I have an electrim mashing bin (the standard one of these) that I use as a boiler. This morning as I went to heat my liquor, the element started to cut out (water was around 60°C). When I left the power off for a while, the element turned back on, but then cut back out after a couple minutes. I tried this a couple more times then gave up on brewing.

I figured the problem was scale build up on the element causing overheating (I live and brew with London's rather hard water), so I used some spirit vinegar (about 150ml in 7L of water, plus or minus) to descale. It had a visible effect, removing a decent amount of scale, but the element still cut out after a few minutes. Fast forward a few hours and I repeated the descaling process, at a higher dilution, about 500ml of vinegar in the same amount of water. Alas, the element still does not seem to stay on, though it did stay on for nearly 7 minutes just after the most recent descale, now it won't engage the element at all. (element now appears very clean and generally free of scale, I can attach a photo is anyone thinks it'll help.)

Any assistance at all is very welcome.

edit: Here are a couple shots of my boiler: top down of element and manifold: top down view

side view of thermostat (currently disconnected from the element) side view of thermostat unit

  • Have you contacted the shop where you bought it from? Some photos of the inside, the element and anything connected to the element may help. What kind of thermostat is it - are you sure the temperature was dialed in correctly?
    – mdma
    Sep 13, 2013 at 0:08
  • I haven't contacted the shop, I ordered it online from the Hop and Grape (the site I linked to), though I could send them an email today. The thermostat a black unit mounted on the side of the bucket, with a dial labeled from '1' to '9', prior to this last attempt something around the '7' tick maintained a nice boil for 25L of wort. I'll add a couple pics to my Q shortly.
    – alsothings
    Sep 13, 2013 at 8:55
  • If you turn it up to 9 does the element stay on for longer and water get warmer? It would be helpful to know the temperature of the water as the element comes on/off at different settings from 1..9.
    – mdma
    Sep 13, 2013 at 10:51

1 Answer 1


The problem might be a thermocouple this is a hardwired switch that will cut the element out if the temp goes to high. this is a additional safety and is normally wired in series with the thermostat that normally switches of the element when it gets to the set temperature.

this switch might be faulty, your local electrician might be able to fix it or maybe you can do it yourself if you do know a bit about electricity. i had a similar problem with my boil kettle and i removed the thermocouple it works fine now.

Hope this helps.


  • You beat me to it! Yeah probably a thermocouple. My HVAC equipment had the same problem last winter where the darned thing would only be on for a few minutes at a time. Brrrrr!
    – BoilerBrad
    Sep 20, 2013 at 15:58

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