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Old 01-26-2012, 05:37 PM   #1
mmonacel
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Default Assessing my feasibility of going electric - some questions

I've been thinking about going electric. I have an unused dryer plug (30a - 3-prong). That is attached to what appears to be a 60a breaker (see pic). The wire appears to be an 8 gauge - the markings in the pic appear to say "M-8 WG (UL) 600V".

Goals:
  • Able to run two heating elements at a time (BK and MLT; MLT and HLT, etc.). Ideally three?
  • Run two pumps
  • Have the ability (ultimately) to do a fully automated setup with BCS-462 with PIDs, SSRs, etc.
  • Ideally be able to plug in a computer as well
  • Currently doing 5gal, but want to be able to upgrade to 10gal
  • Would like to have just one element per vessel

Some questions:
  1. It appears my breaker is rated for 60 amps. Would that supply enough juice to accomplish all my goals above?
  2. It appears my outlet and wire gauge is not up to snuff however to carry a fully 60amps. Please confirm.
  3. Assuming #2 is correct, and 60amps is enough for all my needs, what wire gauge should I run?
  4. Is it common to have three elements - one for each vessel, or do most electric setups utilize two? Is there enough juice to run three elements?
  5. Any links / posts you think would be best to check out to guide me towards my stated goals witih someone with a similar setup?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:47 PM   #2
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That's a 30amp two pole breaker. Should be enough for powering one 5500w element at a time.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:58 PM   #3
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Ah - so just 30 amps total. Thank you.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:14 PM   #4
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You can still operate a 10 gallon setup with 30 amps (5,500W/220V = 25 amps). You just start to run into trouble when you try to operate multiple pumps and secondary appliances on the same feed line. All-in-all, 50 amps would be ideal, but 30 amps is sufficient for most of our needs.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stamandster View Post
That's a 30amp two pole breaker. Should be enough for powering one 5500w element at a time.
Assuming there is enough amps left in the panel (200amp service) I'm assuming I could replace the 30a with a 50a double pole and rewire to fit my needs - say to a 4-prong outlet?

If I do this, and move to another house, I'm assuming I can leave the 4-prong outlet for the new owner for a dryer without screwing him over since that appears to be the newer standard. And there should be no issue with that line being a 50a - it's just more juice than the dryer likely would ever pull. Right?

http://homerenovations.about.com/od/...ryeroutlet.htm
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:35 PM   #6
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You need a setup similar to this:

As always - click on the image to see a full scale diagram printable on Tabloid paper (11" x 17")



HTH...
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:56 AM   #7
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Awesome - thanks! Happen to have a wire diagram of a 50 amp installation as well?
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmonacel View Post
Awesome - thanks! Happen to have a wire diagram of a 50 amp installation as well?
I do...
However, based on what you have available, you are in for a major financial investment in setting up a 50A - 240V circuit for a brew rig. It will be new, in home, wiring and MUST be according to code and also MUST be permitted and inspected.

Setting up a new power feed is not a 'do it your self' project.
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:57 AM   #9
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Hmmm... Ok. I'll look more into how to work with the 30 amp then. Any good articles / threads that discuss the typical processes / tradeoffs needed for working with 30 amp? Ie. You can't run your BK and HLT at the same time, etc.? Much appreciated. I'm a pretty technical guy, but am a bit overwhelmed / confused with the electric and automation stuff. I'll surely get it but just trying to keep thing straight.
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