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Old 12-16-2011, 11:32 PM   #21
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Nevermind.. You are hell bent on your mission and free to go with it all.

Sorry to burden you with a possible thought process.

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Old 12-16-2011, 11:46 PM   #22
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Nevermind.. You are hell bent on your mission and free to go with it all.

Sorry to burden you with a possible thought process.
I don't understand. The copper stake next to my breaker box ensures my breaker box is at ground potential, right?

I would like to understand. But you can take your sarcasm somewhere else. I did nothing to deserve that.
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Old 12-17-2011, 11:54 PM   #23
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If I may jump in and semi-hijack this with a totaly relavant situation. I can start a new thread if need be.

My shop has a dedicated 220 outlet that I'd like to use for my kettle using only one element at 3500 or 4500 watts. The shop is wired with regular Romex 12/2 (b, w, copper), and each outlet has a dedicated 20 amp breaker. I've purchased a 20 amp Payne Engineering phase angle controller I'll use for element control.

I've read about the spa panel thing, and understand about turning 3-wire into 4 with PJs diagram earlier. i'm still a little stumped on what I should do. I can get a 20 amp gfci for the main panel for not that much, maybe $70 or even less as my brother in law is a commercial electrician. And, from what I've read so far, I can install that on my current wiring. but that still leaves a 3 prong no ground? I might be able to rerun that single circuit with 12/3 as its not too far, but wonder if it's necessary? Is there a way to wire PJs diagram in the outlet, retaining the inwall wiring with a gfci in the breaker box?

I need no more than the 20 amps, only 240, no 120v to feed. I'd like to use twist locks, having a male socket on the keg element box, a removable power cable/controller unit, and plug straight into the wall.

Any and all help, suggestions are much appreciated!

EDIT: so, now as I read more about NEMA/plugs, am I wrong in understanding that using only one device on my circuit such as a 240v table saw or a 4500 heating element, the 3 wires are actually hot-hot-ground? And if my requirements are only one 4500 watt elemnt, I should be able to just swap out my receptacle for a 20 amp gfci receptacle or inline GFCI and be gfci protected, and grounded? Then I would need to find the L6-20 twist locks.

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Old 12-18-2011, 05:32 AM   #24
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I brew behind my house, at least 100' from the breaker box in the garage. 240VAC. Assuming there is a 1 ohm resistance in the neutral wire, if used as a ground it would be at 10VAC if there was 10A running on it.

Sorry to split hairs, I'll go on my way now. Cheers!
see... now you have me all paranoid. I am going to have to sit and think about it. I see your point.
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:03 PM   #25
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Electricity in the home was used for many years before outlets even had a ground terminal and then for several years more before GCFI was invented and very few people died from electric shock. We've been so conditioned to avoid any potential harm that we are willing to spend hundreds of dollars to have our homes rewired to meet current code without thinking how little risk is there. Yes a long neutral wire carrying current will have a small voltage to earth ground but could you even feel this small voltage, nevermind be harmed by it?

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Old 12-18-2011, 03:46 PM   #26
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I worked in appliance repair for a major appliance manufacturer. The neutral was always grounded to the cabinet. That said, there is a reason that the newer standards are calling for a separate ground. If running a separate ground is possible, go that route. If not, I wouldn't sweat it.

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Old 12-18-2011, 03:54 PM   #27
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My shop has a dedicated 220 outlet that I'd like to use for my kettle using only one element at 3500 or 4500 watts. The shop is wired with regular Romex 12/2 (b, w, copper), and each outlet has a dedicated 20 amp breaker. I've purchased a 20 amp Payne Engineering phase angle controller I'll use for element control.

I've read about the spa panel thing, and understand about turning 3-wire into 4 with PJs diagram earlier. i'm still a little stumped on what I should do. I can get a 20 amp gfci for the main panel for not that much, maybe $70 or even less as my brother in law is a commercial electrician. And, from what I've read so far, I can install that on my current wiring. but that still leaves a 3 prong no ground?
If the wire running to your existing outlet has a bare copper wire, then that is a ground. You can drop in a GFCI outlet and not connect the neutral to the load side. You still have GFCI protected 240V, it just has no neutral available at the outlet.


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I might be able to rerun that single circuit with 12/3 as its not too far, but wonder if it's necessary? Is there a way to wire PJs diagram in the outlet, retaining the inwall wiring with a gfci in the breaker box?

I need no more than the 20 amps, only 240, no 120v to feed.
In your case, I would install the GFCI breaker in the main panel and forget about the spa panel.
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:19 PM   #28
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In your case, I would install the GFCI breaker in the main panel and forget about the spa panel.
I've read through one hundred pages, and it seems like everyone is either using dryer outlets or needing 120v service for other stuff. So, I think I've been over thinking it.

So, 20 amp GFCI breaker in my panel>use the existing 240v (which is hot-hot-copper ground) NEMA 6-20R >#12 to my power controller (which is 240v)>#12 to the 4500 watt element and wired hot-hot and the ground bolted to the keg skirt. And I can use the regular NEMA L6-20 connectors, and will be grounded and GFCI'd?

I've also considered using this in-line instead of the breaker:
http://www.trci.net/products/shock-s...ine-attachable

And this is the controller, I have the 18D-2-20 (20i now, which has an isolated chassis):
http://www.payneng.com/PDFs/18depds.pdf
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:55 PM   #29
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So, 20 amp GFCI breaker in my panel>use the existing 240v (which is hot-hot-copper ground) NEMA 6-20R >#12 to my power controller (which is 240v)>#12 to the 4500 watt element and wired hot-hot and the ground bolted to the keg skirt. And I can use the regular NEMA L6-20 connectors, and will be grounded and GFCI'd?
Yup.

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I've also considered using this in-line instead of the breaker:
http://www.trci.net/products/shock-shield/user-attachables/in-line-attachable
I don't know much about those things, but I know they are cheap on ebay right now.

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And this is the controller, I have the 18D-2-20 (20i now, which has an isolated chassis):
http://www.payneng.com/PDFs/18depds.pdf
Completely ignorant on those things. I am no help there.
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:12 PM   #30
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Completely ignorant on those things. I am no help there.
Thanks for your help. FYI, I was ignorant on those things too. They are phase angle controllers, mine is a soft-start with a 2-watt pot already on it. It has a small transformer that pulls 5 watts max for controls, it's fused with a big fat 2 millisecond fuse, and is built for exactly our application (heaters, replacing variable output transformers, furnaces, ovens, etc).

Mine is the older 18D-2-20, the newer 18D-2-20i has an isolated chassis. My heat sinks (built in) are electrically hot, so it must be mounted inside a box. I'm working on that now, or I think you may be able to swap out the old ones for the new ones for a small cost. Incidentally, I got mine unit Ebay for $35. New they are like $150. They also come in lots of different amp flavors.
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