We need to fill a Groen Jacketed Steam Kettle and were looking for any tips or tricks on filling the jacket and bleeding the air out.
Good info to go with so far. DEFINITELY use distilled water instead of tap water.
My question is..why do you have to add water? If it's been in use for awhile, but all of a sudden needs water, then you have a leak.
Usually that occurs at the pressure relief valve not seating properly. When it cools down over night and goes into a vacuum, it shouldn't suck in air. If it does and the gauge reads zero instead of in a vacuum when it's cooled down, then it will have an extra 15 psi of pressure in the jacket, the air, when you turn it on the next day. As it heats up, that extra pressure gets released by the pressure relief valve - usually as water. After several times of that, you're then low on water.
I suggest scrutinizing that pressure relief valve and replacing it if you're in doubt of it's integrity.
They're pretty simple once you get the hang of it. I tend to work on more Cleveland kettles but have worked on several Groen kettles over the years.
There should be a square plug by the pressure relief, take it out and use a funnel or I sometimes use a to-go cup from the restaurant. Fill according to sight glass. Heat up kettle until it pressurizes then pull the pressure relief to bleed off air. 3-4, three second bursts usually does the trick. Let the pressure build back up in between bursts. When it's cool your guage should be in a vacuum. I usually use distilled water when topping off. If your starting from scratch with no water there is an additive I believe.
Here are a couple informational sheets from Groen tech support on how to fill the jacket:
Groen 121050-g DH Kettle 13.pdf
Groen 121050-g DH Kettle 14.pdf
Verify the pressure gauge works. You CANNOT do this safely without that. Get a 1/2" barb x 1/2 MPT brass fitting. Get 10 or so inches of flexible, and better yet, clear hose. Get a gallon of DISTILLED water. To simply FILL, heat the kettle to a low PSI (3-5) and carefully pull the pressure relief ring for about 5-10 seconds to expel some air/steam. Using that 10" length of 1/2" hose and 1/2" MPT x barb (that fits snugly on the hose), thread the fitting into the outlet of the same pressure relief. Cool the kettle with ice/cool water until the pressure gauge is in a 5-10" VACUUM. Pour off the water, and bring the kettle back to vertical. Dip the the other end of the hose into your DISTILLED water jug. Pull the pressure relief ring briefly to verify the kettle vacuum is "drinking". Then slowly pull to fill to about 2/3 sight glass. You should still be in a vacuum, but if not, you can "burp" it again at 3-5 pounds pressure range as above. You might ask yourself WHERE the original water went. Check for seeping/hissing when you go to MAX thermostat setting, as REQUIRED. Be aware that the pressure relief is likely the problem, and can be VERY unpredictable. Also, don't overfill, it will slow heating functions proportionally. Remove the fill rig when safe to do so.
Great idea with the "fill rig"!! I'm going to try that.
Re,move the pressure gauge to allow air to escape
Guest wrote: Re,move the pressure gauge to allow air to escape
That is NOT how it's done. I can't even see how that's a good idea. Besides, moshea's (much) earlier post pretty well covered it.
You need to have efficient and safe control over the pressure you're releasing to ensure steam pressure remains higher than atmosphere at the moment you cap off the jacket...and you don't get burnt while doing it. The steam pushes the air out.
All kettles manuals explain that this is done by cracking open the safety valve for a period...AFTER steam has built up 5psi or more of positive pressure.
Removing and re-installing the pressure gauge of a pressurized steam vessel in order to let air out? That's a horribly bad way to do it:
SO...don't go hurting yourself doing what you'd suggested to us. Additionally, don't be offering answers to a question that might put someone in dire circumstances or possibly cause them to get injured...especially when there's actually a SAFE & PROPER way to do it that's obviously far superior to your "technique".
Retrieving data ...