Author Topic: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel  (Read 822 times)

Offline Joe_Beer

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Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
« on: July 11, 2021, 10:14:14 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.


Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2021, 12:03:25 pm »
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.
Joliet, IL

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2021, 05:45:47 pm »
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.
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Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2021, 02:32:23 pm »
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.



Offline Kevin

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Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2021, 02:46:10 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.

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.
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Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2021, 03:08:57 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!

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2021, 03:32:02 pm »
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?)
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Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2021, 03:39:11 pm »
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.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2021, 03:53:38 pm »
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!
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline Kevin

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Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2021, 10:16:48 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.
“He was a wise man who invented beer.”
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Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2021, 11:23:04 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.

Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2021, 11:37:11 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.

 

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2021, 04:13:17 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.

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).
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2021, 04:49:06 pm »
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
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: Getting steam buildup inside my Foundry control panel
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2021, 09:06:59 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.