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Old 03-07-2012, 01:19 PM   #21
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You might consider simply unplugging an electric stove and using that recepticle as the source. It is 240v, 40a and easy to access. You would then use an extension cord (like 10/4 SOOW type) to go to the GFCI box and then to your boil control.



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Old 03-07-2012, 03:41 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
thanks for all the encouragement guys. i appreciate it.
i opened up the box last night and looked around. it is PACKED. not a single open circuit. BUT, it looks pretty easy to move stuff around, so if i can find a couple low use circuits and stack them(using a breaker as shown above, my box already has a couple of those)i think i would be able to install a 240V breaker.

with that said, all the wiring in the area i'm thinking of brewing in(and that'll be my next obstacle-no water, no ventalation)is only a couple years old. would i be able to use the existing in wall wire and simply change out the receptacle and breaker?

or simply no because 240 is 2 hot wires?

all in all you guys were right, it probably is the simplest portion of a brew build.
There you go, I like to hear that! You should always be careful with electricity for sure, a little fear is a good thing when something can kill you. Turn off the power, be careful and take your time and everything should be OK.

As far as using existing wire, that is unlikely in this situation. Most of your house wiring will be 12 and 14 gauge for those 15 and 20 amp circuits. You will not be able to re-use that wire.

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Originally Posted by NoCornOrRice View Post
You might consider simply unplugging an electric stove and using that recepticle as the source. It is 240v, 40a and easy to access. You would then use an extension cord (like 10/4 SOOW type) to go to the GFCI box and then to your boil control.
This is a good option if it is something you can do. Your dryer and electric stoves may be something you can leverage. The big extension cords are not necessarily cheap, but you can get some distance out of them. I've seen some people use extension cords with a GFCI built into it. Maybe an opportunity for you here?


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Old 03-07-2012, 07:15 PM   #23
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Just wanted to add my 2 cents:
I live in a condo and don't have access to 220. I brew all electric 10 gal all-grain batches on 110v on my porch. I use 2 x 1500W elements since I only have access to 15A circuits. I've made everything from a russian imperial stout to a czech pilsner (~20 batches in total on the electric system). I don't have issues with not getting a vigorous enough boil (Never had a DMS problem). My only concessions are that it takes a little while to get up to temp (all in all my brew days are ~6 hrs from setup to clean up) and I have to run extension cords to get to two different circuits. I have two circuits in my kitchen that are both GFI so I got lucky there. You might just need to run an extension cord a bit longer to get to a second circuit.
It's totally doable. In an ideal world, I'd have a 60A 220 service but most homebrewers have one sort of limitation or another but we all find a way make it happen.
Everyone has at least 2, 15 amp 120 v circuits available? Sorry but I had to repost the above after reading how using 120 will take twice as long...WHAT???
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:54 PM   #24
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You could mash electric and boil with gas. A pump and rims tube will run on a 15 amp circuit.

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Old 03-07-2012, 08:33 PM   #25
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I was a residential electrician for five years before the housing market dropped off. I have seen more than my fair share of homeowners who think that adding a circuit isn't that hard. I'm sorry to say that it is not as easy as people think. Especially when dealing with a packed panel and you need to add stacked breakers. The problem comes in when there are two circuits that are sharing a neutral wire. People just start moving wires around until things fit and next thing you know those two wires that share the neutral end up on the same phase of the panel. That doubles the amount of amperage on the neutral wire. After a period of time depending on how those circuits are used the neutral starts overheating and then the insulation turns brown and starts cracking.*

I spent an entire weekend of replacing wires and breakers in my parents house because that exact thing happened. The same thing happened with the house I just bought. Luckily there weren't any burnt up neutrals in my house.*

If you still want to try it yourself I would highly recommend you take a bunch of pictures of your panel and take them to your local Home Depot. I know for a fact, at least in my area, that they have hired on licensed electricians to help people with the electrical in their homes. Take those pics in and see if you can get some help from a licensed electrician.*

Good luck and if you do it yourself I hope it all works out for you

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Old 03-11-2012, 01:18 AM   #26
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If you can find a way to have access to the dryer outlet let me know. I don't want any liability with messing with your house wiring, but I can certainly help you with the control panel. I'm not too far, I'm frequently in norwalk. It's really not a big deal. Let me know, your are more than welcome to come over to see a brew day with electric if you want.
just re-reading the thread and missed this ^^^!!!! wow!, what an excellent and generous offer. thank you. might take y up on that.

i have a friend who isn't an electrician, but knows what he's looking at. he'll come over and look at the box and see if we can do ourselves what is necessary safely. if not, i'll have to get on the phone for quotes.
so that'll be that for electric.

control box question, i've never wired before and can't read a schematic. would it be possible to learn the skill enough for a brew box somewhere? it doesn't seem so, looks like it takes real experience and knowledge.

i'm also working on designing the rig. 20G BK, 15G MLT, 20G HLT with herms/chiller. 1 pump to move things around. when i have a more solid grasp of equipment and flow i'm thinking i'll post and hope for feedback. i try to use the search function for information before asking questions so when i'm done we'll see what we came up with.

anyway, if anybody reads my ramble and has any thoughts they're willing to share i'd be grateful.


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