Avoiding the ER4 Element Protection Code
Some of you have called because your Mash & Boil had stopped heating, and the display was flashing error code ER4. This is a thermostat/element protection error code which protects both the thermostat and the element from damage. This is a good thing because the heating element is not replaceable, so this code has a vital function. This code can be triggered by the following:
• No water in the Mash & Boil • A large hop bag or other item blocking natural heat circulation during boiling (the thermostat is the small stainless button near the drain valve). • Setting the boil temperature too low during the initial boil. Even if you are at high altitude, for boiling, never set it below 218° F. • Any other obstruction of the thermostat during boiling, it can also be triggered by extract brewers stirring in malt extract, which coats the bottom briefly during the dissolving period and sends the code.
• House wiring problems, reverse polarity on your GFCI plug, or a voltage shortage (less than 110 volts) can also cause this code to appear. Switching to another plug can be a way of testing this. The good news is the ER4 code can be cleared by pressing the chrome reset button in the center of the bottom of the base. The bad news is most customers have their Mash & Boils full when they need to reset, and it is best to drain out a couple gallons for safety before tiling the unit to hit the button. More good news is that this error is easily avoidable by making sure hop bags do not touch the bottom during the boil, and turning off the heat if you are malt extract brewing when you stir in the syrup.