How much power is available at the outlet?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
603
Reaction score
4
Location
Denver
I just recently noticed a 240v 3 prong dryer outlet in my friends garage where I brew. It was hiding behind some scrap 2x4s. I've been planning a small HERMS upgrade to my HLT but was planning on using only a 120v element. Now that I've found this outlet my plans are changing for the better! Question is, how do I determine how much juice is available at the outlet? I'm not very experienced with electrical, but I understand the basics (120 v. 240, proper gauge wire for the amps, how to wire an outlet, how to ground a circuit, etc). I know that I could just go look at the panel, and I'll try that, but I'd like to know which type of metering tool I can pick up at home depot will tell me what I need to know.

Any suggestions, along with tips on how to use properly and safely, would be greatly appreciated!
 

klyph

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
1,792
Reaction score
53
Location
North Pole, Alaska
It will give you all the amperage it can until the breaker trips or the wire melts. Your power is limited by the breaker which should be sized to protect the wiring. I don't understand why you need to measure it. Just look at the breaker.
 

Ohio-Ed

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 18, 2008
Messages
2,058
Reaction score
23
Measurement tools will measure how much current is being drawn (or used) at a point in time, but not how much "could be" used.

As Klyph said... the breaker size is the answer you are looking for.
 

kal

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2006
Messages
2,707
Reaction score
491
Location
Ottawa, Canada
I would also confirm that the wiring coming out of the breaker panel is indeed 10/3 with ground.

Kal
 

Slider46

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2010
Messages
120
Reaction score
0
Location
Maryland
Really though you already know "how much power" you have.

~240v -> ~30amps -> ~7200 watts (All maximum values for the circuit)

If for some reason you feel the need to get a multi-meter be very sure you know what you're doing. Sticking probes in any outlet or main box without knowing what you're doing can be lethal.
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
25,194
Reaction score
4,132
Location
Whitehouse Station
I'll suggest a different route. First find out if there's a 2pole 30a breaker in the panel. Then find out if there's another electric dryer in the house, maybe in the basement, that is still in use. It's possible they just decided to move the dryer to another location and abandon the outlet in the garage. In that case, it may be disconnected at the panel.
 

jlag

Active Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2009
Messages
27
Reaction score
0
Location
Natick, USA
The dryer and the garage outlet could be wired to the same breaker too. In that case, no brewing on laundry day :(
 

petey_c

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
1,353
Reaction score
93
Location
Miller Place
I know it's been awhile for this, but just thought I'd add something; 30/40 gal. hot water heaters, small A/C condensors, and other things can also be run on 2P30A breakers.
 
Top