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Joint Failure

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Graham Meek24/05/2021 18:12:19
386 forum posts
252 photos

extent of joint failure showing tell tale leakage.jpg

The two Photographs above show the failure of a joint on an electric kettle after about 18 months of use. The Spout of the kettle has no mechanical fixings other than the substrate used to adhere the spout to the kettle.

When the joint started to fail along the top of the spout we stopped using the kettle. As the prospect of the spout falling off while pouring was too great. Boiling water going everywhere bar in the Cup or Teapot is not one of the secondary functions of a Kettle.

The "Glue" used seems to be some sort of metal loaded Epoxy, but I would like to know why this has failed. Surely the tap water cannot be to blame.

Anyone got any clues, or experience with a similar failure?

Regards

Gray,

Martin Connelly24/05/2021 18:22:10
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1844 forum posts
195 photos

Stainless steel has a higher thermal expansion than mild steel, close to double and is also not a very good thermal conductor. I would think differential heating of the body compared to the spout would account for the failure. When the water is boiled the main body will get hot long before the spout does as the spout will probably only get hot when the water is poured out. Sounds like a predictable failure.

Martin C

Oily Rag24/05/2021 18:23:23
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460 forum posts
147 photos

Made in China?

When I was working in Shanghai China one of the first purchases was a kettle to make a decent, proper cup of tea. I located an electric kettle in a French owned supermarket. One week later the kettle failed so I took it back and was met by incredulity that I was expecting them to give me a new kettle to replace the failed one. Eventually the French liaison manager appeared and authorised that I should be given a new kettle in exchange. The next day I was telling my Chinese colleagues about my experience and they looked at me dumbfounded - apparently in Chinese culture the kettle failed because I was 'bad Karma' - the kettle was not to blame it was all my fault!

How a society will ever take 'Kwality' seriously with that background is the question to answer.

Martin

old mart24/05/2021 20:41:56
3310 forum posts
203 photos

I hope you are right about glue, and its not some kind of soft solder.

You will get in trouble with the moderators, you should have posted this in "the cup of tea room" devil

Graham Meek25/05/2021 09:29:23
386 forum posts
252 photos

Thanks for the input so far, the differential expansion would certainly put stress on the joint. Plus the Epoxy would act as an insulator as well. Which would only add to the problem.

I have assumed it to be Epoxy, at the failure zone the material has the appearance of granulated carbon. Given the country or origin it could be something else. The other problem is what cannot be seen, ie the joint degrading inside the spout. Inside, it has all the appearances of having failed already. It is just the outer layer of the joint holding it at the moment. The crack an be easily flexed with the index finger and thumb.

Unfortunately it may be my bad Karma, all things electrical have a habit of going wrong around me, especially lately.

The return of the kettle to the shop was not possible as the purchase happened some time before we actually started to use the kettle.

By comparison the kettle that was used while we were sourcing another is an all metal body "Swan", with internal exposed element. This was given to us as a wedding present nearly 50 years ago. No problem with the spout on this one, the joint being a welded one.

Regards

Gray,

pgk pgk25/05/2021 09:45:51
2290 forum posts
293 photos

exposed element kettles.
We were getting through cheap versions of these every few months to the point that I went to Wilco and bought half a dozen in one go. Petrol cost to nearest Wilco (out here in rural land) being as much as the cost of one of their cheap kettles at the time, so no point using warranties. I put it down to a mix of borehole water and rural power fluctuations.
Then I bought a lidl sealed element kettle and it's lasted 3 years so far.
..or my Karma has improved.

pgk

Oily Rag25/05/2021 09:49:15
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460 forum posts
147 photos

Seems to be a lot of people on here with 'bad Karma'!

Martin

Hopper25/05/2021 10:19:52
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5505 forum posts
137 photos

junk.jpg

Neil Wyatt25/05/2021 12:22:21
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Moderator
18721 forum posts
727 photos
80 articles

What's interesting is that the shape of the spout is such that you would expect it to flex easily enough to minimise any excess strains caused by differential expansion.

Perhaps it was just bad luck with a contaminated joint surface?

What I have found with modern kettles is new plastic ones have a disgusting taste that always lasts long enough for you to give up in despair and buy a stainless steel one.

Neil

Martin Connelly25/05/2021 13:04:09
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1844 forum posts
195 photos

Neil, I was thinking that the differential expansion would be aligned with the joint, the spout material would not expand along the line of the joint but the body would. It would weaken the joint even if the spout flexed around the bend in it.

Martin C

Steve Richardson 225/05/2021 13:08:15
26 forum posts
3 photos

have had a kettle with that exact fail

Keith Hale26/05/2021 09:11:31
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315 forum posts

If the body of the kettle and the spout are stainless steel - where is the differential expansion?

Clean off the joint area on both components. Remove the jointing compound (you suggest that it's an epoxy.)

Solder the components back together with a silver-tin alloy wire. It can be flux cored or use separate liquid flux

Just ensure that the flux will work on stainless.

All products are readily available and will produce strong, reliable, neat and attractive joints.

Well, this was how it was done in the early 70's when kettles lasted until the element failed! Took forever!

