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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Quick Power Cord Question
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:47 PM   #1
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Default Quick Power Cord Question

I really want to use my 250v dryer cord to power my little 5gallon system, but I'm set up to use 120v outlets. Is there any way for me to build/buy a cord that I can plug into the dryer outlet on one end and on the other end its like 3-5 120v outlets capable of powering 2-3 1650w heater elements and a pump or two?

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Old 02-07-2012, 05:39 AM   #2
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I think you are going to pop breakers if you run that many watts on one circuit.

80 percent loading is recomended. 20amp breaker @ 120V - 2400 Watts

2400Watts *.8 = 1920 Watts usable.

Anyone want to check my math?

That means you can't just plug aother extension cord into the other side of the outlet also FWIW.

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Old 02-07-2012, 05:41 AM   #3
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...and I dont think it's a good idea to fab a cord the way you are suggesting.

I could check the NEC to see if its legal, if I remember....


and read through the threads at the bottom of the page - they may be of some use.

:-)

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Old 02-07-2012, 05:10 PM   #4
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Well I'm only plugging one cord into each outlet of my kitchen and havent had any problems yet (I also rent so I don't really care about long term damage, this place was falling apart when I moved in) so its not something I'm going* to do, its something I've been* doing, I'm just looking to have it down to one (more powerful) outlet so I can get out of my kitchen.

I just feel like there should be some power strip somewhere that goes from dryer outlet to 120v outlets, but I can't find what I'm looking for in my googling.
I figure its already done in every controller that uses more than 20A, I just don't really know how to divide a current like that.

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Old 02-07-2012, 06:20 PM   #5
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You basically are wanting to build a "sub panel" of sorts. As long as it is a dedicated 30a (or higher) 240v run, you can accomplish what you are wanting to do (i.e. 2-3 1650w heat sticks).

Real simply you would run your dryer cord into a box, split the feeds inside the box and send them to three separate 120v GFCI outlets, and you'd be good.

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Old 02-08-2012, 02:43 AM   #6
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Are you trying to get out of the house totally,...like the garage or back deck?

Set it up for an electric car outside?

Making beer would be frosting on the cake.

I could tell you how it could be done. I just hate to see someone do something from my advice - that might be dangerous.

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/electric-car5.htm

http://www.nojolt.com/Understanding_...circuits.shtml

Fun aside...

I'd say find a local electrician who has an appreciation for good beer and have about $150 in your pocket.

Put in a sub panel in the garage and put it a few convenience outlets as you see fit. At least one each for each of your heat sticks.

After you're done, treat your electrician friend to a few home brews and burgers on the grill.

I did similar with a plumber friend when I replaced my water heater last spring. It was a blast. We went out to the local Micro-breweries and tasted a few at each.

Went from a 40 gallon to a 50 gallon with a energy credit to boot. Best house project I can remember.

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Old 02-08-2012, 04:07 PM   #7
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Here's exactly what you asked for it goes from one 50 amp feed to multiple 20 and 30 amp receptacles. These are used on construction sites for temp power. You are not going to like the price of a new one but they show up used at pawn shops sometimes.

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/HUB...nd-Fault-4D572

Making friends with an electrician would be a much better option.

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Old 02-08-2012, 04:20 PM   #8
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you can pretty easily turn a 240v line into 2 120v lines (assuming there is a neutral on the 240 line) just wire one hot (black) along with the neutral and ground to each 120 line. that is pretty easy and you would not need a "box" per-say, you could just do it with wire nuts any more than 2 gets a bit more complicated. you could always split it into 2 and than use a extension cord splitter on each leg to get 4 120v connections. a normal dryer line is 240v 30A (40A breaker) so you could pull (safely) 7.2kw. your heat sticks would draw around 5kw if they were all on at the same time so you should be fine there even if you add 1-2 pumps.... the problem you will run into is you will not be able to use a GFCI breaker on this as it will trip because current will be returned on the neutral line

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Old 02-08-2012, 04:23 PM   #9
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man, you aren't kidding about the pricetag, holy crap. I found something yesterday that was *close to what I wanted at tractor supply. I think it was called RV cord. It went from 4 prong outlet to 2 120v outlets. Not quite the size or number of outlets I wanted but the idea was there.
I'm soon to be incorporating rims (so I'll have a 2 1650w elements in the BK, 1 1650w element in the HLT, RIMS element, and a pump) its just a lot of plugs at this point. I was hoping building a box or buying a prebuilt cord wouldn't be too incredibly hard. I can't really hire an electrician to modify the place as I rent and all.

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Old 02-08-2012, 04:27 PM   #10
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Here is exactly what you want to do with instructions on how to do it:

http://alfter.us/beer/heatstick/powerboard.aspx

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