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Old 11-01-2010, 01:13 PM   #1
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Default 208 volt element

I am trying to find the highest powered affordable immersion elements I can (non-industrial, I want to use 1"npt). So far I have found 6kw elements by Rheem which are made with resistored stainless steel. Thing is, they come in 208 volt, 220 volt, and 240 volt models.

What I'm wondering is:
If I used the 208 volt model, would 240 burn it out? I'm hoping if the element can handle it, my 240 (or whatever it comes out as) will push an extra 500 watt or so out of it.

This will be for a 1 bbl system in 55 gallon vessels. There would be 2 elements in BK, and 2 elements in a RIMS tube for an instant hot water source.

Thanks!


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Old 11-01-2010, 01:59 PM   #2
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What's your line voltage read at your house? Mine comes in at 125V at every outlet I've tested both in the house and in my detached garage. I would check your voltage and order based on what readings you get.


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Old 11-01-2010, 02:09 PM   #3
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What's your line voltage read at your house? Mine comes in at 125V at every outlet I've tested both in the house and in my detached garage. I would check your voltage and order based on what readings you get.
It's going to be way over 208. I know mine is 242 at the plug.
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:51 PM   #4
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Use the element rated for your line voltage... Seriously. Ever seen an element burn up? It's not pretty. (Post 16)

I'm going to guess you don't have 3-phase in your brew space, so 208 is out.

Standard household service is single-phase 240. So you want an element rated for 240 volts. If you have a 50 amp service available, you'll be living on the edge if you try to get 12000 watts. 60 amps will get you 14400 watts. Of course that's the maximum based solely on the math. Trying to get 12kw out of a 50 amp circuit is not likely to end with anything but nuisance tripping of the breaker.

The real question is how much power do you have available in your brew space? From that you can figure out the maximum wattage you can support on your system.

It won't do a bit of good to have 15kw of elements in your BK if your service can only feed 12kw...
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What does the primary pressure gauge on the tank tell us? That's right, the temperature. Put it on a scale if you want to know how much is in it...
Put some duct tape over the gauge - Or better yet - Replace the high pressure gauge with a plug - High pressure gauges are useless!
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:01 PM   #5
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I use a 11kw+ system at home, but I gave it a new 100amp service and a 60 amp gfci.

This isn't for my house, and I'll definitely be installing new single phase panel(s) for it. I do not yet know what voltage will be showing. Many 30 amp gfci's will be installed, one for each element (unless I go 6000+ watts.. then I'll need 40's). I'll have to start with at least a new 200amp service. Just wondering if 208-240 is close enough for an element to function.. kind of like overdriving a cpu I guess I'm saying?

The website I'm looking at has 208, 240, 277, 480. I can't test the voltage at my location right now as there's no 240 outlets installed. Guess I should figure that out first.
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Budzu View Post
I use a 11kw+ system at home, but I gave it a new 100amp service and a 60 amp gfci.

This isn't for my house, and I'll definitely be installing new single phase panel(s) for it. I do not yet know what voltage will be showing. Many 30 amp gfci's will be installed, one for each element (unless I go 6000+ watts.. then I'll need 40's). I'll have to start with at least a new 200amp service. Just wondering if 208-240 is close enough for an element to function.. kind of like overdriving a cpu I guess I'm saying?

The website I'm looking at has 208, 240, 277, 480. I can't test the voltage at my location right now as there's no 240 outlets installed. Guess I should figure that out first.
Ahh Cool!
Sounds like a fun project!

Look in the panel when you get there. A lot of businesses will have both 3-phase (For the lights, HVAC, machines, etc) and single phase - VIA a big transformer somewhere in the building. That feeds the wall receptacles, and anything else "Consumer" that wants to see 110.

Both will be in different panels, and labeled.

Regardless, use elements rated for your line voltage. If nothing else, your insurance company won't have an excuse to not pay up if something other than the brew rig starts a fire...
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What does the primary pressure gauge on the tank tell us? That's right, the temperature. Put it on a scale if you want to know how much is in it...
Put some duct tape over the gauge - Or better yet - Replace the high pressure gauge with a plug - High pressure gauges are useless!
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Old 11-02-2010, 02:25 PM   #7
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If you don't know what you're going into, just get the 240's.

Scenario 1:
Location has 2phase. Voltage between the two lines is 240. Element runs at (theoretical) 100%.

Scenario 2:
Location has 3phase. Voltage between two lines is 208. Element runs at (theoretical) 87%. (208/240) Depending on how much it's used, that extra little 13% will only equal a bit more time on heating.

B
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:49 AM   #8
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+1 to bad coffee

In addition, I would highly recommend a trip to HD and the purchase of a quality multimeter. If you are going full barrel, and I assume commercial, you will certainly need to troubleshoot lots of system vagaries over time. A multimeter will be your new best friend. Also, with a multimeter, you can go to the main panel and test what the incoming voltage is.

If you are not an electrical type, hire an electrician. He / she will happily perform the same test.

Cheers to your project!
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:28 AM   #9
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Do you want to risk a batch if the element ruptures while brewing?
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:34 AM   #10
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There are 2 panels in this building, side by side. They are both 200 amp, and they are both 4 pole on the main breaker. Is that 3 phase?
There's gas available, but I have come to love electric brewing


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