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Hot plate

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by jan019, Jun 11, 2011.

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  1. jan019


    Mar 14, 2011

    a few weeks ago I bought myself a new hotplate for lighting hookah coals. If you don't know what a hookah is then I will shortly describe it: It's a water pipe that you smoke tobacco(molases) from, on top you have a bowl in witch the tobacco goes in, then there is a stem through which the smoke travels into a base full of water and then from there the smoke bubbles through the water and goes into a hose that you pull on a the smoke goes into your mouth. And on top of the tobacco you put aluminum foil and on the foil you put a coal witch heats the tobacco and makes it smoke. And so I need the hot plate to light these coals, but when I got the hotplate it wasn't hot enough to light the coals at all, so what I did is that I flipped the iron plate, because on the bottom of it there is the exposed heating element. I tried lighting the coals again, this time with the iron plate flipped, it started lighting the coals, but as soon as the hotplate reached the max. temperature it turned off, because of the thermostat that automatically turns it off after reaching the max. temp. So next thing I did is that I bypassed the thermostat by pluging the wires from the cord directly to the heating element, skipping the thermostat. This time everything went great the coals were almost lit, but because the heating element got really hot it started to burn the base of the hotplate and so I took it out of the electricity and after it cooled down a little a wanted to plug it back into the circuit to fully light the coals. As I did that it short-circuited and killed the power in my whole house. I went to check the fuses in the house, they were ok, then went to the ones in my basement they were also ok, so I went outside to the main fuse and that one was thrown out, I turned it back on and the lights and everything came back on. I was really afraid that I fried the circuit somewhere and that it will have to take a costly repair to get it back on, but luckily it was only the main fuse. After the lights came on and the hotplate cooled down I checked what happened and one of the wire from the heating element melted and touch the other one and that's probably what cause the short-circuit so I will change that wire to one that can stand high temperatures and I'll make a stand for the heating element itself so it doesn't sit directly on the hotplate original base. But I am still afraid that the heating element could have short-circuited and I am really scared to plug it back into the circuit, because something worse might happen. So my question is if there a way I can check if it's short-circuited apart from pluging it into the circuit?
    And when I already wrote such a long post I will still continue. The best way for lighting these coals is using a coil burner like the one in the attached picture, but they are sold only in America and I live in Europe and they aren't sold here at all. And shipping it from the US would be very expensive and it wouldn't work because of the different voltage supplies in the US and Europe. So my question do you think there would be a better and especially safer way than using a ''hacked'' hotplate? I could obviously use a camp stove, but that takes very long to start the coals and in the long run would be very expensive. Maybe I could make a coil burner, although that would probably be even more dangerous than the 'hacked' hotplate.


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