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Issues with a small equipment supplier

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Hi, this isn't my usual route of action but i figured I must warn people. I purchased a few items from Schnapp Stills about a month ago. I finally received the items. Unfortunately, the box contained two pieces of wood and some scrap wires instead of element clamps and elements. I believe this was in retaliation to not following through with the purchase of a larger item. I'm sure people have had good service in the past, but because I received a box of nothing, I thought i should post a warning.

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Wow,

That's got to be the worst customer relations situation I've ever heard of. If you need elements you should look to your local hardware store for water heater elements (ULWD rated)

Hope that this will help others avoid similar problems...

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Looks Like he's reselling Still Dragon's bits and pieces with his own columns.

drop Larry a line at Still Dragon, I'm sure he can get you sorted out.

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That is how I backed out of the deal when I found out he was reselling. Still Dragon was unbelievable to deal with. Larry was great.

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I've been dealing with Larry at Still Dragon for approx. 8 months, his products are great and is willing to answer any questions that arise. Also anything that goes wrong he takes care of it right away.

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Jason schnapp is a complete jackass. Most of his stuff is resale Still Dragon parts. Some of the pieces we got were clearly already used and damaged/ broken.  I generally would not make such a poor review of anyone, but he screwed us out of a lot of money when we made an accidental overpayment on an expensive two column system that we bought from him. Instead of refunding the obvious overpayment back to us, he actually told us to go f*** ourselves. We have copies of checks and invoices to prove the error was his, but we don't have an attorney in Missouri.  We have had problems with nearly every single piece of our order. One of the controller's had to be sent back because it didn't work, several of the PID cables are bad, the heating elements are underpowered, the dephleg does not circulate enough water to hold the column in reflux, he ships equipment in bad packaging so that it is damaged during shipment (and then expects you to pay for the repair). Basically just stay as far away as you can. If anyone else has had a similar experience and is interested in a class action suit against him, we would be interested to talk to you.

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On 1/17/2014 at 11:18 PM, Swede said:

Wow,

That's got to be the worst customer relations situation I've ever heard of. If you need elements you should look to your local hardware store for water heater elements (ULWD rated)

Hope that this will help others avoid similar problems...

If you are going to purchase yourself, make sure you get SS and that the gasket and/or feedthrough materials are resistant to high temperature alcohol. Otherwise, they can corrode or leak quickly.

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@Hammer Spring

Hopefully you get everything resolved sooner than later.  If there is anything you need help with, please don't hesitate to give us a call.  Whether it is for something you already have, or something you need, we'll be happy to help you out.  

Chris

chris@stilldragon.com

806-206-5861

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Let's get a couple things straight here. First the OP placed a deposit on equipment. He then backed out and was upset he couldn't get his deposit back. Second, the only thing Hammer Spring received that was Still Dragon (sold at Still Dragons cost mind you) were the boilers. Still Dragon directly sent used equipment to Hammer Spring. SD also handled it immediately.  JP nor his electrician have ANY business handling the electrical part of the installation.  Elements are elements and voltage is voltage. Theres no lack of power unless it's you or your power companies fault.  Third. I ABSOLUTELY DID NOT short Hammer Spring on anything, nor was there an over payment.  JP tried to say I owed him money A YEAR LATER. He isnt getting a lawyer because no lawyer would take his made up case. He signed off on every invoice and payment sent. He bounced a $10k check to me, and then a year later tried to negotiate more equipment, by stating he overpayed. So yes, I told him to go fly a kite. My deflags and controllers work perfectly, you are 1 of thousands and they are all built to the same specs. And just a heads up Jp, if I see this  online again I will have a lawyer handle it. The comments you made here clearly show you have no idea how to use the equipment. 

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Anyone want to give Hammer Spring Distillery a heads up as to why their deflag would be be keeping up? This is a screen shot of their video on their Facebook page. It's good to see that "underpowered pos controller " you've been using for two years, still over powers your column.

Screenshot_20180701-134858_Facebook.jpg

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I purchased a controller from Schnapp Stills about 6 years ago.  I was looking for someone to build panels for me at the time and since he was here in MO I ordered a panel from him so that I could test it.  When I received it, most of the wires were either disconnected or loose.  When I contacted him and sent a picture asking which wires went where he said you bought it, its yours now.  I ended up trashing the controller.  All of the components were garbage.  It was the worst POS controller that I have ever seen.  

Here is something else.  Jason Schnapp is running a scam on the ADI forum.  Please see the below where he pretended to be his own customers and gave himself a couple of reviews.  I think  he needs to be removed from ADI.    I guess he forgot that he did that and came out as himself using the same Avatar.  It's like one of those stories about stupid criminals.  What a dumbass!   

 

 

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Speaking of dumb people. Then I guess others should be deleted as well huh Paul? Paul here bought a controller (note he is a supplier as well) He then took it to an electric company and had them COPY IT. Then he tried to return the one he purchased. Note he now sells them on his site, but needed one of mine 😕

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Still using the sockpuppet account, dude.  Try logging in under a different one.  That may help.

