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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Power supply wiring for 240V/30A single-vessel electric brewery
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:11 PM   #1
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Default Power supply wiring for 240V/30A single-vessel electric brewery

The good news: I know what I want to do. 5500W element, one PID/SSR, one pump, so I should be able to use a 240V/30A circuit.

The bad news: I thought I had such a circuit, but I do not. It is a 240V/20A breaker in the panel, with 12/2 + ground wire going to a 3-prong dryer outlet, which we do not use.

I plan on brewing either just outside my garage, or just inside in case of inclement weather, as I do today with propane, so I need to be able to move the system out of the way when not in use, bring it outside, bring it inside, etc. The other consideration is that I don't expect to be in this house for too many more years, and would like to keep things as flexible as I can for my next location, or for brewing "outcall" at another location where there is a 4-prong dryer outlet.

Here's what I'm thinking. Please let me know if this makes sense, or if I am missing anything. I am definitely in the camp of those who know just enough about electricity to be dangerous.

The panel is full, so I would remove the 240V/20A breaker and install a 240V/30A breaker and run 10/3 + ground to my garage, terminating at a 4-prong dryer outlet. The run is no more than about 30 feet, so I assume that will not be a problem for 10/3, correct? What is the maximum run before I need to step up the wiring? Should it be in conduit if I'm going to run it along the garage wall? I will probably hire an electrician to do this, but I want to make sure I understand it.

For a GFCI, I would probably go with one in the breaker. Now, if I wanted to brew elsewhere where there is 240V/30A service but no GFCI, I could get one of those GFCI cords. Is there any advantage to going the other way, i.e., do not get a GFCI breaker and use a GFCI cord, and if brewing somewhere where there is 240V/30A GFCI service make up a non-GFCI cord? But I should never run more (or less) than one GFCI, so one in the breaker and one in the cord is a no/no, correct?

Many thanks, ye HBT electric gurus.

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Old 07-21-2011, 11:36 PM   #2
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I think 50' is when you have to up the wire size. An electrician should comment here.

If you are going to run the wiring along the wall (as opposed to IN the wall) it needsbto be inside conduit.

Also... there is nothing wrong with having two GFCI devices chained together. It's unnecessary and redundant, but causes no problems.

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Old 07-22-2011, 04:39 AM   #3
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Thanks Walker.

Good to know about the GFCIs. So the most flexible way to do it then is to use a GFCI cord (or spa panel), so I can take it elsewhere and still have a GFCI, even if it is redundant at the remote site.

I could probably avoid the conduit also by putting the 4-prong outlet on the garage side of the common wall between garage and basement. Then run an extension cord to the front of the garage when I am using the system. I suppose I will compare the relative costs, but is there any reason not to go with this approach?

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Old 07-22-2011, 05:12 AM   #4
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Have you priced GFCI breakers for your panel yet? They can be pricey. That was one of my two big sticker shock items when I started planning my own system. Oddly, individual breakers are usuallu more expensive than a spa panel with a gfci breaker already in it (no idea why.)

It might be cheapest and most flexible to buy a spa panel and put both male plug on it as well as a female receptacle and making your own GFCI adapter basically. Use it when you need it. That way you could buy a 30a normal breaker for your panel -cheap - and then add the GFCI with the span panel adapter-thing.

As far as whether to run conduit or use a long power cord on your brewery panel... no idea would be least expensive or most convenient for you.

Edit : power cords were my other sticker shock items.

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Old 07-22-2011, 05:10 PM   #5
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Yes, pricy stuff indeed.

I think I will go with the regular 30A breaker, 4-prong female receptacle on the garage side of the interior wall, DIY 10/4 cord to male receptacle on spa panel, another from female receptacle on spa panel to male receptacle on control panel.

A couple of remaining questions:
1) I plan to go with locking receptacles at the control panel, but any pros/cons to using them for the other receptacles?
2) I can use this http://www.stayonline.com/detail.aspx?ID=18361 for the entire run, the element cable, as well as cannibalizing some of the 10 AWG for inside the panel, correct? It certainly looks to be more flexible and suitable for the cords than Romex, and I don't see Romex priced much better.

Thanks again.

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Old 07-22-2011, 05:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmeh View Post
Yes, pricy stuff indeed.

I think I will go with the regular 30A breaker, 4-prong female receptacle on the garage side of the interior wall, DIY 10/4 cord to male receptacle on spa panel, another from female receptacle on spa panel to male receptacle on control panel.

A couple of remaining questions:
1) I plan to go with locking receptacles at the control panel, but any pros/cons to using them for the other receptacles?
2) I can use this http://www.stayonline.com/detail.aspx?ID=18361 for the entire run, the element cable, as well as cannibalizing some of the 10 AWG for inside the panel, correct? It certainly looks to be more flexible and suitable for the cords than Romex, and I don't see Romex priced much better.

Thanks again.
If you have the desire to be able to transport your brewery somewhere else and use it, then I would stick with the non-locking NEMA 14-30 plugs/receptacles for your wall outlet and spa panel connections. You are more likely to find those available at a remote location than a locking receptacle.
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:35 PM   #7
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Wow, the connectors can be expensive. I cannot find a 14-30 P, non-locking, male connector on the web for less than $30, but pairs (male and female) of the locking connectors for about $19. Simplified plan, from 4-prong, non-locking outlet on the wall:

- Dryer cord pigtail terminated with a female locking connector to
- GE spa panel/gfci with male locking receptacle input and female locking receptacle output to
- Male locking connector - 10/4 cord - female locking connector (extension cord, I can either DIY or buy) to
- Male locking receptacle in Control Panel

So I still have the non-locking plug feeding the spa panel if I want to travel to where I am more likely to find the non-locking outlet. And if someone already has a GFCI with a locking outlet, that works too, lol. If I really wanted to be able to plug in where there is no GFCI and a locking outlet, I guess I could make up another locking extension cord to go from outlet to control panel.

How does that sound? Now to think of a good way to mount the spa panel to keep it both neat and portable....

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Old 07-24-2011, 12:07 AM   #8
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You are not looking in the right places! You can walk into lowes or home depot and get.that non locking plug for $15... and even that is a rip off.

The cheapest place I have found online for plugs and receptacles is
Http://www.fruitridgetools.com

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Old 07-24-2011, 12:31 AM   #9
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Thanks. I did look at fruitridgetools, but the only 14-30P non-locking male plug I see is $39.95, and $11.95 for a dryer plug with pigtail. Am I missing something on their site? I'll keep looking, lol.

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Old 07-24-2011, 12:40 AM   #10
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Check here. It's where I got mine. Best price I could find. I have know idea how the price varies so much for these.
http://www.galesburgelectric.com/Lev...lug-Angle.html

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