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Old 09-02-2009, 02:42 PM   #1
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Default Electric heatstick question

I've only got 15 amp GFCI-protected outlets in my building and the local hardware store has water heating elements that range from 1500v to 4500v. If 1500v is all that a 15 amp outlet can handle, how many heatsticks should I build if I make 5-6 gallon batches of all-grain?

I saw that the Cedarcreek website says that two 2000v heatsticks can bring water to boiling in 37 minutes, so should I expect to make three or four to attain equal if not faster results?

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Old 09-02-2009, 02:50 PM   #2
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You would need at LEAST 2, preferrably 3... 1500W elements

Also, remember that you will need them all on SEPARATE CIRCUITS, not just separate outlets.

To boil 6 gallons, I need 65% out of my 5500W element, which is 3,575W of power

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Old 09-02-2009, 03:05 PM   #3
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Oh darn...and I thought I almost had it figured out. I'm no electrical expert, so I'm not aware of how to find out which outlets are separate circuits. Does this mean I'd have to plug each one in different rooms (kitchen/living room/bathroom) to avoid tripping the circuit?

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Old 09-02-2009, 03:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by zplug123 View Post
Oh darn...and I thought I almost had it figured out. I'm no electrical expert, so I'm not aware of how to find out which outlets are separate circuits. Does this mean I'd have to plug each one in different rooms (kitchen/living room/bathroom) to avoid tripping the circuit?
If you've got a helper...plug a light into the outlet closest to your brewing area. Go to your panel...make sure you're not standing in a puddle of water, preferably wearing some rubber sole shoes...and trip each 20a (15a in some homes) breakers one at a time, reseting each one as you go until your helper screams STOP when the light goes out. Leave that one breaker open temporariily...Now take the lamp and plug it into other outlets near your brewing area until you find one that works... If it works...it's on a separate ciruit.

Now go reset the breaker you left open before everything in your freezer melts...
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Old 09-02-2009, 04:00 PM   #5
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Actually the brewing area goes on outside in the barbecue area. We have an outdoor island with four outlets, each outlet has four slots. So I'll try your breaker idea

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Old 09-02-2009, 04:07 PM   #6
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Actually the brewing area goes on outside in the barbecue area. We have an outdoor island with four outlets, each outlet has four slots. So I'll try your breaker idea
More than likely that island is all on one circuit...
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Old 09-02-2009, 04:15 PM   #7
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If you go with an extension cord to one of your house outlets, make sure it's a minimum of 14 gauge, preferably 12 if it's a long run.

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Old 09-02-2009, 04:49 PM   #8
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If you go with an extension cord to one of your house outlets, make sure it's a minimum of 14 gauge, preferably 12 if it's a long run.
Very good advice, use 14 gauge for all wiring of heatsticks and power cords. I used 16 gauge in testing and found it got hot.
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:18 PM   #9
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Also, if you run an extension cord from inside the house, make sure it is plugged into a GFCI protected outlet OR use an inline GFCI. You know... that whole water and electric thing.

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Old 09-02-2009, 05:33 PM   #10
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Also, if you run an extension cord from inside the house, make sure it is plugged into a GFCI protected outlet OR use an inline GFCI. You know... that whole water and electric thing.
More great advice, use GFCIs anywhere you can with this setup. I use them in my control box for the PID and then plug that power cord into a GFCI outlet.
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