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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: Joe_Beer on July 11, 2021, 04:14:14 am

Title: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: Joe_Beer on July 11, 2021, 04:14:14 am
Anyone know how the control panel is attached to the Foundry? I've been getting moisture inside it somehow and would like to get the thing off and see what's going on. I've contacted Anvil but haven't heard back from them in weeks. Not sure what the  holdup is but the longer I wait around the worse this problem seems to get getting. Ordered it just a little over a year ago so it's pretty much out of warranty now anyway.

(https://i.imgur.com/SQtMQvQ.png)
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: KellerBrauer on July 11, 2021, 06:03:25 am
Did you try YouTube?  I have come to realize that we can learn to do anything from YouTube posts.  I’ve saved thousands of dollars with DIY YouTube instruction.
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: ynotbrusum on July 11, 2021, 11:45:47 am
If you can get it to dry out, then apply some silicone based caulk on the top and sides of the controller, it might help going forward….I’ve heard of some guys doing that.
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: Joe_Beer on July 12, 2021, 08:32:23 am
Thanks, I checked youtube but it didn't really pan out. There's a ton of Foundry videos up there but disassembling the control panel doesn't seem to be one of them. Maybe a piece of dental floss in between the steel and plastic will give me some idea where this thing is attached.

If you can get it to dry out, then apply some silicone based caulk on the top and sides of the controller, it might help going forward….I’ve heard of some guys doing that.

Were these other guys on Foundrys or were the just electric all-in-one systems? Lot of similar designs between all of them just wondering if this might be specific to the Foundry.


Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: Kevin on July 12, 2021, 08:46:10 am
A) did you remove the plastic film covering the screen when you got the unit? Quite often people don't and the film will be the cause.

B) Let it sit and dry out on its own. Then as suggested use a bead of silicone sealant around the top edge where the black body of the control panel meets the side of the kettle. Run the bead around the sides maybe 3/4 of the way down. Don't seal the whole thing though or it won't be able to dry out if for some reason more moisture happens to get it.

Finally, do whatever you can to keep moisture out. Don't let your unit boil over and only use a damp, well wrung out, cloth or sponge etc. for cleaning the outside.

There is a Facebook group just for Anvil Foundry owners and John Blichmann checks in to answer questions fairly often. Brian from the YouTube channel Short Circuited Brewers also chimes in quite frequently and he also has several Anvil Foundry specific videos on his channel.
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: Joe_Beer on July 12, 2021, 09:08:57 am
A) did you remove the plastic film covering the screen when you got the unit? Quite often people don't and the film will be the cause.

B) Let it sit and dry out on its own. Then as suggested use a bead of silicone sealant around the top edge where the black body of the control panel meets the side of the kettle. Run the bead around the sides maybe 3/4 of the way down. Don't seal the whole thing though or it won't be able to dry out if for some reason more moisture happens to get it.

Yeah, looks like I removed them film already. I only brew about once or twice a month so the foundry usually has two to three weeks to sit and dry (sits in the basement with dehumidfier).

I called Anvil this morning and talked with one of the guys in tech support. Super helpful. He explained the control panel is attached with two screws only accessible from the bottom of the unit -- you can get to them after the base is off. He said it's a pain-in-the-neck to take apart but is the only way. He mentioned the silicone too so looks like that's the way to go.

Thanks for the reminders. I've been careful not to slop stuff over the screen and have only had a couple near misses with boil-overs (distilled water in a spray bottle works nice for taming those). Not sure how the moisture got in there. Tech support guy said something about humidity and the same thing happening with thermometers but I didn't quite follow. The spigot was super loose once and left a puddle of distilled water on the floor, but that was long after the problem started. Maybe I had a slow leak into the heating element area causing the moisture to get in there, I dunno. Probably know more once I get it apart.

That's great that the manufacturer is an active part of the user community. Thanks for passing on the info everyone!
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: ynotbrusum on July 12, 2021, 09:32:02 am
To dry it out, I suggest trying a hair dryer along the outer edges of the control panel.  That may get it dry enough to seal it with the silicone caulk bead around the top and top part of the sides.  I hope it works for you.  It reminds me to get it done on my Foundry (I have the old style with the controller on the bottom part of the vessel -  below the heated part of the kettle - which may actually be a better placement to avoid humidity build up?)
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: Joe_Beer on July 12, 2021, 09:39:11 am
It reminds me to get it done on my Foundry (I have the old style with the controller on the bottom part of the vessel -  below the heated part of the kettle - which may actually be a better placement to avoid humidity build up?)

