the lowest temp setting is 130 degrees F. I'm wondering if people are just manually turning off the heat element when it comes up to the right temp, or can the temperature control/thermometer be bypassed with a new controller to still use the current heat element, but be able to get it to stay steady at a lower temp?
I have seen both solutions used. No need to replace element, as you said. Depends how much work you want to do. Many find it easiest to do manual controls.
The responder talked about an "easy method" to convert it to a water bath system to use the hot water heater. But no details in the thread.
You undo the steam hookup and replace with water in/out and recirc pump. Account for the thermal expansion/pressure due to heating. Or waste the water and not recirculate, but purge hot water from the jacket. Less control that way.
My husband is the electronics and plumbing guru, so he'd understand technical explanations. Any help would be appreciated!
Then he should already have a basic concept for how to make it work. Principle is basic... inline heater, controller, thermocouple to controller, pump to keep temp steady and water running through element, and control for pump. You could also incorporate separate hot water heater and not do it inline (meaning use external heat source, not built in to kettle)