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Old 02-06-2011, 02:40 PM   #1
Arazcamaro
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Question Help! New EBK burning elements

I just burnt both of my electric BK elements and need help figuring out what happened.

I just built a 8 gallon electric BK using two 1500 watt elements from Home Depot. I bought 14 gauge wire for each element that runs a receptacle that I fashioned onto a length of 10/3 wire that I already had (didn't use the red wire).

I installed a 30 amp / 125 volt plug on the 10/3 and plugged it in to a 30 amp outlet on the side of my house for RV hook-up. The kettle worked great for about a hour and then the top element burnt out (melted). I had a spare and put it in and within an hour it burned out along with the bottom element.

The outlet is working fine and I have no idea why these things are melting.

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Old 02-06-2011, 02:47 PM   #2
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I am taking a wild guess that the 30 amp outlet on the side of your house is 240 vac. You could check it by looking at the breaker in your load center or by using a multimeter on the outlet. Please check this out before plugging anything into this outlet. Be careful.

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Old 02-06-2011, 02:56 PM   #3
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Sorry I wasn't clear on that. The 30 Amp plug is list as 110v but it is a double pole 30 amp breaker so I don't know if that makes a difference. The outlet is for a travel trailer and the plug I bought matches. I installed a standard (non GFCI) outlet on the end of the run and plug each element into the outlet separately.

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Old 02-06-2011, 03:04 PM   #4
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Double pole breakers are circuit breakers used to deliver power to 240-volt circuits while preventing electrical hazards. They are required for many household devices and appliances, and deliver twice the power of a single pole breaker.

Read more: What Is a Double Pole Breaker? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_5569297_double-pole-breaker.html#ixzz1DCAoHA5b

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Old 02-06-2011, 03:23 PM   #5
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How long did they last? Yeah it sounds like you are delivering 30amps at 240volts to them.

Edit: I see they lasted about 1 hour. When you say they melted that sounds crazy. Any pictures of them melted would be cool?

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Old 02-06-2011, 04:33 PM   #6
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Wow, crazy to see how those thing melted on you like that! And if you have a double pole breaker in your box then it most definitely is supplying 240V to whatever outlet you were plugged into. The double breakers pick up both the Hot A and Hot B lines running into your home to provide both phases of 120V to get you to that 240V number.

Sounds like you are way over-powering these small elements and is the root of your issue here.

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Old 02-06-2011, 05:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arazcamaro View Post
I just burnt both of my electric BK elements and need help figuring out what happened.

I just built a 8 gallon electric BK using two 1500 watt elements from Home Depot. I bought 14 gauge wire for each element that runs a receptacle that I fashioned onto a length of 10/3 wire that I already had (didn't use the red wire).

I installed a 30 amp / 125 volt plug on the 10/3 and plugged it in to a 30 amp outlet on the side of my house for RV hook-up. The kettle worked great for about a hour and then the top element burnt out (melted). I had a spare and put it in and within an hour it burned out along with the bottom element.

The outlet is working fine and I have no idea why these things are melting.

Just a WAG at this but it sure looks like you have 240V going to those heaters. If they are 120v heaters there is no way they could burn up like that if they are designed for 120 and your providing 120. The resistance of the heaters wouldn't allow the current to get high enough to destroy them (designed for 120).

If you hit them with 240V, you double their output and they pull current they are not designed for. 120V heaters are ROUGHLY 1/2 the resistance of a 240V heater.

Edit: You could burn up the heaters if you are providing them with 120 if they are not submerged.
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:35 PM   #8
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You can do one of 2 things to fix this. Get your wiring sorted out and provide 120V to the heaters.

Or wire the 2 heaters in series and power with your existing circuit. You will double the resistance with it wired in series and the current flow will be then limited to 120V normal amperage a piece.

I would opt for the 120V solution. If you blow a heater with them wired in series, then the good heater will not work either.

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Old 02-06-2011, 05:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arazcamaro View Post
Sorry I wasn't clear on that. The 30 Amp plug is list as 110v but it is a double pole 30 amp breaker so I don't know if that makes a difference. The outlet is for a travel trailer and the plug I bought matches. I installed a standard (non GFCI) outlet on the end of the run and plug each element into the outlet separately.
I missed the double pole statement. Sounds like you have 240v.
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:49 PM   #10
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If it were me, I'd sell/scrap the pot and start over with a single 220v element. 8 gallon pots can be had for cheap (Al or SS is fine), or you may decide to go bigger. You have 220, why not use it? Just make sure your wiring up to the element is rated for 30A; the 10/3 should be fine.

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