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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Electric Control Panel (2nd time planning)
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:10 AM   #1
smoothlarryhughes
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Default Electric Control Panel (2nd time planning)

I was going to build this control panel about a year ago, but I never followed through. In my original thread PJ gave me this wiring diagram, and since I haven't really been planning for awhile, I have a few questions, and I am wondering if a few things can be added to this.

First off, does anyone have a diagram to add a main power on/off switch to cut/give power to the entire panel?

2nd, should I add a second PID to monitor mash temp (once I switch to herms)? I plan on using my cooler MLT at first. I want to build the panel to use for HLT heating, use the cooler to mash, then use the panel for the BK.

From what I can tell SW7 is used to give power to the PID and timer. Is this correct?



I also came across this wiring diagram, which looks to give me info on wiring a key on/off switch.



Also, any advise on gauge wires used for these diagrams? Sorry for all the questions.

Thanks!

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Old 06-12-2013, 03:57 AM   #2
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I just built a panel based on this below

I used #10 wire for the 240v components and #14 for the rest

no switch for panel power but a switch for PID power.

image-3349695382.jpg  
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothlarryhughes View Post
First off, does anyone have a diagram to add a main power on/off switch to cut/give power to the entire panel?
There are a few on the board, but the one you posted below is almost perfect. If you want it to be a MAIN panel on/off, just move the contactor to before the terminal strips. So your power (Hot A / Hot B only) would come from the wall / spa panel, enter your control panel, and go straight to the contactor. From the load side it would then go to the terminal strips. This would allow you to turn the whole thing on or off. Wire the switch the same.

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2nd, should I add a second PID to monitor mash temp (once I switch to herms)? I plan on using my cooler MLT at first. I want to build the panel to use for HLT heating, use the cooler to mash, then use the panel for the BK.
Totally up to you. I have a PID that monitors mash temp, some folks use a thermometer, some don't care.

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From what I can tell SW7 is used to give power to the PID and timer. Is this correct?
False. SW7 is used to switch one of your buzzers (alarms) on or off. Power to your PID comes from push button #4. Personally, I'd get rid of it and just have your main power on / off like you mentioned further up in the thread; when are you ever going to want your panel on but your PID off?

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Originally Posted by smoothlarryhughes View Post
I also came across this wiring diagram, which looks to give me info on wiring a key on/off switch.
Yup - just move the contactor to before the terminal strips and you'd have a perfect setup. The way this contactor is shown is actually fine, as the terminal strips don't actually do anything (there aren't multiple wires coming off them) but in practice, you may find yourself running wires back to the terminal strip for ease-of-install. My personal opinion is to have the contactor 'up stream' of the terminal strip, so you're killing power to the whole strip. If you only run one wire to the strip and one from it, like the drawing shows, then you could install it exactly as drawn and be fine.

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Also, any advise on gauge wires used for these diagrams? Sorry for all the questions.
Wire gauge is directly related to amperage. That's why a lot of panels show a breaker (or two or three) in the panel. Whatever rating your breaker is at the wall, you have to run the associated gauge wire to your panel. Once in the panel, you can use fuses or breakers to protect the circuits and go down to smaller wiring. You don't mention what amperage any of your equipment will be pulling (are you using the 5500w elements at 240 like shown in the drawing?) but it's pretty easy to figure out what size wire you need based on the power draw of your equipment. A quick google search will pull up lists and lists of wire sizes.

Good luck!
-Kevin
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Old 06-13-2013, 01:41 AM   #4
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Thanks Kevin! I plan on using a 30 amp dryer outlet (3 prong) to a 50 amp spa panel (converted to 4 wire outlet as seen here...).



Does the panel need to have a 4 prong outlet? This schematic seems to use 3 prong? I was thinking of going with the package that ebrewsupply sells, but this schematic seems a little harder to follow than PJ's.

http://www.ebrewsupply.com/designs/3...D-Electric.pdf

Plan is to have a 5500 watt element in the HLT, and in the BK, only having 1 on at a time. I'd like to have a PID for the HLT, and a PID for the MLT, and I would just use the same PID to power the BK element. I'd like a main power switch, a selector switch to switch the element power from HLT/OFF/BK and an E-stop as well. Do you recommend having fuses or breakers inside the panel?

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Old 06-13-2013, 11:38 AM   #5
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Converting 3 wire to 4 wire at the Spa panel is an oft-debated topic. I don't have enough information to really discuss it, but a search of the forums will give you plenty of opinions to either side. I can say that the picture you show, developed by P-J, has been used by numerous other e-brewers, and thus far I haven't heard of anyone burning their house down.

A PID for the HLT and MLT are good. You'll have to run your BK at manual only, unless you install a temperature probe in the BK as well and swap out the plug on your panel, as you're using the HLT PID to power the BK.

Seeing as how you're only running 1 element, I assume you'll probably have 30a to the panel. Your 5500w element will be fine - no need for an extra breaker there. Your PIDs and Pumps don't draw 30a, so unless you plan to run 10gauge wire to the pump and PID, I'd suggest using fuses to drop down. 1a fast blow fuse for the PIDs would be fine, and a 5a slow blow fuse for the pump should be fine. This would allow you to use much smaller wiring after the fuses.

If you're only running 1 element at a time, you probably don't need to worry about

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5gal Saison
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Keg 3: Southern Pecan

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Old 06-14-2013, 02:45 AM   #6
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i was just browsing around some more posts, and i think this is pretty much what I want. 2 PID's and a timer. i think the only changes i would make would be to add some lights to show when the element is kicking on and off, and and lights to show which element is selected. I was browsing your post showing your panel as well...can i ask what the total cost of the panel was for you?

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Old 06-15-2013, 01:26 AM   #7
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Does anyone know where I can find din mount breakers for this schematic? Or will something like this work?

http://www.lowes.com/pd_9011-296-HOM...ker&facetInfo=

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Old 06-15-2013, 04:40 AM   #8
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:17 AM   #9
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Thanks PJ. Are the breakers inside necessary? I know the first schematic in this post doesn't utilize them. So far I'm set on the schematic in post 6 with the 2 PID's...the only change I'd like to make is to use the second PID for the MLT, instead of the BK. I'll just use the HLT PID to control the boil in manual mode. Do you happen to have another schematic for this situation?

I appreciate everyone's help so far.

Thanks,

Jim

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Old 06-16-2013, 03:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothlarryhughes View Post
Does anyone know where I can find din mount breakers for this schematic? Or will something like this work?

http://www.lowes.com/pd_9011-296-HOM...ker&facetInfo=

Ebrew supply
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