Electric Brewing Supply 30A BCS Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > GFCI Question: Breaker vs Spa Panel for new install.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-25-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
kzimmer0817
Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
kzimmer0817's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Athens, GA
Posts: 267
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts
Likes Given: 14

Default GFCI Question: Breaker vs Spa Panel for new install.

My understanding is that the MAIN reason so many of you are purchasing the Spa Panel for GFCI protection is that it is much less expensive than purchasing a GFCI Breaker to go into the breaker panel. It's not that it's better, but that it's more cost-effective for DIYers.

We will be moving to a "new" house in a few weeks. The house has a wonderful unfinished area (14' wide x 32' long) in the basement for a combination workshop and e-brewing area.

The breaker panel in the basement is completely full, so I'm going to have an electrician install a sub-panel and a few circuits that I will need for various things (couple of 220V as well as a couple 110V).

Since my work is going to require the services of a professional electrician, and he will be installing a panel and running some wires, might it be preferable to have him simply install a 220V GFCI breaker into the sub-panel to use for my e-brewing circuit?

Thanks,
Keith

kzimmer0817 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-25-2012, 04:50 PM   #2
jeffmeh
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
jeffmeh's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,851
Liked 140 Times on 121 Posts
Likes Given: 18

Default

You would be giving up some level of portability with a spa panel GFCI that you can move with your rig. If that is not a high priority, then go for it. The only other consideration I can think of is the distance between your rig and the GFCI reset button, but that should not be much of an issue.

__________________
jeffmeh is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-25-2012, 10:08 PM   #3
kzimmer0817
Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
kzimmer0817's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Athens, GA
Posts: 267
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts
Likes Given: 14

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmeh View Post
You would be giving up some level of portability with a spa panel GFCI that you can move with your rig. If that is not a high priority, then go for it. The only other consideration I can think of is the distance between your rig and the GFCI reset button, but that should not be much of an issue.
I don't "think" portability will be an issue for me. I'm not so good at this that I would be carrying my e-BIAB kettle/keggle around to brew elsewhere. Certainly don't mind folks coming to watch/help/advise.

This 14' x 32' space runs across one end of the house. There's a single garage door at one end and another 14' x 12' room at the other end for storage. One long wall is shared with the "finished" space and has a door. The other wall has a couple of windows.

The breaker panel is also in this area as will be the sub-panel. I plan to brew indoors as much as possible, so I would like to install a sink (posted another thread regarding gray-water lift stations on the Equipment forum).

There's a nice concrete pad outside the garage door, so it would certainly be easy for me to brew outside using a 220V extension cord during nice weather. I'm doing single vessel BIAB (and will be building an e-kettle), so it'll be a rather small cart to move around.

Anyway, I want to set up stationary brew area in this space, so the GFCI breaker - whether installed in the panel or as a Spa panel - won't be more than a handful of steps away. I also understand that I will need some ventilation for steam. Gotta figure out a way to design a ventilation hose/fan that will swing in/out of place at a window for when I brew.

Once we get in, I will have to decide whether I organize it as (1) one wall for workshop, opposite wall for brewing or (2) section either farthest from or nearest to garage door as workshop with other section for brewing. I'm leaning more towards #1.

Thanks,
Keith
kzimmer0817 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-25-2012, 10:19 PM   #4
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 22,113
Liked 1020 Times on 680 Posts
Likes Given: 28

Default

If you don't mind spending the extra $50 for the GFCI breaker, it's a fine way to go.

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!

New Stuff?
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-25-2012, 10:54 PM   #5
kzimmer0817
Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
kzimmer0817's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Athens, GA
Posts: 267
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts
Likes Given: 14

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
If you don't mind spending the extra $50 for the GFCI breaker, it's a fine way to go.
Bobby, I didn't mention: the initial owner of the house had a hot tub outside under the deck. There's a panel with a door on it mounted under the deck with a conduit exiting the bottom and going to an outlet where the hot tub had been plugged in. I haven't opened this box, but I'm assuming that it's a GFCI panel. It's about 12" square box - so I'm sure it's more than simply a junction box. After we close on the house, I'm going to open up the box. If there's a breaker in it, I'm probably going to disconnect it, and have the electrician pull the wire back into the shop area and simply utilize the existing spa panel.