The Anvil tech guy mentioned something about the "older model" was better in that regard; people didn't like stooping over to adjust the thing but it was much easier to dismantle and the humidity build up didn't seem to be as much of an issue.
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: ynotbrusum on July 12, 2021, 09:53:38 am
Yeah, I don't use it on the floor - I have a sturdy stainless steel table that is about 2-1/2 feet from the ground to the table top, so it is more readily viewable...I use a small step stool when lifting the grain basket (or a small ceiling mounted winch, if I am making an unusually heavier batch.) 

Good luck with drying out your controller!
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: Kevin on July 13, 2021, 04:16:48 pm
A) did you remove the plastic film covering the screen when you got the unit? Quite often people don't and the film will be the cause.

B) Let it sit and dry out on its own. Then as suggested use a bead of silicone sealant around the top edge where the black body of the control panel meets the side of the kettle. Run the bead around the sides maybe 3/4 of the way down. Don't seal the whole thing though or it won't be able to dry out if for some reason more moisture happens to get it.

Yeah, looks like I removed them film already. I only brew about once or twice a month so the foundry usually has two to three weeks to sit and dry (sits in the basement with dehumidfier).

I called Anvil this morning and talked with one of the guys in tech support. Super helpful. He explained the control panel is attached with two screws only accessible from the bottom of the unit -- you can get to them after the base is off. He said it's a pain-in-the-neck to take apart but is the only way. He mentioned the silicone too so looks like that's the way to go.

Thanks for the reminders. I've been careful not to slop stuff over the screen and have only had a couple near misses with boil-overs (distilled water in a spray bottle works nice for taming those). Not sure how the moisture got in there. Tech support guy said something about humidity and the same thing happening with thermometers but I didn't quite follow. The spigot was super loose once and left a puddle of distilled water on the floor, but that was long after the problem started. Maybe I had a slow leak into the heating element area causing the moisture to get in there, I dunno. Probably know more once I get it apart.

That's great that the manufacturer is an active part of the user community. Thanks for passing on the info everyone!

I started using FermCap-S Foam Control a few years back and have never had a boilover or even came close to one. Just a couple of drops knocks down the foam very quickly.
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: Joe_Beer on July 14, 2021, 05:23:04 am
Just a couple of drops knocks down the foam very quickly.

Thanks! Haven't tried it but should probably get some. Sounds like a small bottle of it goes a long way.
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: Joe_Beer on July 14, 2021, 05:37:11 am
Yeah, I don't use it on the floor - I have a sturdy stainless steel table that is about 2-1/2 feet from the ground   

I've been looking for a small stand of some kind to put the foundry on for transferring into the bucket fermenter but small step stools and things are just not wide enough.  A five gallon bucket "works" but it's basically dodging bullets everytime I do it. Did you purchase your small table somewhere or was it DIY?

Good luck with drying out your controller!

Thanks! This is as far as I got last night. Disconnected just enough wiring to get the bottom off but I don't see how to get to the control panel yet (wiring for it is that bunch of red wires with the connector on the left). It looks like the outside of the kettle is just a sleeve with the handles and buckles spot welded on. Not sure how to inner/outer walls are connected. I have to call Anvil today and see if I can get some guidance.

  (https://imgur.com/wNaC4Bhl.png)
 (https://i.imgur.com/wNaC4Bh.png)
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: ynotbrusum on July 14, 2021, 10:13:17 am
My table was from a restaurant that was throwing it out (a buddy works for the chain and asked if I wanted it).  I cut off the legs to shorten it from counter height to the lower, more usable height for this.

Something along the following lines:

 https://www.webstaurantstore.com/32507/portable-work-tables.html

But I have also retrofitted a small wooden coffee table with casters and use it for similar general purposes around the home brewery (usually to hold liquid at a height that I can run off into buckets or coolers on the floor for sparging or collecting wort).
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: Slowbrew on July 14, 2021, 10:49:06 am
Yeah, I don't use it on the floor - I have a sturdy stainless steel table that is about 2-1/2 feet from the ground   

I've been looking for a small stand of some kind to put the foundry on for transferring into the bucket fermenter but small step stools and things are just not wide enough.  A five gallon bucket "works" but it's basically dodging bullets everytime I do it. Did you purchase your small table somewhere or was it DIY?


