New Giveaway - Wort Monster Conical Fermenter!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > IS 30A enough for my control panel or am I too close?




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-05-2009, 08:54 PM   #1
kal
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
kal's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 1,970
Liked 181 Times on 123 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default IS 30A enough for my control panel or am I too close?

Doing some math and realizing that a 30A 2-pole service may not be enough for the control panel of my 100% electric brewery. I think the rule is that you shouldn't load a circuit more than 80% which would be 24A max on a 30A line. (right?)

I plan on running the following through the control panel:

- One 5500W/240V element at a time: 23A
- Two 120V March 809 pumps (both running at the same time in some instances): 1.2A each so 2.4A total
- Various 120V pilot lights, PIDs, some gauges possibly, etc: Neglible current.

So a max of ~25.4 amps which is above the 'recommended' 24A on a 30A circuit. How annoying. It's so close that it's probably ok but I should probably go for a 40 or even a 50A service (parts seem more common for 50A) as I'm likely forgetting something right? If I ever want to go RIMS too with an extra element on while the HLT element is on, I'd be screwed.

I'm torn because I would really like to go with a 30A service so that I can be able to brew elsewhere if I need to (we have brew meets once and a while where everyone gets together to brew). 30A would allow me to use a dryer outlet. A separate GFI would of course be needed.

Notes:

I do have some other GFI'ed regular 120V/15A utility outlets for other things that I'll be using in the brewery (drill for crushing grain, lighting, etc). The 30A is strictly for the control panel.

The control panel will have a switch in it to have either the BK or HLT element on, never both at the same time. Otherwise I'd need a 60-70A+ circuit since both BK and HLT have 5500W elements.


Thoughts?

Kal




Last edited by kal; 01-06-2009 at 04:41 PM.
kal is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2009, 11:19 PM   #2
WBC
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
WBC's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: La Puente, CA, California
Posts: 2,175
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

Default

You can just go to the next size breaker and wire size. Breakers are used to protect the wire in case of an overload so going to 50 amps would be fine. Look in the electrical code for wire big enough to handle 50 amps going to your outlet. If you are ever going to have 2 elements on at the same time then 100 amp breakers and suitable wire would be needed.



__________________

Cheers,
WBC

Fermentor 1: Bill's House Ale II, Fermentor 2: German Helles, Fermentor 3: Bill's Schworzbier (Black Bier)
Tap 1: Bill's House Ale II, Tap 2: German Hefewizen, Tap 3: Nut Brown Ale
Future Brews: Stone IPA Clone, Blonde Ale, Budvar Clone, Newcastle Clone
New toy: Blichmann 27 gallon fermentor


“If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging”

“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment”


Last edited by WBC; 01-05-2009 at 11:23 PM.
WBC is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2009, 11:58 PM   #3
Bernie Brewer
Grouchy Old Fart
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Bernie Brewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Eldorado, WI
Posts: 7,539
Liked 106 Times on 50 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

40A= #8's

50A= #6's

CU wire o'course.

__________________
I like to squeeze the nickle until the buffalo craps-mt rob

"Why don't we get drunk and screw?" Jimmy Buffett
Bernie Brewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-06-2009, 12:29 AM   #4
somecallmetim
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Loudonville, OH.
Posts: 233
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I'm guessing you'll find that it will be cheaper to just run a separate circuit for your 120v stuff than go up to 40 or 50a gfci on your 240v. Have you found a 30a 240v gfci for your panel? I found it was cheaper to buy a 60a spa box than get a 240v gfci for the box in my garage, a Cutler Hammer...

Just a pet peeve, but 240 is single phase. Are you planning on doing the work yourself?

__________________

On Tap - Haus Ale, Baltic Porter.
Fermenting- SNPA Clone, Half Wit

somecallmetim is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-06-2009, 12:41 AM   #5
BrewinJack
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Upstairs
Posts: 630
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

I would sugest getting a 60 amp two pole disconect(so you can cut power right away if you need to) and going into a regular small breaker box (8-12 spaces) then comming off to do your regular outlets with a 15 amp piggy back cicut breaker(it has two 15 amp switches in it for two circuts off a 15 amp two-pole, then go to 2 double pulg with GFCI in each in case of flying water) that leaves you 45 amps to play with for your pumps and your elements. I do HVAC and wire AC units all the time, as well as some other regular eletrical work. This is code. Dont quote me on that because i dont live where you do. but it will be safe for what you want to do, only down side is 60amps is #4 wire and i would normally jump off a bridge then run #4 wire because its a bitch to manuver. Good luck and be careful

Cheers

__________________
Twin Ogre's Brewing Co.

"I wish i could give all my genrals a bottle of what he's drinking..." Honest Abe

"On the 8th day God created Bars"

Primary:
Ginger mead (3 Gal)
Edworts Apfelwine (5Gal)
Australian Lager (5gal)

Secondary:
Operation "Black Gold" (High ABV) (5 Gal)

Bottled:
Carmel Stout
Stright Juice Cider
Apple/Blue berry/ale

Last edited by BrewinJack; 01-06-2009 at 12:44 AM.
BrewinJack is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-06-2009, 01:06 AM   #6
kal
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
kal's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 1,970
Liked 181 Times on 123 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by somecallmetim View Post
I'm guessing you'll find that it will be cheaper to just run a separate circuit for your 120v stuff than go up to 40 or 50a gfci on your 240v.
Correct. I've already got a 120v/15A power to the room so that'll be used for most things. Most of the control panel power is for the element(s). I'll run the PIDs and pumps off it too of course but everything else will be a separate line.

