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Old 10-06-2011, 07:27 AM   #1
NoCornOrRice
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Default Electric keggle conversion, several questions

Ok, I have a keggle for 10g batches, and I am going electric. I have a lot of experience working with 110v, gfci, and plumbing/construction, but not 220v although I still understand it. I also have access to a TIG welder. Electrical requirement here will be for the boil kettle only, everything else runs (mill, pump, fan, etc) of the 110v in the brewing area.

Here are some questions:

1. The brewing area is approximately 25-30 feet from the nearest 220v 30a circuit. What is the feasibility of running a 220-v extension cord (obviously the right guage and not coiling it up)

2. What kind of cord (I can built it) would be best suited for this purpose (in Canada) as it will need to go down the stairs and over one room, then be gently stowed when not in use.

3. what is the suggested wattage of the element? Faster is better. Control will be via Auber PID so I can use the element for recirc during mash.

thank you

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Old 10-06-2011, 07:42 AM   #2
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1. I used to run a 20ft extension cord with no problems.
2. Look on ebay for a 30 or 50 amp RV power cord, depending on how big an element you want to use. It's the cheapest way I've found.
3. I use a 5500w element and 40amp SSR for my electric keggle. I wouldn't go any smaller myself, but others do without problems. I am actually thinking of adding another element to get up to boiling faster.

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Old 10-06-2011, 11:07 AM   #3
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thanks for the reply!

Does this wire look good?

PORTABLE SOOW 10/3
http://www.homehardware.ca/en/rec/index.htm/Plumbing-Electrical/Electrical/Wire/Flexible/Rubber/WIRE-PORTABLE-SOOW-10-3-1/_/N-2pqfZ67l/Ne-67n/Ntk-All_EN/R-I3684600?Ntt=PORTABLE+SOOW+10%2F3

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Old 10-07-2011, 12:25 AM   #4
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10 gauge SOOW or SJOOW is definitely what you want (assuming you are running a 5.5kW or 6.5kW element). Depending on what kind of plug you are running from (I'm assuming a dryer outlet here) you may need four conductor (10/4) instead of 3 conductors (10/3). Three wire 220 has two hot wires and a single neutral, four wire 220 adds in a additional wire for ground. If you have 4 prongs on the outlet you will be using, get 10/4, it's not really that much more expensive in the long run and having a dedicated ground personally makes me feel better =).

I personally have a 25ft 10/4 SOOW cord that I run from my laundry room into the kitchen area for brewing with a 5.5kW electric element and it works great.

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Old 10-07-2011, 01:05 AM   #5
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It will be a dryer outlet. I'm not totally sure if its three or four wires at the outlet just yet, I take possession of the place next month. Its great to know others are running this setup.

Do you know if the GFCI can still function with a three wire dryer outlet? The house was built about 35 years ago, in Canada, I'm not sure if 3 or 4 wire was standard then.

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Old 10-07-2011, 02:52 PM   #6
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3 wire was standard up until about 10 years ago. Even if your house has been upgraded you can still just put a 4 wire cord cap on the end of the 3 wire cord and not use the silver colored screw terminal inside. The only reason you would need the silver screw would be if you plan on using 120 volt power for any of your control wiring and then you would need to buy a 4 conductor cord. As for distance you can easily go 200' before you start having noticeable voltage drop problems with your equipment. If you want to have gfci protection on your circuit then the only way to do so is to buy a 2 pole 30 amp gfci breaker for your electrical panel and change out your existing 30 amp breaker.

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Old 10-07-2011, 03:04 PM   #7
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Thanks for the responces:

I will be running only 240v (not 120) in the control panel, planning to use it only to control a single 5500w element. There is 120v GFCI available in the brewing room for pump, fan, etc.

So do I understand correctly that the GFCI in the spa panels requires 4-wires, and if I have a three-wire outlet that the swapping the breaker for a GFCI at main house panel is the only option?

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Old 10-07-2011, 03:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCornOrRice View Post
It will be a dryer outlet. I'm not totally sure if its three or four wires at the outlet just yet, I take possession of the place next month. Its great to know others are running this setup.

Do you know if the GFCI can still function with a three wire dryer outlet? The house was built about 35 years ago, in Canada, I'm not sure if 3 or 4 wire was standard then.
Most dryer outlets are 30 amps, at least here in the US. My brewery outlet is a 50 amp GFCI.
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Old 10-07-2011, 03:51 PM   #9
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It's easier and cheaper to just change the breaker in the panel usually instead of buying a spa panel kit. You don't have to run 4 wires to the spa panel even though that is what is currently legal in the US it will work on just two hot wires and a neutral no ground required.

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Old 10-07-2011, 03:53 PM   #10
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You can bring 3 wires (via 6/3 Romex or #6 THHN through conduit) into the spa disconnect (i.e. two hot, one neutral). You create the 4th wire (ground) in the spa disconnect for the GFIC. You'd be running a four wire pigtail out of the spa disconnect to your brew control panel. This gives you GFIC protection, and allows you to run 50amp 240V.

P-J and others have commented at length (and have great disconnect wiring diagrams for 4 wire and 3 wire inputs); have a look around.

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