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Old 11-08-2010, 09:18 PM   #1
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Default Question about my dryer outlet and a 3500watt element (w pictures)

I have searched for a while now and can't seem to find the answer to this.

I recently read jkarp's counter top brewery brutus 20 and I want to do something along those lines.

I have most of what I need and this could be a great winter set up for me. I want to turn my 10 gallon mega pot into an electric kettle with a 3500 w ld heating element.

I plan on using the conduit box tuturial on theelectricbrewery.com.

It seems everyone is using a controller of some sort either PID or PWM or SSR or some combination of the three. For right now I do not need any automation and would like to simply plug and unplug the kettle when necessary.

My outlet is my dryer outlet and is 3 prong:



Can I just use a plug like this directly with the element?:

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Old 11-08-2010, 09:56 PM   #2
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Not without getting hosed by the electric Nazi's.

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Old 11-08-2010, 10:18 PM   #3
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The way I first had my electric keggle set up was like that. I had the two hot leads going to the element, and the ground to the metal of the keggle just under the connection between keggle and element. I then used the circuit breaker as my switch and it would always be off when plugging/unplugging it. Now this is not the safest way to do it. Ideally, one should at least have a GFCI breaker so that if something does go wrong you don't end up fried. [\2¢]

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Old 11-08-2010, 10:22 PM   #4
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It wouldn't be that hard to put a single gang box with a switch inline between the plug and the element.

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Old 11-08-2010, 11:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klyph View Post
It wouldn't be that hard to put a single gang box with a switch inline between the plug and the element.
I probably would put a switch. Is there such thing as a plug in 240 gfci?
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:08 AM   #6
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I probably would put a switch. Is there such thing as a plug in 240 gfci?
What I and many others have done is to buy a 50 amp spa disconnect panel from Home Depot for about $50. This is a metal enclosure with a 50 amp GFCI breaker and terminal blocks. Hook the dryer cord you have in the picture to the inputs in the spa disconnect box and take your outputs from the breaker. IIRC I tied the ground wire of the dryer cord to the neutral block in the box and then tied the neutral block and the ground block together. White pigtail wire from the breaker goes to the neutral block, outputs come from the breaker itself and output ground is from the ground block in the box.
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:28 AM   #7
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... IIRC I tied the ground wire of the dryer cord to the neutral block in the box and then tied the neutral block and the ground block together. White pigtail wire from the breaker goes to the neutral block, outputs come from the breaker itself and output ground is from the ground block in the box.
The problrm with that is you have the ground and the neutral "tied together" after the GFCI breaker. With that said - there is no protection for you...!!

Seperate the neutral and ground before the GFCI and you could eliminate the issue.

(I'd like to see the diagram of that before you decide to implement it though.)
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:32 AM   #8
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Not without getting hosed by the electric Nazi's.
Perfect.!!!
Aparently you are totally on your own with electrical safety issues. Good job!
Spread the word for the unknowing.
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:20 AM   #9
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The problrm with that is you have the ground and the neutral "tied together" after the GFCI breaker. With that said - there is no protection for you...!!

Seperate the neutral and ground before the GFCI and you could eliminate the issue.

(I'd like to see the diagram of that before you decide to implement it though.)

The problem is that this is a 2 wire with ground outlet. There is no separate neutral. Ground has to be run to the equipment, but the GFCI breaker also requires a "neutral" in order to work. The only option is to tie the breaker "neutral" input to the ground. And it does provide protection, because I have verified that mine trips the breaker if there is an unbalanced load.

EDIT: I'll add that you can't use neutral for your equipment with this configuration (no 120 V loads). The only wires out of the spa disconnect box are the two hots and the ground - 240 volts only.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:55 PM   #10
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The problem is that this is a 2 wire with ground outlet. There is no separate neutral. Ground has to be run to the equipment, but the GFCI breaker also requires a "neutral" in order to work. The only option is to tie the breaker "neutral" input to the ground. And it does provide protection, because I have verified that mine trips the breaker if there is an unbalanced load.

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