Brewing Disaster - Help Needed

Good Morrow fair gentle persons of the Abattoir,

I took the opportunity of a couple of days off to brew a new batch of ale this morning. The boiler was filled, the water was treated, and timer set ready for the off. When I came outta start, the water was cold. Oh, I must have forgotten to set the timer correctly. No, all correct.

So I flicks the boiler switch a couple of times, the light flashes but the boiler won’t start.

Frustrated, I empty the water and take the bottom panel off…
Pic 1

Pic 2

Pic 3

Pic 4

The problem was obvious. A tag on the switch had broken/melted solder/fucked itself (Pic 3)

So, what to replace it with. I can fit it to the panel and connect it but I have next to no electronic knowledge, certainly not enough to get the right spec switch.

Which is where you ‘orrible lot come in. Given the specs on the sticker (Pic 2), what 2 way switch would work ? Or does it matter ?

Don’t fit any of those cheap-arse efforts coco uses.


You need one that is rated for 13A, 250V, other than that, just get one that fits. Question is, why did the solder melt? That could indicate a fault, so proceed with caution.

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I suspect fatigue as the boiler has regular use (once for heating water to 68 deg C, the a rolling boil for 90 minutes) each brewing day for the last 10 years.

A close up of the errant tag…

my thoughts were what caused that to happen in the first place.

Unless you are in a hurry you might be able to get the correct switch from Buffalo.


I’d tend to suspect the heater coil is faulty as well - no way should that switch have got that hot!

I’d get the whole unit checked over by someone competent.


Have to agree with above.

that would be my first port of call

me too

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Agree. Heater element or thermostat.


Use this as an excuse to buy yourself a Grainfather in the new year sales :wink:

It’s almost certainly one like this

20A rated to cover the fact that 2600W at 230V will be over 2700W at (the UK’s) 240V and that’s 11.3A. The switch-on current into a cold heating element will be higher still.

You’ll need to check the cutout dimensions to make sure the new one will fit.


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Lazy brewing :roller_coaster:


Thanks to Graeme @Valvebloke the switch was replaced and the boiler PAT tested. Everything, apart from the switch, was OK. Well, everything except Graeme’s lacerated thumb.

Brewing up a special batch tomorrow :+1:

Thanks again Graeme. Your help was much appreciated.


You’re welcome Terry. I’m clearly still learning. Today’s lesson: what looks like a sliver of residual transparent mastic may actually be the razor’s edge of a mis-stamped piece of stainless steel. One way to tell the difference is to try rubbing the sliver of mastic away with your thumb. If your thumb stays pale pink then it was mastic. If it goes deep red and starts dripping over everything then it wasn’t.

It doesn’t hurt any more and I am soothing the memory with some of your very fine ale :yum: !



Got any odd jobs I can do for free beer?

Your commute might not be viable :smirk:

I’m guessing the odder the better?

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I do worry about you sometimes Kelley :rofl: