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-   -   What Supply Power Will Be Required (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/what-supply-power-will-required-379882/)

W0rter 01-09-2013 03:56 AM

What Supply Power Will Be Required
I'd like to build a panel that will provide power to a recirculating RIM tube (1500w) and a 1500w element in my HLT. What Amperage will be required to power this (120v). Only one March 815PL at this time. I may eventually install a 1500w or 2000w element in my BK with a selector switch like KAL did in his panel to power either the HLT or the BK.

Only 5gal batches will be brewed.

10 gal Boilermaker BK
35qt SS Kettle HLT
10gal Rubbermaid MLT
March 815PL
Norcal FB on stand in MLT
7 1/2gal Stout Shorty Conical Fermenter

I have a sub-panel in my garage that can be modified somewhat easily.

stlbeer 01-09-2013 06:40 AM

Congratulations on starting your ebrewery!

While you're still in the planning phases, make sure you read the electrical primer in this forum. Here's the link: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/electrical-primer-brewers-145019/

You'll find your answer here: Watts/Volts=Amps


There is additional information in the primer regarding the use of 240v elements at 120v.

Keep asking questions and keep us up on your build.

W0rter 01-09-2013 07:57 AM

Thanks stlbeer. I've been stalking the forum and the electricbrewery forum for about 4 months now and have amassed over $500 in supplies to do this build so far. The amp ratings you state are for one or the other element. I need to know what kind of requirements a system will require if both are running at the same time. The potential is there for me to be running the RIM recirculating and at the same time be heating sparge water in the HLT. I don't know what kind of demands this will put on the panel. If I'm running 2 1500w elements and 1 pump for the recirculation that could be 12.5a+12.5a+2.4a=27.4a. How would I supply that kind of demand at 120v? Is this possible?

danb35 01-09-2013 10:55 AM


Originally Posted by W0rter (Post 4764203)
If I'm running 2 1500w elements and 1 pump for the recirculation that could be 12.5a+12.5a+2.4a=27.4a. How would I supply that kind of demand at 120v? Is this possible?

  • Install a 30-amp, 120V circuit. It's a near-certainty you don't already have one, but the breakers are easily available, and it would cover you.
  • Plug your panel into two separate 120V outlets on two separate circuits, and wire your panel so that one input powers one heater, and the other powers the other. Means you need to be within a reasonable distance of both circuits to brew.
  • Use or install a four-wire 240V circuit (hot-hot-neutral-ground), and power one element off each hot leg.

Of course, if you install the 240V circuit, you might as well design your system for 240V.

W0rter 01-09-2013 04:40 PM

I have a full blown Woodworking shop in my garage. So the following circuits are readily available. a basement Square D QO 40a double pole supplies power to my homeline sub panel in the workshop (sub panel is a homeline 6 Single Pole breaker box or 12 breakers using 6 tandem or 3 quads).

Circuits available
1 15a SP original garage wiring on basement panel
2 20a SP sub-panel (this is a tandem breaker)
1 20a SP lone breaker not wired up but available
1 15a DP sub-panel
1 20a DP sub panel
1 quad (2 20a SP) and (1 30a DP) this breaker isn't currently installed; This breaker would have to replace the 20a SP tandem and the lone 20a SP breaker.

My workshop is small for woodworking but manageable. it's 14' wide by 25' deep. I have 1 20a SP on the Rt wall and one on the Lt wall. The 15a DP on the Lt wall and the 20a DP on the Rt wall.

I doubt that there's a homeline 30a SP in standard or tandem breaker or quad for that matter.

I've been thinking (usually gets me in trouble) what if I used a 20a DP and used one pole for each SP element? Id need some help laying this out.

I'm still stymied by how I'm going to introduce GFCI to my panel. What if I replaced the 40a breaker in my QO panel in the basement with a 40a QO DP GFCI breaker. Would that supply the necessary protection to my sub-panel in the workshop? or does it need to be on the same level (sub panel)?

I was going to use a Leviton 20a duplex outlet to satisfy my GFCI concerns now Im not sure what to do.

W0rter 01-10-2013 04:10 AM

I'd really like to know the feasibility of running a 20a DP Breaker to provide power to 2 120v elements 1 for the RIM tube and the other selectable for either the HLT or BK.
One leg of the DP breaker to provide power to the RIM tube and the other leg to provide power to a 3 way selector to select either the HLT or BK.
Please read post 5 above for history of environment.

danb35 01-10-2013 10:58 AM

Using a 240V circuit in this way shouldn't be a problem at all (it was my third suggestion in my previous post). For GFCI protection, many people seem to be using a spa panel from Lowe's or Home Depot, which includes a 240V, 50A GFCI circuit breaker at a much cheaper price than the breaker by itself would normally cost. Your circuit/wiring are still protected by the smaller breaker back in your panel.

W0rter 01-10-2013 05:28 PM

Thanks danb35 I glanced over the third option too quickly as I was wrapping my head around 30a SP breaker for the homeline sub panel.
Quick question while I ponder my options.
If I changed my breaker in the basement QO Panel to a GFCI breaker (Square D QO240GFI) 40a Double Pole GFCI
This is the breaker that supplies 100% of the power to the garage sub-panel.
Would this satisfy my GFCI requirements for home brewing? In effect this should make every breaker in the Sub-Panel a GFCI breaker. Or is my thinking against code as it's in another panel from where the GFCI breaker is installed.

danb35 01-10-2013 06:11 PM

I believe that feeding your garage sub-panel from a GFCI breaker would provide the necessary protection. However, you'll likely find that it's cheaper to buy the spa panel, with the GFCI breaker already installed, than to buy a GFCI double-pole breaker.

W0rter 01-10-2013 06:49 PM

ya I looked at one from Menard's for $54.97 and considered it. Not sure how to implement it to my current setup. So I've considered the QO240GFI to be a better, cleaner adaption move for me. It's on eBay in New for $74.95 freeship and best offer. but before making an offer I've been trying to find out if this would make everything downline from the QO240GFI GFCI compliant? I'd like it to satisfy code making all my 120v and 240v lines in the garage GFCI.

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