Brew Boiler Leak and Threadlocker

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.
mariowar

#1: Post by mariowar »

The brew boiler ( around the element) of my 14 month Brewtus III developed I tiny leak after my first descaling using Dezcal. I took this long because I use very soft water, between 5 to 20 ppm

I did my best trying to take the element out, and before I almost gave up, I succeeded removing it out with a wide mouth wrench while friend of mine held the boiler in place with a pair of oil pliers.

Then, I proceeded to apply Loctite Threadlocker 242 ( Blue/removable), because a I read in one thread that many Espresso shops use it for this purpose.
The problem was that I think that I took a little longer than I was supposed to to get it all the way back in and got stuck when it was still half way out..... what I nightmare. It would not move at all......

Finally, I took my machine to a local shop crossing my fingers that I did not cross threaded it... and they were able to take it out and put it back in.
The problem is that I left the threadlocker that I used in the shop as well so they would know what I used....
and they used it as well telling me that it was very similar to the one they use.....

Now, I am dealing with threadlocker smell in the water coming from the group that I can not get rid off. I have ran a about 3 gallon and the smell is still there..... Any tips?

Do you have any experience with this threadlocker ( Loctite 242)? I hope that it will not contaminate the boiler/brew water.

Thanks

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#2: Post by another_jim »

Who told you to use 242 in an espresso machine? It's NSF P1 (allowed only where there is "no possibility of food contact"). Loctite has all their sealant specs availables as on-line PDFs.

The same PDF includes removal instructions.
Jim Schulman

Espresso Vision: the perfect cup of coffee starts with understanding your roast
Sponsored by Espresso Vision
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shadowfax

#3: Post by shadowfax »

Mario, as Jim says, the Loctite 242 is bad business. Here is an article that talks about the food grade ratings on a bunch of Loctite products. I believe you want an NSF 61 rated product. According to the document, Loctite 243 meets that, but it doesn't say it in the Technical Data Sheet.

In any case, why thread locker? Food grade thread sealant (Loctite 567 is what I have) would have been better, and even that can taste pretty funny if you use too much. The locker just makes the element a PITA to get back off, and I am not even sure if it will help seal it. Does the Brewtus heating element not have a gasket?
Nicholas Lundgaard

mariowar (original poster)

#4: Post by mariowar (original poster) »

Well, my nightmare continues. Now I will have to have someone from the shop coming to my place to make sure they really take this stuff out and put the right threadlocker/sealant.

I read some threads here and coffee geek where posters use the blue threadlocker that it is on my machine.

Bottom line is, I have a machine with NO leaks ..........with a toxic threadlocker on the element.....

Nicholas, could I purchase the threadlocker you are talking about from you?

I want to have my machine fixed as soon as possible. ......
Thanks

User avatar
shadowfax

#5: Post by shadowfax »

Mario, I don't have any food safe thread locker, only the 567 thread sealant. I think it's what you need, so that's moot, but it's not something you can just buy at the hardware store (at least, not where I've looked); I don't want to buy another bottle of my own, so you'll have to borrow it rather than buy it if you want to use it. Be aware that it imparts a funky taste as well if you use too much. I still can't believe the Brewtus uses thread sealant and not a gasket to seal. Silly Italians...

By the way, who did you use to service your machine?
Nicholas Lundgaard

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#6: Post by another_jim »

I use 567 too, and it seems to work for all the NPT/BPT threads at 15 bar pressures. Moreover, it neither stinks nor glues the threads shut.

McMasters-Carr sells all the Loctite products, including the cleaner, over the web. The good news is that the smell on yours is from the solvent, so it will dissipate. Clean off the threads, flush your system, and you should be good.

I think I see how you were misled. Looking at the McMaster's catalog, it looks like they confusingly call both vibration and leak proofers "sealants." You want the no-glue, leak-proofing kind.
Jim Schulman

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CRCasey

#7: Post by CRCasey »

Now for my question of the day? Is there any reason not to use Teflon tape in this case instead of a liquid sealer?

-C
Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love-CMdT, LMWDP#244

Versalab: maker and supplier of finest espresso equipment
Sponsored by Versalab
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another_jim
Team HB

#8: Post by another_jim »

The regular tape works steam boiler fittings, but for me on pump fittings they always seem to drip. It could be the heavier tapes made for loose threads and SS steel will work. That would be less hassle than the goop.
Jim Schulman

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erics
Supporter ★

#9: Post by erics »

Why not give these guys a call first thing Friday AM - http://www.wholelattelove.com/index.cfm with your serial number in your hand and order a new gasket (probably Teflon). I'm with Nicholas - it surely has/had a gasket of some sorts there.



While the threading on most prosumer heating elements is identical - 1-1/4-11 BSPP, the methods used to seal that element to the boiler differ and MAY even differ within same make/model. If it is a Teflon gasket, the mating surfaces probably have a 1 or 2 groove labyrinth to assist with the sealing and, as Cecil says, two, PERHAPS three wraps of Teflon tape is good insurance as I have seen some mfgs do. Personally I would love to avoid using Teflon tape but . . .
Skål,

Eric S.
http://users.rcn.com/erics/
E-mail: erics at rcn dot com

mariowar (original poster)

#10: Post by mariowar (original poster) »

Thanks for the advice.

The heating element on my Brewtus has no teflon gasket at all. I already knew that before I attempt to take it out. I called WLL and the told me that.

Well, 567 is the one to get. Any idea if it is available locally in stores like ACE?