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Old 10-29-2009, 04:11 AM   #1
MTEXX
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Default 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

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Old 10-29-2009, 10:52 AM   #2
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Yes, I believe you can do exactly as you describe. A 240 v element powered at 120 v results in 25% output wattage.

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Old 10-29-2009, 11:09 AM   #3
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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?

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Old 10-29-2009, 11:10 AM   #4
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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.

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Old 10-29-2009, 11:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTEXX View Post
Lets say I need 1500W at 120V. Can I safely use a 6000W @ 240V element?
yes. Power = 1500W @ 120V.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:01 PM   #6
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They http://www.plumbingsupply.com/elements.html have a Extra Low Density element 1500 watt 120v.

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Old 10-29-2009, 03:03 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:20 PM   #8
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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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