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Old 04-25-2011, 02:01 PM   #1
rod734
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Just wondering why a GFCI is so important on a brew Kettle? I can understand on a hot tub, spa, pool, ect. but how is a brew system different from an electric range, clothes dryer, or hot water heater? I'v been wanting to build an electric system, but never considered the need for a GFCI untill I started reading the forum.



 
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rod734 View Post
Just wondering why a GFCI is so important on a brew Kettle? I can understand on a hot tub, spa, pool, ect. but how is a brew system different from an electric range, clothes dryer, or hot water heater? I'v been wanting to build an electric system, but never considered the need for a GFCI untill I started reading the forum.
I am no electrician but, IIRC, under the NEC anything electric that is used in a wet location or has water contact is required to be on a interuppted circuit. Be it pigtail end, the receptacle, or the breaker itself.



 
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:11 PM   #3
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While the electrical code varies from country to country, in the United States GFIs are typically required in kitchens, bathrooms, and other places that can be wet and the National Electrical Code (NEC) requires that GFI devices intended to protect people interrupt the circuit if the leakage current exceeds a range of 4–6 mA of current (the trip setting is typically 5 mA) within 25 ms. In other places the trip setting may be as high as 10-30mA.

A GFI should be (IMHO) used in any electric brewery.

Kal

 
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:13 PM   #4
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It's crucial! I don't know about your brewing, but when I brew, there seems to be water on the floor, on the stand, some wort boilovers, etc. I use a hose with a CFC, I fill the HLT with a hose and/or jugs of RO water, etc.

A brewstand is nothing like an electric range or clothes dryer in that respect. Yes, I put wet clothes into the dryer, but not water.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:45 PM   #5
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I agree with everybody.
I wouldn't say GFCIs are important, but your life is.
In a typical homebrewing setup, you have a bad combination of sometimes sharp edges, a fair amount of equipment, high temperatures, and liquid. All those things can eventually cause a situation in which YOU may be the shortest path to ground. Adding a GFCI is a cheap way to minimize that risk.
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:05 PM   #6
audger
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i would add to that- that you are usually not DIY-ing your own kitchen stove, dryer, dishwasher, etc.

when those appliances are engineered, its done so that in case of any electrical failure, any piece of metal that could become live is connected to ground and all electrical components are sufficiently removed from the user.

Brew rigs are usually home built, often by people who are not electrical engineers (no matter how well built), and often with below optimal electrical systems. whenever you are mixing water, electricity and metal its always a good idea to have safeguards.

 
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:26 PM   #7
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If you build your rig correctly you will never need a GFCI but you should have one anyways. They are like airbags in cars, hopefully you never need it.
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audger View Post
i would add to that- that you are usually not DIY-ing your own kitchen stove, dryer, dishwasher, etc.

whenever you are mixing water, electricity and metal its always a good idea to have safeguards.

Add beer to the mix too and it becomes even more obvious why you may need extra safeguards. I rarely have a few pints while doing the laundry.

Kal

 
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:26 PM   #9
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To me it is mostly based on the fact a brewery is a "wash down" environment. Think about how much water is on the floor/walls/ near electrical connections when cooking (hope it is minimal). Now when i am brewing i have hoses running around, wet concrete from cleaning, and a boil kettle has at least 5 gallons in it, seldom do i have that much water on my stove (except when brewing).
the engineers dirty little secret is everything needs to be weighed: cost, consequences of failure, risk of failure. Everything has a chance to fail, and fail catastrophically, reducing that chance at a low cost is the key. Chances of failure with the stove grounding is low, chances of brew system grounding is higher.
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:48 PM   #10
audger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kal View Post
I rarely have a few pints while doing the laundry.
come on now... let be honest. who hasnt thrown a few back while trying to iron a strait line in your work shirts on a saturday morning. makes it less boring.


to each his own i suppose



 
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