Tesco kettle element has changed

Help Support The HomeBrew Forum:

Greenhorn

Regular.
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
278
Reaction score
141
Location
NULL
I'm in the process of building a boiler as per the "build a boiler" instructions.

The original Instuctible can be found here.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-Your-Own-Brewery-for-Under-100-STEP-2-/

I bought two of the Tesco budget kettles. They are no longer Value and have changed to Basics. I thought it might have just been the packaging that had changed.

But the kettle has changed and is no longer suitable for use in a boiler made in this way. The switch is not a separate sealed unit but is now just a simple two part metal contact.

This is completely exposed when the element is removed. And unless I've missed something, it's got 240v running through it.

So, I need to source a new kettle.

I'll take a look at ASDAs 5 quid offering and let you know.

Of course, if someone knows an alternative that works, let me know.
 

IainM

Syphon-sucking bag squeezer
Joined
Oct 19, 2015
Messages
2,548
Reaction score
1,357
Location
Cambridge
Cheers for that. This was on my to-do list, so you've probably saved me a few bob :thumb:

Let us know how you get on with the ASDA one.
 

Greenhorn

Regular.
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
278
Reaction score
141
Location
NULL
Well, after a quick look on youtube, it seems you can use these ones. They just need a bit of a different approach. Essentially there are a load of copper elements in the switch unit which form the auto cutout and low water cut out features. These, along with the switch can be removed, leaving only the actual power prongs for the element itself.

So you just loose the switch. Which isn't actually a bad thing as it means that you don't have any loose wires dangling around all over the shop.

I think I'll take another look at my Tesco ones and see if I can get them to work., If I end up destroying one, it's only a fiver lost.

If it all works I'll do a write up.
 

Greenhorn

Regular.
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
278
Reaction score
141
Location
NULL
Ok, I've taken one of my kettles apart and had a better look at it. It appears we're all good, with a slight mod to the original method.

So, first up, we get all the tools we're likely to need.
20160316_203636.jpg


First up, remove the two screws on the bottom of the kettle.
20160316_203820.jpg
Tesco seem to have cottoned on to the fact that their cheap kettles are being pilfered for brewing, as they've changed the screws for security Triwings, which you'll either need the appropriate bit for (No.1 size) or just drill them out as you won't need them.


Next up, pull the rear cowl loose to reveal the rear side of the element.
20160316_203948.jpg

you need to remove the three circled screws. Be careful though as the bottom right one, (with the earthing strip under it) is pretty tight and they're made of cheese. And you don't want to bugger these screws up as you'll need them. Actually, it's bottom right as you look at it in reality. In the photo it's at the top.


So, with it all apart, this is what we have.
20160316_204303.jpg

You can see that the design of the plastic housing has changed and the switch is now an integral part instead of a separate unit, on the right side of the housing. I've ringed the two housing screws which you can throw away.


20160316_212731.jpg
The three rings show the three safety features of the kettle. from the left we have the boil cutoff, low level cutoff and overheat cutoff. The only one we're concerned about is the boil cutoff (obviously). This is a simple matter of removing the bimetallic circle which is ringed. And after that, you can just progress as per the original Instructible.


Actually, thinking about it, I may also need to remove the overheat cutoff if I'm going to be producing a rolling boil for an hour or more.


If that turns out to be the case, then you can lever off the housing cover like this.
20160316_204418.jpg


Inside you'll see this.
20160316_210618.jpg

Ringed are the two remaining cutouts. The big beige actuator controls the low level cutout (i think) and the little copper arm in the other ring is actuated by another bimetallic circle which can be seen in the previous photos, via a little grey rod which will probably fall out of the case. No matter, removing this rod and the beige actuator will cancel out both of the remaining cutouts. The cover can now replaced and secured with the central brass tack which needs to be pressed in place.



So there we go. All sorted, hopefully. You could just mount the housing as the Instructible guy does, but I think I might CAD up and then 3D print an outer casing which will seal over the housing and hopefully make the whole thing a little safer.

If it works out, I'll be happy to take orders.:smile:
 

Greenhorn

Regular.
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
278
Reaction score
141
Location
NULL
Right, further work.

