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-   -   Heatstick of doom! Start with wiring Qs. (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/heatstick-doom-start-wiring-qs-171288/)

nostalgia 04-01-2010 06:23 PM

Heatstick of doom! Start with wiring Qs.
 
No pix yet (parts are still en route) but I've got a wiring question. The heatstick will have two, 4000 watt elements. I've got a soon-to-be-unused 40A sub-panel in my brew house. I'm planning (at least at first) to use the heatstick for my HLT, then move it to the boil kettle.

So I've got two options: wire the two elements to one 40A SSR per leg (presumably in parallel so each element sees the same voltage). This would be a 33.33A load at 240v.

Or I can wire each element's leg to its own 25A SSR, requiring double of everything but showing each SSR only ~17A.

Is there any reason not to go with the first option? If I do go with the second option, one PID can control all 4 SSRs, correct?

I was thinking with the separate wiring I'd be able to turn one element off after reaching the boil, but if I'm using a PID, would that be any different from just lowering the duty cycle of both elements together?

Thanks for any advice,

-Joe

Brewmoor 04-01-2010 09:00 PM

If I were you I would wire separate 40amp SSR's and switches. That way you can turn one element off when you just want to maintain a roiling boil. Go with 40a SSR's instead of 25a it will produce less heat and will last longer because you are not getting so close to max. You should still be able to run both from one PID.

In my opinion you don't need two. I have just one 5500w element and it works fine and it is fast. 1 4000w element would even work pretty fast, but as The POL has showed us. Overkill can be fun.

nostalgia 04-01-2010 09:14 PM

Thanks, good advice about using the bigger SSRs. Are you using two SSRs per element - i.e. breaking both legs, or just one?

As for the size, I've been going back and forth on that one. I'm basing my plans on doing a 14 gallon boil for a 10/11 gallon batch. A 5500 watt element will take 46 minutes to go from 100 to 212F according to my calculator. It'll also draw 23A at 240V.

8000 would take 31 minutes. Not that big a difference, so that's not a big deal. But if I decide to do a 15 or 20 gallon batch, 5500 may not be enough.

Also as you say, who doesn't love a bit of overkill? :)

How big a boil are you doing with yours?

-Joe

Brewmoor 04-01-2010 09:22 PM

I am doing 10 gallon batches. That sounds about right for getting it up to a boil about 20 minutes I think from mash temps. On my 5500w element I am using two SSR's. One for the leg coming from my PWM and another attached to the switch to cut power to the other leg.

I have a 1500w element in my HLT. I use a normal coil relay to cut the power from a switch and an SSR from the PID. I would have done the same for the second leg of my 5500w element but I was having a hard time finding a rated relay at the same price I paid for the SSR. I am using 12v DC switches.

nostalgia 04-01-2010 09:32 PM

Hm...one element would certainly make my life easier. And then I'd be putting a dedicated element in the HLT.

Ah, the options :)

-Joe

nostalgia 04-02-2010 07:34 PM

Ok, we're going with the 5500 watt element for the heatstick. Now just have to figure out wiring. Looks like a 40A circuit calls for 8 gauge wiring. That's some big stuff!

That was one of the reasons I was originally going with 2, 4000watt elements - each could be on its own 20A breaker with 12gu wire.

I'll have to draw up a wiring diagram and run it by you guys.

-Joe

Bobby_M 04-02-2010 07:44 PM

8/3 SJ $2 a foot shipped

nostalgia 04-02-2010 09:11 PM

1 Attachment(s)
So I've got the 40A subpanel in my laundry room already. I can run 8/4 over to my brew panel and divvy the power up there, as so:

Attachment 15165

Or run 8/3 for the 220 outlets and 12/2 for the 110 ones. Either way the wiring in the brewery panel will be the same, the power will just come from a different place.

Now if I've got things GFCI protected and have access to the breaker, is there a reason to be breaking both legs of the heating element plugs, either with another SSD or a hard switch?

Thanks,

-Joe

edit: fixed the attachment

Brewmoor 04-02-2010 09:47 PM

Are you doing two 5500w elements? If not you could do 10/3 and put a 30a breaker for your element. Then run 12/2 for the 110. Yes the breakers will equal more the 40a but you will not be drawing that much on the main leg. If you happen to have a surge it will trip the breaker from the feeder panel. Though If you are drawing a permit, I am not sure if that is kosher.

As for your GFCI question. Yes you will still want to break the other leg for safety. Then you don't have to keep shutting the breaker off. You can just flip the switch on your panel.

nostalgia 04-02-2010 10:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brewmoor (Post 1983718)
Are you doing two 5500w elements? If not you could do 10/3 and put a 30a breaker for your element. Then run 12/2 for the 110. Yes the breakers will equal more the 40a but you will not be drawing that much on the main leg. If you happen to have a surge it will trip the breaker from the feeder panel. Though If you are drawing a permit, I am not sure if that is kosher.

Well, the sub panel already has 3, 20A breakers in it. And when I thought about it, my main house sub panel has a lot more amperage worth of breakers than the main breaker, so how's this any different?

But yes, that's exactly what I was considering for the second option. The only reason I might consider going with the 40A feed is so I can run both elements at the same time, e.g. to heat sparge water while I warm up my first runnings in the kettle.

-Joe


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