Klarstein Electrical Meltdown

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Hi all,
When using my klarstein kettle last night it started smoking and giving off an acrid smell. Brew day over so I emptied the water out, unscrewed the base and had a look inside. It appears that the wiring to/from the timer has melted, I assume this means it has overheated by overloading? I wasn't using it any differently to usual, it hadn't been stored differently, hadn't been dropped etc. I don't even use the timer, it's in the permanently on position. It's about 3 years old and it gets used on average once a month. I take it that is the end for that particular kettle...

I would be really appreciative if someone with some electrical expertise could suggest why this would have happened? Anything I could do to help prevent this happening again? The reason being that I often use the kettle on a timer to pre-heat my sparge water and it's worrying if this could have caused a fire if I hadn't been there to quickly shut it off.

I took a picture of the wiring.
IMG_20220401_231911.jpg
 
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Wow that's a worry chris, i often leave mine on overnight when I mash but i may have to rethink. I have no electrical expertise at all but I have had a similiar problem with the klarstein, but from the other end. The plug got so hot it melted the adaptor that I had it plugged into.
 
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Wow that's a worry chris, i often leave mine on overnight when I mash but i may have to rethink. I have no electrical expertise at all but I have had a similiar problem with the klarstein, but from the other end. The plug got so hot it melted the adaptor that I had it plugged into.
Like you I do an overnight mash but I use a separate insulated mash tun so the kettle isn't on all night but is on a timer to heat the sparge water about an hour before I get up. Either way things like this start to make you distrust electrical items. I hope somebody can help put my mind at rest.
 
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Your good old fashioned bog standard loose connection. It causes the terminal to heat up and arc resulting in the burning you see. If you don’t use the timer just join the wires together with a crimp if you have the ability to do or else get a 15a ceramic connector for it.
There will be others that comment saying it’s a death trap etc but I’m a spark for 30+ years and it’s my opinion that it’s common and nothing to get too worried about if you repair it properly.
 
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I had exactly the same problem on a Burco on the thermostat spade connector. The wire burnt though. I bought a new thermostat and spade connectors and repaired. Works perfectly.
However I did buy a second Burco before I decided to try and fix it.
 
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As @Donegal john says, the cause of the overheating is a poor connection via that spade connector on the timer; and the smoke will have been the heat-shrink tubing round it burning off.
The trouble with spade connectors is that they don't have a huge contact area to start with, so if they get a bit oxidised over time then the current becomes focussed into a smaller and smaller area, causing heating and further oxidisation until things reach a tipping point and the heat goes through the roof.
I would further agree with him that there's unlikely to have been any permanent damage, so if you don't use the timer then you could just cut the two wires shown in your photo and join them together with e.g. one of these blocks:

Screenshot 2022-04-02 at 14.25.29.png

Equally if you do want to leave the option open to use the timer at some future point then you might be able to clean up the spade connector with fine emery paper and then solder to it.

Be careful to disconnect everything completely from the mains first and insulate exposed connections afterwards etc, obvs!
 
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This looks as if it might have overheated through the spade terminal making poor contact. Spade terminals can be unreliable and are often too loose. It might be worth getting the terminal replaced and the connections cleaned and then trying again.
Your good old fashioned bog standard loose connection. It causes the terminal to heat up and arc resulting in the burning you see. If you don’t use the timer just join the wires together with a crimp if you have the ability to do or else get a 15a ceramic connector for it.
There will be others that comment saying it’s a death trap etc but I’m a spark for 30+ years and it’s my opinion that it’s common and nothing to get too worried about if you repair it properly.
I had exactly the same problem on a Burco on the thermostat spade connector. The wire burnt though. I bought a new thermostat and spade connectors and repaired. Works perfectly.
However I did buy a second Burco before I decided to try and fix it.
As @Donegal john says, the cause of the overheating is a poor connection via that spade connector on the timer; and the smoke will have been the heat-shrink tubing round it burning off.
The trouble with spade connectors is that they don't have a huge contact area to start with, so if they get a bit oxidised over time then the current becomes focussed into a smaller and smaller area, causing heating and further oxidisation until things reach a tipping point and the heat goes through the roof.
I would further agree with him that there's unlikely to have been any permanent damage, so if you don't use the timer then you could just cut the two wires shown in your photo and join them together with e.g. one of these blocks:

View attachment 65865
Equally if you do want to leave the option open to use the timer at some future point then you might be able to clean up the spade connector with fine emery paper and then solder to it.

Be careful to disconnect everything completely from the mains first and insulate exposed connections afterwards etc, obvs!
Thank you all for your advice and I feel reassured that it was perhaps not as bad as it first seemed. I will have a look at repairing but I might get a replacement to be on the safe side if I'm not sure.
 
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I think you're wise to be cautious about having appliances like this running on timers when you're not around to keep an eye on them; although if they are on a non flammable surface you should be reasonably safe.
To give you peace of mind it might be worth putting a battery operated smoke detector nearby.
 

the baron

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I totally agree with the verdicts given they are not death traps but do need to be treat with the respect that electricity should be given.
I am not a electrician but have years of experience with spade connectors as I had a garage for years and the amount of issues that were as simple as putting on new connectors and of the correct rating as they are different colours for a reason.
Maybe it has pricked a few consciences that we should all check our connections at least once a year seen as we are dealing mainly with 2 to 3 kilowatt heaters etc which pull a lot of power
 

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Hi all,
When using my klarstein kettle last night it started smoking and giving off an acrid smell. Brew day over so I emptied the water out, unscrewed the base and had a look inside. It appears that the wiring to/from the timer has melted, I assume this means it has overheated by overloading? I wasn't using it any differently to usual, it hadn't been stored differently, hadn't been dropped etc. I don't even use the timer, it's in the permanently on position. It's about 3 years old and it gets used on average once a month. I take it that is the end for that particular kettle...

I would be really appreciative if someone with some electrical expertise could suggest why this would have happened? Anything I could do to help prevent this happening again? The reason being that I often use the kettle on a timer to pre-heat my sparge water and it's worrying if this could have caused a fire if I hadn't been there to quickly shut it off.

I took a picture of the wiring.
View attachment 65849
Which ever road you go down ensure the connection is tight if you use the terminal block check tightness of connections after a couple of uses if you replace the spade connector use the appropriate tooling to ensure good contact with the cable. This may sound basic but I have seen some sights in my past years.
 

the baron

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I agree Lee its bad enough they use them on car electrics at 12v never mind 240v
 
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