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Old 08-09-2012, 08:12 PM   #1
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Default Help Wiring 240V Heating Element

I want to install a 5500W 240V heating element in my HLT and BK to supplement propane. I will only be running one heating element at a time. The easiest route to power the heating elements is to run 25' of 10/3 wire from my dryer outlet to my brewing station. The dryer outlet has a 30A double-pole breaker. My question is how do I wire 10/3 wire to a four prong dryer and GFI protect it?

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Old 08-09-2012, 08:40 PM   #2
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Cheapest solution is to get a GFCI Spa Panel and 4-prong outlet from Home Depot. The Spa Panel provides a safe place to split the 3-wires from the dryer outlet into 4 (if your dryer outlet only provides 3).

There are wiring diagrams for that here, including if your dryer outlet is 3-wire or 4-wire.

And you can either mount the 4-prong outlet in a separate box, or most of the spa panels have room if you don't mind drilling out a hole.

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Last edited by abarnett; 08-09-2012 at 08:44 PM. Reason: Noticed OP didn't mention if dryer was 3-wire or 4; changed answer slightly.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:45 PM   #3
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That makes sense but I'm still confused on how the 4 wire outlet on the spa panel gets wire to the 3 wire heating element.

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Old 08-09-2012, 08:49 PM   #4
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The heating element doesn't need Neutral. There are only two screws on the element, for the two hot lines. Then you bring ground over to ground the equipment. Neutral doesn't get connected. You only need Neutral if you're trying to split the 240v down to 120v for a control panel or pump.

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Old 08-09-2012, 08:49 PM   #5
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With 5500 watt elements you probably wont need the propane unless you are doing back to back batches.

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Old 08-09-2012, 08:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abarnett View Post
The heating element doesn't need Neutral. There are only two screws on the element, for the two hot lines. Then you bring ground over to ground the equipment. Neutral doesn't get connected. You only need Neutral if you're trying to split the 240v down to 120v for a control panel or pump.
So just cut the white and leave it loose or do I need a nut to protect it?
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
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So just cut the white and leave it loose or do I need a nut to protect it?
Wrap it in electrical tape to insulate the end. You might change your wiring plans later on so you would want to leave as much of the cable in tact as possible.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abarnett
Cheapest solution is to get a GFCI Spa Panel and 4-prong outlet from Home Depot. The Spa Panel provides a safe place to split the 3-wires from the dryer outlet into 4 (if your dryer outlet only provides 3).

There are wiring diagrams for that here, including if your dryer outlet is 3-wire or 4-wire.

And you can either mount the 4-prong outlet in a separate box, or most of the spa panels have room if you don't mind drilling out a hole.
How would the wiring diagram be modified if I wanted 4 prong plug to the dryer outlet and a regular 3 prong on the other side of the gfi to plug my heating element into?
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:49 PM   #9
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Replace the 4 prong outlet in/at the spa panel with a 3 prong, and don't split/connect the Neutral. That's actually safer, since you're terminating the Neutral inside a panel.

But keep in mind the common upgrade path for any electric brewery is likely going to involve a 4 wire setup. You may want to put a little extra effort/money in now to save yourself a lot of extra effort/money down the road.

You also might consider asking an electrician to install the spa panel and outlet for you. Especially if you buy all of the materials yourself, the cost for the labor may be worth the added peace of mind.

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Old 08-14-2012, 03:40 AM   #10
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How large are your batches? A propane burners should give you plenty of power, no? Or was that a typo and you're on a stovetop burner?

I'd be a bit nervous with electrical connections in the vicinity of open flames, no? Maybe I'm wrong as my propane days were a number of years ago, but the potted electrical connections are obviously right up against the keggle. JMO.

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