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Old 11-27-2012, 10:32 PM   #61
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What did you decide to do for amperage? I believe earlier in the thread you said you had 30amp 220V. If that's the case, you can only run one 5500W element at a time. If you do upgrade to 50 or 60amp service, you have more options for running elements simultaneously.

I really suggest you read through and understand Kal's build at www.theelectricbrewery.com. Even if you want to go in a different direction, that is an invaluable resource for understanding how these components work, and will put you in a much better position to build a safe and effective control panel.
I'm would rather not have to rewire for this but I didn't see any way to get around not having 50 or 60amps.

I've been reading Kal's build trying to understand everything.


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Old 11-28-2012, 12:24 AM   #62
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Well if you are going to go with 60 amps, then you can run 2 5500w elements simultaneously with no problem, so I would go for a matched set.


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Old 11-28-2012, 12:32 AM   #63
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Well if you are going to go with 60 amps, then you can run 2 5500w elements simultaneously with no problem, so I would go for a matched set.
So would I need a switch to control the power on them or would the PID and SSR do that?
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:40 AM   #64
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I would go with a main switch (some get a keyed switch to prevent anyone from turning it on) wired to a contactor, so that when you turn it off the switch itself is the only thing energized in the panel. Then, yes, each element would have a switch wired to a contactor between the SSR and the element, so you could turn each one on and off individually. This is similar to Kal's design, except rather than having a 3-way switch that turns on either element but not both, you would have a 2-way switch for each element.

Again, having a contactor between the SSR and the element makes sure that when you turn the switch for the element off, that it is really off, regardless of what the PID is signaling. When the switch is on, there may or may not be current to the element, based upon what the PID is signalling (leakage aside). An easy way to think about it is that when you turn the switch on, you are giving control of the element to the PID and SSR. When it is off you are taking it away, so the element is off.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:02 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by jeffmeh
I would go with a main switch (some get a keyed switch to prevent anyone from turning it on) wired to a contactor, so that when you turn it off the switch itself is the only thing energized in the panel. Then, yes, each element would have a switch wired to a contactor between the SSR and the element, so you could turn each one on and off individually. This is similar to Kal's design, except rather than having a 3-way switch that turns on either element but not both, you would have a 2-way switch for each element.

Again, having a contactor between the SSR and the element makes sure that when you turn the switch for the element off, that it is really off, regardless of what the PID is signaling. When the switch is on, there may or may not be current to the element, based upon what the PID is signalling (leakage aside). An easy way to think about it is that when you turn the switch on, you are giving control of the element to the PID and SSR. When it is off you are taking it away, so the element is off.
Makes perfect sense now!!! Thanks!!
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:28 PM   #66
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Well after staying up late last night to read all of Kal's build, I might make a change. While it would be nice to have the option of turning both elements on, I could make a much easier modification to my house and save some money. Rather than running new wire, putting in a new circuit breaker, pulling a permit and all that fun, I can change out my three prong dryer outlet and make it a four prong outlet. Done! 30 amps 240 volts right there.

Other than brewing back to back batches, anything positive to upgrading everything?

(Yes I own my house but we are planning on moving in about 2-3 years max so making that huge change to the wiring might be a downside when selling it.)
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:46 PM   #67
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Well after staying up late last night to read all of Kal's build, I might make a change. While it would be nice to have the option of turning both elements on, I could make a much easier modification to my house and save some money. Rather than running new wire, putting in a new circuit breaker, pulling a permit and all that fun, I can change out my three prong dryer outlet and make it a four prong outlet. Done! 30 amps 240 volts right there.

Other than brewing back to back batches, anything positive to upgrading everything?

(Yes I own my house but we are planning on moving in about 2-3 years max so making that huge change to the wiring might be a downside when selling it.)
30 amps should be fine for running one 5500W element at a time. What type of wire runs from the breaker to the outlet? If it is 10/3+ground, then you are set. If it is only 10/2+ground then you do not have a neutral, so you could only run 240V at the panel (you don't have a neutral to safely run 120V off one hot leg and the neutral). You could either run 10/3+ ground, run a separate 120V circuit to the panel, or just run everything (pumps, lights, etc.) at 240V.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:36 PM   #68
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Well since my wife said hell no to making so many changes to the basement, it's time to adjust plans to brew into the garage.

Might be easier to run new wiring as the circuit breaker runs straight into where I want to have access to power.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:19 PM   #69
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Well since my wife said hell no to making so many changes to the basement, it's time to adjust plans to brew into the garage.

Might be easier to run new wiring as the circuit breaker runs straight into where I want to have access to power.
At least you have a backup plan!
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:57 AM   #70
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Yup! Gotta have one of those for most things in life.

Going to start drilling into the kegs this week!


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