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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Planning the switch to electric: few questions
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:47 PM   #1
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Default Planning the switch to electric: few questions

I know there is a lot of information out there and I have tried to read as much as possible as I can as I have formulated my plan to convert my current keggle (serves as both HLT and boil kettle) into an electric kettle.

I am currently renting and will be for the foreseeable future so I have decided to go with the spa panel approach since I will be able to take it with me. My basement has an older 3 prong dryer on a non-GFCI 30A breaker. My plan is to run 10/3 soow from the dryer outlet to the spa panel to put my brewing operation under GFCI protection. From there, I'm still deciding on what kind of controller to use (its going to be simple) to control the element. I'm going to be buying the 5500W element kit from the electric brewery.

Can anyone see any fatal flaws in my plan to plug my spa panel into the existing dryer outlet and then plug in the controller/element into an outlet I will put in the panel as many others have.

As far as the pump goes, I'm not worried about that because I have an outdoor GFCI plug that is part of the townhouse for that.

Thanks for taking the time to tell me this won't work or it sounds reasonable.

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Old 09-26-2013, 12:45 PM   #2
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Your plan is solid so long as you only run 240v - don't try to dual run 120/240 as you need a 4 wire dryer plug to safely / properly do that.

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Old 09-26-2013, 07:06 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. So if I have read correctly I will have a H + H + N coming from my dryer outlet to the panel and I'd just install a 3 prong plug post-breaker using only those three instead of adding the 4th wire like in the spa panel wiring for dummies thread?

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Old 09-28-2013, 02:34 PM   #4
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You kinda need a ground. Otherwise the spa panel won't do it's job and you will die. Did you have a plan on how the control panel and spa panel would get grounded if you're only running 10/3 from the dryer outlet? You might want to double check what is coming out of the dryer to see whether you're missing the ground or the neutral. Missing ground can kill you. Missing neutral will make the Electric Brewery control panel not work.

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Old 09-28-2013, 02:38 PM   #5
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I don't know if your PIDS can work on 240 volts. I think mine do. However, your pumps will have to be connected to a 120 volts outlet somewhere else if you can't have a neutral wire in your dryer outlet. But you got a fix for that. That's about the only problem I see with having only H H GND in the outlet.

Also, your main relay will need to have a 240 volts coil. Check for that as some of them are 120volts.

If you have any questions on the wiring, PM me it will be a pleasure to help you out !

Cheers !


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Old 09-28-2013, 03:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadNewsBrewery View Post
Your plan is solid so long as you only run 240v - don't try to dual run 120/240 as you need a 4 wire dryer plug to safely / properly do that.
Sorry but your statement is not accurate. Clothes dryers set up with a 3 prong (3 wire) power cord are being supplied with the 240V hot legs and neutral. The dryer contains both 240V and 120V devices within it. When the dryer is setup the neutral line is additionally bonded to the dryer frame to provide equipment ground.

The use of the spa panel provides a method to supply GFCI protected power to the brewery.

No problem.
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Old 09-28-2013, 04:26 PM   #7
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I'm just trying to figure out how to GFCI protect a 240v line to power the element. I will not be buying a control panel, just the element kit. My pump is plugging into a separate outlet that I have on my patio already. I guess I'll either just stick with propane and hope the association doesn't have a fit or drop 200 bucks or so on an industrial 30A 240v GFCI extension cord and plug my element into that.

Thanks for the replies all, I really appreciate the help.

Edit: To further illustrate what I'm trying to do, here is a picture of the "rig" I built before I moved and had to put brewing on hold. I took an old AV cart (the kind that teachers used to push overhead projectors on back before schools got all this fancy technology), cut a hole in it for my burner since I was set up for propane. This cart conveniently has a cord and outlets that will plug into an outdoor 120v 15A GFCI outlet on my patio that will protect anything I plug into it (namely my chugger pump and any possible controller to control power to the element).

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Old 10-01-2013, 12:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P-J View Post
Sorry but your statement is not accurate. Clothes dryers set up with a 3 prong (3 wire) power cord are being supplied with the 240V hot legs and neutral. The dryer contains both 240V and 120V devices within it. When the dryer is setup the neutral line is additionally bonded to the dryer frame to provide equipment ground.

The use of the spa panel provides a method to supply GFCI protected power to the brewery.

No problem.
My point is that he COULD do it, but the safest / current code method would be to have a dedicated ground which would require a 4 wire setup. There are plenty of ways to make it work, but wouldn't the safest / 'proper-est' way to do it require a dedicated ground and not a shared ground/neutral?
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5gal Saison
15gal American Pale Ale
20gal Belgian Wit
10gal Oktoberfest
10gal Southern Pecan Ale

Keg 1: Apfelwein
Keg 2: Oktoberfest
Keg 3: Southern Pecan

On Deck: Winter Spice Ale
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:54 PM   #9
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With all the 3 wire vs 4 wire, here is a simple question. Would something like this put in line from the dryer outlet to the element work?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Inline-GFCI-...item4ac918f396

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Old 10-01-2013, 05:10 PM   #10
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OP, you will be fine with your plan.

GFCI protection DOES NOT REQUIRE A GROUND . . . . . period.

The device works by comparing current flow among the monitored lines.
If ~5mA comes up missing, it will trip.

Everyone is needlessly worrying about the grounds . . . . . .

Use your GFCI and test it monthly as is instructed; but rarely complied with.

'da Kid

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