 

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On 7/1/2018 at 4:53 PM, Southernhighlander said:

I purchased a controller from Schnapp Stills about 6 years ago.  I was looking for someone to build panels for me at the time and since he was here in MO I ordered a panel from him so that I could test it.  When I received it, most of the wires were either disconnected or loose.  When I contacted him and sent a picture asking which wires went where he said you bought it, its yours now.  I ended up trashing the controller.  All of the components were garbage.  It was the worst POS controller that I have ever seen.  

Here is something else.  Jason Schnapp is running a scam on the ADI forum.  Please see the below where he pretended to be his own customers and gave himself a couple of reviews.  I think  he needs to be removed from ADI.    I guess he forgot that he did that and came out as himself using the same Avatar.  It's like one of those stories about stupid criminals.  What a dumbass!   

 

 

If your are looking for controllers, I can build you controllers. Just let me know.

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My controllers/heating systems are nothing like Jason Schnapps.  They are far more advanced and contain much better and safer parts and components.  They were designed by an electrical engineer and are built from all UL listed components.  Also our controllers do not have cooling fans that can pull ethanol vapor into the enclosure which can cause a fire and or explosion.  We have them on stills in over 140 distilleries, so they are proven.

If you are in the market for a still controller and someone offers you one that has an internal cooling fan that draws air into it for cooling SSRs, stay away from it.  It has the potential to be very dangerous inside a distilling area.  All of our control panel enclosures are NEMA 4  and completely enclosed so that no liquid or ethanol vapor can get inside.   

 

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On 7/14/2018 at 11:09 AM, Southernhighlander said:

If you are in the market for a still controller and someone offers you one that has an internal cooling fan that draws air into it for cooling SSRs, stay away from it.  It has the potential to be very dangerous inside a distilling area.  All of our control panel enclosures are NEMA 4  and completely enclosed so that no liquid or ethanol vapor can get inside.   

 

This is an important point, to use NEMA 4 or 4x enclosures anywhere near distillation or storage of spirit. And since you are likely going to be using SSRs, not just mechanical relays, for power control, you also have to make sure you have adequately sized heat sinks for the SSRs, not only to cool them, but to avoid getting so hot themselves that the heat sinks or box itself gets to too high a temperature for potential exposure to ethanol vapor. Our box was so good, that when we did have a catastrophic failure (burn up) of an SSR, we only knew because those elements went out. The vaporized remains of the SSR (including odor) was completely contained in the sealed box, as it should be.

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Your SSR had catastrophic failure because it OVERHEATED. Paul has 140 sealed controllers,  in distilleries. lol I built 140 already this year. If you have a vapor leak you have a bigger problem.  A problem you should have provisions for. (I. E. Ventilation. ) If you have enough vapor to get into your controller and cause an explosion then you probably shouldnt be distilling.  And. It is very easy to isolate the controller (recommended, especially since most distilleries ambient air temp is above 85F). Also easy to build the controller with  the heat sinks on the outside so theres no need for a fan. However,  most realize is far cheaper to put in necassary provisions that should be there anyway, rather than constantly fixing expensive controllers and covering down time costs. Good luck isolating gas flame which is used in the majority of distilleries. I'm done with the pissing match, your Chinese equipment will always be sub par. 

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I guess I don't see why people put their control panel right next to the still? I had that in our old space and didn't like the idea of it so in our new space the panel is about 35 feet away, next to the exit door.

Stills should be monitored close enough that vapor percentages in the explosive range is nearly impossible to reach. And if that happens, would you really want the panel with emergency stop button to be right next to the device with a bunch of fire around it?

I'm working on wiring up a simple automatic shutoff into my still and panel. Output temp after the condenser hits X degrees and the panel shuts off and has to be manually reset. Looking in to how I can accomplish the same thing with pressure to shut it down before a pressure valve would ever have to do its job.

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9 hours ago, Moonshiner11 said:

Your SSR had catastrophic failure because it OVERHEATED. Paul has 140 sealed controllers,  in distilleries. lol I built 140 already this year. If you have a vapor leak you have a bigger problem.  A problem you should have provisions for. (I. E. Ventilation. ) If you have enough vapor to get into your controller and cause an explosion then you probably shouldnt be distilling.  And. It is very easy to isolate the controller (recommended, especially since most distilleries ambient air temp is above 85F). Also easy to build the controller with  the heat sinks on the outside so theres no need for a fan. However,  most realize is far cheaper to put in necassary provisions that should be there anyway, rather than constantly fixing expensive controllers and covering down time costs. Good luck isolating gas flame which is used in the majority of distilleries. I'm done with the pissing match, your Chinese equipment will always be sub par. 

The interior of our panels never overheat.  There is no pissing match.  The statements that have been made by your customers here and the fact that you were pretending to be your own customer to give yourself positive reviews shows very plainly what kind of person you are and what kind of work that you do. 

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1 hour ago, Skaalvenn said:

...

I'm working on wiring up a simple automatic shutoff into my still and panel. Output temp after the condenser hits X degrees and the panel shuts off and has to be manually reset. Looking in to how I can accomplish the same thing with pressure to shut it down before a pressure valve would ever have to do its job.

