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Thread: Lee 4-20 melting pot issues

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    Sheffield England
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    Lee 4-20 melting pot issues

    Hi guys.

    For my sins I currently live in the UK. I have recently acquired a Lee 4-20 lead pot in 220v which is giving a little trouble. The thing keeps tripping my circuit breaker A GFI I think it is called in the USA. It also buzzes in use until it trips the breaker. Now I don't know if the buzzing is normal but I do know that tripping a 16A breaker is not for a 750 watt element. Would I be correct in thinking that as a GFI detects earth leakage there is an earth fault somewhere in the circuitry? It is obvious that it is not drawing too much power as in the UK we have to use fused plugs in this case a 13A fuse and that fuse is not blowing so it has to be an earth (ground) leak. Yes?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy Wheelguns 1961's Avatar
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    I am not sure what the problem is, but I can tell you that mine buzzes when heating. It is not loud, but when it gets up to temp, the buzzing stops, and starts again when the element kicks back on. Welcome to the forum!
    Due to the price of primers, warning shots will no longer be given!

  3. #3
    I would try it on a different outlet (that's not on the same breaker/circuit) first to see if it's the pot or the breaker/circuit.

    If it's the pot, I would return it for a replacement.

    There's not a whole lot to these pots that can go wrong. Power comes in, goes through a thermostat goes to the heating coil.
    Last edited by Conditor22; 06-15-2019 at 02:14 PM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I think that's a breaker issue and not a Lee pot issue.

  5. #5
    Boolit Man

    Ranger 7's Avatar
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    Houston
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    It is possible the pot has a high resistance short (the buzzing/arcing sound).
    Open the pot up & look for signs of arcing.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Putnam County, NY
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    I'd bet it's the GFI outlet. Can you plug it into a regular outlet and see if it causes the same issue? If it was a fault it would trip as soon as it turned on. I got the rebuild kit for mine just for fun & rebuilt it. Open it up check for anything that looks like it may be causing an issue. You can also test the resistance of the element, continuity test the circuit to frame ground.
    You can also read this thread: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...ing-pot-broken

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    132
    Given that the 13 amp plug fuse did not blow, I would say that there is a faulty breaker or the GFI breaker is sensing leakage to ground and tripping the breaker.

    Does the melter have a three pronged plug on it? The third prong being a ground wire connection.
    If not, I do not see how the GFI would sense ground leakage from the melter, unless the melter was on a metal surface that was grounded somehow.

    Perhaps plug the melter into another 220 volt GFI protected circuit and see if the problem persists.

    My bet is on a faulty GFI breaker and needs replacing.

  8. #8
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Sheffield England
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    I disassembled the pot and connected the element directly to the mains using the same outlet as previously used and the element heated perfectly I left ir running for 40 mins and the breaker did not trip it was the main breaker that was tripping not the breaker for the outlet circuit. I did not have the LEE control switch in the circuit at the time of the test, it would therefor seem that it is the temperature adjuster switch that is at fault since that is the only part that is likely to fail and is the only electrical component with moving parts. The buzz was loud and at 50Hz (UK AC frequency) if the rather flimsy Lee adjuster was vibrating there would have been multiple on/off cycles, thereby tripping the breaker. Replacing the Lee control switch with a more sturdy device should resolve the issue. Alternatively, I will simply bypass the control switch entirely and run without it. I think that replacing the switch with a PID with a thermocouple and solid state relay will be the safest option though either that or a switch from an electric cooker (cheaper).
    Last edited by Briantllb; 06-16-2019 at 10:05 AM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Nov 2012
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    Central Virginia
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    5,310
    Glad you got it figured out.
    Seems like a lot of work to fix a minor problem. Why not just use another circuit that doesn't have a GFI breaker OR just replace the GFI breaker with a standard type? Sounds like you have two GFI breakers on the same circuit (one at the outlet and one at the breaker box)

  10. #10
    A faulty thermostat is very likely, glad you found it.

    I would highly recommend going the PID route, life is soooooooooo-- much easier when you know exactly what temperature your at and not having to adjust the dial and watch a thermometer.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check