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Old 03-28-2012, 12:48 AM   #1
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In all these build posts I see everyone using plugs in and out of their boxes. why is that, wouldn't it be easier just to wire eveything direct do away with all these additional conections that are prone to corosion, wear or just fatigue? I can see if you are taking the system apart and putting it away after each brew, but how many do that?


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Old 03-28-2012, 01:02 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duckdogs View Post
In all these build posts I see everyone using plugs in and out of their boxes. why is that, wouldn't it be easier just to wire eveything direct do away with all these additional conections that are prone to corosion, wear or just fatigue? I can see if you are taking the system apart and putting it away after each brew, but how many do that?
i know the locking plugs are nice for safety. and i doubt it would wear very quickly. as for me, i plan to hard wire the power input to my enclosure. i don't see a need to have that as an outlet as well. that's just me though



 
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:11 AM   #3
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Well, if you have an element in your kettle and it's hard wired and the other end is hard wired, it would be difficult to separate the kettle for cleaning purposes.

If your pumps are attached to the stand, and you need to move the stand around, you have to move EVERYTHING together. Depending your configuration, it could potentially be cumbersome.

In general using connectors helps with

a) cleaning
b) moving items around
c) troubleshooting/diagnostics

Not saying that hard wiring both ends won't work, but it could make it more challenging at times.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:02 AM   #4
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Flexibility. It leave all components easily removable/ replaced. Plus you can use pumps in away from the control panel.

 
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:25 PM   #5
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There is no need for locking plugs. Has anyone checked how much force is required to insert or separate a regular oven or dryer plug? It is a lot of force! Save your money for something that matters. Locking plugs are a waste of money unless you are jerking on your power cord all the time. I keep my power cords out of the way, so no jerking is possible.

Back to the question of hardwiring. If a particular piece of equipment won't be moved ever or often, then it seems plausible to hardwire. In my case, everything except my HLT is mobile. Even so, I elected to use a dryer plug for that element. Its extra security to be able to have a visible disconnect if I'm working on the HLT.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:46 PM   #6
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Personal preference.

 
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:53 PM   #7
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Interesting thread. I was thinking about this recently as well. I don't remember the last time I removed any one of my vessels from my stand. I've cleaned in place from the very beginning. Once you go electric, the odds of taking a single vessel out of the brewhouse is seriously diminished unless you have a big brew in the parking lot surrounding a PSEG transformer.

I can imagine it starts getting cumbersome to finish the wiring on a panel when you have a mess of cords hanging off it, but it doesn't sound that bad. In the end, we're probably going to save $150 max by leaving off at least one disconnect per cord.
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:18 PM   #8
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I did not hardwire for two reasons
  1. If a component fails replacement is easier
  2. I will be moving in the next year to 18 months so it will make it much easier to move my whole setup.

In regards to the locking plugs, I went that direction since that is common practice in all the plants I do work in when around industrial equipment. I do not want to risk anything becoming unplugged or partially loose in a wet environment.

 
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:22 PM   #9
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To me hardwiring could be an option, but I want to have mobility just in case there comes a time I can bring my brew system somewhere to use.

I figure it costs about $100 bucks (estimate 4 220 outlets @ $8 a piece, 4 6 ft dryer cords at $15 a piece) for a setup similar to mine Ė dryer outlet, spa panel, control panel, and two elements all with separate plugs/outlets. Factor in the cost of the actual wire if you were hardwiring (copper 6 awg is around $2 per foot and the comparison cost is less).

110 power outlets and cords are so cheap that I donít see why you would hardwire your pumps/motors/etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
There is no need for locking plugs. Has anyone checked how much force is required to insert or separate a regular oven or dryer plug? It is a lot of force! Save your money for something that matters. Locking plugs are a waste of money unless you are jerking on your power cord all the time. I keep my power cords out of the way, so no jerking is possible.

Back to the question of hardwiring. If a particular piece of equipment won't be moved ever or often, then it seems plausible to hardwire. In my case, everything except my HLT is mobile. Even so, I elected to use a dryer plug for that element. Its extra security to be able to have a visible disconnect if I'm working on the HLT.

I have to agree here on the locking plugs. I foresee most of my vessels staying in place for the majority of the brew, and all my element wiring is run behind my vessels, along the wall, meaning the wires will not be pulled or yanked. There will be no jerking on brewday (hehe).

I can see the allure of locking plugs in an ideal world, but they are just too expensive for me to justify putting in my brewery. You can get regular 220 outlets for about $8 and 6 foot dryer cords for around $15.
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Interesting thread. I was thinking about this recently as well. I don't remember the last time I removed any one of my vessels from my stand. I've cleaned in place from the very beginning. Once you go electric, the odds of taking a single vessel out of the brewhouse is seriously diminished unless you have a big brew in the parking lot surrounding a PSEG transformer.

I can imagine it starts getting cumbersome to finish the wiring on a panel when you have a mess of cords hanging off it, but it doesn't sound that bad. In the end, we're probably going to save $150 max by leaving off at least one disconnect per cord.
Depends. My 3-keggle system gets put away after every brew (it's outdoors on patio by pool when brewing, afterwards it gets cleaned and stacked behind the house. Plugs make sense for me.


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