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Old 06-19-2013, 01:34 AM   #21
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Play around with a your RTD and a glass of ice water and a cig lighter. See if the temperature changes turn your receptacle on and off. I don't know enough about the PID to know what your settings are supposed to be.

P.S. It's my understanding that there is some current leakage in this panel and the indicator light may light up slightly even when the circuit isn't fully powered.

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Old 06-19-2013, 02:33 AM   #22
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Okay, so, as I indicated above, the common suggestion fixed my problem of no power. All switches light up, indicator lights, etc. E-Stop switch works like a charm. I confirmed that the pump receptacle gets power when I hit the pump switch. In short, passes with flying colors for all tests with one very important exception.

When I hit the heat switch, the switch illuminates, as does the indicator light. But, there is no power to the receptacle. I checked everything I could think of, including replacing the receptacle. So, I can come to only two alternative conclusions. One, that there is a wiring error. Two, and more likely, I have somehow overlooked how to use the PID to send power to the element's receptacle. After all, the PID is supposed to turn that sucker on and off, and so far there seems to be no power there.

Let's start with a very low level question. I'm assuming that I need to actually hit the heat switch in order for the element to fire. But, I'm also assuming, that hitting the switch is not enough, and that the PID itself must play a part. So that, even while the PID is turning the element on and off, the heat switch on my panel will always be "on." Is that right? What about the indicator light? I figured that should only illuminate when the PID sends power to the element. Yet, when I hit the heat button, that indicator light illuminates.

Okay, I'm starting to ramble. Sorry. Just a little dizzy from unwiring and rewiring trying to isolate the issue.

Any thoughts?
Ok, so here's something weird. I had everything fired up and turned on all switches. I plugged in a hand mixer into the element receptacle. Whenever I pressed the switch on the mixer, the indicator light turned off but the mixer didnt turn on. When I relates the button on the mixer, the indicator light turned back on. Might this give a hint about a problem?
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:42 AM   #23
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Ok, so here's something weird. I had everything fired up and turned on all switches. I plugged in a hand mixer into the element receptacle. Whenever I pressed the switch on the mixer, the indicator light turned off but the mixer didnt turn on. When I relates the button on the mixer, the indicator light turned back on. Might this give a hint about a problem?
Actually, weird but common. SSRs leak some voltage. If you don't have a load on the output providing some resistance, the leakage can be enough to fire the indicator light. That's not really a problem.

Leave the hand mixer plugged in and turned on, and set your PID so that it should be sending a signal (either with manual mode or with your setpoint). If the mixer starts spinning, then it's working. Then set the PID so it should not be sending a signal, and see if the mixer stops.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:16 AM   #24
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I'd recommend using a light bulb or something other than a mixer - while it should be OK, the PID may cycle on and off very quickly, which could cause some difficulties in more complicated electronics. A light will handle the pulses much better than an expensive mixer or a motor, though they'd probably be fine... but why risk it?

jeffmeh is spot on with the LED diagnosis (I had the same issue when I first started testing) and it's likely that you just haven't set the PID correctly to have it actually turn the receptacle on / off.

-Kevin

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Old 06-19-2013, 02:36 PM   #25
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I agree that a light bulb would be a better testing device than a mixer.

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Old 07-07-2013, 04:51 PM   #26
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So....

After two "wet runs" that went perfectly smoothly, I proceeded today with my first real brew using this controller. Turned on the board, the PID fired up smoothly. Fired the pump to transfer water from HLT to Mash Tun, no problemo. Got ready to recirculate. Fired the pump again, and again no problem. Hit my "element" button, and . . . nada. Suddenly not working. I tried to trouble shoot the problem. I plugged another device into the receptacle for the element, and there was just no electricity.

Then, I went to fire the pump again to drain the lines so that I could mash the "old fashion" way, and suddenly that stopped working too. PID was still on, but that's it.

So, how do I go about troubleshooting this issue? Any help much appreciated. To say that I feel "frustrated" after all these months of building the stand and the controller only to have it poop out on the first brew is a serious understatement.

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Old 07-08-2013, 12:28 AM   #27
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Quote:
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So....

After two "wet runs" that went perfectly smoothly, I proceeded today with my first real brew using this controller. Turned on the board, the PID fired up smoothly. Fired the pump to transfer water from HLT to Mash Tun, no problemo. Got ready to recirculate. Fired the pump again, and again no problem. Hit my "element" button, and . . . nada. Suddenly not working. I tried to trouble shoot the problem. I plugged another device into the receptacle for the element, and there was just no electricity.

Then, I went to fire the pump again to drain the lines so that I could mash the "old fashion" way, and suddenly that stopped working too. PID was still on, but that's it.

So, how do I go about troubleshooting this issue? Any help much appreciated. To say that I feel "frustrated" after all these months of building the stand and the controller only to have it poop out on the first brew is a serious understatement.
I also checked to see if I perhaps blew a fuse or two. From what I can tell, I didn't. Any insight greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:57 AM   #28
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Did you trip any of your breakers? Inside the panel, at the GFCI, or at the main panel? Blow any fuses that you put in? Check the inside of your panel for any soot or burnt area. Smell around from the distinct smell of burnt insulation or that acrid smell of ozone and arc-welded wiring. If you find something that looks out of place, post us a picture.

-Kevin

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5gal Scottish Wee Heavy
5gal Saison
15gal American Pale Ale
20gal Belgian Wit (10 dumped)


Keg 1: Apfelwein
Keg 2: Belgian Wit (Failure)
Keg 3: American Pale Ale
Fermenting: Belgian Wit (Take 2)
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:11 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadNewsBrewery View Post
Did you trip any of your breakers? Inside the panel, at the GFCI, or at the main panel? Blow any fuses that you put in? Check the inside of your panel for any soot or burnt area. Smell around from the distinct smell of burnt insulation or that acrid smell of ozone and arc-welded wiring. If you find something that looks out of place, post us a picture.

-Kevin
All breakers are fine and there is no soot or burnt smell. I pulled the fuses, and they look the same as they did when I first installed them (I'm guessing there'd be some visual evidence of a "blown" fuse). I checked all connections, and they're tight. Again, the panel powers up and the PID works just fine. Just the switches and attached receptacles for the element and (later) the pump.
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:22 PM   #30
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Start chasing power then... Start at the main feed, if you have power there, keep going down stream checking on each side of switches, connections, fuses, breakers, contatcors - whatever. You'll find some point where you have power on one side of a device, and nothing on the other side. Then you can figure out if it's a wiring issue or a bad device.

I should mention that you need a multi-meter for this.

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2014:
5gal Scottish Wee Heavy
5gal Saison
15gal American Pale Ale
20gal Belgian Wit (10 dumped)


Keg 1: Apfelwein
Keg 2: Belgian Wit (Failure)
Keg 3: American Pale Ale
Fermenting: Belgian Wit (Take 2)
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