I build not only truly truly custom R&D and small batch production distillery equipment but specialize in fully custom automated control panels for Stills, Mash-Tuns & Fermentation systems as well. In regards to creating an automatic shutdown feature using the correct hardware this is extremely easy to achieve..All my automated control panels for my Stills come standard with a pressure sensor that will automatically shut-down the system if a preset pressure value is reach prior to any PRV exhausting off. Furthermore my panels come with a feature that if a preset pressure value is reached/hit an automatic valve will open discharging the entire vapor contents of the boiler-charge instantly outside the distillery (DSP). The control panels have been designed and redesigned with not only the end-user (distiller) in-mind but the variables of running a distillery with as many safety precautions and features as possible to create a truly seamless experience for the user/distiller. 

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1 hour ago, Skaalvenn said:

I guess I don't see why people put their control panel right next to the still? I had that in our old space and didn't like the idea of it so in our new space the panel is about 35 feet away, next to the exit door.

Stills should be monitored close enough that vapor percentages in the explosive range is nearly impossible to reach. And if that happens, would you really want the panel with emergency stop button to be right next to the device with a bunch of fire around it?

I'm working on wiring up a simple automatic shutoff into my still and panel. Output temp after the condenser hits X degrees and the panel shuts off and has to be manually reset. Looking in to how I can accomplish the same thing with pressure to shut it down before a pressure valve would ever have to do its job.

They put their control panels close to the still in case they need to shut down quickly in an emergency.  There are safety rules concerning the distance that a control panel should be from industrial equipment for that reason. It is a very bad idea to have your control panel 35' away from your still.  If you have an emergency you may not be able to reach it, to shut it down in time.

    We suggest that our NEMA4 VFDs and control panels go 7ft away from the still.  If either of them were inside the class 1 division 2 hazardous environment, that extends 6' away from any part of the still, the VFD and control panel would need to be explosion proof NEMA7 panels for them to be guaranteed to pass inspection by your fire marshal and your insurance safety inspector.  Sometimes it is harder to get things past your insurance safety inspector and not being able to get insurance can be a big problem. 

If you have a NEMA 1 panel with a fan that is 8' away from your still, it may fail your safety inspection and it is more dangerous than a NEMA4 or NEMA 7 panel which are fully enclosed.  We work every day to increase the level of safety that our equipment provides.  If built properly NEMA4 and or NEMA7 panels give you an extra layer of safety.  Having a 5 psi pressure relief valve of the proper capacity on the pot and another on the top of a column adds another layer of safety.  Having a vent to vent the ethanol vapor directly from the still to the outside of the building, in case the condenser goes down, adds another layer of safety.  Having an ethanol detector and a good ventilation system adds another layer of safety.  All of those layers added together decrease the chance of a catastrophic failure involving injury or death from occurring. 

 

   Of course automatic shutdown systems for overpressure and heat are a great idea, however if your components are not UL listed explosion proof, and if you do not have the correct conduit and if your enclosures are not fully enclosed and the correct NEMA rating and if everything is not installed by a licensed industrial electrician, you are just making the situation more dangerous.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Southernhighlander said:

They put their control panels close to the still in case they need to shut down quickly in an emergency.  There are safety rules concerning the distance that a control panel should be from industrial equipment for that reason. It is a very bad idea to have your control panel 35' away from your still.  If you have an emergency you may not be able to reach it, to shut it down in time.

I just timed myself on how long it takes me to go from standing at the man way of the still to pressing the emergency stop button at a brisk walking pace (not running).

Distance: 34 feet, 6" from the manway to the control panel emergency stop.
Control: 7.5 seconds to turn 90 degrees and casually walk over and hit the stop button
Test 1: 4.7 seconds (face still, 90 degree turn to panel)
Test 2: 4.5 seconds (face still, 90 degree turn to panel)
Test 3: 4.9 seconds (facing away from panel, 180 degree turn to panel)
And after realizing that I was not going to get an absurd amount of time to the panel...
Test 4: 5.2 seconds (standing on one leg facing still, 90 degree turn while hopping on one leg to panel)

If there's an emergency and the still is spewing hot steam or fire, I would imagine that time to decrease by a good second and I'd be going towards the exit of the building at the same time I'm hitting the emergency shutoff.  If the time difference of 1 or 2 seconds extra is catastrophic, you probably don't want to be spending any bit of time near the still to attempt to hit the emergency stop button (it's not like someone is going to get caught up and wound into a machine requiring a close stop button).  At least to me, saving a life is most important so I'll stick with my panel being further away so that myself or an employee is less likely to be harmed in the event of catastrophe.

One could "what if" all day and say that "what if that 4 extra seconds was the difference?"  Well, we can play that game until the end of time.

 

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11 hours ago, Moonshiner11 said:

 Paul has 140 sealed controllers,  in distilleries. lol I built 140 already this year. 

I just checked and we have sold 723 control panels total with over 140 of them being in distilleries.

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