Just a thought on how to make a stand.  If you have step stools the height you want, can you use two of them and mount a wider "top" between them?  Using the stools as legs on you table.
Or the option of just building a table or a box that meets your needs is always out there too.

Paul
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: Joe_Beer on July 14, 2021, 03:06:59 pm
My table was from a restaurant that was throwing it out (a buddy works for the chain and asked if I wanted it).  I cut off the legs to shorten it from counter height to the lower, more usable height for this.

Dang, nice find. I guess the stainless tables are a little out of my budget though.Thanks for the link anyhow. I'll have to keep an eye out on craigslist and local rummage sales. Maybe something will turn up.

If you have step stools the height you want, can you use two of them and mount a wider "top" between them? 

Hmm.. that could work. This morning, I noticed my neighbor put some pretty decent 2x6 lumber out on the curb (close to the same price as stainless these days :o). I snagged a couple 48" pieces. I'll see if I can rip them in half and make something.
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: Joe_Beer on August 01, 2021, 06:48:37 am
Wanted to follow up on this because it was a bit of a pain in the neck trying to get this thing apart. Maybe some pics will save someone else some time. 

The "gunk" on the screen was caught between the clear LCD bezel on the cover and a sticker-type screen protector glued to the outside of that. I must have spilled/splased/drizzled hot wort on it at one time and it was enough to loosen the glue and get behind it. It wasn't apparent until I got everything apart. I did away with the glued-on protector and instead cut a square off some cell phone screen protector film I had laying around. This should be enough to keep the plastic bezel from inadvertently getting scratched and will be easy enough to replace without dismantling everything.

There's an inner kettle and outer sleeve to the Foundry which comes apart. It's a slip-fit at the top to keep everything aligned. I had wort dried between that space which had basically glued things together. When I tried separating the two (to get to the screen) it didn't want to budge. I ended up putting a 1 gallon bucket under the kettle part and the pushing down on the Foundry handles which made it separate much easier.

The screen/controls are covered with 1/4" neoprene (wondered about putting a layer of this stuff all the way around the inside to insulate.. hmm). Four screws which attach the screen cover are under the neoprene. In my case, all the screws were installed at an angle and not straight into the boss. It must have been a Monday or Friday at the factory. Makes it a little confusing when your trying to remove them because there is neoprene stuck to everything and you can't see the angle of the screw head. I couldn't find a way of saving the neoprene as the entire thing is adhesive backed. After peeling it off with a plastic scraper, I used laquer thinner to clean up the leftovers. It was a mess. I picked up some neoprene off Amazon for $15.

The clear bezel for the screen is hot welded to the black cover with four plastic posts. This is where I noticed there were two layers to the screen. Luckily, I was able to cut through the hot weld with a razor knife. I probably didn't need to do this after realizing the outside cover on the screen was just glued on. I think I was assuming the entire bezel needed to be replaced.

After getting things put back together, I tried some silicone caulk around the bezel but caulk isn't my thing and I just made a mess of it. Cleaned it off and found this silicone putty type stuff on Amazon called "Sugru" and gave that a try instead. You can roll it into a small cylinder and pack it around the seams. You get a good 10 minutes of working time with it. It cures semi-soft. It's a 1-star appearance, but seems to seal OK. Supposed to be easily removed if I find a cleaner solution sometime.

All in all, It was about a six hour repair. Be sure to label all the wiring, especially for the heating element. Oh, some of the connectors on the bottom of the unit have adhesive of some kind dabbed onto them. Not sure if it's for tamper evidence or to keep things from wiggling loose over time. This has to come off. I just used a dab of silicone RTV when re-assembling.


