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Old 11-19-2012, 02:54 PM   #1
jwb96
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Default Can I splice into my dryer line?

My brewing space is at the far end of the basement from the electrical panel, but only a few feet from where the supply for the dryer runs upstairs. So conceptually I am imagining some sort of junction box with a switch that would route power to either the dryer or the spa panel (so my wife doesn't start the dryer when I'm brewing and trip the circuit breaker). FYI: the house is new so all current wiring is up to code and modern.

Is this even remotely possible? If so, what sort of components and approach are we talking about?

TIA,
Jim

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Old 11-19-2012, 03:02 PM   #2
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If you're wanting the 220V off of the dryer - and it is close by - why not just buy a dryer plug/pigtail cable and just use the existing outlet for everything. This would also solve your problem of running everything at once and keep down on the tinkering with a working electrical line.

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Old 11-19-2012, 03:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ctrlpabrewer View Post
If you're wanting the 220V off of the dryer - and it is close by - why not just buy a dryer plug/pigtail cable and just use the existing outlet for everything. This would also solve your problem of running everything at once and keep down on the tinkering with a working electrical line.
The dryer is upstairs and the brewery is in the basement, so there'd be drilling and wire running regardless. Wish it was that easy.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:41 PM   #4
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How far is the run if you were to add a new circuit for the basement off of the main breaker panel? I would be inclined to run a dedicated circuit. In my current build, I have to run a 60a line out to my garage. A friend of mine recommended piggybacking two 10 gauge wires instead of springing for 6 gauge thhn stating that it would be fine. I politely said no thanks and opted to go for the more expensive but correct method. The last thing that I want is for my house to catch on fire and the insurance company to pass it off on a cheap wiring job. That being said, I don't know enough about the electric code to know if it allows for a switched 220a outlet but you can not go wrong by running a dedicated circuit. Also, you won't have to fight with SWMBO when she needs to do laundry and you want to brew.

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Old 11-19-2012, 03:47 PM   #5
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How far is the run if you were to add a new circuit for the basement off of the main breaker panel?
Probably 60+ feet of wire would be needed. I'll keep it to 30-40 amps with a set-up that only uses one element at a time. Just hoping to find a safe but less-expensive and less-trouble solution (avoiding pulling down all the insulation in the basement ceiling to run a wire, etc.).
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jwb96 View Post
Probably 60+ feet of wire would be needed. I'll keep it to 30-40 amps with a set-up that only uses one element at a time. Just hoping to find a safe but less-expensive and less-trouble solution (avoiding pulling down all the insulation in the basement ceiling to run a wire, etc.).
Do the wire run in conduit. It is fairly cheap that way and then can be surface mounted in your basement.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:16 PM   #7
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No question that the 'right' way to do this would be to run a separate, 4 wire circuit from the panel (or perhaps a sub panel if the panel is full). You certainly could use a small generator transfer switch to be sure that the dryer was disconnected when you were connected and that might even pass inspection but inspectors don't like unusual things and, while this probably doesn't violate code, it isn't, AFAIK, usual.

One issue to consider is that older dryer circuits run just the two phases and the earth (ground) wire. It isn't kosher to derive 120 from a phase and earth so you would have to either use 240 volt for everything or derive 120 from a 240/120 transformer. I believe newer installations require that the neutral now be run as well.

As the question is not what I think, or your wife thinks or even what the NEC says but what your insurance company adjustor might think standing in the ashes of your house I would strongly recommend getting a licensed electrician to do this work. He would probably try to talk you into the separate circuit and that would be, IMO, a good thing. If you want to undertake this yourself, and the fact that you are asking this question tells me you shouldn't, at least have it inspected. Then, if the unthinkable happens, you'll be in a much stronger position WRT the insurance company.

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Old 11-19-2012, 04:27 PM   #8
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Much like the others have said - there are things in life that are worth spending a few extra dollars for. Maybe you buy a nicer stainless kettle vs the cheap Chinese made aluminum one - smart buy. Here, the extra money to run the line correctly is worth it compared to possibly burning down your house or injuring someone. Is your panel accessible from your future brew location? If you don't want to have someone run the line for you, maybe just have them install a spa panel and 4-wire outlet next to your main panel. Then you can build yourself an extension cord of whatever length you need to get from that outlet to your brew location. It may not be the cheapest option, but it would involve less demo / install work of permenant lines and conduit in your house.

At the end of the day - be safe, do it right.
-Kevin

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Old 11-19-2012, 04:32 PM   #9
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I thought this thread was going to be about connecting your vent hood to the dryer vent, which would be a AWESOME idea. Clothes that come out of the dryer smelling like wort & hops. Oh yeah.

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Old 11-20-2012, 03:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post

One issue to consider is that older dryer circuits run just the two phases and the earth (ground) wire. It isn't kosher to derive 120 from a phase and earth so you would have to either use 240 volt for everything or derive 120 from a 240/120 transformer. I believe newer installations require that the neutral now be run as well.
I think it's just opposite. Older installations (pre-1996 or so) typically ran the two hot legs and neutral (NEMA 10-30). The newer installs (1996 or so, and newer) should be the two hot legs, neutral, and ground (NEMA 14-30).

If it's the older style 10-30 you can directly derive 120V from the circuit, albeit one's own decision to run without dedicated safety ground as in the 14-30.

On top of all this it may well be possible there could be a straight 240V w/ ground circuit (NEMA 6-30) but probably rare. Here you'd need alternate means to drive 120V by the book.

The receptacle and plug style should tell what one has, but I wouldn't necessarily bet the farm on that.
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Last edited by whoaru99; 11-20-2012 at 11:01 AM. Reason: Corrected plug type in 3rd line (from 11-30 to 6-30)
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