Element housing? leak

I’ve been trouble shooting a leaking element housing (a Brewpi one) for a couple of days.

Its assembled correctly, 2500W Camco element - used the correct Qmax punch to put the hole in the kettle. Hole is smooth and clean.

now… the actual housing is filling up… it is not leaking between the housing and the kettle as though the O-Ring is failing…

Its like the actual element is leaking! Has anyone heard of this?

Bit of thread tape on the element and try again? Or am I missing something?

how did you assemble the element?
looking from outside in you should have the heating element outer screw, the silicone ring, then the kettle wall, then the inner ring. the inner ring should be the one you are screwing in, the outer ring should remain steady or you will deform the silicone ring. can you upload a picture?

Hey @korneel I could upload a photo, but it will be pretty boring. It is assembled exactly as you say.

And… as tempting as it is to grab the element housing and turn to tighten everything, I have tightened the inner locknut as much as I can with an adjustable wrench. So… I am pretty confident it isn’t O-Ring warping. Maybe Ive over-tightened and warped the O-ring?

no there is no way you can warp that unless you destroyed the thread… also, the kettle wall is usually pretty thin… what kind of kettle did you use?

can you take a picture and use paint or something to show us where the leakage is occuring?

Did you use teflon plumbers tape on the threads of the element?


@sunadmn : why would you need to use plumbers tape? that is not a watertight connection… it’s the silicone ring that creates the watertight connection…

Unfortunately the threads can’t be that tight and you have to have tolerances (+/-) and those tolerances are a bit greater on items such as this. Fluid will flow right down the threads in most cases and that very well could be the cause of your problem. Pull it apart use the teflon tape and test it again, I’d almost bet the leak goes away. The silicone gasket does create a seal, but that seal is between the vessel and the housing not the housing and the element.


Yep, use plenty of teflon tape between element en locknut. I have seen this before, the leak is through the threads, between element and locknut.

I better solution would be to have a gasket between element and enclosure, but I have not been able to find a thin enough gasket. Thinnest I can get is 2mm and there is already very little leftover thread.

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I can indeed visualise this now.

As the housing is filling up, this must be the issue. I had wrongly assumed that the tape probably wasn’t necessary, but I can understand now.

I wouldn’t worry about the inner gasket @Elco As you say there isn’t much room there… You would need to have a much thinner external o ring too, but this May compromise its effectiveness!!!

I’m trying to understand why it would help with leaking. there is no o-ring on the inside of the kettle, so it would not end up being a watertight connection, the tape does not change anything there.
the only thing you would accomplish is a watertight fit between the thread and the locknut. given enough pressure, the water would still go behind the locknut into the housing… it’s the o-ring on the back that is creating the watertight seal and the locknut inside that pushes it against the back.
this was as far as i know, also the reason why you don’t need an o-ring on the inside…

Elco, can you clarify?

So please disregard my comments :slight_smile: I was thinking of my own assembly and I’m using the high amperage elements… they have a different housing and use a slightly different connection technique… so back to plumbers tape it is :slight_smile:

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Korneel, you have 3-phase heating elements. There is no way they leak with the gasket on the outside.
This discussion is about our stainless steel element enclosure.

Please see the diagram below to discuss the stainless enclosure.

The biggest potential for leaking is through the thread.
Another might be between locknut and kettle wall.

I have drawn two possible solutions:

  • use lots of teflon tape, also in the undercut after the thread.
  • put an extra gasket between element and inside of the enclosure. This however can be difficult, because the thread is pretty short and I have not been able to find a gasket under 2mm.

In our first tests, the elements did not have much of an undercut and the O-ring sealed on both the element and the kettle and enclosure. I think the new elements have more undercut, which is why they do not seal well with the O-ring.

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