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Old 07-06-2011, 02:21 AM   #1
onthekeg
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Default 3ph Steam Kettle Wiring Question

I have a 40 gallon Vulcan kettle that I'm converting to single phase for my summer rig. One fellow that did this states its as easy as changing the wiring to the elements in parallel instead of series. Since I will be feeding in 2 hots instead of three, I'm to disregard the third leg on the contactor. That's all fine, my question I have is if it is rated 24 KW on 3 phase, would it be the same amp draw on single phase? I'm thinking it would be higher? Its currently 208v and I would be feeding 230v.

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Old 07-06-2011, 03:51 AM   #2
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Tough question to answer without seeing the product or its intending wiring. There is a HUGH depends involved in this one. I'm thinking there are 3 elements in the rig. Question: Are they connected as "Delta" or "Y" for 3-phase? The actual element voltage depends on the answer to that one.

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Old 07-06-2011, 05:35 AM   #3
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PJ, I have a schematic but missplaced it tonight. Maybe that will help. There are 3 elements in the unit. If I can't locate the schematic I will take a couple pictures.

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Old 07-07-2011, 11:15 PM   #4
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Without looking at a schematic it's hard to say for certain, but if it's 3 phase and has 3 elements, its probably 1 element per phase. If they each run at 208, 30 amps as a guess, and you wired them all to one phase in parallel, you would need 208 at 90 amps to push them. They would probably work fine on 220, but also not a guarantee. The short answer is its going to be tough to easily get as much heat out of it as you could on three phase.

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Old 07-08-2011, 07:14 PM   #5
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Hey bud, I got some good news. I work for Hobart (who owns Vulcan). Get me a model, ML number, and electircal specs and I can get you a factory diagram.

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Old 07-09-2011, 03:12 PM   #6
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Hey Red! Its an EL-40 built in 1976. 24kw. Thanks! I'm sure I will be needing larger than a 100 amp breaker for this beast.
The other thing I was contemplating was only using 2 of the elements at a time. The third one would be my spare if one goes bad. Once we get a diagram we can talk about that too.

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Old 07-12-2011, 12:55 PM   #7
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Here is the page I found where one fellow converted a steam kettle from 3 phase to single. This isn't my exact kettle, but would this theory work? I am thinking of leaving one element unhooked, and using 2 at single phase. Currently it uses 24kw, so on 2 it would be 16kw. I only have 100amp to my brewroom and that would work, but running all three elements would be too much.

http://members.shaw.ca/pferlow/3phase.htm

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Old 07-13-2011, 06:48 PM   #8
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I did find the factory diagrams for both single and three phase.

What I will tell you is only how the factory wiring for this machine works.

From the sounds of it you have a unit with two, 3-pole contactors. All three poles are used regardless of which electrical specification you are using. You do not drop one. In single phase, from the terminal block, each incoming is split to three leads; each set of three going to a contactor.

What you are really going to have to be cautious of is the rating on those contactors because there was 6 different contactors used in the production of these units and you're going to be raising the amp draw significantly. At 230v the amp draw will be 100 for both elements or 50 for each.

The other issue is to know whether that element is 208 or 240 or if it is designed to run on both. Most often I see voltage specific and would be very concerned about running that element 240v.

I am no electrician so there may be tricks to making this work. I am bound by my knowledge and also legally in a sense to simply tell you what the factory wiring is. Even if I knew how to modify or if stuff would work I wouldn't tell. Let the other guys go for that. I will keep my diagram out in case you have other questions that come up. If you have a fax machine I can send them to you by fax.

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Old 07-14-2011, 11:49 PM   #9
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Thanks for the diagrams rollinred! I have uploaded the diagrams, but I am still confused on which wire is which. I will take a picture of the wiring on my unit as it is right now and add that to the next post. Maybe someone can let me know if they have any ideas on how to rewire this.

kettle-1.jpg   kettle-2.jpg  
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:55 PM   #10
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Okay, here are the pictures of my actual wiring, I have a 70 amp contactor in there already it appears. Do you think it is set up for single phase already? I don't know if you can tell from the pictures or not. Each of the 3 sets of 2 wires out of the bottom of the contactor are labelled T1, T2 and T3 for some reason. I can email the larger pictures if anyone needs a closer look.
Thanks!!




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