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Old 02-12-2012, 01:36 PM   #1
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Default 50 amp vs 30 amp

I am trying to decide if I really need 50a service from my breaker box. I have a new house with plenty of room in the box so that is not a problem. The cost is significantly greater though and I am slowly getting SWMBO's approval but keeping the price down makes it easier to convince her. I am trying to figure out what the advantage is to having 50 amps is. I only plan on 5 to 10 gal batches and batch sparging in a cooler mash tun. It would be 2 tier with one pump maybe upgraded to single tier HERMS with 2 pumps later on. I would like to use 2 5500w elements but could use 4500w if that would be too much for 30 amp. From what I have read it seems that I just wouldn't be able to run the BK and HLT at the same time.

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Old 02-12-2012, 01:42 PM   #2
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Where in your home do you plan to use this power outlet? If in the garage or "outside" then 50 amps or more is a good idea. Y ou never know when you might decide to weld, or upgrade to a big water heater and several heating elements on your tower. If you can afford it go with the 50amps just to insure you have what you need now and well into the future. SWMBO will never go for an expensive "upgrade" later on since you spent money the first time. Just my .02, but it is easier to ask for forgiveness than to get more money later.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BWN View Post
I am trying to decide if I really need 50a service from my breaker box. I have a new house with plenty of room in the box so that is not a problem. The cost is significantly greater though and I am slowly getting SWMBO's approval but keeping the price down makes it easier to convince her. I am trying to figure out what the advantage is to having 50 amps is. I only plan on 5 to 10 gal batches and batch sparging in a cooler mash tun. It would be 2 tier with one pump maybe upgraded to single tier HERMS with 2 pumps later on. I would like to use 2 5500w elements but could use 4500w if that would be too much for 30 amp. From what I have read it seems that I just wouldn't be able to run the BK and HLT at the same time.
Brian,

I think I am just going with 30 AMP...can always upgrade later if needed. I cut my kegs this morning, cutting the old one was a pain but got it ok, and the other one was pretty easy...going to start working on the electrical control box now....
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:50 PM   #4
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Two 5500w elements firing at the same time for a long duration is way too much for a 30a circuit and may be still too much for a 50a circuit. A 4500w and 5500w element firing together should be OK for long term use on a 50a circuit.

If the plan is to run a 5500w element in the various brewery components at separate times, then the 30a will be fine. I know that in my case, I will be wanting to heat my sparge water while I'm still running my RIMS. That means that I would have been toying with the potential of tripping a 30a circuit under that condition. I opted for 50a and run my RIMS with 4500w and the HLT with 5500w. Its good.

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Old 02-12-2012, 02:31 PM   #5
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I would have gone with a dedicated 60 amp service to your brew area if it were me. If you are talking about a HERMS system you will probably not stop there. It might be more money up front but less than up grading later. You don’t want to have a power failure in the middle of your brew day. The other option is to supplement with propane unless this is all inside brewing, then I would put a hood over the kettle. My next house will have a custom brew room. I’m not Obsessed, no I’m addicted to brewing!

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Old 02-12-2012, 02:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rbeckett View Post
Where in your home do you plan to use this power outlet? If in the garage or "outside" then 50 amps or more is a good idea. Y ou never know when you might decide to weld, or upgrade to a big water heater and several heating elements on your tower. If you can afford it go with the 50amps just to insure you have what you need now and well into the future. SWMBO will never go for an expensive "upgrade" later on since you spent money the first time. Just my .02, but it is easier to ask for forgiveness than to get more money later.
Have fun, just don't piss her off....
Bob
The power outlet will be in the basement about 50 feet from my breaker box. I have a gas powered hot water heater and have access to welders where I work so I can't really see a need for the outlet other than brewing.

Thanks for the replies it eases my mind that it is possible to accomplish what I need for little less $
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:57 PM   #7
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5500w/240v=23 amps. That by itself is pushing it for a 30 amp circuit, much less two of them. If you are going to run 2 elements at once I would at the very least go with a 50A circuit and use a 4500w and 5500w. If only using one at a time, then go ahead with the 5500w but I would bump the circuit size to 40A.

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Old 02-12-2012, 03:49 PM   #8
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5500w/240v=23 amps. That by itself is pushing it for a 30 amp circuit, much less two of them. If you are going to run 2 elements at once I would at the very least go with a 50A circuit and use a 4500w and 5500w. If only using one at a time, then go ahead with the 5500w but I would bump the circuit size to 40A.
I can get away with running just one at a time.
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:24 PM   #9
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I'm using a 30A circuit running 2 5500w elements(one at a time) with 2 pumps running consistently, and I have no problems. Ive taken several amp draws and the max reading was 26.3A.

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Old 02-12-2012, 05:04 PM   #10
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Got the kegs cut and panel started productive morning

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