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Old 02-04-2011, 02:40 AM   #1
jiggs_casey
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Default Need some electrical help / advice.

I rent. Anyway, a while back, I noticed an usused 220v connector in the garage. I thought at first that maybe a previous tennant may have used it for a second dryer.

I got curious about it and found out it is not the type used by a dryer. Instead of two straight and one 'L' shaped slots, it has three straight slots. A friend said that this is the type for a range. However, it's a 30 amp cable. The marking on the cable is 'AWG 10-3 / TYPE NM-B' As I understand, an electric range has to use a 50 amp cable / breaker or you run the risk of fire.

I was able to trace the cable all the way back, through the house, to the circuit breaker panel. So, I know it's live and waiting for me to put it to good use...

So, here are my questions...

How do I know what size breaker this wire is connected to? 30A vs 50A.

Given the markings on the cable, are my findings correct in that is a 30A rated cable?

Is the socket description, 'three straight slots' the type that is used for an electric range?

Is it possible for me to use this in an 'all-electric' configuration?

Could a previous tennant have been a homebrewer!?


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Old 02-04-2011, 02:56 AM   #2
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possibly used in a past life to power a welder, not overly uncommon. You see them sometimes for dryers as well, just not as common.


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Old 02-04-2011, 03:20 AM   #3
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Check this out: http://www.frentzandsons.com/Hardwar...nfiguratio.htm

or this: http://www.nooutage.com/nema_configurations.htm

The breaker should be labeled for its current rating.
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiggs_casey View Post
... I was able to trace the cable all the way back, through the house, to the circuit breaker panel. So, I know it's live and waiting for me to put it to good use...

So, here are my questions...

How do I know what size breaker this wire is connected to? 30A vs 50A.
Take the panel cover off and look to see which breaker it is connected to. Or, enlist the aid of a friend with a test light. Place the light between one of the hots and the neutral and then shut off the double breakers one at a time until you know which one is being used for the circuit.

Once you know, you can go from there.

BTW: Hex23, Those links are great. Thanks for that.!
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:09 PM   #5
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The 'AWG 10-3 / TYPE NM-B' is a 10 guage 3 conductor nonmetallic-sheathed cable suitalbe for up to a 30 amp breaker. I'm not an electrician, but I am betting the this could be used for an all electric set up.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:22 PM   #6
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The 220V receptacles are often interchangeable. For instance my 220V arc welder uses this one:



While my 220V plasma cutter uses this one:



As for the breaker, some newer 220V breakers do NOT use 2 switches, like this:



but instead use 1 switch but still require 2 spots in the breaker panel:



Sometimes the rating is on the throw lever, sometimes it's on the sides, sometimes it's on the back.

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Old 02-04-2011, 11:19 PM   #7
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Outstanding, thanks for the replies! I did a bit more homework today on setting up an all electric and the more I thought about it / fantasized, the more excited I got!

We moved into this house a few years ago and I wanted to turn part of the downstairs workshop into a brewery but, because I was using propane, I was sort of stuck in the garage. In all honesty, the garage is great! But, during the winter, which is when I do most of my brewing, it's too f'in cold!

It looks like I can have this 220v connection currently in the garage, relocated to the workshop in about an hour. What is especially sweet is the fact that one side of the workshop butts up to the basement bathroom, of which, the showers hot and cold lines are exposed! There is a french drain / sump pump built into the floor of the workshop about two feet away from where I want to set up! There is plenty of shelving for storage of bottles. There's room for a kegerator!

No doubt the swmbo will be excited as well! No more soaking bottles in the cooler, on the counter, in the kitchen! No more endless sound of turning on and off the water during clean up! That and I can finally put this hobby all in the same room instead of keeping grains in one place, empty bottles in one place, full bottles in another...

hehehe, I so have a date with home depot tomorrow...
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:43 AM   #8
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...
It looks like I can have this 220v connection currently in the garage, relocated to the workshop in about an hour.
...
I so have a date with home depot tomorrow...
Your post is absolutely great news.

I trimmed the post to give you some things to think about. When you are having the power relocated, see if you can have it done as a 50A - 120V/240V - 4 wire feed. This will give you a setup with maximum possibilities. If 50A is not possible then a 30A feed is also good. (4 wire - 120V/240V feed)

Another thing you will want to do is to have a GFCI breaker in the mains panel for that power drop.

I've drawn many wiring plans for electric brew rigs and extend you an offer. I'd be happy to draw a custom plan for your electric brewery. (NO obligation or payback. I just like to do design plans for brewing. Here is a link to Tiber_Brew's plan as an example: Electric brewery plans - need help. It's in his first post. Think about it and let me know.

I think you are on the road for an excellent brewery setup.

CHEERS!

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Old 02-05-2011, 04:28 PM   #9
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Wire is not sized to the breaker, but the other way around.. Breakers are intended to protect the wires that are connected to them..

In your case, you can not use a 50A breaker, as that would require #8 wires, rated @45A for THHN (going from memory here), which doesn't correspond to any recognized breaker rating.. in which case the code allows you to use the next higher standard breaker rating available.. 50A ... Since you have #10.. you can use 30A, 20A, or 15A breakers with that circuit...

As long as the receptacle and plug are rated for the breaker ahead of them, you can use whatever configuration of these you want...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Misplaced_Canuck View Post
As for the breaker, some newer 220V breakers do NOT use 2 switches, like this - bottom right:

In the previous photos given, where a single breaker is shown with two reset levers on it... Those were 'never' used for 220v.. Those allow you to add an additional circuit 'on the same phase'... 220v requires different phases.. which is why they take up two full sized spots.. If you hooked up your two hots from your receptacle to one of those slim line breakers, you would get 0v between the two hot blades, and 120v between either hot and neutral/ground...

The advice about the GFCI is definitely worth heeding..

Figuring out how to deal with the cold should not be too difficult...
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Old 02-05-2011, 06:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r8rphan View Post
In the previous photos given, where a single breaker is shown with two reset levers on it... Those were 'never' used for 220v.. Those allow you to add an additional circuit 'on the same phase'... 220v requires different phases.. which is why they take up two full sized spots.. If you hooked up your two hots from your receptacle to one of those slim line breakers, you would get 0v between the two hot blades, and 120v between either hot and neutral/ground...
You're going by the fingers in the picture and not the words. He was referring to the breaker on the bottom right.


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