Need advice- Using 240V water heater element for 120V? - Home Brew Forums

 Home Brew Forums > Need advice- Using 240V water heater element for 120V?

10-29-2009, 04:11 AM   #1
MTEXX
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Oct 2009
Charlotte, NC
Posts: 35

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

10-29-2009, 10:52 AM   #2
wilserbrewer
BIAB Expert Tailor

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May 2007
Jersey Shore, New Jersey
Posts: 9,895
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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.

10-29-2009, 11:09 AM   #3
AnOldUR
fer-men-TAY-shuhn

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Mar 2007
, New Jersey
Posts: 6,889
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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?

10-29-2009, 11:10 AM   #4
StirStarters

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Feb 2009
Posts: 41

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.

Reason: typo

10-29-2009, 11:15 AM   #5
passedpawn
Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth Class

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Apr 2009
☼ Clearwater, FL ☼
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by MTEXX Lets say I need 1500W at 120V. Can I safely use a 6000W @ 240V element?
yes. Power = 1500W @ 120V.
__________________
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10-29-2009, 02:01 PM   #6
samc
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Aug 2008
Portland OR
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They http://www.plumbingsupply.com/elements.html have a Extra Low Density element 1500 watt 120v.

10-29-2009, 03:03 PM   #7
MonkeyWrench

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Oct 2009
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by samc 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.

10-29-2009, 03:20 PM   #8
MTEXX
Recipes

Oct 2009
Charlotte, NC
Posts: 35

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.