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Water distiller variable resistor

Thread starter #1
I plan to get a 750 W, 220 V water distiller so that i can distill my own alcohol with it (in NZ so is fully legal), was thinking i should put a variable resistor on it so that i can regulate the temperature of the heating element so that i can seperate the methanol and ethanol more accurately. What type of variable resistor should i use for an appliance with these specs?
 

spec

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Most Helpful Member
#2
SAFETY WARNING: dangerous voltages are involved in this thread so please observe the appropriate precautions and only consider any practical work if you are experienced with high voltages.

Hi dernyarn,

Welcome- we have a few of your kinsmen on ETO. Please fill in 'Location' on your user page so that it displays in the box at the left of your posts. Knowing where you are from helps us to answer your questions- mains voltage, access to components, etc. And some of us just like to see where members are from.:)

Hmm, interesting project.

You could use a variable resistor to control the temperature of your distiller but the variable resistor would be expensive, bulky, and would get very hot. A variable resistor approach would not be very accurate either. So the variable resistor approach is not recommended.

The simplest approach would be to use a thermostatic switch which is placed physically in the distillate (water). The thermostatic switch would then be wired in series with the element in the distiller. Possibly, you could get an adjustable thermostatic switch; I haven't checked.

But a Rolls Royce, super-accurate temperature controller would be electronic, either off-the-shelf or home-built.

I would imagine that you could even buy a distiller with temperature control already built-in.:)

spec
 
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alec_t

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#3
A heavy-duty 'lamp dimmer' would allow heating power variation, but as spec says, thermostatic control would be better.
 

Les Jones

Well-Known Member
#4
I think a temperature controller such as this one would be better and cheaper than a DIY solution. I bought one similar to this a few years ago and it use a proper PID algorithm to control the temperature.

Les.
 
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Thread starter #5
Thanks for the replies. The thermostatic switch seems like a good idea but I'm not sure how well that'd work as the water distiller becomes air tight so I might have to drill a hole in the side for it then?
 

spec

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#6
Thanks for the replies. The thermostatic switch seems like a good idea but I'm not sure how well that'd work as the water distiller becomes air tight so I might have to drill a hole in the side for it then?
Yes, drilling a hole in the side is one way. It is not that hard to make the assembly water/air tight either.

But you must ensure that any surface exposed to the distillate is compatible and does not corrode or contaminate the distillate.

spec
 
Thread starter #8
I plan to use the pid temperature controller but instead of drilling a hole I found one person who puts it where the steam would go so I'll try that instead
 

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