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Old 11-15-2005, 07:31 AM   #1
akula169
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Default Building RIMS - electrical question

This might not be the best place for this question, but I'm at a loss of where to go with this. I just put together my temperature regulation unit for the HLT on the RIMS system I'm building. I ran into a snag when testing it. If someone knows a better forum for electrical questions such as this, please help a poor soul out

I put together a PID temp controller and solid state relay to control a 115v water heater element. The PID can run off 110v, so I'm tying it into the same circuit (as the manual suggests).

The initial tests were going just fine - for about 5 minutes - and then my 15amp breaker would pop. After about 5 repeats, I move the unit to a unoccupied 20amp circut and things were going smoothly. Until about 20 minutes in I heard something pop. I'm beginning to suspect that it was the SSR, since it no longer seems to want to carry a load and all other connections are kosher. It'll gen ~110V, but won't carry a load. Happens all the time too - even when there isn't a signal on the DC side.

So, I think I didn't follow the diagram that came with the PID correctly. Maybe somehow I was overloading something with incorrect wiring.

Here's the diagram that came with the PID:



And here's basically what I did. The boxes above the AC line are junction connector blocks:



Did I misunderstand something from the product diagram, or did I just get a bad SSR?

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Old 11-15-2005, 12:51 PM   #2
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How many watts are you pulling? If you are pulling more than 2000 W on a 110 VAC circuit, it's too much.

The other observation I can make is that your SSR needs a heat sink. I was having problems with mine and I installed a CPU heat sink and integral cooling fan onto the back of it and it seemed to fix the "cutting out" problem I was having.

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Old 11-15-2005, 01:42 PM   #3
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tnlandsailor help me get mine put together with no problems. Can you give us the wattage of the element you used, and the which pid controler, and scr you are you are using. The more info we have the better we can help you.

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Old 11-15-2005, 05:47 PM   #4
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PID is a TET-7100, manual is here

The SSR is 8-32v DC on signal side, 32-320V AC 40A on load side - and it did seem to get warm - although I didn't check it when I heard the pop. I'm thinking it just blew out as it isn't wanting to do its job anymore. Oh, and now it doesn't get warm at all.

The element is 120v, 3000W. I have a 240v 4500W if that might be a better replacement for this application.

You say more that 2000W on 120V is too much... makes me curious why someone would even manufacture a 3000W element for 120V...

Thanks for the help.

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Last edited by akula169; 11-16-2005 at 03:41 AM.
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Old 11-15-2005, 06:00 PM   #5
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I don't see why a 2kW element would be a problem if using a 20A-25A circuit. A 3kW would require at least 30A. But then again, I know very little about wiring electric. I would definitely have it on its own circuit, for example if you have a circuit installed for a tablesaw or somesuch.

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Old 11-15-2005, 06:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeGee
I don't see why a 2kW element would be a problem if using a 20A-25A circuit. A 3kW would require at least 30A. But then again, I know very little about wiring electric. I would definitely have it on its own circuit, for example if you have a circuit installed for a tablesaw or somesuch.
In my garage, the main outlet (with GFI) is 15A, and the breaker popped (not the GFI) a couple times before I realized I should stop using it.

Then I noticed that the deep freezer was using a 20A breaker. I unplugged the freezer. I used a powerstrip with a 15A breaker on it in between that and my setup. Once again, after about 2-3 minutes, the breaker would trip. That's when I took the powerstrip out of the loop and just plugged direct into the 20A. About 10 minutes later, and no breaker tripping, I think I lost the SSR.

The SSR is rated for 40A - so I would think that the breaker would have popped first - if indeed the amperage were a problem with the SSR. I'll be replacing the SSR, so maybe I should get one with a larger amperage rating?

I'm thinking I might want to replace my main garage breaker with something a little more than 15A. Now that you mention it, that is the circuit I use for the table saw and my metalworking lathe/mill. It pops about every other time I turn on the table saw (granted it is a 50s era Craftsman). About every 3 times with my 12" compound miter saw (brand new). And my house is just a little over a year old... builiders these days... taking shortcuts wherever they can...

I'm still wondering if my translation of the schematic was bad and causing a short/overload somewhere that it shouldn't be...
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Old 11-15-2005, 06:36 PM   #7
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You probably want a 20A for your tools, and just run one at a time. If your house was wired like mine (a Centex home) then the GFCI in the garage is on the same circuit as the outdoor GFCI's.

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Old 11-15-2005, 07:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeGee
You probably want a 20A for your tools, and just run one at a time. If your house was wired like mine (a Centex home) then the GFCI in the garage is on the same circuit as the outdoor GFCI's.
Yep - that's the deal for me too. Found that one out when the contractors building next door blew the circuit while attempting the discreetly "borrow" power from my house...
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Old 11-15-2005, 07:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akula169
Yep - that's the deal for me too. Found that one out when the contractors building next door blew the circuit while attempting the discreetly "borrow" power from my house...
At least they were discreet! My wife, who works at home, walked out one day to see the crew building the house next door running their wetsaw on our power AND water! Since she's Mexican she was able to give them a proper earfull.
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Old 11-15-2005, 08:51 PM   #10
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My system is made with a 1440 watt element it pulls 13 amps (Measured with a amp clamp) so if you have 3000 it is going to pull at least double. You also described that it took a bit to trip the breaker. A dead short will trip a breaker instanly, verus a over amp will trip it 20 sec to a few mins based on how many amps over the breaker rating you are. Take a close look at the scr to look for physical damage, if you see none then you should be ok with it. Usally a scr will show physical damage if you hurt it.

hope this helps

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