Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Calling all electricians and other saavy electrical engineers HELP!!!!

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-13-2009, 06:08 PM   #1
flananuts
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
flananuts's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Monmouth County, NJ
Posts: 507
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Calling all electricians and other saavy electrical engineers HELP!!!!

Today was to be the first AG in my "long time coming" all electric HERMS rig in the basement. I'm running it through a 2 pole 30amp 10ka 240 feed backed with a Square D 30amp GFCI panel breaker. The feed goes straight into my control panel and runs all my electrical needs. Here's a picture of my rig and more importanly a pic of the control box.



The 2 pole switch on the lower left handles one hot leg of the 240 and splits it between my two electrical heater elements . The SSR and PID/temp controllers handle the other leg of the hot so I can completely disable any electricity to the heating elements(it's 20amp switch but I'm wondering if I really need this). The yellow plugs go to 2 march pumps. The pumps and PID's are all fused and all grounds including grounds on keggles terminate back to the panel through the electrical feed.

When I'm running my rig during the Mashing process I will have one Auber PID(nominal) two March pumps (1.4a) running and one 3500w 240v heater element. During the boil I have only one PID and one 3500w element running. My math says even under full load I should be drawing no more than 21-23amps.

So today after running the system for a couple hours(cleaning, sanitizing, Auto tuning, and then beginning my brew process, my GFI panel breaker tripped. I turned off all of the pumps, PIDS, neutralized the elements, and while my lead was still plugged into the outlet, it would not reset. I unplugged it from the wall, reset the breaker and it stayed. I plugged my plug back into the wall and it tripped. I felt for any heat and didn't feel any at all on my control panel or any of the cables. Once I did manage to get the breaker set and plugged back in, i turned on the two march pumps and the PID sans elements and it tripped again.

Now I've accepted defeat for today and I'm hoping that the many talented folks whom I've learned everything from may have some insight into how I may troubleshoot this out.

I want to get my first AG started so I can start to back up my ridiculous investment of time, money, and effort with a delicious beer.

On a lighter note, I'm starting my daughter young on identifying the various hops and their aromas



Flananuts

__________________
flananuts is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-13-2009, 07:15 PM   #2
CodeRage
Death by Magumba!
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
CodeRage's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Melbourne, Fl
Posts: 2,254
Liked 29 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

I have had problems with March pumps causing a GFCI to pop. I haven't dug deep into to it but I am suspecting that it is leaking some kind of current through the pump housing to the brewer chassis. If I removed the pumps from the circuit everything would be happy.

I got tired of dorking with it and made sure that the kettles and chassis were WELL grounded and took the GFCI out. It's not something I would recommend some one to do but, I personally don't have a problem with it on my rig.

__________________
Brutus 20e build | Electrical Primer for Brewers | Auber SYL-2362A2 PID Install & Config
So as I am walking out the door this morning I think to my self:
"self, going to work on Monday is like knowing you're going to get kicked in the nuts. You just don't know when or by who"
CodeRage is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-13-2009, 07:45 PM   #3
BrewBeemer
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: an island, inside an atoll
Posts: 3,504
Liked 20 Times on 20 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeRage View Post
I have had problems with March pumps causing a GFCI to pop. I haven't dug deep into to it but I am suspecting that it is leaking some kind of current through the pump housing to the brewer chassis. If I removed the pumps from the circuit everything would be happy.

I got tired of dorking with it and made sure that the kettles and chassis were WELL grounded and took the GFCI out. It's not something I would recommend some one to do but, I personally don't have a problem with it on my rig.
I must ask; did you get the motors splashed and not know it?

If that's the case or even with a dry motor you should be able to find and read this fault with a digital meter, hot to frame in resistance or use the insulation breakdown reading test like the Fluke 87 or higher models have like a Fluke 88 (my next dream meter).
Sounds like a common March problem here or is it just me in distrust with March the more I read about them? For 1/25 hp only with shaft noise, sticking, low volume flow due to any head pressure that 1 /12 HP Little Giant pump needs to be looked into more. They will be on my next brewery build vs March 809 pumps. Bigger inlet on the Little Giant pumps the most important part of a pump.

I hear ya CodeRage, i've run a lot of equipment including 127' below San Francisco bay in the bottom of the tunnels to Alameda standing in 16" of saltwater hot splicing 480 volt sump pump motors.
This is not normal but again with proper gear plus a 30 year IBEW wireman. Neutrals will kill ya.
__________________

Bier Jagdwaffe... Bier 30 zeit.....~~=o&o>..........


