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Old 02-15-2007, 08:19 PM   #1
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Default 240 wiring help

It is me again with another DIY project. I am putting together an electric heater for my hot liquor tank that utilizes a water heater element. I want to wire it up, but not certain how to do it. The element has two screws, and the power cord has 4 wires (1 white, 1 red, 1 black, 1 green). The plug end is not a problem, but on the heater element I assume I will attach the green to the box as a gound, the white and red to the same screw, and the black to the other. Am I correct or am I on the road to a smoldering death?

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Old 02-15-2007, 09:27 PM   #2
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If you are using a 4 prong range or dryer plug and cable, the traditional color coding is as follows
Black (power 120 volts to ground, 220 volts to Red conductor)
Red (power 120 volts to ground, 220 volts to Black conductor)
White (Neutral)
Green (Ground)

Typically the black and red conductors are for 220 volt applications and the white neutral was included to operate 120 volt devices, typically blower motor on dryers, and 120 outlets on kitchen ranges. For use with water heater element, black wire to one screw, red to other screw on heater element, white wire capped with wirenut and taped, green wire to junction box or kettle skirt. Make sure screws on element are tight before applying power or they could possibly burn up from loose connection.

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Old 02-15-2007, 09:40 PM   #3
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First, there is no such thing as 2 phase. There is single phase and three phase, or poly phase. You will rarely see three phase in any type of residential setting. 240vac single phase is what is coming into your house. Two hot legs will give you 240vac. One hot leg and a neutral wire will give you 120vac.

Please don't take this the wrong way pastor, as it is said in a spirit of Christian love, but please call an electrician if you are not ABSOLUTELY certain that you know what you are doing. I work with high voltage every day in my trade. I am knowledgeable when it comes to all things electrical, but internet electrical advice is a fools folly. All it would take is one small misinterpretation and you are all done!

Electricity + metal + water + pastor - proper knowledge = dead pastor

Again, please don't take this as an assault on your character or DIY abilities. From the little bit that I have read about you, you have probably forgotten more about brewing and DIY projects than some people will ever know, but electricity is not forgiving.

In the last year I have lost two colleagues to electrical accidents. Both of which could have been easily avoided with proper safeguards and not being complacent.

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Old 02-15-2007, 10:03 PM   #4
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In a lot of ways, I agree with what johnsma says, it is very easy to misinterpret electrical advice over the net. On the other hand, I'd rather the good Pastor get advice from someone in the trade like myself or johnsma rather than some Handy Hank Homeowner that thinks he know what going on, yet is really a danger to himself and anyone he tries to help.
Now, good Pastor, you don't say whether the heater element is 120 or 240v, and how many watts it it rated for. I would need to know that first, as it makes a difference in how you would wrie it up, and in what type of receptacle you would use. I would assume it is a 240v element, but I don't want to assume anything. Personally I would use a 120v element, simply because that is easier to plug in to a GFCi outlet, which can be a lifesaver.

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Old 02-15-2007, 10:24 PM   #5
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I really don't want to die! The element is 240 volt, 4500 watt. The reason for going 240 was the greater wattage. The cable is 10 gauge, four wire (red, black, white and green). I fully recognise I am out of my element here (no pun intended). I do have a professional I will call on. Electrical has always been a puzzle to me and foolish is as foolish does, so I won't. But for the sake of education, what should be done/how should it be wired up? My plan is to have the element screw into a 1" FPT/1.5" tri-clover fitting which will clamp into my HLT. Do they make 240 GFCi outlets?

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Old 02-15-2007, 10:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewpastor
I really don't want to die! The element is 240 volt, 4500 watt. The cable is 10 gauge, four wire (red, black, white and green). I fully recognise I am out of my element here (no pun intended). And I do have a professional I will call. Electrical has always been a puzzle to me and foolish is as foolish does. But for the sake of education, it would be red to one screw, black to the other, cap the white and green/ground to the ground in the box?
That's probably best.
And that would be the correct way to hook it up, but you would need to be sure to put a 30 amp 240v plug on the other end of the cord, and have a receptacle to match it. And the receptacle and the wire feeding it would also need to be rated or 30 amps. (10 guage wire, 30 amp receptacle, 30 amp 2-pole breaker)
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Old 02-15-2007, 10:50 PM   #7
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The recepticle and breaker are already 30 amp. So at least I don't have to get that switched over. The plug is also 30 amp 240v. The wire is 10 gauge. Should I have a 240v GFCi outlet installed or do they even make 240v GFCi outlets to install?

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Old 02-16-2007, 12:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsma22
Electricity + metal + water + pastor - proper knowledge = dead pastor
You really can't argue that math, can you! LMAO

Pastor -- I hope that works for you. It sounds like it could be a sweet setup. 4500 watts -- yeeeeeeouch!
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Old 02-16-2007, 04:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewpastor
The recepticle and breaker are already 30 amp. So at least I don't have to get that switched over. The plug is also 30 amp 240v. The wire is 10 gauge. Should I have a 240v GFCi outlet installed or do they even make 240v GFCi outlets to install?
Possibly, but I doubt it. The way a GFCI works is it measures current in from the hot wire against current out through the neutral, and if there is a difference of more than 3-5 milliamps, it will trip. Since there is no neutral wire in a 240v circuit, I don't know how that would work.
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:29 AM   #10
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A quick google search turned up this OSHA Document. Apparently there are GFCI's for 240vac available now.

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