Kettle repaired for about a fiver.

Keith

Edited By Keith Hale on 26/05/2021 09:12:38

Graham Meek26/05/2021 10:40:16
386 forum posts
252 photos

The kettle is no longer with us, the public bodies have taken it for examination, but their Risk Assessment deems it to be a "low risk", so they will not investigate further. As regards the repair, I did think about that, but my Karma would dictate the element would fail shortly afterwards.

Besides it was not the quietest kettle, our Swan is marginally quieter, and still on it's original element, so much for 50 years of progress.

I would have thought the manufacturer would have wanted it back to investigate, but they wanted me to pay the postage. It was not as if I was asking for a replacement, I would not want more of the same, "once bitten twice shy"

Steve,

It is nice to see this is not an isolated case. According to the Manufacturer they extensively test their products. Unfortunately their lab conditions do not mirror real life in our kitchen.

Regards

Gray,

Michael Gilligan26/05/2021 14:27:57
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18698 forum posts
912 photos
Posted by Graham Meek on 26/05/2021 10:40:16:

The kettle is no longer with us, the public bodies have taken it for examination, but their Risk Assessment deems it to be a "low risk", so they will not investigate further.

.

That in itself is both surprising and disappointing !

I would have thought they might recognise the significant risk of scalding, and the potential for collateral damage.

Impact and probability are the two main components of Risk analysis. ”

 

MichaelG.

.

Ref. http://apppm.man.dtu.dk/index.php/Impact_and_Probability_in_Risk_Assessment

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 26/05/2021 14:29:41

Graham Meek26/05/2021 20:41:48
386 forum posts
252 photos

Michael,

It is not surprising if you live in Gloucestershire, and I would have been disappointed if they had found in my favour. The outcome was entirely what I was expecting.

As I see it today, the public have no redress in the UK for any faulty goods, other than when they are under a guarantee. The chance of injury from this item is very high should the spout eventually drop off. Even worse if the spout becomes partially dislodged as this will redirect the hot water back towards the holder of the kettle.

I am considering writing to my MP on the subject of faulty goods. I also think there ought to be a time limit for manufacturers to respond. This multi-national manufacturer was blaming staff shortages due to Covid, and only responded after the Trading Standards were involved, some 4 months later.

They were also saying that they did not make the kettle, and I would have to take this matter up with the manufacturer of the kettle. It appears the name on the Kettle has no bearing in this instance on who made it. Yet in the same paragraph they said they extensively test their products.

Regards

Gray,

Mark Rand26/05/2021 20:54:33
1050 forum posts
11 photos

I was under the impression that the retailer has the legal liability for defective goods that they sell.

I would suggest that a failed seam on a kettle that had no obvious impact damage could only be caused by defective design or manufacture.

Keith Hale27/05/2021 10:28:56
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315 forum posts

A spout is in danger of becoming detached from a kettle.

So far this leads to two options.

1) lobbying an MP. Cost of a minority community centre?

2) talk of legal action. Cost of securing proof of defective goods and then legal fees?

😂 😂

Cheaper to set up your own factory to make kettles with a life time guarantee!

Good luck.

Keith

(like most folks - absolutely no political or legal qualifications!)

Hopper27/05/2021 10:35:43
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5505 forum posts
137 photos

Kind of makes a mockery of this forum's policy of not allowing links to foreign sellers of goods on the theory that only UK sellers are safe to purchase from. Obviously that is not the case. And when a dangerous item is identified, there is no redress.

Graham Meek28/05/2021 10:29:17
386 forum posts
252 photos

Hopper,

You just about summed it up in your last sentence.

Gray,

Generally this joint was doomed to failure right from the start. Anyone who has made a glued joint will know that the contact area is the key to a successful joint. In other words there needs to be a lap joint, or flange, to increase the surface area for the glue.

An internal flange on the spout, combined with an electrically conductive glue to act only as a sealer. Would have made it possible with the open design of the spout to internally spot weld in 3 places. Problem solved and the job will last for ever. Thermal conductivity from the kettle body to the spout would be possible through the spot welds. Plus the electrically conductive sealer would more than likely conduct heat equally as well.

On the reverse of this design is the possibility that the joint was designed to fail, but only after the element had expired. In which case it would have been a perfect design. If you cannot boil water, you cannot be scalded when the spout falls off.

Our kettle being a very rare exception in Jug Kettles, in that the body failed before the element.

Regards

Gray.

Neil Wyatt28/05/2021 12:52:59
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Moderator
18721 forum posts
727 photos
80 articles
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 26/05/2021 14:27:57:
Posted by Graham Meek on 26/05/2021 10:40:16:

The kettle is no longer with us, the public bodies have taken it for examination, but their Risk Assessment deems it to be a "low risk", so they will not investigate further.

.

That in itself is both surprising and disappointing !

I would have thought they might recognise the significant risk of scalding, and the potential for collateral damage.

Impact and probability are the two main components of Risk analysis. ”

MichaelG.

.

Possibly they considered that as a progressive failure mode, not a catastrophic one, their opinion was that the kettle would be discarded once the spout started to drip, and long before it was at a risk of falling off completely?

Neil

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