I removed the switch elements from the main case.
20160318_133602.jpg

I then bandsawed the arm which had held the switch off from the main case....
20160318_133659.jpg

...and sanded and filed the case smooth.
20160318_134017.jpg


Which is where I am now.

I'm part way through modelling up a cover for the whole case which will fit over it, with an O ring sealing against the FV, handily attached to the case by some convenient holes for self tappers which are molded into the case. I might even just reuse the screws from the kettle base. :whistle: The cover will include a shroud over where the mains plug enters, hopefully making the whole thing much safer regarding boil overs and the general dampness associated with brewing overall.
 

Greenhorn

Regular.
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
278
Reaction score
141
Location
NULL
I've now finished the protective covers for the kettle elements on the boiler. Well, one of them anyway..

So, here it is being built on the 3D printer at work.
View attachment 5163

And here it is finished and glued together.
View attachment 5164

You can see the groove on the edge for a rubber O ring to fit in and hopefully seal against the boiler.
View attachment 5165

For reference, here is the element as it is.
View attachment 5166

You can see that with the plug attached it does look a little dodgy, and I'd certainly not want to have a boil over!
View attachment 5167


And here's the new cover fitted.
View attachment 5168

It all went together brilliantly, much a much better fit than I hoped. Apart from the curved edge where it meets the boiler. I'd shaped it beautifully and offered up to a random bit of boiler side it fitted like a glove. Unfortunately it seems that the element fitting itself is flat and this has distorted the plastic side of the boiler. I'll adjust the 3D model to fit and might just end up siliconing this one as there is a small but annoying gap, which I don't think will be filled by the O ring.

View attachment 5169
But with the plug in place, it looks much better. Overall, a success.
 

Attachments

Spoon

Regular.
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
286
Reaction score
94
Location
NULL
The Morrisons kettle I used looks identical to those pics.

My cheap and cheerful solution to a case was to use these, put a holesaw through the FRONT cover and sandwich it between the parts of the element. The back is too thick to do this unless you happen to have the right length machine screws to hand. Then a hole in the back to poke the indicator bulb through and another for the cable.

http://www.screwfix.com/p/round-4-terminal-junction-box-with-knockouts-grey-60mm/59471

See the background of this pic (took me 3 attempts to figure out the right combination of holesaw and doing it in the front rather than back, hence the one on my HLT is still bare!

Bobs yer aunties live in lover.

2016-03-20_03-42-46 by thisisnotaspoon, on Flickr
 

Klemay83

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2016
Messages
199
Reaction score
54
Location
Kilmarnock
I've just butchered my two kettles. One is a newer tesco one which I found lying around work ,which wasnt getting used.The other is one I've had stashed away from a few years ago. The housing and switch elements are identical but the actual heating coils are slightly different.
 

mothman

New Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2020
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
I don't suppose you are selling these external covers at all are you? I'm using these and I've never been happy about the lack of cover on them.


I've now finished the protective covers for the kettle elements on the boiler. Well, one of them anyway..

So, here it is being built on the 3D printer at work.
View attachment 5163

And here it is finished and glued together.
View attachment 5164

You can see the groove on the edge for a rubber O ring to fit in and hopefully seal against the boiler.
View attachment 5165

For reference, here is the element as it is.
View attachment 5166

You can see that with the plug attached it does look a little dodgy, and I'd certainly not want to have a boil over!
View attachment 5167


And here's the new cover fitted.
View attachment 5168

It all went together brilliantly, much a much better fit than I hoped. Apart from the curved edge where it meets the boiler. I'd shaped it beautifully and offered up to a random bit of boiler side it fitted like a glove. Unfortunately it seems that the element fitting itself is flat and this has distorted the plastic side of the boiler. I'll adjust the 3D model to fit and might just end up siliconing this one as there is a small but annoying gap, which I don't think will be filled by the O ring.

View attachment 5169
But with the plug in place, it looks much better. Overall, a success.
 

lancon

Regular.
Joined
Nov 6, 2012
Messages
203
Reaction score
51
It is good, what make of bucket is it that you have used. I used Essencia but can't seem to get those anymore. Without wishing to be picky, but for safety, a hot connector notch in the cover socket would be a good addition?
 
Top