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Old 03-11-2009, 01:50 PM   #1
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Default Mounting an outlet/switch to brew cart question

I planning to attach a 2 outlet/switches to my brew cart to control the March pump and recirculating pump (a'la Mr. Malty). I thought I would get some feedback before I electrocuted myself.

My plan is to attach a 2 gang box to the brew frame and use 2 combination switches. The switch is rated 15 amp/120v.




I was going to use 14 gauge extension cord to make all connections. Do you think it will be OK to cut sections of the cord to make the connections between the male end of the cord and the switches?

Is there anything else I should consider for this project?

Thanks in advance.
T

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Old 03-11-2009, 01:58 PM   #2
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I cut up extension cords for my project as well. I tried to keep the sheathing on up to the box, and then exposed the wires inside of the box for the outlets. It looks cleaner and should give me more protection from drips.

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Old 03-11-2009, 02:26 PM   #3
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This is similar to what I did with my rig. The build thread is here

Are you planning on building it as the picture suggests? With a GFCI on the rig? I think this is a good idea. Wherever you need to brew, you won't have to worry about having a GFCI outlet, it will be there automatically.

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Old 03-11-2009, 02:30 PM   #4
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Be sure to incorporate a drip loop into the line.

Urban Dictionary: drip-loop

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Old 03-11-2009, 02:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Couevas View Post
Are you planning on building it as the picture suggests? With a GFCI on the rig? I think this is a good idea. Wherever you need to brew, you won't have to worry about having a GFCI outlet, it will be there automatically.
No GFCI, I'm going to be using the combination outlet switch in the first image. Is it necessary to have GFCI? I'm currently using a extension cord set up without GFCI. The GFCI products are pricey.
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atl_sud View Post
No GFCI, I'm going to be using the combination outlet switch in the first image. Is it necessary to have GFCI? I'm currently using a extension cord set up without GFCI. The GFCI products are pricey.
If the outlet you are plugging into has a GFCI then this is not necessary but otherwise it is essential in ensuring you do not kill yourself or others.

My house is new construction so every outlet is protected, so I didn't NEED one but I added an extra anyhow. The closer you can get to short, the quicker the GFCI will kick in.
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atl_sud View Post
Is it necessary to have GFCI? I'm currently using a extension cord set up without GFCI. The GFCI products are pricey.
I would have to say.....yes!
Picture this scenario, you are standing in a pool of water created by your leaky weldless bukhead. you flip on your pump to run your sweet wort from your MLT to your BK. All is going well, but your bulkhead keeps dripping (you've been meaning to fix that). The drips run down your rig and into your electrical socket.........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt. Does someone smell burnt hair?

Sorry, but this is actually not all that unlikely. If you short your AC supply across water, it will continue to flow until your breaker kicks off (if you have one. The older the breaker, the slower it will most likely operate). A second or two is enough to kill you.
A GFCI is designed to sense this "ground fault" (Ground Fault Circuit Interuption) and open the loop so juice cannot flow. It will usually function faster than your breaker can kick off.

Did I make my point? You rig will function without GFCI, but do you want to risk it? Especially for the extra 10 bucks?
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:53 PM   #8
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You can cascade multiple (i can't remember exactly how many 4 or 6) regular outlets off of the load side of a single GFI outlet and they will all be GFI protected.
Just as they are wired in my kitchen.

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Old 03-11-2009, 03:23 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the great suggestions. I think I'm going to pick up a GFCI extension cord and connect that between the brew cart box and the wall outlet. It will keep the cost of the brew cart project low and I will have the GFCI cord for other outdoor uses.

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Old 03-11-2009, 03:27 PM   #10
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It would be much safer to have the GFCI located at the wall outlet where you plug in the extension cord. The cord or rig could still be a shock hazard if the cord shorts out in front of the GFCI between the wall and the rig outlet. IMO, GFCI equipment is cheap insurance. There are also portable GFCI units available at low cost:

3-Wire Grounded GFCI Outlet - Portable GFCI Outlet Product Detail Page

It would be stupid not to install one!

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