100 psi. I used pipe dope on threads and used pipe wrench to tighten.
Next i cut a few slits in the layers of insulation and placed them down over the pressure release component and put the lid back on. As you can see when i said a rough measurement i meant it. No where close to be on center and in hinesite I didnt need such a large hole.
Next using a pipe wrench I removed the TPS valve on the water heater. I think it is design to open up when the pressure exceeds 50 psi but it opens up when the temp reaches 212°F also so that's why I'm not usung it and installed the valve on top of the unit. I pluged it using a 3/4" male NPT and used pipe dope and deep well socket.
Next i placed a standard garden hose cap on the cold or supply inlet. Used pipe dope and a pipe wrench.
On the hot or outlet, I used a 3/4" female to 1/2" hose barb. I did not use pipe dope because this will be removed to fill my water heater. This is where the steam will exit the heater and be piped into my pasteurizing vessel.
Next I need to swap out the element. I only have a 15 amp circuit available to run this off of and the current element pulls approximately 16.5 amps. To determine amps and not always exact as there are other variables in some applications and not relevant here so no need to discuss, but you devide the watts by the voltage so 2000 watt element pulls 16.66 amps. Im installing a 1500 watt element that pulls only 12.5 amps.
I remove the cover and pull out the insulation and pop off the plastic cover that goes over the element and thermostat.
Now that i have all the electrical components uncovered I will bypass the thermostat by simply removing the wires. I now have a black and 1 white lead.
Next i loosen the terminal screws on the element and remove the wires then with the element wrench I loosen the element and then pull it out.
Now i install the 1500 watt element and using the two black and white leads from the picture above, i attach the wires to the element.
Next i install the power cord. I went with shielded romex 14/2 WG for a clean look and durability.
I run the leads through the power in on the heater and them push the end in and move it back and forth and up and down to lock it into place. I give it a little tug to make sure it is seated correctly.
Next i attach the white leads together, black leads together and then attach the ground to the grounding post.
Next i throw some wire nuts on and tape them up, tuck them away, install the plastic cover, put the insulation back in and attach the outter cover back to the unit.
Next i install the 3 prong and tape it up. It is not very clean looking as I was hoping locking ring would fit down into the plug but it didnt so i had to use tape damn it.
Finally i attach the hose to the outlet usung a cable tie(i cant find my worm gear clamps) and on the other end a quick connect.
Steamer complete and mess cleaned up.
I will finish this thread up over the next few days with my updated bulk sub tek.
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Edited by Microbe, 28 February 2018 - 05:53 PM.