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Old 07-16-2012, 01:40 AM   #1
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Default 4-wire GFCI 220 volt cable with a 3-wire dryer outlet?

I am ready to take the plunge into a electric BIAB setup.

I have a 5500 watt element to install in my brewpot, a PID setup, and a 17-foot GFCI protected 30 amp cord such as the one in THIS post.

My question is this: can I use this cable with my existing nongrounded 3-wire dryer outlet? i would attach a three-wire plug to each end (hot/ hot/ ground), as the ground and neutral should be attached in the main breaker box.

I looked inside the dryer outlet. There are two hots and a white neutral. There is also a bare copper wire attached to the junction box.

I would need only 220 volts for the heating element -- no pumps or any other 120 volt appliances. It is a BIAB pot and I only need a heating element.

I should have a grounded GFCI power source. At least in theory. Is this a safe thing to do? I don't want to convert my existing outlet to a four wire outlet; I don't want to have to get a new cable for the dryer or install an additional outlet next to the dryer outlet.

I want this to be SAFE. If this won't work this way, I can install a spa panel and wire things through it. But if I can do it safely without the spa panel, I'd rather avoid the expense and hassle.

I've spent a lot of time searching previous posts and haven't found this specifically addressed. There are a lot of smart and knowledgable people on these forums, and i would appreciate people's input.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-17-2012, 12:39 PM   #2
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I have read your post a few times and don't think I totally understand what your asking ( but I'm not to bright either ha ha) . In order for a gfi to work, IMO, it has to have all 4 wires for a 220v feed, to be safe. I personally think a spa panel is the way to go. Any way you could take some pictures of your dilemma?

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Old 07-17-2012, 12:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gshopper View Post
I looked inside the dryer outlet. There are two hots and a white neutral. There is also a bare copper wire attached to the junction box.
If you have four wires going into the outlet (white, black, red and bare) and four wires going into your panel you're good. Check at the panel that the white goes to the neutral strip and that the bare goes to the ground strip (edit: black and red to breaker.)
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:03 PM   #4
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That's what I thought too, but I am hung up on the bare wire going to the j box, not the outlet, I guess that's where I get confused, why would the outlet be a 3 prong with a hot hot neutral, but not a hot hot ground?

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Old 07-17-2012, 01:05 PM   #5
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The probably ran the wire for a four wire and then the previous owner needed a 3-wire setup. Have a buddy that is an electrician check it out and install a 4 prong outlet if that is the case.

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Old 07-17-2012, 01:09 PM   #6
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I don't want to convert my existing outlet to a four wire outlet; I don't want to have to get a new cable for the dryer or install an additional outlet next to the dryer outlet . . . I want this to be SAFE.
If you want to be SAFE, use the a prong plug on the end of the GFCI and convert your dryer and outlet to four prong.
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:14 PM   #7
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gshopper,

Please be careful about what you choose to do. Take a look at this thread (The one you posted as a reference) and read it all for some more info on that GFCI cord:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/30a...r-cord-309661/

It is not rated for the response time needed for your protection (5ms).

Plus for it to properly function it must be supplied with both the neutral and the ground conductors (a 4 wire outlet).

Please don't play "You Bet Your Life".

P-J

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Old 07-17-2012, 04:51 PM   #8
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Funny stuff (or not so much really) in that thread. Information is presented that common sense would tell you to stay away from that cord set and find something appropriate. Instead the thread continues on, oblivious. Got to love the internet!

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Old 07-17-2012, 04:56 PM   #9
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Funny stuff (or not so much really) in that thread. Information is presented that common sense would tell you to stay away from that cord set and find something appropriate. Instead the thread continues on, oblivious. Got to love the internet!
Thank you so much for that.
I love that you got my point exactly!

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Old 07-17-2012, 05:18 PM   #10
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If you guys only knew how many times I went through ordering that part until I got to the submit button. I finally came to my senses and got a spa panel, for 10 bucks I might add, on eBay, and it was brand new never opened 50amp! After reading this I feel even better, thank you guys so much for sharing your vast knowledge!!

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