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Old 11-24-2008, 01:09 AM   #1
N5629
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Default RIMS Controller design questions

I am at a bit of a loss here - I am trying to design a RIMS controller and I don't have the necessary knowledge of electrical parts/design to figure out what I need. Leave it to the pros at this point would be best but I am going to build this myself and I could use some help figuring out what it is exactly that I need.

The plan is this:
A PID controlling a 4500 watt element in my HLT (an igloo cooler) and a second PID controlling a 2000 watt element in the RIMS. I want to put a push-pull killswitch in the circuit prior to anything else so I can cut power to everything if I need too. There would also need to be an on/off switch for the pump. The power source for all of this would be a 240VAC 60 amp plug originally meant for a dryer.

Generally, what do I need to put into this to make everything work without starting on fire or otherwise ruining my life? Is there somewhere I can find this information for myself, a good website or book meant for those of us who aren't electricians or industrial automation specialists?

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Old 11-24-2008, 04:56 AM   #2
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I have similar questions, but with 110VAC.

I was also wondering about using a relay to have only one heating element going at one time, but would be able to heat the recirc and the sparge water at the same time.

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Old 11-24-2008, 12:33 PM   #3
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N5269 - I am going through a similar thing right now, although mine is manual controlled instead of a RIMS (for now).

First you are going to need at least a 30Amp breaker. I might suggest that you check out the CH Spa kit (~$70) at Home Depot to use as your on/off switch. Includes that GFCI protection.

Here's what has worked for me. I have the 240 line coming into a junction box. I used some "grounding" strips (found near the circuit breakers at a box store) to spit off the power. Make sure there is no way in hell that these can touch any other line- mine are separated by a panel, secured in place, and covered with electrical tape. THis will split your output into the two heater sides you need.

Slimer - to do this, you have to come up with some additional electronics to do the switching. Something along the lines of 2 x 25 amp SSR's and a couple of 555 timers or an Arduino board would do the job. I might could help out on that. PM if interested.

DISCLAIMER: Electric + Water can = DEATH. If you aren't sure, contract with an electrician to be safe. It could be the best money you ever spent.

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