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Old 10-27-2011, 09:58 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Well, the only reason to go with the spa panel is that it's a lot cheaper than the 30a Murray GFCI. The bonus is that you get a local disconnect at your brewing location.
True, the spa panel is cheaper than the breaker, but if I installed the 50 amp spa panel in the shed, I'd also need to buy a 50 amp 2 pole breaker for the main panel, and then run #6 cable to the shed. The extra breaker and heavier cable would overrun any savings from the spa panel.

Having GFCI protection all the way from the main panel would be a good thing too, I think, in the event the cable gets nicked or damaged some how and there's a current leak somewhere along the line. The GFCI should trip before I get zapped.

The local disconnect would be nice, but I guess I'll have to rely on PJ's diagrammed E-stop button to kill power to the brewery in the event of an 'Oh sh*t' moment.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:01 PM   #32
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I believe code requires 18 inches for residential. I can guarantee there is cable buried in my yard that is not nearly that deep and I'm not worried.

Water is not an issue with underground rated cable. Just be carefull when you install to not nick the insulation (it is pretty tough anyway). A bit of sand surrounding the cable is good insurance.
Thanks, that helps me a lot. If I do bury it I'll have to do it in the winter when the ground is wet and soft. In the summer it's dry and 95-100 everyday, and the red clay is literally as hard as cement.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:09 PM   #33
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Having GFCI protection all the way from the main panel would be a good thing too, I think in the event the cable gets nicked or damaged some how and there's a current leak somewhere along the line. The GFCI should trip before I get zapped.
Actually it could cause a lot of "nuisance" trips. I think a good number of underground feeds would trip on a GFCI. The GFCI device is probably best installed closer to your brewery. You can still use the 50A breaker with 30A wiring as long as you have the feed protected at 30A ahead of the spa panel. The breaker will only provide the GFCI protection then and not overcurrent protection.
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:52 AM   #34
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Actually it could cause a lot of "nuisance" trips. I think a good number of underground feeds would trip on a GFCI. The GFCI device is probably best installed closer to your brewery. You can still use the 50A breaker with 30A wiring as long as you have the feed protected at 30A ahead of the spa panel. The breaker will only provide the GFCI protection then and not overcurrent protection.
That's good to know, and I stand corrected. I just got home from a beer tasting and I'm a little slow right now, but I think you're saying I could throw a 30 amp breaker in the main panel, run 10/3 with ground to the shed to a 50 amp spa panel. The 30 amp main breaker would trip if I exceeded 30 amps, and the spa panel GFCI would trip if I had a current leak some where.
That's seems pretty logical - I'll re-read it in the morning to see if it still makes sense then....

Edit - Maybe I wouldn't need the ground wire running to the shed if I'm using the spa panel?
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:22 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by bigljd

That's good to know, and I stand corrected. I just got home from a beer tasting and I'm a little slow right now, but I think you're saying I could throw a 30 amp breaker in the main panel, run 10/3 with ground to the shed to a 50 amp spa panel. The 30 amp main breaker would trip if I exceeded 30 amps, and the spa panel GFCI would trip if I had a current leak some where.
That's seems pretty logical - I'll re-read it in the morning to see if it still makes sense then....

Edit - Maybe I wouldn't need the ground wire running to the shed if I'm using the spa panel?
Yes, that is what I was trying to say. And you said it better with beer in you than I did sober

I think the ground wire is good insurance. I always run one with an underground feed. I believe if you do skip it you should install ground rod(s) at the shed which is probably more costly.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:34 PM   #36
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I think the ground wire is good insurance. I always run one with an underground feed. I believe if you do skip it you should install ground rod(s) at the shed which is probably more costly.
A ground wire is probably a good idea, but not necessary. Look around and you'll find ideas on wiring a spa disconnect with either 3 or 4 wires coming in (assuming 240V). Perfectly acceptable as the GFIC begins in the spa disconnect.

Also, you're correct about using a 50A GFIC to protect a 30A circuit. The GFI is only their to monitor leakage and trip if there's a problem

Good luck!
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:52 PM   #37
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I assume you mean neutral and not ground. 240v is Hot, Hot, Ground. Spa panels have a neutral bus because many spas will have a 240v heater but 120v for pump, lights, and control. You probably want to run a 120v pump at least so you want hot, hot, neutral and ground out to the shed.

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Old 10-28-2011, 08:13 PM   #38
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I'll probably run the ground wire too. I think I've got a good plan, now I just have to get started building. I'll update this thread when I'm ready wire things up.

Thanks all

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Old 11-05-2011, 10:42 PM   #39
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Here's an update on my electric brewery build project. I'll start a new thread when I make some progress on my control panel. I'm waiting for some parts to ship to me for the control panel, so in the mean time I decided to wire up the receptacle from my main breaker panel.

I drilled out a hole in the breaker box with a step bit and ran some 10/3 with ground romex out and thru a hole in the drywall. After shutting off the main breaker I replaced 4 of the 15 amp single breakers with 2 of the tandem 15 amp breakers. Then I added in the 30 amp 2 pole breaker and wired it up. Then I wired up the receptacle and tested for continuity with my multimeter. Everything looked good so I powered up the main panel and flipped on the new 30 amp breaker and I'm getting 240 volts at the receptacle so everything seems to be OK.

Last weekend I scored a Hoffman 12x12x6 metal enclosure on Ebay for $26 (plus $13 for shipping). It's supposed to arrive on Monday so I can start building the panel next week. I posted some pics below. It's got a few holes in it already, but I'll either use them or fill them in.

Thanks again for the advice, all!


My new 30 amp receptacle:





My Ebay enclosure being UPS'd right now:


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Old 11-16-2011, 05:33 PM   #40
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Here's a link to my build, in case anyone makes it thru this thread and wants to continue on with me on my adventure.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/my-...-build-281085/

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