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Old 08-16-2012, 10:49 PM   #1
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Default Electric Noob starting E-brewery. Help pls!

Hi all,

As mentioned in the title I am extremely novice when it comes to electrical work. I however, will not let this be a factor in my next project.

What I am trying to build is a Kal's spin off, sort of like Bolts' Brewery. I would like for the control panel to include the following: An on/off switch, 3 PIDS, a toggle switch for the HLT/BK element, a light for the BK and HLT elements, and 2 pump switches.

I think the first step in building this would be assessing my home electric setup. In my backyard I have a breaker panel that controls all of the 240V stuff in my house. Here is a pic:



The breaker in the far bottom right used to be an old 30a 240V outlet with 3 prongs, and was recently converted to 2 GFCI 15 amp outlets that run about 25 feet away from the breaker panel. That can be seen here:



My first question would be, can I just reconvert these 2 outlets into one 240V 30A by changing the breaker into a double pole 30A GFCI, and running 10 gauge wire to a new 4 prong 240V receptacle? Or do I need to install a "SPA" panel of some sort?

Edit: Here is the finished product!

brew-haus.jpg   brew-haus-2.jpg  
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“Get your beer off the yeast cake on day 7 or your beer will crawl out of the fermenter and eat your youngest child”

“Your beer will be the equivalent of rhinoceros urine unless it sits on the primary yeast cake for at least 4 weeks.”
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:33 PM   #2
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Assuming both legs of the 240 are there (the two 120's are on different legs), and the Neutral and ground are also there, you either need to put a 240 GFCI in the breaker location above, or add in the SPA panel. As I understand it, many figure the SPA panel is cheaper.

Interestingly, though, if the two 120 V plugs are different circuits, and they look like GFCI circuits (two GFCIs?), you could use a 120V system, using two 120V elements for the boil, and 1 or 2 for the HLT heater. Just have to make certain the wiring doesn't allow boil until the other heater(s) are off. You probably have to do that anyway.

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Old 08-17-2012, 12:33 AM   #3
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Well, there used to be a 240V 30A breaker there before, that looks like this:


That one, however, isn't GFCI. I was wondering if I could just buy one like this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/SQUARE-D-QO-...item41690020f8

and install it there, and follow with 10 gauge wire to the outlet. If not, then will the method mentioned above work with a 2 pump setup?

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Originally Posted by BierMuncher View Post

“Get your beer off the yeast cake on day 7 or your beer will crawl out of the fermenter and eat your youngest child”

“Your beer will be the equivalent of rhinoceros urine unless it sits on the primary yeast cake for at least 4 weeks.”
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:54 AM   #4
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The breaker in your link will not work for you as it only supplies the 240V power and does not include the neutral from the breaker. This means that you cannot run any 120V devices from that breaker. It you try to to do that it will trip every time.

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Old 08-17-2012, 01:44 AM   #5
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Do you mean the breaker from eBay won't work, or my breaker panel in my backyard? In that case, what would need to be done/purchased in order to make it work? Thanks for the replies

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Originally Posted by BierMuncher View Post

“Get your beer off the yeast cake on day 7 or your beer will crawl out of the fermenter and eat your youngest child”

“Your beer will be the equivalent of rhinoceros urine unless it sits on the primary yeast cake for at least 4 weeks.”
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:51 AM   #6
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The breaker linked from ebay is a 240V breaker only. It will work ONLY on a 240V circuit. IF you are intending to also use it for power to 240V & 120V devices - It will NOT work for that application ....

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Old 08-17-2012, 02:07 AM   #7
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Thanks for your input PJ, you have been a real inspiration to me in choosing to go electric.

Now when choosing a breaker, I read somewhere that it has to be the same brand as your breaker panel. Is this true? Also, how is one to know it is compatible with 120V devices?
Thanks in advance!

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Cacaman cheap keezer build!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher View Post

“Get your beer off the yeast cake on day 7 or your beer will crawl out of the fermenter and eat your youngest child”

“Your beer will be the equivalent of rhinoceros urine unless it sits on the primary yeast cake for at least 4 weeks.”
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:23 AM   #8
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If there used to be a 4-prong outlet you should probably have four 10-ga wires going to the two 110v GFI circuits. One goes to ground, one to neutral and two to separate 110v breakers. If the wires are at least 10ga you could install a 240/30A 3-prong plug and use three of the wires to a new 240/30A GFI breaker (2 for the 240v circuit and 1 ground). I attached a pic of the 240/30A GFI breakers (at the botton on right side in my pic). If you also need another 110v circuit you could go to another 4-prong plug but it gets even more complicated.

100_0183.jpg  
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cacaman View Post
Thanks for your input PJ, you have been a real inspiration to me in choosing to go electric.

Now when choosing a breaker, I read somewhere that it has to be the same brand as your breaker panel. Is this true? Also, how is one to know it is compatible with 120V devices?
Thanks in advance!
Thank you for your comment. It is very much appreciated.

Regarding the breaker: It must match the power panel based on brand and function. They can be very expensive. ($100 or way more for the correct one.) Starting off, I would never buy a used electrical circuit protection device from eBay. Never!

This is the serious main reason that I recommend using a Spa Panel from HomeDepot to protect the brewery and you. The panel is about $55.

Your power delivery and personal safety is #1 on my list of things that MUST be accomplished.

Please let me know if I can help you in your project development.

P-J
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poobah58 View Post
If there used to be a 4-prong outlet you should probably have four 10-ga wires going to the two 110v GFI circuits. One goes to ground, one to neutral and two to separate 110v breakers. If the wires are at least 10ga you could install a 240/30A 3-prong plug and use three of the wires to a new 240/30A GFI breaker (2 for the 240v circuit and 1 ground). I attached a pic of the 240/30A GFI breakers (at the botton on right side in my pic). If you also need another 110v circuit you could go to another 4-prong plug but it gets even more complicated.
Who ever did the wiring in your breaker panel should be taken out and ???

What in hell is a green wire doing going to the output of a GFCI breaker? I suppose this was done by an electrician? If so, he should have his license revoked NOW.!
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