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Old 12-11-2013, 12:34 PM   #1
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Default 3-wire 240v electric brew pot controller

So I have recently moved into a town home where the only available 240 outlet is 3 prong. I have a perfectly good e-herms control panel that I was using in my previous home that was 4. It's not worth me re-wiring the home/electrical panel as I will only be here for 1 year. However I would like to be able to have some sort of electrical controls. My solution is to make have one of those dial based brew pot controller kits. Something to control the power to the heating elements to sustain HLT water and to use in a boil kettle.
I have tried to do some research on what hardware I would need to build something like what is sold on keg kits (see picture). I'm not opposed to just buying one either but I really enjoy the DIY aspect of home brewing. It looks so easy but the little bit of information I have come across looks like it may be a little more complicated. Has anyone come across a build thread or perhaps a step-by-step instruct-able? p.s. I already have a spa panel so I will a GFCI protection.

Any leads, help, guidance, or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Corey

240v-electric-brew-pot-controller.jpg  
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:16 AM   #2
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If your 3 prong outlet has H-H-N (standard 3 prong dryer outlet), then why not just rewire your spa panel temporarily to 3 in, 4 out mode?

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Old 12-12-2013, 02:21 AM   #3
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You could try the DIY controller from Still Dragon.

http://www.stilldragon.com/diy-controller.html

You get all the parts you need, minus wire, and you get to build it yourself. It gives you basic, stove-knob type control over heating element. I've built and used one. Nothing fancy, but it works as a simple controller.

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Old 12-12-2013, 02:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmeh View Post
If your 3 prong outlet has H-H-N (standard 3 prong dryer outlet), then why not just rewire your spa panel temporarily to 3 in, 4 out mode?


In the event that the OP has never been inside a circuit panel see above.

As you mentioned a 3 prong is H-H-N. A 4 prong is H-H-N-G. So he is just missing ground. As seen in the photo above, Neutral and Ground both go to the Neutral Busbar.

While I get not wanting to do a lot of work on a place you will only be at for a short time. It wouldn't take much to run a 4 conductor wire to the panel and add the ground. You already have a breaker there. Or convert it to 3 plug for now. Personally I would like to have a ground being there is liquid, metal and electricity but technically both the Neutral that you have and the ground hook up to the same place. It is just there for safety. So if you are fine with passing on a bit of safety, then it would work.
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smittygouv30 View Post
So I have recently moved into a town home where the only available 240 outlet is 3 prong. I have a perfectly good e-herms control panel that I was using in my previous home that was 4. It's not worth me re-wiring the home/electrical panel as I will only be here for 1 year. However I would like to be able to have some sort of electrical controls. My solution is to make have one of those dial based brew pot controller kits. Something to control the power to the heating elements to sustain HLT water and to use in a boil kettle.
I have tried to do some research on what hardware I would need to build something like what is sold on keg kits (see picture). I'm not opposed to just buying one either but I really enjoy the DIY aspect of home brewing. It looks so easy but the little bit of information I have come across looks like it may be a little more complicated. Has anyone come across a build thread or perhaps a step-by-step instruct-able? p.s. I already have a spa panel so I will a GFCI protection.

Any leads, help, guidance, or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Corey
Per my brother in-law who has been an Electrician for over 20 years, the only difference between 3 wire and 4 wire is the safety ground is run to the outlet separate with 4 wire & the safety ground and neutral are run together with 3 wire. He even proved this to me by showing me where the two are tied together in my main electrical panel. This convinced me to have him run a 3 wire outlet for my brew stand, but the outlet is only across the basement from my electrical panel.

BTW, I like the picture. Can you send a link to a site that sells these?
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:05 AM   #6
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Per my brother in-law who has been an Electrician for over 20 years, the only difference between 3 wire and 4 wire is the safety ground is run to the outlet separate with 4 wire & the safety ground and neutral are run together with 3 wire. He even proved this to me by showing me where the two are tied together in my main electrical panel. This convinced me to have him run a 3 wire outlet for my brew stand, but the outlet is only across the basement from my electrical panel.

BTW, I like the picture. Can you send a link to a site that sells these?
I agree. As I showed in the pic in my post above. The ground and neutral all run to the same place in the panel. It is just another run for neutral. It is there for safety to give a redundant path back to ground/neutral.
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