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Old 11-25-2010, 11:56 PM   #1
Apr 2009
Athens GA
Posts: 423
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Alrighty, so I am starting to get everything for my control panel together and I was wondering if people would mind checking my math and giving me any recommendations for the design/layout.

The scan didn't come out as well as planned, so I'll break it down a bit. First, I am trying to figure out what size element to use, I have a 3-prong stove outlet only a few feet from where I am brewing, but I have heard word that this type does not afford enough ground protection, and I am not entirely familiar with 240V wiring, so I didn't want to get in over my head on my first run through.

Having said that, my design includes a single plug seen on the left hand side that would power the control box and all elements (the two pumps which pull 1.5A/100W and 2.4A/190W respectively and either a 1500 or 1750W 120V element depending on what people think the limits are for a 20A breaker) through a 30A rated terminal block. Each pump will have a momentary button switch for off/on and the entire control box has a key operated kill switch on the side, and there is a rocker switch between the PID and SSR for an emergency kill on the element if necessary. The element and two pumps will connect to female outlets installed on the bottom of the box. wich will be wired from the terminal block.

Whew! So my main questions with the setup are: what is the best way to ground the elements within the stainless enclosure? I have seen people attaching a ground to a screw in the bow, but I am not sure exactly how safe that is and if there is anything else I would need to do using this method.

The second question is, how hard would it be to safely upgrade to a 240V element from the stove outlet? I could easily install an additional 240V outlet below the 120V power in outlet, but would I still need to install GFCI (I am hesitant to make any electrical changes to the house since I am renting and will only be there for another 8 months or so). And if I were to do that, my main motivation for building a HERMS is wort clarity and temp maintenance, step mashes will be done by infusion/decoction save for maybe the mash out ramp, is there a convicing argument for the upgrade?

After I get some input on these questions, or any final design improvements, I will post up a wiring diagram to make sure I am on the right track. Thanks so much for the help everyone, this project never would have been possible without this community!


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