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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple of years ago I asked if anyone has purchased and are using the Walter Kelley Multi-Purpose Tank (item#281) in their honey house. I am in need of a stainless steel tank to use for uncapping and I also need a device to liquify my 5 gal. pails to bottle. It appears this tank would be a good value as it does do a few different things. I'm not sure if I would melt my wax in it, but it can also be used to do that. The tank is divided into sections with a bottom grid, tank cover, 2 gate valves and 2 heating elements. Cost is $650.00 plus shipping. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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I just bought something kinda like that from Maxant and I'll only be using it as a warmer/clarifier that I'm attaching a honey pump to. http://www.maxantindustries.com/trays.html

Walter Kelley makes some good stuff (I started out with a used 2 frame reversable extractor Kelly that was undestructable). That unit appears to have more uses but I've got.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dirty Secret

I'll be glad to give you an update. I am now the proud owner of (2) Walter Kelley Multi-Purpose tanks. I purchased the first one last fall to be used primarily to liquefy honey in 5 gal. buckets. It says you can fit (3) buckets at a time in the main part of the tank but you’d really have to cram the last one in if you wanted to do (3). I have not used the tank for uncapping or for melting wax in the other compartment but I probably will in the future.
Here is the good: Fairly inexpensive piece of beekeeping equipment than can be used for different purposes in the honey house. I purchased the stand with mine and glad I did.
Here is the not so good:
1. Quality of construction is somewhat crude. Make no mistake this is not on par with Maxant build quality. Some joints are soldered, and this is a hand welded / fabricated tank, and it looks for lack of a better word "a little rough".
2. Delivery: The tank was crated and came through ok but one of the legs on the stand was bent badly. I noted that on the delivery ticked and Kelly sent out a replacement stand in about 3 weeks.
3. Although this is an all stainless steel piece of equipment mine started to develop a serious rust issue at one of the interior rivets (see attached picture.) The weirdest thing is that the rust developed underwater when the tank was full. The rust pattern is strange in that it runs vertical following the stainless steel partition dividing the tank. Needless to say I was quite perturbed discovering this and immediately called Kelley and sent them some pictures. This happened about 8 months after I had been using it. I soon got a call back from the fabrication shop foreman (can't remember his name) who was very concerned as he had never heard of this happening. He set up a conference call and called me back with customer service on the line and said that they would make a new tank and have it sent out within a week to replace mine. He advised me at the time not to worry about sending the original tank back. Currently I have the new tank sitting in my too small as it is honey house and it has not been used. My plan now is to use the new tank just for liquefying buckets and use the original tank to uncap into and melt wax etc.
4. A little more history: The electric immersion heaters that come with these units are made by Kelley. These are again functional but not the same quality as some of the better make immersion heaters on the market. Additionally the heater they sent was set up for 220v and I only had 110V. I guess because I'm such a nice guy Kelley told me to keep the heater that came with it and they would send me out a new one wired for 110V (at no charge). The tank comes with one heater (needs 2 for full application) so I'll rewire the initial one to 110v and use that for the wax melting portion of the tank. I purchased a new Watlow immersion heater from Dadant with a built in t-stat and use it to heat the water in the large portion of the tank. It works great.
5. Once I re-organize my honey house I'll put both tanks along the same wall and have a "2-for-one" set up. I'll have to buy valves for the replacement tank but hey...I fixed the bent leg on the original stand so I have that already.

6. Rust issue: The picture looks worse than it is and a little steel wool removes the rust entirely. My plan is to seal the rivet and coat it with something (suggestions ??) and I am pretty sure that would stop any future issue with rust. The new tank they sent doesn't have any more inside rivets. Perhaps I prompted a re-design. The original tank does come with a full stainless steel cover which is great (and no Kelly didn't send me a free one with the replacement tank).
All in all I am pleased with the tank for my intended purpose. If I start using it to uncap and melt wax I'll post an update. Because I use mine primarily to liquefy honey I really didn't want to get it all messed up with wax capping's and propolis and have to clean it all up again. Now that I have (2) tanks that issue is solved.
Summation: I had my reservations regarding possible issues with customer service as Kelly is now under new ownership. That was not the case. When I called Kelley customer service they went well beyond my expectations of making things right.

 

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Dont know how I missed this, but completely appreciate the review! This is definitely one of my next purchases (along with a bottling tank) but remains one of the great "unknowns" in the industry and so little information exists. Great to hear that the new management stood behind the product. That says a lot these days!
 

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so for the same money between the Kelley tank and and the Maxant tank ( with presloped bottom & removable cappings drainer) which would you buy today? Is the bucket heating easy enough to do other ways and the features of the Maxant (MUTT) tip the scales toward the Maxant?
or
Do you find the Kelley tank wax melting feature worth the space?
 

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I just bought something kinda like that from Maxant and I'll only be using it as a warmer/clarifier that I'm attaching a honey pump to. http://www.maxantindustries.com/trays.html

Walter Kelley makes some good stuff (I started out with a used 2 frame reversable extractor Kelly that was undestructable). That unit appears to have more uses but I've got.
what do you feel the Kelley tank could do well that the MUTT does not do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My recommendation is to stay clear of the Kelley Multi-Purpose tank. The issue is that they use a soldering process that produces a great deal of rust (both outside and inside) the tank. They are not MIG welded as are the Maxant and Dadant tanks (more expensive). Kelley sent me a replacement tank so now I own two of them. Once I started to use the wax melter portion of the new tank it rusted badly at the exterior fittings and inside the tank as well. When I complained to Kelly (new management) they handled the situation poorly. Their customer service was very poor. Long story short I suggested that they send me a pallet of supers equivalent to most of the cost of the tank. They were very reluctant to do so but finally agreed. You will be much happier with better made tank, Maxant or Dadant.
 

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Tavery,

Not sure what you are looking for, but I use the Maxant MUTT for holding frames after going through their chain uncapper or when I just need to uncap a few boxes by hand. I am happy with it and it certainly does what it was designed to do. There is no way you could heat a bucket in it though, no heating element and honestly the existing legs would have to be seriously modified to hold that kind of water weight. There are other ways to heat buckets from relatively inexpensive electric bands/wraps to the Maxant 900L pail warmer if you need to warm that many at a time. Maxant also has a single walled tank for wax melting that I think you can use to warm a single bucket as well, but if memory serves it is around $600 bucks or so. I heard rumors from other local beeks that Maxant may be wiling/able to make a custom built two bucket pail warmer if something smaller is required, I wouldn't hesitate to give them a call if there is interest, I personally have had great luck with the quality of their products.


so for the same money between the Kelley tank and and the Maxant tank ( with presloped bottom & removable cappings drainer) which would you buy today? Is the bucket heating easy enough to do other ways and the features of the Maxant (MUTT) tip the scales toward the Maxant?
or
Do you find the Kelley tank wax melting feature worth the space?
 

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Thank you Mike and Riskybizz, I have access to borrow an extractor for another year . maybe more. I am considering an uncapping tank this year to drain cappings and hang drippings frames as the next most important equipment need. The extractor owner needs one and as we both only harvest 1,000 lbs of honey each, this makes sense for us both. the extractor is a 12 frame electric Dadant. so a 4ft' uncapping tank is about right for that( I think). I called Kelley after asking the above question.. came to a similar conclusion. the heating design is not functional and not really needful in an uncapping tank and the MUTT is pre-sloped and efficient to use and clean it seems.. Lega makes a 15 frame extractor/uncapping tank combo I would like to own but $2,250 is not realistic since an extractor is available.
 
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