to weld or not to weld....

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to weld or not to weld....

Postby bredmakr » Fri Jan 31, 2003 3:27 am

that is the question I am faced with right now. I want to add a number of gizmos to my new system that require a number of ports on my M/L tun and HLT. How good are the weldless connections? Do they stand the test of time? The welded connections sure do look nice, but how is it done? Are they brazed, TIG, MIG? Is this something that I can do myself with no experience and renting a welder? I'd like to hear from both sides. Those who use weldless fittings, do you like them or are they too much work? Those who have welded fittings, is it a do it your self project or something for a professional? For both sides, what is going to be the most cost effective method of installing ports?
Thanks - Mike
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Not to weld

Postby jeff » Fri Jan 31, 2003 4:14 am

I just assembled a system using SS turkey friers. I opted for weldless even though I own a MIG welder. It may be that I just don't have enough experience, but welding thin metal is very difficult. I did a few tests using tri-mix shielding gas and SS wire; very easy to blow right through the metal. Even on the lowest settings, I had to be very careful not to dwell in one area for even a split second.

On the other hand, weldless has some advantages if it can accomodate your application. It is fast, cheap and easy to install. Very little pressure on the O-ring will result in a seal. I found all my parts a Lowe's; three fittings and valves for under $20. This included the barbs for connecting the vinyl tubing. I am pretty happy with how it turned out.
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Weldless

Postby jayhawk » Fri Jan 31, 2003 8:05 am

Can you please explain how weldless connections work? Thanks.
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Weldless parts

Postby jeff » Fri Jan 31, 2003 8:56 am

I have discovered that, for the most part, weldless valve assemblies are adaptations of plumbing fittings that are typically used for other applications. In particular, the fitting used to seal against the vessel wall is a MIP to compression adaptor. This adaptor is designed in such a way that an O-ring can be used in combination with it to seal against the outside of the vessel; the compression nut is used to tighten against the inside of the vessel.

I used a 1/2" MIP to 3/8" compression adaptor. The ferrule on the compression side must be removed to allow the compression nut to tighten far enough to contact the inside of the vessel wall. The hole size drilled in the vessel is 9/16", and I used a #207 O-ring made out of a material called Viton. Viton can take heat up to 450F.

Any 1/2" FIP valve or fitting can then be used to connect to the MIP to compression adaptor. I used a 1/2" ball valve, and then connected a 3/8" barb to the other side to receive the tubing. You can see a picture here:

http://www.beertools.com/html/articles.php?view=112
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Correction: #206 O-ring fits better

Postby jeff » Fri Jan 31, 2003 2:12 pm

I checked the dimensions of the #207 O-ring and a #206 should fit better; it has a 1/2" ID. You might try both and see which you prefer.
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I like....

Postby bredmakr » Sun Feb 02, 2003 4:32 pm

thanks for the specifics. it helps with trips to the hardware store.
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