Home Brew Forums

Home Brew Forums (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum.php)
-   Electric Brewing (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/)
-   -   Do I have the right cord? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/do-i-have-right-cord-254199/)

BrewMoreBeers 06-29-2011 09:54 PM

Do I have the right cord?
I have a 60 amp GFI in my breaker box feeding my control panel. However, I only have three conductors in my cord running from my GFI breaker to my control panel... do I need a fourth conductor? It is currently wired with both hots and the neutral on the GFI feeding the control panel - there is no ground. Is this safe?

P-J 06-29-2011 10:19 PM

With that setup, Please keep in mind that there is no easy path to ground for your rig. You could have a hot wire touch your kettle or your controller box and there is no ground path - EXCEPT through you when you touch it.

I would not use that setup.

BrewMoreBeers 06-29-2011 10:36 PM

thanks P-J... that was my fear. i may have to do some re-wiring.

P-J 06-29-2011 10:59 PM

Depending on your setup, you might be able to have the ground conductor independently set. Is your GFCI in your mains breaker box? If it's in a sub panel, I might have an easy fix for it. Please describe your exact placement and run. Maybe I can help without you throwing a ton of cash at it.

BrewMoreBeers 06-30-2011 04:15 PM

I have a main breaker box that feeds a 100 amp sub-panel - the 60 amp GFI is in the sub-panel. The sub-panel is directly next to the main box. My brewing station is about 10 feet from the sub-panel.


P-J 07-01-2011 12:25 AM

I'm sure that you have neutral and ground in the sub panel. (If not it's simple to pull a wire through the conduit.) Now the next question, as I cannot see it in your picture, is the panel direct wired into the sub panel or does it plug into an outlet?

I'd like to know but it doesn't matter as I'll tell you about a fix that you can do. Buy 25' (or whatever length you require (+ a little) of Flexo PET Expandable Sleeving in whatever color you wish. You need to get the product FW050 which is 1/2" sleeve. That will set you back $12, a whole lot less than replacing the cable. You will also need to get a length of stranded copper wire for your ground conductor. Lowe's, HomeDepot or Ace Hardware should have it in stock by the foot. I believe #10 would be ideal but #12 would be adequate as well.

Once you have both pieces, disconnect one end of the cable, run your ground wire parallel and then sleeve it. I'd suggest that you use a piece of HS365 Shrink Tube on the ends to secure the sleeving in place. Once that's done, reconnect the cable and you are good to go.

I sure hope this helps you. Please let me know.


BrewMoreBeers 07-01-2011 02:16 PM

Thanks P-J, that is a much less costly option than buying a new cable. The cable is directly wired into the breaker box and the sub-panel does have separate ground and neutral feeds.

Another Question. Currently, this control box is wired with the ground from the 220v outlets connecting to the neutral. As understand it, the grounds from the 220v outlets should be tied to the ground and there should not be any neutral connected to these outlets - just the two hots and a ground. These are three prong 220v outlets and plugs that connect both hots to the element and the ground to the ground posts at the kettles. The elements/boxes on the kettles are set up just like Kai uses in the Electric Brewery.

So, when i bring the new ground into the box I am going to need to add a grounding post in the box that makes an electrical connection to the box itself and then tie the grounds from the 220v outlets to this grounding post. this will create a solid ground connection for everything back to the breaker box. This sounds right to me, am I missing anything?

P-J 07-02-2011 01:07 AM

Just to sum it up so that I understand a little better:

There is a Neutral from your main panel going to the sub panel and it is attached to a Neutral Bar. Is that Neutral bar in the sub panel insulated from the Sub Panel box?
Yes - Neutral present and isolated.

Is there also a Ground conductor from your main panel going to the sub panel? If so, does it go to a Grounding bar in the sub panel independent from the Neutral. If so it should be attached directly to the metal sub panel.
Yes - Ground present, independent of Neutral and bonded to panel.

Depending on your answer to that - we move forward.

If there is no ground wire in place going to s seperate Grounding bus, then you need to create one in your sub panel. You would end up installing one of these. Grounding Bar.

Please let me know and we'll go from there. The correct setup for the brewery and for the GFCI's proper function depends on this being right.

(If you are slim on time, It would be a lot easier with you looking and the both of us on the phone together. Wanna try that?)


BrewMoreBeers 07-02-2011 03:22 PM

Yes, the sub-panel has a proper neutral and ground as your described above. The neutral bar is insulated from the box and the ground bar is attached directly to the box. The sub-panel was put in when the house was built so it has been inspected.

Here is a photo of inside the sub-panel.


I am comfortable with the sub-panel... I was just really thrown for a loop when my control panel arrived with only three conductors - it never occurred to me that someone would think it was safe to run that much current without a ground. I was even more annoyed when i cracked open the control panel to discover that the green was the neutral and the white was one of the hot legs. that just does not seem right to me - i think white should always be neutral.

I did fire up the rig and ran a test last night. Everything worked and I did not get electrocuted, so that is a good sign.

P-J 07-03-2011 02:49 AM

Ok. From the picture of your sub panel: You need to flag tape the controller wires going to your sub panel. The black wire is ok. The white needs to be taped in red to indicate that it is your second hot for 240V. The green wire needs to be taped with white tape to indicate Neutral. (By the way, you need to flag tape both ends of the wires in the cable.) Your ground wire will be added to the cable as described in post # 6 above. That wire should be a stranded green wire or at lease flag taped green on both ends. Be sure to add the grounding bar in the controller panel. The grounding bar will provde the ground point for your elements and the equipment as well.

Lowe's carries a pack of multi colored tape Take a look.

Once you do that, you will be ok.


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:52 AM.

Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.