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Old 09-25-2011, 01:20 AM   #1
BigJim_inFLA
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Default Wire size for 240v extension cord?

I'm thinking of converting to electric brewing, but the only 240v outlet I have is for my dryer. This is located in the middle of the house. I want to brew outside because I have no way to vent the boil off from inside. The house is a rental so I can't do any rewiring. What size cable will I need to use to run 1 5500w heating element, the associated control panel, and 1 120v pump?

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Old 09-25-2011, 01:44 AM   #2
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You would need #10 wire to run the 5500w heater. As for the control panel and 120v pump I don't know what their amp draws are but would bet a #12 wire would run them. So really you just need a 30amp 240v extension cord and a couple regular 20 amp 120v extension cords to get outside? I'm assuming you want to run extension cords and not actual wiring.

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Old 09-25-2011, 05:01 AM   #3
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Quick question. Is your dryer outlet a 3 prong or 4 prong outlet?

Also, how do you intend to protect yourself when you brew (GFCI circuit protection)?

Based on your asnswers, I might have some suggestions for you with your electric build.

P-J

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Old 09-25-2011, 10:04 AM   #4
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Thank you both for your assistance!

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Originally Posted by Cimerian View Post
You would need #10 wire to run the 5500w heater. As for the control panel and 120v pump I don't know what their amp draws are but would bet a #12 wire would run them. So really you just need a 30amp 240v extension cord and a couple regular 20 amp 120v extension cords to get outside? I'm assuming you want to run extension cords and not actual wiring.
You are correct, I do not want permanent wiring, just an extension cord for brew days. I was thinking one 240v cord to the control panel and splitting off the 120v inside. If I need separate 120v I have those outlets where I will be brewing.

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Quick question. Is your dryer outlet a 3 prong or 4 prong outlet?

Also, how do you intend to protect yourself when you brew (GFCI circuit protection)?

Based on your answers, I might have some suggestions for you with your electric build.

P-J
Dryer outlet is 4 prong. The dryer breaker in the panel is 30A.

I was planning to use the HD 50A Spa sub panel that others have used for GFCI. I was thinking the spa panel with a short cord to the dryer outlet, and then the long extension out to the control panel.

Jim
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:08 AM   #5
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Since I was just outside looking at the main breaker panel I found that I have a 70A breaker that is labeled as "sub panel." I am not sure where that goes, but I can assume that the sub panel is out back by the pool pump and electric pool heater. This panel would only be 10 feet from where I want to brew. I may look into tapping into that panel instead. I do not use the pool heater. I'm in Florida, it is always warm enough to me. The pool pump is on a timer and only runs for a few hours a day. I could always manually shut it off on brew day. This may be a better solution than running 50 feet of cable through the house.

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Old 09-25-2011, 12:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim_inFLA View Post
...
Dryer outlet is 4 prong. The dryer breaker in the panel is 30A.

I was planning to use the HD 50A Spa sub panel that others have used for GFCI. I was thinking the spa panel with a short cord to the dryer outlet, and then the long extension out to the control panel.
That is an easy and good plan for you. I've posted the wiring setup for that Spa Panel on this forum before. You have probably seen it as well. If not, I can do it again for you.

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Originally Posted by BigJim_inFLA View Post
Since I was just outside looking at the main breaker panel I found that I have a 70A breaker that is labeled as "sub panel." I am not sure where that goes, but I can assume that the sub panel is out back by the pool pump and electric pool heater. This panel would only be 10 feet from where I want to brew. I may look into tapping into that panel instead. I do not use the pool heater. I'm in Florida, it is always warm enough to me. The pool pump is on a timer and only runs for a few hours a day. I could always manually shut it off on brew day. This may be a better solution than running 50 feet of cable through the house.
You are correct in that it would be a better solution. If you get a chance, please take pix of the pool panel with the inside cover on & then off. I'd love to see it and then try to figure out its wiring. It more than likely has GFCI breakers in it as well.

Hmmmm. Very interesting possibilities.
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:37 PM   #7
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I agree, that panel is most likely already GFCI protected, all you need is to figure out how you want to connect your equipment to it, I suggest a 4-prong 50A dryer-range outlet on a 50@ fuse, a few feet of 6ga wire and flexible conduit, and a weatehrproof outlet cover... then you just plug your panel in, flip on the breaker, and brew...

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Old 09-26-2011, 01:58 AM   #8
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Just got home from work. I really appreciate the help from everyone. I'm off for the next two days so I will get to have a look at the pool panel and get some pics.

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Old 09-26-2011, 02:06 AM   #9
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Welcome home and enjoy your days off.

I feel like a plan is in the works for you. Now - Relax and have a brew.

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Old 09-28-2011, 01:03 AM   #10
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I had a chance to look at the pool panel and I was surprised to find no GFCI anywhere! Makes me think twice about going for a dip. Given that and the fact that tapping into it would require permanent changes to the panel I have decided to go back to the original plan. I will be using the spa panel from HD with a short plug to the dryer outlet, and run 30 feet of 10/4 SOOW to my control panel. Sound good?

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