Thanks,
Keith

BTW, your weldless fittings worked great during my pumpkin brew last month.
kzimmer0817 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-28-2012, 01:46 PM   #6
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 22,113
Liked 1020 Times on 680 Posts
Likes Given: 28

Default

That line definitely has to have a GFCI on it so if it's not already in the main panel then it's got to be in the remote box. A hot tub at minimum needs to have an emergency disconnect within a few feet of the tub and it must have GFCI somewhere. In many cases, the remote GFCI box serves both purposes. You're probably good to go.

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!

New Stuff?
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-29-2012, 01:27 PM   #7
kal
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
kal's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 2,155
Liked 210 Times on 144 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmeh View Post
The only other consideration I can think of is the distance between your rig and the GFCI reset button, but that should not be much of an issue.
I don't see that as an issue. The GFCI should never trip under normal use. If it does, you have a serious problem that needs to be looked in to and resolved before you continue using your setup. You should not have 'nuisance' trips with a GFI breaker that you need to reset continously.

To the OP:

You mentioned that your current panel is 100% full. How large is it? 100A?

Make sure to talk to the electrician a bit about doing a load calculation about how you intend to use the various electrical items in the house including the new things you'll be adding off the sub-panel (ie: how you intend to use things a the same time). In the worst case he may say that you may want to consider upgrading the main panel to larger service to avoid nuisance trips of the main breaker. For example, if your main panel is 100A and you like to brew while heating up the sauna and the hot tub is running while someone's cooking dinner in the electric stove, you may find yourself tripping that 100A main breaker.

It may be better to simply replace the main panel with a larger one and move the existing breakers over. There are often extra costs involved in doing this as you need to get the local electric company involved to cut power to your house temporarily (not always cheap) and possibly upgrade your service lines to the house (never cheap). Case in point: Ottawa Hydro charged me $932 to have someone come out and cut power in the transformer and re-apply 4 hours later when I went from 100A to 200A service. Insane.

Either way, good luck!

Kal
__________________
TheElectricBrewery.com: A step by step guide to building your own electric brewery
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
kal is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-29-2012, 03:06 PM   #8
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 22,113
Liked 1020 Times on 680 Posts
Likes Given: 28

Default

Kal, our power company won't even do that here. We just cut the lines up at the drop splice. After installing the new panel and drop cable, it gets spliced back into the aerial ... LIVE! That was fun.

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!

New Stuff?
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-30-2012, 01:00 AM   #9
kzimmer0817
Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
kzimmer0817's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Athens, GA
Posts: 267
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts
Likes Given: 14

Default

Thanks, guys. I really hadn't thought about the fact that the sub-panel is included in the total amperage of the main panel. I will ask the electrician about installing a 2nd panel and dividing the circuits up between the 2. My previous house had 2 200-amp panels and each was about 2/3 full. This house is about the same size.

We won't have a sauna or hot tub, so I will probably steal that circuit for brewing. We need to add a 220V for the 3-phase motor that powers the blower for my pipe organ as well as another 220V for the radial arm saw and a 110V for the central vacuum. We'll probably add a couple more 110V circuits for various things over time.

Thanks, again, for the help. We're closing on this house on the 31st, and moving day is 11/12. I'm climbing the walls right now.

Once I get down all the measurements for the shop area, I'll seek some advice on arranging it for a workshop/brew area.

Thanks,
Keith

__________________
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/keit...keggle-353760/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/my-f...-chill-356409/
kzimmer0817 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-30-2012, 01:20 AM   #10
mattd2
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Papamoa, New Zealand
Posts: 3,573
Liked 260 Times on 211 Posts
Likes Given: 45

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kzimmer0817 View Post
...There's a nice concrete pad outside the garage door, so it would certainly be easy for me to brew outside using a 220V extension cord during nice weather. I'm doing single vessel BIAB (and will be building an e-kettle), so it'll be a rather small cart to move around...
Just thinking outload but if you also wire one of the 240V outlets in the garage to the GFCI breaker then you would not need an extension cord.
__________________
My DIY grain mill
First AG mini-BIAB
mattd2 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Inline gfci post gfci breaker Squeeky Electric Brewing 2 05-24-2012 08:26 PM
gfci breaker mux Electric Brewing 13 01-08-2012 07:27 PM
Can I use this (gfci breaker) Sanderoll Electric Brewing 6 09-20-2011 01:15 PM
GFCI 30 amp cords extinct? Question on GFCI breaker too... jdlev Electric Brewing 23 07-26-2011 01:01 AM
Panel GFCI Breaker IrregularPulse Electric Brewing 13 03-23-2011 08:43 PM