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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermenters > ebay aquarium temp controller build
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Old 06-25-2011, 06:32 PM   #1521
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I could be mistaken, but I thought that # 1 & 2 were for the probe leads, not line power which should be #3 & 4. None of the wiring seems to be correct. Like I said, I'm doing this from memory, so check the wiring diagram that came with the unit or someone can help who actually owns one. If you energized it as you have it shown, it may be smoked permanently. Hopefully, that is not the case.
No, 1 & 2 are power and 3 & 4 are temp sensor. He's got it wired right as far as I can tell. My first question was going to be if he waited for the compressor delay, but android beat me to it. Could it be the 220V controller?
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Old 06-25-2011, 06:51 PM   #1522
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No, 1 & 2 are power and 3 & 4 are temp sensor. He's got it wired right as far as I can tell. My first question was going to be if he waited for the compressor delay, but android beat me to it. Could it be the 220V controller?
OK, disregard my above post. I think the Love controllers have #1 & 2 as the probe leads.
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:06 PM   #1523
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OK, disregard my above post. I think the Love controllers have #1 & 2 as the probe leads.
I do have the 110 model and have waited for the compressor delay. No such luck.

The only thing I can think of at this point is that there is not enough amperage to turn over the compressor. I'm going to go check the voltage and amperage at the receptacle. It's possible that the wire I'm using isn't up to it, though it is rated for 300v.
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:14 PM   #1524
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I do have the 110 model and have waited for the compressor delay. No such luck.

The only thing I can think of at this point is that there is not enough amperage to turn over the compressor. I'm going to go check the voltage and amperage at the receptacle. It's possible that the wire I'm using isn't up to it, though it is rated for 300v.
To safely switch 10A @ 110V, you must use at least 14 gauge. Anything less is a fire hazard.
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:07 AM   #1525
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I don't think the gauge of the wire is the issue. Although 14 ga or thicker should be used, even 22 gauge would probably handle the startup current.

It could be a stray strand of wire causing a partial short, or bad connection somewhere.

This post does have the background story for a theory of mine regarding which wire to switch. My freezer has a start cap that, in stock form, has a hot wire to it at all times, and is discharged when the thermostat (and PTC relay) switches the downstream side to the compressor's start coils. Without live power to the hot wire prior to starting, the cap is not charged, and does not provide full starting current/voltage to the start coils when it is in the start circuit.

I could be wrong about the cap behavior when it is part of the start circuit, but that is how the schem looked to me. I also remember a post by someone retrofitting/replacing a thermostat with this controller, and the fridge would not start without switching the neutral (as opposed to the hot as is standard for schem in this thread). The schematic in that post was similar to how my thermo is wired.

I wonder if it wouldn't be better to switch the neutral so the stock behavior of the appliance is preserved.
I thought that this is how Johnson and Ranco controllers are wired as well, but that is from memory from reading done many moons ago. I don't have one to test to see whether the hot wire is hot, and the neutral is what is switched.

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Old 06-26-2011, 02:12 AM   #1526
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My freezer temp controller is terminal-based (I wired it into an extension cord to be able to use it on other stuff if need be) and the diagram indicated that the hot wire is the one that gets switched. I wired it like that, and it works just fine.

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Old 06-26-2011, 02:18 AM   #1527
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I'm going to go check the voltage and amperage at the receptacle.
You posted earlier that the voltage at the outlet was ~120v. Were you checking the plug side, or the wire (back) side of the receptacle?
Like others posted, don't assume anything, and start simple. It sucks to undo work you have done, but often leads to a faster resolution.
You can also use the heating circuit to see if it is just the cooling coil (or circuit) that isn't able to start the fridge. You can't rule out a defective part in the controller yet.
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:53 AM   #1528
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My freezer temp controller is terminal-based (I wired it into an extension cord to be able to use it on other stuff if need be) and the diagram indicated that the hot wire is the one that gets switched. I wired it like that, and it works just fine.
Not sure what "terminal-based" means. Switching the hot or neutral will deliver very similar functionality for most devices, but some things rely on "polarized" plugs to take advantage of the hot wire internally. My freezer appears to be one of these devices.

If the start cap does need the hot wire powered prior to starting to provide 100% start assist, then the neutral should be swtiched. That being said, if a compressor has a start cap, and won't start without the start circuit functioning at 100%, it probably means the compressor is circling the drain. This may have been the case with the guy's fridge who had to switch the neutral to make it work.

I am still not sure whether the start cap on my freezer would or would not function fully with the hot switched, but when I looked at the schem, it appeared that it would not.
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Old 06-26-2011, 04:06 AM   #1529
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwi
You posted earlier that the voltage at the outlet was ~120v. Were you checking the plug side, or the wire (back) side of the receptacle?
Like others posted, don't assume anything, and start simple. It sucks to undo work you have done, but often leads to a faster resolution.
You can also use the heating circuit to see if it just the cooling coil (or circuit) that isn't able to start the fridge. You can't rule out a defective part in the controller yet.
Solved! Turns out that the salvaged wire i was using was not quite 14 ga and didnt have a solid connecrion to the terminal on the receptacle.
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:22 AM   #1530
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Ok, I'll freely admit it - I'm mainly posting just to move this near the top so it's easier to find.

But seriously folks, I've read most of this, and looks like lagering is in my future. I've tried reading through most of this, have not seen anyone's heat source....anyone want to chime in on what you're using? Hot rock, hot lamp, hot pad, hot blonde, etc?

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