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Old 01-20-2009, 09:39 PM   #1
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Default All Electric All Grain Brew Rig build in progress, need electrical review

Good afternoon and let me first say thank you to all those who took the time to post their DIY projects on this beautiful forum. If I could remember all of your names I would gladly give you credit. However as to not waste time, I'll get this going.

I'm building out a single tier all electric RIMS brew station in my cellar and have sourced a good amount of the parts, including pumps, kettle hardware, however the majority of my time so far has been spent on designing and constructing my controller. Since I'm going to be bringing 110v in to power the PID's and pumps, and 240v in for the 4500w heaters in my HLT and Brew Kettle, this took a lot of research and patience in order not electrocute myself.
First of all, I have a 30 amp GFCI breaker installed in the panel where my old 240v dryer was wired, and I have a separate 110v GFCI as well. All my cable hookups are 3 connection twist lock and will connect vertically into my panel.

What I request of you with electrical backgrounds is to review what I've done so far and tell me if you see anything glaring or downright dangerous. Note that the HTL and BK will either be SS pots or keggles and the heating elements will be grounded to the pots.

Here's it so far with some labeling, please excuse the 10 AWG white colored wire for my second hot on the 240v.


Please let me know what you think. I will continue to post my project as time and wife and job and children permit.

Flananuts

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Old 01-21-2009, 12:25 AM   #2
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I have a question about the power inputs to your panel. If I understand the picture correctly, you have a female outlet for both the 240 vac and 120 vac inputs. This implies that your power cord will have a "hot" male end. If I am understanding this correctly, it is extremely dangerous.
It would also be safer to have a single power input. You could run a 4 wire power cord from your panel to the outlet for your 30 amp 240 vac GFI breaker. You could add a power distribution block (about $25 ebay or surplus) to your panel and run your 120 vac and 240 vac circuits from a single power input.
Obviously, you would need to change the outlet for your 30 amp 240 vac GFI breaker to a 4 prong outlet and the power cord would need a 4 prong male end.

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Old 01-21-2009, 11:52 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response. I see what you mean about potentially having a hot male connection and will definitely hard wire my power connection to my controller and split out the 110 and 240. I do have a follow up question. From an amps perspective my heating elements shouldn't be more than 18amp draw at peak and only one element at a time. I can't imagine drawing more than say 2 amps on the pumps and PID's at max. Do you see any reason why I would run into any problems just pulling power from the 240 vac circuit?

Could I also just bypass this and pigtail one hot and neutral over to my 110 needs

Thanks

Flananuts

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Old 01-22-2009, 01:06 AM   #4
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Worst case scenario:
4500 watt element pulls about 20.5 amps (4500/220)
Each march pump pulls about 1.2 amps
Your PIDs will pull less than 0.5 amps each
Total: 23.9 amps
Well below the limits of your 30 amp breaker. You will be fine.

I am not sure what you mean by pigtailing a hot and neutral. I think adding a small power distribution block with 3 poles (2 hot and 1 neutral) on the input side would be perfect. You will also need a grounding bar for all your grounds.

Here is a distribution block on ebay:
Square D-Distribution Block- 3 Phase- 2/0 to #14 Wire - eBay (item 350154672733 end time Jan-24-09 09:01:01 PST)

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Old 01-22-2009, 11:47 AM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestion and the link to the block. I'm going to make the changes. There is a grounding bar in the box now. I can run both my 110 and 240 grounds to that right, then return ground via my 4 wire connection back to the circuit breaker?

Thanks

Flananuts

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Old 01-22-2009, 11:52 AM   #6
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as long as everything's bonded to the ground via ur 4 wire, ur ok... pigtailing should be fine too... don't see the need in a distribution block with that small of wire.

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Old 01-22-2009, 12:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehaun View Post
Worst case scenario:
4500 watt element pulls about 20.5 amps (4500/220)
Each march pump pulls about 1.2 amps
Your PIDs will pull less than 0.5 amps each
Total: 23.9 amps
Well below the limits of your 30 amp breaker. You will be fine.

I am not sure what you mean by pigtailing a hot and neutral. I think adding a small power distribution block with 3 poles (2 hot and 1 neutral) on the input side would be perfect. You will also need a grounding bar for all your grounds.

Here is a distribution block on ebay:
Square D-Distribution Block- 3 Phase- 2/0 to #14 Wire - eBay (item 350154672733 end time Jan-24-09 09:01:01 PST)
I wouldn't say your total current draw is WELL below your limit. You'r drawing 23.9A where 80%(recommended limit) of your breaker is 24A. Still within limit safely, I wouldn't go adding much more thinking you've got tons of room to play with.

It'd also be easier to fully examine the circuit with a schematic. I don't personally know the connections to those components from looking at them. Some may through experience with them though.
And I agree with the Male plug carrying the 240V. Scary stuff. you bump into the plug hanging there, OUCH! actually you might not feel anything
Have you thought of using a manual lever on/off for the sub panel as well?
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:16 PM   #8
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I understand the schematic request, and if I had the time and know how I would. The toggle switch to the bottom left is a 2 cicuit center off 240v Hubble switch. So If the switch is in the off position and the PID's are off, neither of the hot leads have the potential of being hot. Regarding the two males, I always intended the male to the controller to be always plugged in, but removeable for storage and breakdown. I do plan to change that based on the comments to my design( thanks!). Regarding the draw, the 20amps on the heater would only be at full draw which I don't imagine I would be at, more like 17-18 amps drawn when under load.(but then again, I sell video ad technology and am self taught on electricity)

Flananuts

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Old 05-03-2009, 12:26 AM   #9
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Default UPDATE- All electric basement brew rig takes on life

It's been a while since I added to this thread. I wanted to post some pics of where the rig is as of this morning. It's definitely coming along and will be done sooner than I thought. I take no credit for any originality in this build. It's totally constructed based on all the great ideas from virtually everyone on this forum with a lot of thought on my part. Please feel free to share thoughts or ideas or criticism(constructive only please)


Close up of pumps, heat exchanger/chiller and valves


Thanks for looking

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Old 05-21-2009, 03:05 AM   #10
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I am not an electrical guy by any means, but have been contemplating converting my two tier Three keggle system to electric by adding a 4500 watt heating element to both my HLT and my Brew kettle and then running them off of a ranco hooked op to a very simple control box I found at Highgravity. What would the diference between all the work you did and what I am talking about be? Would it be a matter of control? I am just trying to keep it simple is all, but I don't want to buy a bunch of stuff only to have to rebuild something.

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