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Old 03-21-2013, 02:46 PM   #1
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Default Control panel questions.

2 quickies-

Since I am starting small (2 5500W element eHERMS) but would like to keep the door open to maybe pursue even full automation in the future, I will probably be picking up an oversized control box. Since at this phase I don't know what my final layout will be and do want to maintain some funtionality in the mean time, i would like to use an alternative cover to "prototype" my system. would it be better to get some fiberglass sheeting or would plywood be ok for just the instrument panel.


Also, I know 50a gets kind of close for running 2 elements and pumps simutaneously, and I do have the option for 60A service. My question is in the spa panel there is a sticker on the breaker saying to use 6awg wire, though NM6 is only rated to 50A? I am assuming just get 6 THHN to jump from main panel to control, but want to confirm...

If I am scaring anyone. I DO have an electrician coming out to reviw preliminary plans, but if I can gather some materials prior to his first visit, I can save both of us a little time. Thank you.

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Old 03-21-2013, 05:59 PM   #2
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Do you have fiberglass experience...not the easiest stuff to work with? You might consider getting some plexiglass, if you cut slow and use plastic blades it is easy enough to work with and less ghetto than ply.

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Old 03-21-2013, 06:10 PM   #3
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ok nix fiberglass, and I dont mind "ghetto" to an extent, especially since I will probably set up a basic circut, then slowly add/take away until I find the system/layout I like.

Besides, some of this metalic rustoleum hammered spray paints can make even plywood look pretty good for mockups, I just want to be sure it would be ok to brew with once or twice while I tweak.

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Old 03-21-2013, 07:34 PM   #4
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If your spa panel is only rated for 50A then you shouldn't hook it up for 60. You could get another spa panel and use two 30A feeds though. But in the end you can probably just do 50A and you'll be fine with two elements and two pumps, which is what most people here do for two element setups.

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Old 03-21-2013, 07:41 PM   #5
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You can buy flat sheets of HDPE from usplastics.com in various thicknesses if you want to avoid wood.

http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/ite...3869&catid=705

The reason I bring it up is that some panel mount components won't work if your panel is too thick. For example, the threaded part of a toggle switch is not tall enough to poke all they way through the panel. You can't get the nut screwed onto them to mount them.

The quick connectors that Auber sells for their RTDs don't have much threading on them at all. Less than your average toggle switch. I recently put one of those connectors into one of the grey PVC enclosures you can get in the electrical section of Lowe's, and the damn thing wouldn't reach through the wall of it all the way. I had to do a TON of work to chisel away plastic on the inside of the box in a huge circle around the mounting hole so that I could get the nut to catch the threads.

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Old 03-21-2013, 09:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcbw View Post
If your spa panel is only rated for 50A then you shouldn't hook it up for 60. You could get another spa panel and use two 30A feeds though. But in the end you can probably just do 50A and you'll be fine with two elements and two pumps, which is what most people here do for two element setups.
You can get either 50A or 60A panels, and will go the 60A route. However on the 60A breaker to says uses 6awg wire, hence my confusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker View Post
You can buy flat sheets of HDPE from usplastics.com in various thicknesses if you want to avoid wood.

http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/ite...3869&catid=705

The reason I bring it up is that some panel mount components won't work if your panel is too thick. For example, the threaded part of a toggle switch is not tall enough to poke all they way through the panel. You can't get the nut screwed onto them to mount them.

The quick connectors that Auber sells for their RTDs don't have much threading on them at all. Less than your average toggle switch. I recently put one of those connectors into one of the grey PVC enclosures you can get in the electrical section of Lowe's, and the damn thing wouldn't reach through the wall of it all the way. I had to do a TON of work to chisel away plastic on the inside of the box in a huge circle around the mounting hole so that I could get the nut to catch the threads.
Thanks! much better solution and thanks for the heads up on the small threads!
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:33 PM   #7
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Has anyone put a sub panel into a deep (8-10") enclosure other than the mounting panel in the back? For example, mounting panel in back, sub panel 6-7"out with controls, maintain enclosure lid with lock to seal everything away?

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Old 04-03-2013, 10:51 PM   #8
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I have a friend possibly making a custom box for me. How far do most lights/switches/buzzers/whirleymagigs stick up from the panel surface? I'm looking so that I can get a door that would close over the panel and lock it all away tight.

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