Quote:
Have you found a 30a 240v gfci for your panel? I found it was cheaper to buy a 60a spa box than get a 240v gfci for the box in my garage, a Cutler Hammer...
Nope - I'm thinking 30A is too low so I'm bidding on some new 40 or 50A 2-pole GFI breakers on ebay right now.

Quote:
Just a pet peeve, but 240 is single phase. Are you planning on doing the work yourself?
Sorry - good point. I meant to say '2 pole'. (fixed). And yes, I'll do the work myself and possibly get an electrician to certify it to keep the wife happy.

Kal
__________________
TheElectricBrewery.com: A step by step guide to building your own electric brewery
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
kal is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-06-2009, 01:19 AM   #7
somecallmetim
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Loudonville, OH.
Posts: 233
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kal View Post

Sorry - good point. I meant to say '2 pole'. (fixed). And yes, I'll do the work myself and possibly get an electrician to certify it to keep the wife happy.

Kal
That's cool, you definitely seem to be asking all the right questions. FWIW I really like being able to run my HLT & Kettle at the same time. We often brew double batches & it saves us a fair amount of time to mash the second during the first boil...
__________________

On Tap - Haus Ale, Baltic Porter.
Fermenting- SNPA Clone, Half Wit

somecallmetim is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-06-2009, 01:22 AM   #8
kal
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
kal's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 1,970
Liked 181 Times on 123 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewinJack View Post
I would sugest getting a 60 amp two pole disconect(so you can cut power right away if you need to)...
I don't need 60A I think. 40A is enough (30A is close). I already have a 15A line into the room for the "extra stuff".

So what do you mean by "disconnect"? Do you mean a cartridge style safety switch like this?:



Adding something like that between the GFI breaker and the brewing control panel is in the plans. I was going to use it to power on/off the control panel. Hopefully this is what you mean?

Quote:
... and going into a regular small breaker box (8-12 spaces) then comming off to do your regular outlets with a 15 amp piggy back cicut breaker(it has two 15 amp switches in it for two circuts off a 15 amp two-pole, then go to 2 double pulg with GFCI in each in case of flying water) that leaves you 45 amps to play with for your pumps and your elements.
That's a good idea, but I already have enough power in the room for the 'regular' stuff and these existing circuits are also already GFI protected. I just need to get just over 30A to my brewing control panel to drive mainly the elements.

If I didn't have any power at all in the room I do like your idea which I think is the following (correct me if I'm wrong):

GFI breaker in the main panel -> ?/4 wire -> safety switch in the room -> short run of ?/4wire -> 8-12 space sub-panel breaker box to do one 1-pole 15A line (120v) and a 'big' 40A 2-pole line for the control panel (240v).

Since I don't need the extra 15A line(s) I was going to simply come out of the safety switch directly into a little NEMA box with a 40 or 50A 4-wire outlet for the control panel.

So similar to how an electric stove/range is wired up today in any house but with some extras like the GFI and safety switch like this:

50A GFI Breaker -> 6/4 wire -> safety switch -> 6/4 wire -> 4-wire range outlet in a nice protected box.

I would then plug my brew control panel into that range outlet. The safety switch is there as a power switch. I'll have an emergency "all kill" mushroom style pushbutton on the control panel too.

Kal
__________________
TheElectricBrewery.com: A step by step guide to building your own electric brewery
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0

Last edited by kal; 01-06-2009 at 01:28 AM.
kal is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-06-2009, 01:31 AM   #9
Gregredic
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 175
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewinJack View Post
only down side is 60amps is #4 wire and i would normally jump off a bridge then run #4 wire because its a bitch to manuver.
Can you run 2 wires with a smaller gauge than #4, and just connect them at each end....or is that a major no no?
__________________
Gregredic is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-06-2009, 01:36 AM   #10
kal
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
kal's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 1,970
Liked 181 Times on 123 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by somecallmetim View Post
That's cool, you definitely seem to be asking all the right questions. FWIW I really like being able to run my HLT & Kettle at the same time. We often brew double batches & it saves us a fair amount of time to mash the second during the first boil...
I hear ya. That's the only thing (as far as I can tell) that I won't be able to do. Hopefully I'm not missing anything else.

I'd have to put in a 60A GFI breaker and the appropriate wiring if I wanted to to run both elements at once. I just don't see myself doing that. A 60A breaker would *JUST* get to me to 80% circuit utilization too of both elements were going along with both pumps. If I planned on RIMS in the future I should go with a 70 (or 80) amp GFI. That's getting into crazy wire size.

To make sure that only one element is one at once, I'm planning on a 3-way switch to either have the HLT element on, the BK element on, or both off. The switch will be on the control (low voltage) side of the SSRs. This way only one SSR can be firing at once unless one goes defective and gets stuck on. Anyone think this is concern?

I definitely don't want to wire up two completely independant SSR override switches like I see done sometimes and them make the mistake one day of turning one element on before remembering to turn the other one off. I know the breaker *should* pop but systems should be designed to avoid using a breaker as a means of control. That's just not right. IMHO, assuming the user always hits the right switches in the right order is not the proper way to design something. You have to make sure that the control layouts only allow correct usage.

Kal


__________________
TheElectricBrewery.com: A step by step guide to building your own electric brewery
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0

Last edited by kal; 01-06-2009 at 01:39 AM.
kal is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Control Panel airbalancer DIY Projects 68 04-16-2010 08:22 PM
Control panel question ILOVEBEER DIY Projects 12 10-07-2009 01:16 PM
Control Panel twhite315@gmail.com All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 1 05-09-2008 07:33 PM
My control panel Brewpastor DIY Projects 7 03-14-2007 09:05 PM