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Old 03-07-2008, 08:24 PM   #11
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A suggestion I have, which is a pain to execute, but well worth it, is to map out the devices connected to each breaker. This is assuming most general use circuits are not labelled already with enough detail. Turn on all the lights around the house. Now flip breaker #1 off and go around figuring out what's dead. Just draw a simple floor plan drawing, scale being unimportant. Carry a little boom box radio around and plug it in to outlets to see if they're on or not. Repeat for all breakers. Now you can do some figuring on what kind of typical loads are already on the receptacle in your garage that you will usually plug in to. If this circuit is already powering a major appliance, you're stuck throwing another breaking into the box.

Even if you get it all figured out at your current home, you'll have to do the same thing when you move or go to a brewout somewhere.

I personally think they went 20 amp circuits to further extend each branch to more receptacles and light fixtures, not necessarily to give you more leeway per circuit.

If you find that that circuit is basically just feeding a bunch of lamps and other lights, you're probably fine. You'd be pushing the recommended continuous load to the edge but probably not unsafe in a practical situation. You might have to instruct others in the house not to blow dry hair or use a curling iron/clothes iron, etc. while you're brewing. The worst case is a breaker trip.

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Last edited by Bobby_M; 03-07-2008 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slnies
Here is my Two cents. Your actual draw from the element will be around 11.5 amps, the draw from a March pump is about 2.5 amps, and the Ice Cream mixer, well that is a good one. I have looked at a couple of those and they run anywhere from 1.5 all the way up to 11 amps. 12 amps is 80% of a 15 amp breakers rating. This is important because this could be on for more than 3 hours. This is considered a continuous load and is the maximum amperage at continuous loading. It is something to consider. If all of this equipment is not running through out the process, then you could run a demand factor load calc. to see where you would end up. This is performed often for automation because everything does not need to be on at once.
I didn't realize that the ice cream mixer would draw that much, but when I think about it, it makes sense considering what it'd take to stir up ice cream. And yes, it would be a continuous load, so He would definitely want to go to 20 am circuits. Two circuits would be better. We definitely need to find out the motor loads. Wortmonger, do yo have the motors already? If so, look at the nameplates on the motors for the info.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:31 PM   #13
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Note to others. This is why electric brewing is potentially a royal PITA.

If you have a spare breaker position, slapping a 20amp breaker in and wiring it directly to a receptacle a foot away is way easy. The main breaker removes a lot of the threat of getting a hand in there. Well, I have to mention that it's not for everyone, but I get the impression you can do it.

Don't let the fact that there's 240 volts in there deter you, it's not any worse than 120v from a ouch I'm dead perspective.

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Old 03-07-2008, 08:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
Note to others. This is why electric brewing is potentially a royal PITA.

If you have a spare breaker position, slapping a 20amp breaker in and wiring it directly to a receptacle a foot away is way easy. The main breaker removes a lot of the threat of getting a hand in there. Well, I have to mention that it's not for everyone, but I get the impression you can do it.

Don't let the fact that there's 240 volts in there deter you, it's not any worse than 120v from a ouch I'm dead perspective.
Relax, respect it, but do not be afraid. I have been an electrician for quit a few years and not killed myself. As long as you play by the rules, you get to win the game. If you do do some wiring in the panel, shut the main off. A dead panel never killed anyone. This is just a friendly word of caution. S.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:07 PM   #15
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Sorry Bobby M, My comment was not centered at you. You just brought up a good point. I wanted to use your quote to bring up the safety point. So, thank you. s.

As I was rereading my comment it came across like I was berating you. That was not my intention. Like I said you brought up a good point.

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Old 03-07-2008, 09:10 PM   #16
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One more small thing to consider, it shouldn't make a big difference since these are small motor loads but when calculating motor load you must take 125% full load current of the largest motor then add the full load current of the rest of the motors.

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Old 03-07-2008, 10:05 PM   #17
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Ok just a disclamer I have been an Industrial Electrician for ove 10 years and did commercial and residential for 6+ years prior to that. BUT I am no genius
First I will tell you that your 5500 watt element ran at 120 is not going to be enough heat to heat your strike water BUT that aside and as I would always recomend 240VAC as I know you dont want to go that way???? not really sure why but ok I would recomend coming into your system with 2 15 amp circuts 1 20 amp dedicated MIGHT do it but the 11+ amps your going to draw on your element alone and even if all others were going to keep you @ 70 to 80% load rating you have to take into concideration what is called "IN RUSH" and you WILL have 150 to 200% current draw on all you appliances in your system when they start. So if your heater and your mixer happen to come on at the same time your going to be over your instenanious trip rating on you 20 amp breaker and it WILL trip you can eliminate the tripping of your house hold breaker by puting a breaker on your system and it will trip first (maybe) its a race... or just install a 15 amp on the system and make sure your on a dedicated 20 amp as others have said. just a guess I dont think your going to be able to run it all at the same time just in case you NEED to I would be prepaired for it. and if your @ the breaking point of 20+ amps your not going to run this "ANYWHERE" as you want to anyway you mignt as well just go 240 then you can run your 5500 watt element and actually heat some water.
so my suggestion is run 2 plugs on your system 1 dedicated just for the rancho controler and fan and 1 for all others and just run extention cords so if by chance you cant find 2 outlets on seperate circuts you can heat your strike H2O unplug and then just plug in the others
Good luck the system you have designed looks killer.
JJ

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Old 03-07-2008, 10:34 PM   #18
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Well, first off my HLT only needs to hold temperature, as I can pre-heat any needed water in my kettle. I like pre-heating in the kettle due to speed and really designed my system to control my never-constant liquor temperatures. Also, I am limited by (T/Y Jaybird) my new "killer system" by fabricating my HLT with a 120V plug wired to the Ranco and heating element. I could go 240V if I hadn't done this, correct?

So limitations of my system taken into consideration and set aside, I am thinking about a separate dedicated brew stand circuit ran to one duplex plug. Still need to find out the other motors (small fan and the ice cream machine motor) amp draws before I can do/figure out anything.

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Old 03-07-2008, 10:45 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WortMonger
I am limited by (T/Y Jaybird) my new "killer system" by fabricating my HLT with a 120V plug wired to the Ranco and heating element. I could go 240V if I hadn't done this, correct?
.
no you can still go 240 you just need to ( do what I did) wire to a relay VERY SIMPLE and I would suggest a float switch to protect your elment also VERY simple to install. also if you did go 240 vac you wouldnt have to heat in your other kettle I mean what if you want to do a back to back batch like I do and your other kettle is being used. I LOVE my HLT I have a 5500 watt and a 1500 watt and it RIPS the temp up FAST.

just some sugestions cause I dont know of a garage that dosent have a 240 plug in it or a panel that dosent have a way to get a 240 plug wired EASY.
JJ
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:14 PM   #20
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Wire to a relay? Can you expand for a doof on electricity I only use big electrical words like receptacle to sound remotely intelligent, lol. The fuse box here is very spacious as there are two. They are just on the other side of the garage wall and on the adjacent wall a bit. Probably would be too hard to get too, but I have heard GFCI for 240V is rather expensive and I would definitely want someone to wire it up professionally. I do know there are two separate circuits in the garage here though. One is for the receptacles and the other is for the freezer, both 20A. I also wasn't sure about the 18 gauge wire I wired up the element to. Would that support 240V if hooked to a relay like you are hopefully going to fill me in about ?

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