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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermenters > ebay aquarium temp controller build
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:54 PM   #811
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sorry. noob question. where does it actually heat/cool from. i want to step up to all grain and would like to also start paying more attention to temp control. does it come from the wire you have off the right side of that temperature read out? what does that attach to? thanks!
it doesn't heat or cool.. I monitors the temperature (with a probe) and will turn your heater or cooler on and off to maintain the temperature you choose.
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:01 PM   #812
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I have a wine cooler that I bought used that has an older analog thermostat hard wired into. I would like to replace it with one of these and hard wire it in and add a light to use as a heat source if needed/wanted.

Here is what I think would be the right way to wire it. Electrical is something I have to stare at forever before it finally makes sense to me.

Do you guys see anything wrong or that should be changed? (Other than the 220 label )



Here is a picture of the current thermostat


Thanks for the help.

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Old 02-14-2011, 04:07 PM   #813
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looks good, but make sure you take the old t-stat out all together and don't leave it in parallel with the contact of the temp controller. If the old one fails, you could have the heat and cool on at the same time. just pull the white and blue wire off the old t-stat and use wire nuts.

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Old 02-14-2011, 04:22 PM   #814
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looks good, but make sure you take the old t-stat out all together and don't leave it in parallel with the contact of the temp controller. If the old one fails, you could have the heat and cool on at the same time. just pull the white and blue wire off the old t-stat and use wire nuts.
Oh it would be removed. Should have mentioned that.

Thanks for confirming what I thought it would
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Old 02-14-2011, 05:42 PM   #815
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Oh it would be removed. Should have mentioned that.
It would be wise to leave/reattach the ground wire, or ground protection will/may be lost. From the pic it looks like it is the green wire with the spade lug that is screwed to the chassis, but the pic is kind of fuzzy for that area.

I am not sure where the latest craze for replacing the existing thermo is coming from. It must seem like a cleaner install to some peoples eyes. Retrofitting the thermo does have disadvantages- any quick portability is lost in case the kegerator dies, or for swapping between rigs/freezers. Also, I think early on in this thread there were advisories against it, for fears of dangerous miswirings that were realized in recent posts, as long as it was functioning enough to turn on the compressor below the desired temp. It just needs to be set to max cold, and the plugged into the standard DIY temp controller box cooling outlet.
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:33 PM   #816
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In my case I purchased this unit with a different aftermarket analog thermostat on it. I dont like it, dont want to use it. If the factory one was still in place I would build the full project as others have done. In my case I would rather replace what is there.

I am fine with the thermostat not being easily unplugged and moved to another unit. This will stay on that unit, until that unit dies. Then I will most likely make a complete project box for it.

The green wire is not connected to anything at the moment. I believe it was just the ground for the thermostat and not the whole system based on the diagram.

Is it recommend to ground the new temp controller? If so what is everyone else doing as a ground on the controller itself??

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Old 02-14-2011, 07:04 PM   #817
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there's no way of grounding the aquarium temp controller...it's all plastic so it really doesn't pose a danger. If it's properly installed and there's not danger of touching the wires (ie, they aren't running inside the fridge) then there's not danger. If you can contact the wires in ANY way, it's should be on a GFCI for protection.

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Old 02-14-2011, 07:33 PM   #818
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In my case I purchased this unit with a different aftermarket analog thermostat on it. I dont like it, dont want to use it. If the factory one was still in place I would build the full project as others have done. In my case I would rather replace what is there.
I looked at the pic again, and it looks like the existing retrofitted controller is on the outside of the kegerator. I thought it was on the inside like a fridge, which is where the original one likely was.

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I am fine with the thermostat not being easily unplugged and moved to another unit. This will stay on that unit, until that unit dies. Then I will most likely make a complete project box for it.
You could still make the standard project box now, and plug the kegerator into it. You would just need to wire the wine chiller to be permanently "on", and only use it with the controller box until it dies. It may add a bit of time/money up front for the project box, outlet, and wiring up the outlet. You would save some time by not having to figure out how to securely/safely mount the controller to the outside of the wine chiller. All of the wires are neatly contained in the project box version.

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The green wire is not connected to anything at the moment. I believe it was just the ground for the thermostat and not the whole system based on the diagram.
The schematic is not (usually) a direct representation of the actual wiring. The schematic shows the thermo and the motor grounded to a mystery ground point coming from the wall plug. You would have to trace the wiring to know what the physical layout is. If the green wire is coming directly from the wall plug, and is now hanging in mid-air, nothing is grounded. If the wall plug ground goes straight to the compressor area where it is connected to the chassis, and the green wire is a separate one just to the thermo (needed if the insides were all plastic with no access to the metal chassis), then just the aftermarket thermo isn't grounded now.

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Is it recommend to ground the new temp controller? If so what is everyone else doing as a ground on the controller itself??
I was recommending reattaching the green wire to its original location, i.e. screwing the spade lug back to its original mounting point, in case the green wire is/was supplying the ground to the chassis that everything else attaches to for ground. This is exactly why leaving the existing thermo unit in place is recommended for those that have limited electrical experience, and why most who have a lot of electrical experience know it isn't worth the effort/risk as long as the existing thermo will turn the unit on.

This is going off pics since I am still waiting (4 weeks and counting) for mine- The insides of the aquarium controller are not able to be grounded, as it has no ground post on the terminal block. The outside is also mostly plastic, just like the project box, so it would not carry much current anyway even if was grounded. As far how others are grounding things, I am not sure what schematic they are using. I plan to use a 3 wire grounded power cord, and carry the ground through to a grounded 3 hole outlet pair. The controller itself will not be grounded, since it is not (easily) possible.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:22 PM   #819
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so I just pulled the trigger on this controller.

so I'll one the single stage for my Kezzer, and I'll use the other single stage for my Lagering, and I'll use my dual stage controller for the main fermentation box.

seeing as I had to put a heating pad in with my Hefe to keep it up to temp it wanted to drop down to 64 after the yeasties settled down.

-=Jason=-
the USPS mail just dropped off my dual stage controller

YES now I can build a fermentation rig or pick up a used fridge on the cheap.

-=Jason=-
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:46 PM   #820
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Wow, thanks for all the extra info cwi

I ordered mine earlier today so we will see what happens when it gets here and how long it takes to get here.

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