  (https://imgur.com/7Ul3sNgs.png)
 (https://i.imgur.com/7Ul3sNg.png)

  (https://imgur.com/MhNA4T0s.png)
 (https://i.imgur.com/MhNA4T0.png)

  (https://imgur.com/qq37Vexs.png)
 (https://i.imgur.com/qq37Vex.png)

  (https://imgur.com/RTVmSvOs.png)
 (https://i.imgur.com/RTVmSvO.png)

  (https://imgur.com/f6frJHxs.png)
 (https://i.imgur.com/f6frJHx.png)

  (https://imgur.com/4XeULHPs.png)
 (https://i.imgur.com/4XeULHP.png)

  (https://imgur.com/anypVAzs.png)
 (https://i.imgur.com/anypVAz.png)
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: Kevin on August 01, 2021, 08:31:58 am
I have noticed some Foundry owners using a plastic sheet film to cover the whole unit during brew day. I don't know if it is a cooking product or what but it sticks on and seals tight and then peels off when you want to remove it. Sorry I can't be more specific but I've seen a few pics on the Facebook Anvil owners group of people using this method to keep water out of the control panel.
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: deckerhand on August 08, 2021, 03:24:25 am
Check the group page on Facebook great source of knowledge


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: narcout on August 24, 2021, 05:32:15 pm
After getting things put back together, I tried some silicone caulk around the bezel but caulk isn't my thing and I just made a mess of it. Cleaned it off and found this silicone putty type stuff on Amazon called "Sugru" and gave that a try instead. You can roll it into a small cylinder and pack it around the seams. You get a good 10 minutes of working time with it. It cures semi-soft.

Man, I'm really happy you brought Sugru to my attention because I was just able to successfully repair a pinhole leak in the fanbox of my kegerator that would have been really difficult to get at with a caulk gun - good stuff.
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: Joe_Beer on August 30, 2021, 03:53:39 am
After getting things put back together, I tried some silicone caulk around the bezel but caulk isn't my thing and I just made a mess of it. Cleaned it off and found this silicone putty type stuff on Amazon called "Sugru" and gave that a try instead. You can roll it into a small cylinder and pack it around the seams. You get a good 10 minutes of working time with it. It cures semi-soft.

Man, I'm really happy you brought Sugru to my attention because I was just able to successfully repair a pinhole leak in the fanbox of my kegerator that would have been really difficult to get at with a caulk gun - good stuff.

Yeah, I can see how it fills the niche in a difficult-to-reach place. Where a piece of chewing gum on your finger would do but it needs to hold up like a bead of silicone. Glad the info paid off - and that your leak is fixed!
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: BaseWerks Brewing on January 13, 2022, 11:44:12 am
I was considering getting a foundry.  Is this a common issue?  Would you suggest a different product?
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: narvin on January 13, 2022, 01:31:02 pm
I was considering getting a foundry.  Is this a common issue?  Would you suggest a different product?

I haven't had the issue although I have the older version where the control panel is in the base below the insulted jacket.
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: Joe_Beer on January 13, 2022, 04:41:37 pm
I was considering getting a foundry.  Is this a common issue?  Would you suggest a different product?

Not sure if it's a common issue but Anvil's customer service has been great. The tech guys sound like they know these things inside-out too. I'd buy one again just based on that. It's nice knowing if something goes wron with the equipment, there is another avenue for solutions besides an internet search engine.
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: Kevin on January 14, 2022, 08:12:25 am
I was considering getting a foundry.  Is this a common issue?  Would you suggest a different product?

Every product has limitations. I would not let this one dissuade you from buying a Foundry. It only takes a little care to avoid the issue and as a whole the unit works as advertised.
Title: Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
Post by: Joe_Beer on January 16, 2022, 04:53:04 am
I was considering getting a foundry.  Is this a common issue?  Would you suggest a different product?

Every product has limitations. I would not let this one dissuade you from buying a Foundry. It only takes a little care to avoid the issue and as a whole the unit works as advertised.

Exactly. And to be perfectly clear, the tl;dr here is that this whole problem wasn't due to steam buildup. Had I taken some extra time (nearly non-existant with small kids) to really look at this, I might have noticed I could have just peeled off the "screen protector" (pic below), cleaned off the gunk caught between, and been on my way. No need to take the thing apart (although it was fun to see how this thing was put together).

  (https://imgur.com/De3AX9cl.png) (https://i.imgur.com/De3AX9c.png)   (https://i.imgur.com/4XeULHP.png) (https://i.imgur.com/4XeULHP.png)