5500w Ripple Element Boiling Time, Seems To Be Taking Too Long

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Thblur7

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Brewed this weekend trying a few different things to get the temperature in the water up quicker.

It was about 9 gallons of water using a 5500 Watt Ripple Element. From room temperature to strike (about 161) its taking about 2.5-3 hours. then from there to boiling its another 2.5-3 hours.

I timed it and it was about 1 degree every 3 minutes

What kind of times are you guys getting? And you have any advice?

Attached is the current setup.. Thanks

IMG_3118.JPG
 

BeantownBrewer

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That seems like an awfully long time for that volume of water. How did you wire/control the element?

My setup also uses a 5500W element, and it takes me between 30-40 minutes to go from room temp to a boil.
 

Totally

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Are you running the element at 120V or 240V?
Do you have any way to power the element directly to see if its a panel or element issue?

Just want to eliminate some simple possibilities.
 

Mallchamber

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Are you running the element at 120V or 240V?
Do you have any way to power the element directly to see if its a panel or element issue?


Just want to eliminate some simple possibilities.

we're running it on 220V/30a.

I don't think we would be able to run just the element, its a 3 prong and I don't have an outlet like that.
 

doug293cz

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Those heat up times sound like your element is only getting 120V. If you have a meter, check the voltage across the element terminals when the element is on. You should read close to 240V. If not, then you you have a failed component or wiring error in your panel.

Brew on :mug:
 

jcav

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I agree with doug293cz, sounds like it's only getting 120V. It should take a lot less than that. I can reach a boil on 13.5 gallons in about 45 minutes, not what your experiencing. Hope you get it figured out.

John
 

wishingiwasfishing

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I've got a 5500W ripple, I'm sure my times aren't that slow. I'm brewing tomorrow...I'll nail down time to 161. After that I'll get my times to boil.
 
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Don't forget ambient temps and vessel construction plays a role. That said there is no way ~5500W are getting dumped into that mass of water. Follow doug's advice and put a meter across the terminals to see the full 240V on. Also make sure your PID is in manual mode at 100%.

And can you send us a link to the element you bought? Three terminals? Either that third is a ground or you have a 3 phase element but only single phase power.
 

Mallchamber

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Don't forget ambient temps and vessel construction plays a role. That said there is no way ~5500W are getting dumped into that mass of water. Follow doug's advice and put a meter across the terminals to see the full 240V on. Also make sure your PID is in manual mode at 100%.

And can you send us a link to the element you bought? Three terminals? Either that third is a ground or you have a 3 phase element but only single phase power.
heres a link to the element--https://www.brewhardware.com/product_p/element5500_ripple.htm

I believe the 3rd wire is a ground.

thank you for all the help everyone!
 

itsnotrequired

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my bet is the element is wired at 120 volt, the math works out for the heat times you are seeing. a 5500 watt, 240 volt element operated at 120 volt will only produce about 1375 watt. but even at 1375, 3 hours seems like a long time unless you have really cold ground water or are brewing in a cold ambient environment. check that element wiring.

i don't see an ammeter or 'element on' light on your panel but you should have an output light on the pid face, most likely OP1. when starting to heat for strike or boil, the output should be solid i.e. always on. it isn't until you approach temp that the pid will start to 'throttle' the output and slow down the heat rise so as not to overshoot the target temp. so take a look at that output light while heating.

did you ever run an auto tune sequence on the pid?
 

Bobby_M

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There are two ways this could be happening. One is that the element is getting 120 volts. The other is that the PID is tuned horribly or has a max output % set somewhere in the programming. I know the Auber PIDs have this kind of setting and you wouldn't otherwise know to look for it. I don't know what unit the EBC panel uses. In any case, you should be able to see the "output" LED on the controller staying on constantly without pulsing. If it's on solid, it's got to be the wiring.
 

Mallchamber

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Thanks everyone for all the help!

After looking at the panel and checking the voltage I noticed one of the wires to the element was just resting against the housing box and it blew out both of the contactors. hopefully when we swap those out our heating times will be much faster.

cheers!
 
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Thanks everyone for all the help!

After looking at the panel and checking the voltage I noticed one of the wires to the element was just resting against the housing box and it blew out both of the contactors. hopefully when we swap those out our heating times will be much faster.

cheers!
I wonder what type of short ckt can kill a contactor. I don't use them, but as much as I do know, they seem to be pretty hard to kill. Regardless, sounds like you should have a GFCI on your system. A short to earth ground (assuming your case was grounded and that's what killed your contactors) will instantly trip the GFCI.
 

LarMoeCur

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Thanks everyone for all the help!

After looking at the panel and checking the voltage I noticed one of the wires to the element was just resting against the housing box and it blew out both of the contactors. hopefully when we swap those out our heating times will be much faster.

cheers!
Count yourself lucky! You only lost a the contactors it could have been something or someone else!
 

processhead

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Thanks everyone for all the help!

After looking at the panel and checking the voltage I noticed one of the wires to the element was just resting against the housing box and it blew out both of the contactors. hopefully when we swap those out our heating times will be much faster.

cheers!
Any loose connection in the element circuit stands a likely chance of having overheated the conductor or the terminal where it was connected.
You would do well to inspect all the wiring and components for heat damage.
If that is what you meant by "blew out both contactors" then hopefully you have nailed down all the damage.
 

Mallchamber

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So I got the 2 new contactors in today and switched them out. Started her up with about 7 gallons and turned the PID to 100%, went from low 70's to 150 in about 10 minutes!!!

Thanks again for all they help!

Cheers!
 

kal

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To close the loop a bit about heating times in case anyone's curious:

A 5500W heating element such the one mentioned here will raise the temperature of 1 gallon of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit in approximately 1.6 seconds.

Some real world examples:

Heat 20 gallons of strike water from 70F to 155F: 45 minutes
Bring 14 gallons of wort from 150F to boil: 23 minutes

Cheers!

Kal
 

RocketBrewer

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If you aren't using a GFCI circuit, you are setting yourself up for a possible Darwin Award! NEVER mix water and electricity without proper protection. If you have a GFCI circuit, my guess is it's wired incorrectly.
 
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