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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > 40A enough?
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:37 PM   #1
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Default 40A enough?

The distribution panel in my garage is fed by a 240V, 4-wire run and a 40A breaker in the house's main panel. I haven't checked the wire gauge running to the garage. It's possible that I could install a bigger breaker in the house distribution panel, but I assume that they installed the minimum wire size for the 40A breaker that is there now.

In the garage, there are only 2 20A circuits hooked up now; and nothing substantial is running on them. The garage is not heated or cooled.

Can I actually install a 40A circuit in the garage? Would I have to go down to a 30A circuit, or can I wire up a 40A circuit in the garage and just live with the breaker(s) tripping if I turn too much on?

Is a 30A circuit (7200W) enough for 10gal BIAB? 5gal?

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Old 01-23-2012, 07:31 PM   #2
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You should be able to run a 5500W heating element and a water pump on a 30A circuit, which should be great for 10 gal BIAB.

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Old 01-23-2012, 07:47 PM   #3
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Sweet. I will just go with a 30A circuit then.

If I use a NEMA 6-30 (2-hot 1-ground, no neutral) receptacle, then I will be able to plug a welder or air compressor in. But if want to run 120V components in my brew rig, then I need to use a NEMA 14-30 (2-hot, 1-ground, 1-neutral).

What do other people do who want to use their 240V for things beside brewing? I could make a 'cheater plug' pigtail cord for the welder that just doesn't bring the neutral through, and then I would have to use that pigtail cord for anything beside brewing.

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Old 01-24-2012, 02:54 AM   #4
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There are other things to do besides brewing??

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Old 01-24-2012, 12:58 PM   #5
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I'm thinking I can just install a regular NEMA 6-30 with no GFCI. It will be very cheap, and if I want to run a pump or anything I will just plug that into a separate circuit. I can either brew with no GFCI or buy one of those GFCI cords to use.

Does anyone know the code requirements for running cable across the drywall? Can you run the plain wire or does it have to be in conduit? Is there a minimum or maximum height the receptacle is supposed to be off the floor?

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Old 01-24-2012, 08:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
What do other people do who want to use their 240V for things beside brewing? I could make a 'cheater plug' pigtail cord for the welder that just doesn't bring the neutral through, and then I would have to use that pigtail cord for anything beside brewing.
I would use a spa panel for your GFCI for beer power and then you could install another breaker and outlet for your tools. I have 2 spa panels feeding my control panel, bu in one of them I installed an additional regular 50amp breaker and ran an outlet for other stuff. I just leave that breaker off until I need to use that outlet.

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Old 01-24-2012, 08:46 PM   #7
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I would instal a spa panel but I can't find one at 30A. I suppose I could run from the empty 30A breaker in my garage to a 50A spa panel and the spa panel would only be providing GFCI function, but I assume that viollates code to have a 50A breaker on a 30A circuit.

Actually I could wire up a plain 30A receptacle for a welder etc and then make myself a GFCI cord out of one of the 50A spa panels. If its not actually installed, then I think there is no code issue.

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Old 01-25-2012, 07:40 PM   #8
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You can feed a 50 amp spa panel with 30 amps and use it for just the gfi function and be within the NEC.

You cannot run romex exposed anywhere it is subject to physical damage.(just put a piece of pvc pipe around it).

I can't find anything related to the height of outlets in a residential garage but we always install them between 2 and 4 feet off the floor.

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Old 01-26-2012, 02:36 PM   #9
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Code says every receptacle in a garage has to be GFCI. They don't even have an exception for freezers anymore (they used to, to prevent spoiled food). None of my current circuits are GFCI, but I think if I add a circuit it has to be GFCI.

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You can feed a 50 amp spa panel with 30 amps and use it for just the gfi function and be within the NEC.
I thought so. I couldn't find anything saying it was ok, but I think the code works so that anything is allowed...unless it's prohibited by the code, and I couldn't find anything that says you CAN'T put a bigger breaker downstream from a smaller one. You aren't allowed to install a grounding outlet on a non-grounding circuit, but that's because the upstream configuration is "less safe". In this case the upstream configuration will be "more safe". It may well confuse people to have the spa panel say 50A, but the plug will be a 30A plug.


I think the outlets have to be 18" off the floor in garages.
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:15 PM   #10
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Code states in article 210.8(A)2 exception 1 and 2:

Receptacles that are not readily accessible (garage door opener outlets)

and

A single receptacle or duplex receptacle for two appliances located within a dedicated space for each appliance, that in normal use, is not easily moved from one place to another and that is cord and plug connected (freezer outlet located behind the freezer)

So these are the only plugs that don't require a gfi.

I did check the NFPA and there is technically no hazardous classification for a residential garage so there is no minimum height for mounting the receptacles. However in my area the "Authority having jurisdiction" the inspector, can bend the rules if he wants and I've been required to install them at a minimum of 24". I think this has to do with commercial garage requirements which state that without proper ventilation any pit and 18" above the main floor are considered class 1 division 2 locations (possibly contain explosive liquids or vapors). The inspectors logic was if you work on your car or store a can of gas then the potential for leakage of flammable fuel is the same in your garage as it is at a repair shop.

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