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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Has anyone added a 30a breaker to the 50a GFI spa panel?
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:06 AM   #1
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Default Has anyone added a 30a breaker to the 50a GFI spa panel?

A few inquiries have come up within the past few weeks, where people have had 40a or 50a breakers in the main panel, but wanted a 30a rated control panel. Certainly one way to achieve this would be to add a 30a breaker to a 50a GFI spa panel, like the Midwest one. For example, the load would come through the 50a GFI breaker then through the 30a breaker.

Has anyone built something like this? If so, any insights into the build? E.g., how did you mount the 30a breaker?

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Old 03-15-2013, 12:16 AM   #2
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You generally cant add a breaker to a spa box. Any I have seen were for a single breaker.

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Old 03-15-2013, 12:16 AM   #3
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My Home Depot spa panel has room for several additional breakers.

What do you mean by 'main panel'? I have a 30-amp circuit, into which I plug a 50-amp spa panel, which I used to GFCI-protect my brewing setup. I don't see the need for an additional 30A breaker in the spa panel. Although I guess in theory if you wanted to run other things off the 50A circuit in your main panel, you could do it. But otherwise why not just replace the breaker in the 'main panel' with a 30A one?

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Old 03-15-2013, 12:19 AM   #4
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jeffmeh,

Just to give you a heads up on this:



Take a close look at the internals of the Spa Panel -

There is a position for an additional 240V 2 pole breaker above the GFCI breaker - BUT - the power feed for it comes from the same power feed input to the GFCI breaker.

In other words - the second breaker will not be GFCI protected.

P-J

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Old 03-15-2013, 12:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P-J View Post
jeffmeh,

Just to give you a heads up on this:



Take a close look at the internals of the Spa Panel -

There is a position for an additional 240V 2 pole breaker above the GFCI breaker - BUT - the power feed for it comes from the same power feed input to the GFCI breaker.

In other words - the second breaker will not be GFCI protected.

P-J
Thanks. It does look like there might be enough room to mount another 30a breaker in the top right, perhaps a mini breaker on a short DIN rail. Does that sound feasible?

The "main panel" in this context would be whatever circuit breakers are upstream of the spa panel, which would normally be the circuit panel that feeds the home or apartment, but could be a subpanel.

As to why not to just swap out the larger breaker in the main panel, it could be that 40a or 50a are required for another appliance, or that it is an apartment and the brewer/tenant cannot alter the wiring.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:49 AM   #6
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Sorry I don't understand the reasoning behind this, what do you mean by a 30A rated panel? I would imagine that any savings in being able to use a lighter wire gauge would be eaten up by the cost of the breaker.

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Old 03-15-2013, 12:58 AM   #7
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I've been contemplating this exact thing. I'm just going to say F it and buy a 30 amp gfi breaker for my main panel. I know the spa panel is the cheaper route for the gfci protection, but I don't need a 50 amp breaker, I need a 30 amp.

These things are stupid expensive though... :-\

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Old 03-15-2013, 01:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmeh View Post
Thanks. It does look like there might be enough room to mount another 30a breaker in the top right, perhaps a mini breaker on a short DIN rail. Does that sound feasible?

...
Now that is a very doable idea. Just mount the DIN rail 240V 30A breaker (upper right) and feed it from the GFCI output within the panel

With that plan you would have the 30A GFCI protected power feed to your rig. Another thought is that if you decide to reconfigure your brewery, you still have the power (40A or 50A) with GFCI protection available for your controller.

I TAG this idea "Brilliant".

Let me know.. (Please)

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Old 03-15-2013, 01:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g-love View Post
I've been contemplating this exact thing. I'm just going to say F it and buy a 30 amp gfi breaker for my main panel. I know the spa panel is the cheaper route for the gfci protection, but I don't need a 50 amp breaker, I need a 30 amp.

These things are stupid expensive though... :-\
Read the reply I just posted...
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:26 AM   #10
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FYI if you go the DIN route make sure you get a UL489 DIN breaker vs the more common UL1077 DIN breaker.

UL489 is meant for branch circuit protection.

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