Last edited by BrewBeemer; 09-13-2009 at 07:52 PM.
BrewBeemer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-14-2009, 10:29 AM   #4
flananuts
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
flananuts's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Monmouth County, NJ
Posts: 507
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Thanks to both of you for the response and the suggestion. To make sure I have it right, I test the hot lead and the motor housing and look for voltage or is there a specific resistance method? I do have a digital meter however I've only used it for voltage and nothing else. I can't wait to figure this out so I can get back to brewing the beer I drink.

Flananuts

__________________
flananuts is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-14-2009, 11:44 AM   #5
Kauai_Kahuna
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,280
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

Default

flananuts - First I want to say I think you may be creating the future top chef there. She looks like she actually likes the smell and not doing a Whooo-thats-stinks face.
As more benefits from hops become proven facts I'm just waiting for the hop flavored pancakes, BBQ rubs, etc.
I can't help on the rig problems, I'm a bare bones ghetto equipment brewer, but I do feel your frustration. Just have another homebrew and work on the problems when you get the time.
Best of luck.

__________________

---
In Primary: Belgium Chimay clones.
In Secondary: Braggot, pale ale, end of the world white.
Conditioning: Mead, Cider, braggot, Belgium Wheat.
On Tap: Clones, Chimay Blue, Red, Porter, malted cider.
Bottles: Far, far, too many to list.

Kauai_Kahuna is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-14-2009, 01:18 PM   #6
CodeRage
Death by Magumba!
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
CodeRage's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Melbourne, Fl
Posts: 2,254
Liked 29 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by flananuts View Post
Thanks to both of you for the response and the suggestion. To make sure I have it right, I test the hot lead and the motor housing and look for voltage or is there a specific resistance method? I do have a digital meter however I've only used it for voltage and nothing else. I can't wait to figure this out so I can get back to brewing the beer I drink.

Flananuts
Set your meter to measure resistance, the omega symbol, and measure the resistance between hit hot and ground, hot and chassis, neutral and ground, and neutral and chassis. It should read zero ohms.
**Make sure that the pump is disconnected from power, neutral, and ground before you do this test. You'll burn up your meter if you don't.
__________________
Brutus 20e build | Electrical Primer for Brewers | Auber SYL-2362A2 PID Install & Config
So as I am walking out the door this morning I think to my self:
"self, going to work on Monday is like knowing you're going to get kicked in the nuts. You just don't know when or by who"
CodeRage is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-14-2009, 02:03 PM   #7
flananuts
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
flananuts's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Monmouth County, NJ
Posts: 507
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

CodeRage, thanks! Unfortunately, my last meter met the same demise as you warned against. I'm glad you brought it up otherwise I would have likely burned out my current meter as well.

Funny that my daughter likes the smell of toasted barley,hops, and anything beer related. She takes her sisters diaper genie and other stuff for her "beer making machine." She even likes the taste of beer, the darker the better( and I stress taste)

__________________
flananuts is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-14-2009, 02:55 PM   #8
DemonCleaner
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: North Plainfield,NJ
Posts: 31
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Plug the pump into a gfi rec that is not on your rig and see what happens. I do not recommend using a 2pole 30 and splitting it to use 110v equipment. Leave the 220 for the elements and use a separate 110v line for the other stuff. The unbalanced load on the 2pole breaker when using 1 leg from the pump is probably causing your problem.

__________________
7 Sins Brewing Company
DemonCleaner is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-14-2009, 03:00 PM   #9
flananuts
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
flananuts's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Monmouth County, NJ
Posts: 507
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Thanks DemonCleaner. I had initially planned on running it that way but the folks here on the forum recommended that I do it this way. I'll post a reply on the outcome of the march pump test.

__________________
flananuts is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-14-2009, 03:05 PM   #10
passedpawn
Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth Class
HBT_MODERATOR.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
passedpawn's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: ☼ Clearwater, FL ☼
Posts: 18,504
Liked 3160 Times on 1974 Posts
Likes Given: 2674

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonCleaner View Post
The unbalanced load on the 2pole breaker when using 1 leg from the pump is probably causing your problem.
Yep. Motor = big inductive load = GFCI tripper. No good answer here.

Guys, what do you think about using an isolation transformer instead of a GFCI?
__________________
What Would Vermeer Paint?
passedpawn is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cold Box project advice..Calling all engineers! rudy0498 Bottling/Kegging 30 04-17-2013 02:24 PM
Electricians: help me swap out an arc sensing circuit breaker Coastarine DIY Projects 14 08-16-2009 12:25 AM
All you Design Engineers IrregularPulse General Chit Chat 8 07-07-2009 01:49 PM
Brewers, Electricians, lend me your ear! aekdbbop Equipment/Sanitation 35 07-26-2008 04:47 AM
Electrical Question, Electricians if possible!!! WortMonger DIY Projects 99 03-13-2008 04:36 PM