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-   -   Need advice- Using 240V water heater element for 120V? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/need-advice-using-240v-water-heater-element-120v-144075/)

MTEXX 10-29-2009 04:11 AM

Need advice- Using 240V water heater element for 120V?
 
For use in eRIMS system. External element in a pipe design.

I'd like to use a longer element due to lower W/in2 so not to caramelize wort. The industry calls this Low Density or Ultra Low Density.

The longer (including foldback) elements are usually not available in 120V.

From what I calculate, the power of a 4000W element at 240V would be 1000W at 120V. In general, divide by 4.

Lets say I need 1500W at 120V. Can I safely use a 6000W @ 240V element?

Anyone chime in- confirm, refute, explain.

This is my first HBT post :mug:

wilserbrewer 10-29-2009 10:52 AM

Yes, I believe you can do exactly as you describe. A 240 v element powered at 120 v results in 25% output wattage.

AnOldUR 10-29-2009 11:09 AM

Tagging a related question onto this.

I have a 240V element with a thermostat built in along with a dial temperature control. I was thinking about wiring it for 120V until I get a 240V outlet installed. Will the thermostat and control work at the lower voltage?

StirStarters 10-29-2009 11:10 AM

The power output of the heating element varies according to the square of the applied voltage. So, the "divide by four rule" applies only if you reduce the applied voltage to 1/2. If you reduced the applied voltage to 1/3, your power output would be reduced to 1/9, and so on.

passedpawn 10-29-2009 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MTEXX (Post 1641137)
Lets say I need 1500W at 120V. Can I safely use a 6000W @ 240V element?

yes. Power = 1500W @ 120V.

samc 10-29-2009 02:01 PM

They http://www.plumbingsupply.com/elements.html have a Extra Low Density element 1500 watt 120v.

MonkeyWrench 10-29-2009 03:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samc (Post 1641608)
They http://www.plumbingsupply.com/elements.html have a Extra Low Density element 1500 watt 120v.

My local True-Value, Ace Hardware, and Home Depot all have those heaters. I was looking the other day for this very thing.

MTEXX 10-29-2009 03:20 PM

Thanks for all the input folks =D

I don't find any extra low density elements at my big box stores, even in the USA's 20th largest city :P
But ordering one from plumbingsupply sounds like a winner.


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