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Old 07-02-2012, 01:05 PM   #151
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OD13, a three way switch is named deceptively. There are only two positions for the switch. Connected to one terminal or the other. If one terminal is off, the other can be connected to neutral, for 120V operation, or to L2 for 240V operation. If the panel is close enough to your rig you can use the 2P breaker as a means of disconnect, otherwise it'd be best to use a 2P 30A switch to turn the whole thing off. Maybe PJ will chime in here as well.

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Old 11-20-2012, 01:06 AM   #152
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Assuming L1 is connected to one side of the element, can i connect the second side of the element to a three way switch that would:
switch position 1 be left open so the element will be turned off
switch position 2 to be connected to neutral for 110v to allow me to run at 1400w for increasing mashing temp and keeping a boil
switch position 3 to be connected to L2 for 220v to get 5500w for boiling
Sure, but consider this scheme. Assume you have a 10 Ω heater and a 120/240V feed. Connect one side of the heater to one of the phases. Connect the other side of the heater to the 'wiper' (common) terminal of a SP4T switch. Connect one position on the switch to the neutral through a diode. The neutral-phase voltage is 120V so the power developed would normally be (120^2)/10 = 1440 Watts but because of the diode current flows only half the time and when the switch is in this position the power delivered is thus half this or 720W.

Connect an adjacent position on the switch directly to the neutral (no diode in the circuit). The power delivered is the full 1440 W when the switch is in this position.

Connect a 3rd switch position to the other phase through a diode. The voltage from phase to phase is 240 V so normally the power delivered would be (240^2)/10 = 5760 W but as the diode restricts conduction to every other half cycle the power delivered in half that or 2880 W.

Connect the 4th switch position to the other phase without the diode. Now you have the full 5760 W. A fifth switch position could be connected to nothing to give you off. Thus you can have 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 and full.


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I understand that all wiring must be rated for 30a (10 gauge) and both the element and switch should be grounded.
Yes


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Would this work and be safe?
Don't see why not.

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Would this work with a 220v GFCI breaker, or a GFCI inline power cable? my thoughts on the GFCI would be that since it is "listening" for amps on L2 and none exist, the gfci would trip when in switch position 2.
Yes it would. The GFCI is 'listening' to the currents on L1, L2 and the neutral. As long as the sum of those currents is 0, in other words as long as any current that flows to a load through, say L1, returns either through L2 or the neutral or a combination of L2 and the neutral as long as it all returns then the device is happy. If some of the current returns through another path (such as a ground fault) then the total through the GFCI is not 0 and it trips. Modern GFCI's also check to see that there is no path between neutral and the earth connector (except at the service entrance).

Now where you would get a SP5T 30 amp switch is another question. Arc welder part I suppose.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:18 AM   #153
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How would I know if the outlets in the kitchen are on their own circuit?
You could plug a lamp into every outlet you can find and then go to the panel and flip breakers until you find the one that turns off all or some of the outlets in the kitchen. This requires an assistant. "Did that do anything?", "No", "How about that?", "Yes, all the lamps on the island outlets went out".

The other approach, which is more expensive, is to get a current tracer. This is a little box that plugs into an outlet. You then take a probe unit to the panel and determine which breaker the outlet is connected to (the probe beeps when you put it adjacent to the relevant breaker). In this way you can map out the panel and the outlets connected to each breaker. Of course if the electricians did a good job that map already exists on the inside of the panel door. Not that I've ever seen one I could read or that was accurate if I could.
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:12 PM   #154
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There a few ways to map out the electric in your house. One way you could find out which breaker controls what, sans assistant, is to use a similar approach as ajdelange said, but use a plug in radio instead (and extension cord if needed). When the radio goes off you note which breaker it is. Another is to turn off all the breakers, then turn on just one at a time (Double pole breakers don't count. They're usually hot water heaters, dryers, A/Cs, etc.) and see what's on. A small lamp or plug in radio to verify the outlets. It's a PITA, but it'll get the job done. It's also cheaper than hiring an electrican to do it for you.
"Of course if the electricians did a good job that map already exists on the inside of the panel door. Not that I've ever seen one I could read or that was accurate if I could." If it's a new house you should have a label inside the panel detailing what's where. Over time (some places don't require the electrician to label the circuits) other electricians and DIY'rs have added additional circuits or tapped existing circuits, without updating the label. So the label accuracy goes out the window. If you're going to label the panel, use generic terms; front bedroom, master bath, etc. This makes it easier to find than "Sally's room" if Sally moved out years ago. (steps off soap box...)

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Old 11-22-2012, 12:46 PM   #155
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Another is to turn off all the breakers, then turn on just one at a time (Double pole breakers don't count. They're usually hot water heaters, dryers, A/Cs, etc.) and see what's on. A small lamp or plug in radio to verify the outlets....
Even easier than plugging in a radio is a non-contact voltage tester available at all home improvement stores and a lot less expensive than a current tracer. This does not need to be plugged in - just held near the hot of an energized circuit.

http://www.toolking.com/klein-ncvt-1...FelDMgodBmYAZw
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:58 PM   #156
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I'm new here an very familiar with electricity. I have to say your post is classic textbook and very well written. Thank you for your help.

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Old 12-29-2012, 01:47 AM   #157
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I already have an opinion on this one, but thought I would throw it to those who know more. Is there a reason not to make an enclosure out of wood? I am going to leave this a very open ended question. I have already come up with various thoughts, but want to hear what you have to say. Thanks

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Old 12-29-2012, 05:32 PM   #158
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I already have an opinion on this one, but thought I would throw it to those who know more. Is there a reason not to make an enclosure out of wood? I am going to leave this a very open ended question. I have already come up with various thoughts, but want to hear what you have to say. Thanks
Wood is flammable. If you have a loose connection on a 30A ckt, you can end up with enough heat to start things on fire. Happens every Christmas with frayed extension cords.

Use flame rated plastic or metal.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:34 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by ajdelange View Post
Even easier than plugging in a radio is a non-contact voltage tester available at all home improvement stores and a lot less expensive than a current tracer. This does not need to be plugged in - just held near the hot of an energized circuit.

http://www.toolking.com/klein-ncvt-1...FelDMgodBmYAZw

I use one of these things. They work great.

Another use I've found for them is to test for spark on a spark plug wire (i.e., why isn't my lawn mower running).
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:39 PM   #160
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Nothing Less Than Excellance!

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