Following on from my original How To on the Tesco Value kettle the design of the value kettle sold by Tesco has changed.
I recently had to replace the elements in my boiler and so that seemed like the perfect opportunity to revamp the How To.
If you read the first guide there was a bit of wiring required, but the good news with the new kettle is the wiring is restricted to the power supply - thankyou Tesco!!
So, this guide is all about how to butcher a perfectly good and cheap (£6 at the time of writing) kettle and use the kettle element and power lead in your home brew boiler.
Phillips screw driver
Needle nose pliers
Soldering Iron & Solder
electrical insulating tape** DISCLAIMER ** Electricity and water are a DANGEROUS mix - Please understand a few important points - I - and the Forum - will NOT be held responsible if you electrocute yourself!!!
Take your time, take care, never leave your boiler unattended when it's on - if it boils over it could create a dangerous short!!!!
Now, onto the build
First, remove the two screws at the base of the handle :
Then remove the two screws at the top of the handle :
Then pull the base of the handle away from the body of the kettle, and it should unclip, removing the outer part of the handle and the lid.
Undo the two screws securing the switch:
Then insert a screwdriver between the switch and the housing, give a little twist and remove the switch.
The wires for the little light pass through the switch base, I just cut through the easiest part of the switch base with some wire cutters, being careful not to catch the wire
then manoeuvre the wires through the cuts - this took a little bit of bending of the plastic rather than placing any stress on the thin wires.
With the switch assembly all out of the way, remove the 3 screws holding the element to its socket
pop the silicone seal out of the kettle body, and that's all the useful bits removed from the carcass of the kettle.
The frame that held the switch (and has a bi-metalic disc that is meant to switch the kettle off once it reaches the boil) can be removed with a hacksaw.
Now, onto the base
Lever the plastic cover off - it's just held on by two little clips - it snaps off pretty easy
Pull off the wires
Open up the connectors and get them on to the element socket
Now, it's up to you how to connect the power cable to the element socket.
1. - solder the wires directly to the pins on the socket
2. - use locking crimp connectors to connect the wires directly to the pins
3. - use a suitable euro plug that will push onto the pins (make sure it's suitable for both the current draw and the heat)
I prefer option 1 - solder them on - it's the cheapest (assuming you already have a suitable soldering iron!) and it's pretty permanent.
and insulate them with electrical insulating tape - or better still, use proper heat shrink insulation
Bend up the little plate so it'll still be touching the back of the element - this needs to be bent out of shape, or it will 'pop' back at boiling point and turn the element off.
Now, to the boiler....
You will need to drill a neat 38mm hole centred approx 6cm above the base of the boiler - Note that the height is up to you! I put mine at this height to allow the hop filter to fit underneath, and to keep a little distance between a hot element and the plastic base of the boiler...
Fit the silicon seal into the element hole, offer up the element from inside the boiler and attach the socket to it with the 3 screws.
Fill the boiler with cold water and check for leaks. If you see any leaks, empty the boiler, check the hole is smooth, and make sure you tighten up the element properly.
Time to test the element -
Cover up the electrics with something - I've used bits of tube from an old silicon bathroom sealant - fits nicely and it's free
And finally, test! - Make sure not only that it will reach the boil, but also that it'll maintain it - if it cuts out it's most likely that pesky little metal disc not bent up enough.AppendixLooking after your kettle elements
After a brew day, and an hour and a half of boiling sweet sticky wort, the elements will have lost all their gleam and look all furry
I give them a generous dose of citric acid and fill up with hot water to just above the elements<br>
I get the citric acid in 1kg amounts, usually through ebay or amazon - search for Citric Acid 1kg, I'd recommend getting food grade - e.g http://www.amazon.co.uk/1kg-Citric-acid-grade-quality/dp/B00AP09SSK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361816833&sr=8-1
Leave 10 mins or more, swift brush over with a nylon kitchen brush, and nice clean elements again