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Old 12-29-2011, 06:49 PM   #1
DownRightAft
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Default New E-rig question

I am building a new E-rig, thanks to all the threads on this forum. I have been reading through lot's of the threads, but I have a question for the more savvy electric brewers on the forum.

I am renting an older home, built in the 80's I believe. I am not going to modify any existing electrical. I am planning on using receptacles in the kitchen, supplied by 20 amp breakers. 2 are available, both GFCI protected outlets. I can isolate each circuit, to ensure the only consumer will be my brew rig while brewing.

I was hoping to use a 2kw 120v (16.6 amp) element, however, the GFCI protected outlet is of the 15amp variety. By that I mean the receptacle does not have the horizontal "T" shaped input for the plug on the right side. It is a regular plug you would find on any wall.

If the breaker in the box is 20 amps, is it common for a 15 amp GFCI to be used in the wall? How can I assure the wiring in the wall is at least 12 gauge? Are you guys that are running 2000W 120V elements running them through a similar outlet? Or are you using the 20 amp GFCI plug with the "T" shaped plug.

I also have some concerns about exceeding the 80% capacity of the breaker. I have heard this is a design criteria only, and that 100% usage is possible by the end user. In other words, I can run a 15 amp rig, on a 15 amp breaker. I am a bit nervous about this, and I am designing my setup to stay below 80% capacity, of 15 amps per circuit. My plan is to use two 1440w 120v (12amp) elements on separate circuits. Is this overly cautious? I would rather use the single circuit with 2000W 120V element.

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Old 12-29-2011, 07:03 PM   #2
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I have all 15amp outlets in my house too. However the wiring and breaker in my kitchen in 20amp. You can check the wire if you can access the panel. Just trace which wire leads to the breaker and see what gauge it is.

The 80% usage is for continuous loads. Our usage is not continuous so you are good to go.

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Old 12-29-2011, 07:10 PM   #3
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Default Thanks

Thanks for the quick reply. I will check the wire leaving the breaker. By the way, what would define a "constant" load? Is it a time frame, or a certain type of device. I just figured during an hour long boil we would probably be considered "constant"

Your 2P-twenty rig was an inspiration for my build. I will post some pics when I start putting it together. Thanks for taking the time to post your build, and answer my questions!!

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Old 12-29-2011, 07:15 PM   #4
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Without looking up the NEC now, I recall a continuous load defined as a load that runs for over 3 or 4 hours without break and does so on a regular basis. IIRC, our systems would not need to be calculated for a continuous load.

I am glad you have liked my builds. I can't wait to finish the final touches I am working on.

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Old 12-29-2011, 09:02 PM   #5
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I considered this option extensively in a similar situation (old rented house etc). Ultimately my solution was to use a pair of 1500w elements on separate loops. Works excellently for 5 gallon batches.

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Old 12-30-2011, 01:58 AM   #6
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I second the 2 1500w elements based on similar experience. I also highly suggest using the ULWD ones. I have fried two 2000w HD elements.

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Old 12-30-2011, 02:15 AM   #7
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A 20amp rated receptacle would only be used if that was a dedicated circuit( the only outlet on that circuit).

http://homedepot.digby.com/homedepot...p+gfci&Submit=

15 bucks and you don't have to think about it. Verify that this circuit is wired with 12 ga. and properly grounded.

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Old 12-30-2011, 02:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mux
A 20amp rated receptacle would only be used if that was a dedicated circuit( the only outlet on that circuit).

http://homedepot.digby.com/homedepot...p+gfci&Submit=

15 bucks and you don't have to think about it. Verify that this circuit is wired with 12 ga. and properly grounded.
The National Electrical Code, in article 210.21 (B) 1, 2, and 3, describes the requirements of single and multiple receptacles on a circuit.

The use of multiple 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp circuit is permitted. A duplex receptacle is considered as multiple receptacles and is therefore permissible to use as the single, or one of several, multiple type receptacles on the circuit.

Part of the UL listing for the 15 amp receptacles is that they are capable of feeding through the 20 amp circuit, the primary difference between 15 and 20 amp receptacles being the faceplate configuration.

Receptacles rated higher than the circuit rating may not be used, so 20 amp receptacles are not permitted on a 15 amp circuit.
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:45 AM   #9
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depending on how far you are from the breaker box, you could also replace a few breakers with slims and add a 40 amp GFI breaker and a "temporary" outlet next to the box. Then, all you need is a long extension cord made from something like McMaster 9204K86

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Old 12-30-2011, 03:07 AM   #10
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If you are drawing over 16 amps on a 15 amp GFCI you my have constant tripping from that GFCI receptacle.

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