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Old 01-26-2012, 06:24 PM   #1
djdixon1995
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Default GFCI trips continuously--advice neede

Greetings,

I've been following several electric builds and am slowly accumulating the parts I need for a two-element system and proper control panel. In the mean time, I want to be able to brew using a single electric keggle. I've put together a simple (or so I thought) control panel with a single pid and ssr, one twist lock receptical, and a single toggle switch...trouble is, when I get it all plugged-in, the GFCI trips whenever I flip the switch to power up the pid.

The system is as follows: spa panel with 60 amp GFCI powered from the main CB panel on a 50 amp breaker. A 50 amp 4 wire receptical wired to the spa panel. The control panel is in a plastic project box from radio shack and contains a pid, 40 amp ssr with heat sinc, 30 amp twist lock receptical, and toggle switch to control power to the auberin 2352 pid. The 5500 watt element is done in a Kal style junction box and it's all wired-up using this wiring diagram from P-J: [http://www.pjmuth.org/beerstuff/imag...c1-e-stop.jpg] except without the e-stop, switch 1, or the pid fuse (like I said, it's a temporary set up while I get the rest of the parts together). The switch I'm using in line with the pid is the part number suggested in the referenced diagram.

I'd be appreciative of any thoughts or ideas as to why the GFCI trips every time I attempt to power up the pid. I happens whether or not the element is plugged into the twist lock. I've triple checked my wiring and am at a loss...I've got several brew-days worth of ingredients standing by and no way to make heat.

Thanks,
Djdixon1995


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Old 01-27-2012, 02:43 AM   #2
rollinred
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I can't open your link.

Is there any way you could post a picture of the interior of your control panel? You would have to have a photobucket (or similar) account to host the picture from but it might help.

Since it only trips when you turn the switch to "on" I would honestly believe that you have a short somewhere. How did you hook the wires to your PID? Did you use terminals or bare wire?

Lighted switches or not?


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Old 01-27-2012, 03:24 AM   #3
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I think you have the spa panel wiring set up wrong. Check how you have the neutral routed. It should be coming from the GFCI breaker output...

Pictures would be a huge advantage for us to tell what is going on. At this point I'm only guessing.

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Old 01-27-2012, 03:31 AM   #4
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Your link will not open as you have a "]" at the end of it.

Here is the link to get you there:

http://www.pjmuth.org/beerstuff/imag...0c1-e-stop.jpg
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:43 AM   #5
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Do you even need a neutral?
If the PID input power will accept 220-240VAC; why run a neutral?

Other than that, you will need to isolate the problem to the trouble component.
Run the circuit with only the PID hooked up first; eliminate the ssr and element. Then go from there.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:46 AM   #6
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I am NO electrician and probably have no place posting here, but when my fermenting fridge did the same thing in the garage, I swapped it with a non gfci in the kitchen. Problem solved.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:59 AM   #7
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I'm with P-J here, your PID controller is making the GFI think that there is a current leak causing it to trip.

Check out P-J's picture of how the spa panel should be wired to allow the use of 120V and 240V appliances.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/spa...ummies-266751/
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Old 01-27-2012, 04:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfrisby View Post
I am NO electrician and probably have no place posting here, but when my fermenting fridge did the same thing in the garage, I swapped it with a non gfci in the kitchen. Problem solved.
This isn't a sound solution to the problem at all. Either the GFI is bad or you have a current leak somewhere in your ferm fridge.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:40 PM   #9
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I agree.
The problem is not solved; you still have a current leak.
It is a safety concern; it will get worse over time and can eventually cause electric shock or fire.
Plus it is costing you money every month...
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Old 01-27-2012, 04:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfrisby View Post
I am NO electrician and probably have no place posting here, but when my fermenting fridge did the same thing in the garage, I swapped it with a non gfci in the kitchen. Problem solved.


This is the equivalent of replacing a blowing fuse with a higher amp rating, or with a hunk of wire.

The GFCI is tripping for a reason. The solution is to find the reason, not get rid of the symptom. It's like putting a piece of tape over the check engine light in your car.


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