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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > help me start my planning. (please!)
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:34 AM   #1
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Default help me start my planning. (please!)

Now that im finally a homeowner, and other renovations are done, Im ready to start planning my basement electric brewery. I have read a fair amount over the last week or two, including the stickies, builds, etc. I have a reasonable grasp on what I would like my brewery to be capable of, and naturally have some questions.

I will do max 10g batches, would like to digitally control temp of HLT and BK but not at the same time, and will use my current cooler MLT.

I already have an unused 30a/240v breaker from baseboard heating I removed, but its not gfci so that is where my questions begin. What has me confused with this current breaker is it has a 3 conductor 10ga wire coming out of the panel currently. Reading across neutral/hot gives me 240, so that leads me to believe that what I think is neutral (white) is just the opposite phase hot (?)

If that's true then I guess i have 2 hot/ 1 ground coming off this breaker.

Understanding we don't bond neutral/ground beyond the main panel... would I run a separate conductor from the neutral bar into my 50a gfci spa panel?

Or do current 240/30a breakers have 2 hot/1 neutral/1 ground and my current breaker is just old? Im just confused on how to get a non gfci circuit into a 4 wire gfci spa panel

thanks in advance, sorry to get so wordy

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Old 12-01-2012, 12:45 AM   #2
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just found a few more threads where people had old 3 wire 240v outlets (dryers, range) and it sounds like because I've already chopped the wire I should just open the panel and wire in 10/3,im still not sure if I can use the existing breaker in the panel though.

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Old 12-01-2012, 01:08 AM   #3
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the old outlets have three wires and the new have four it doesnt matter either way you can tie nuetral to ground for a gfi and it will work ok, mine has the grounds tied to the outside of the brew kettle and i havent had any problems the extra ground wire is there in case your nuetral gets disconected i which case you woud get 120 volts between you and ground.

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Old 12-01-2012, 01:16 AM   #4
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thanks for the reply. Would it not just make sense to wire in a 10/3 while I have the opportunity? its a short run, and im not worried about the cost of wire. From what I can tell the breaker has no bearing on whether I can run a 3 or a 4 wire setup.

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Old 12-01-2012, 03:44 AM   #5
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the extra ground wire is there in case your nuetral gets disconected i which case you woud get 120 volts between you and ground.
Huh? No... this is NOT right and generally bad advice. The ground is not there as a backup neutral. In a properly wired 120/240v panel you need 4 wires. Two hots and a neutral to carry the power and run everything. The fourth - the ground - is there to save your ass in case something isn't quite wired right or something comes lose. It provides a direct route for errant current to safely dissipate to ground, NOT through you. Trying to have your neutral act as your ground is unwise and asking for trouble.

Do the smart thing, install a 4 wire plug.
-Kevin
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:56 AM   #6
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As I figured, especially after reading through some more threads with 3 wire 240. Now am I correct in assuming the breaker doesn't have to be replaced to install a 4 wire circuit and I can keep the existing 30a breaker, since it is just adding a separate neutral and ground?

Also, it's worth noting none of this will be done without proper supervision/inspection by a professional. I'm just doing the planning stages

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Old 12-01-2012, 12:56 PM   #7
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The breaker in your box only controls the two hot legs. The ground and neutral land on a terminal block. So yes, you can use the same breaker. Are you installing a spa panel somewhere in the circuit to provide GFCI protection? The GFCI breaker will control both hots AND the neutral (3 wires total) and have a strip for ground.

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Old 12-01-2012, 04:45 PM   #8
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Check out the thread on using an existing range. Just wire in a spa panel gfci and have your 4 wires from the spa panel go to your control panel

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Old 12-01-2012, 05:08 PM   #9
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Bad news - yes, I will be using the 50a HD panel everyone seems to like

TJ - While I know it can be done, since I already chopped the wire (it was a run to another room upstairs) I feel like the best bet would be to wire in 10/3. From what I understand this is required by code anyway since I am rewiring the circuit.

thanks all for the help.

My next dilemma is deciding how far to go for a control panel and where to purchase. I am not interested in any automation other than temperature control for the HLT and BK, so im leaning towards the kit from ebrewsupply (http://www.ebrewsupply.com/ebrew-kit...s-30a-kit.html

I will only need one pump for the moment, but should I decide to do a recirc or similar down the road, it would have the capacity.

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Old 12-01-2012, 05:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Bad news - yes, I will be using the 50a HD panel everyone seems to like

TJ - While I know it can be done, since I already chopped the wire (it was a run to another room upstairs) I feel like the best bet would be to wire in 10/3. From what I understand this is required by code anyway since I am rewiring the circuit.

thanks all for the help.

My next dilemma is deciding how far to go for a control panel and where to purchase. I am not interested in any automation other than temperature control for the HLT and BK, so im leaning towards the kit from ebrewsupply (http://www.ebrewsupply.com/ebrew-kit...s-30a-kit.html

I will only need one pump for the moment, but should I decide to do a recirc or similar down the road, it would have the capacity.
ah you chopped the wire! didnt see that part. i just replied because alot of people are saying that you cant have a control panel with 120 when you only have a 10/3 outlet.
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