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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > House is only 120v!
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:55 PM   #1
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Default House is only 120v!

I just got everything that I need to add a 240v sub panel, and discovered I might have a problem.

There are only 2 wires coming in from the meter.

1 goes to the nuetral bar, and the other goes to the right side of the breaker bar, but then is jumped to the left side of the breaker bar. The breakers only use the left or right side with the exception of a space in the bottom that could be a two pole breaker spot that attaches to both the left and the right.

Struggling with the fact that this house was probably built in the 20's and may only have 120.

There is no 2 pole breakers on the panel.

The dryer is a stacked 120v.

Gas everthing.

I could take a picture, but would be a pain to make it helpful(pull breakers)..

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Old 08-25-2012, 09:13 PM   #2
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Is there a main breaker? If so, what is the amperage?

Sounds like it's time to get some service upgrade quotes.

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Old 08-25-2012, 09:14 PM   #3
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It's funny.... no main breaker.

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Old 08-25-2012, 10:17 PM   #4
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If the house was built in the 20's, it is more than likely that the entire house was wired using "knob & tubing" method being done at that time. If so: Set yourself up for a complete home wiring job. If I were in you situation, I'd call the power company for assistance, recommendations and help.

Wish we were closer, I'd help. Been through that before when I was a pre-teen. (Long, long story.)

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Old 08-25-2012, 10:27 PM   #5
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It is actually rewired already, with nice new armored cable all thoughout... It is just the circuit box is 120 service i believe... I will add a picture of the wiring schematic that is being used for the panel.

a1.jpg  
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Old 08-25-2012, 10:29 PM   #6
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Yeah, at the very least a service change is in order. Ask around for an electrical contractor you can trust. Won't be cheap, but will be worth it. More for the safety aspect than the brewing. A 125 capacity ain't much these days.

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Old 08-26-2012, 08:09 PM   #7
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Can't do a service change... I rent!

I have no problem removing this when I leave, so patching a couple of small holes is no issue.

Here is a picture of the current box. Any ideas about how I can simply add a sub panel that will power 3 2500w 120v elements? 5 would be better, but 3 will work.

box.jpg  
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:08 PM   #8
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I may be shooting in the dark here but it could be worth the try to get your landlord to upgrade the service...if you play the safety card you might have some luck

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Old 08-26-2012, 10:07 PM   #9
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I would rather not involve him... Not hiding anything, just easier I find to keep it simple.

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Old 08-26-2012, 11:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benbradford View Post
Any ideas about how I can simply add a sub panel that will power 3 2500w 120v elements? 5 would be better, but 3 will work.
Holy crap you think big! 5 elements at 2500w each is 12,500w What size batches are you looking to do, 50 gal.??? 4000w will do 10 gallon batches.
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