Quantcast

Starting my eHERMS build....

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

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

DonT

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
22
Hello All, I'll be putting together an eHERMS build in my garage and I thought I'd document it here and take advantage of the hive mind. I'll try to do this in some sort of systematic way, but who knows...lol. I've decided to get the bulk of my parts from Brew Hardware and build/use a Brew Buddy 1. I like the set up on it and It's a bit less expensive than a Kal panel... also trying to do this on a budget and put my dollars where it counts.
One of the things I think i need to clarify, at least in my mind, is the electrical connection. I plan on using the dryer receptacle and run an extension cord, with an adapter, to the panel. Lucky enough, it's a 50a breaker. So I think all I need to do is swap out the current breaker with a GFCI unit.
Breaker
Extension Cord
Adapter
Kinda just want to make sure I won't be starting fires and the like when I run the 30a controller on a 50a breaker.

I'll post pictures as I go along too. I'll show you my current space and what I'll be putting where.
 

doug293cz

BIABer, Beer Math Nerd, ePanel Designer, Pilot
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
11,016
Reaction score
7,148
Location
Renton
Hello All, I'll be putting together an eHERMS build in my garage and I thought I'd document it here and take advantage of the hive mind. I'll try to do this in some sort of systematic way, but who knows...lol. I've decided to get the bulk of my parts from Brew Hardware and build/use a Brew Buddy 1. I like the set up on it and It's a bit less expensive than a Kal panel... also trying to do this on a budget and put my dollars where it counts.
One of the things I think i need to clarify, at least in my mind, is the electrical connection. I plan on using the dryer receptacle and run an extension cord, with an adapter, to the panel. Lucky enough, it's a 50a breaker. So I think all I need to do is swap out the current breaker with a GFCI unit.
Breaker
Extension Cord
Adapter
Kinda just want to make sure I won't be starting fires and the like when I run the 30a controller on a 50a breaker.

I'll post pictures as I go along too. I'll show you my current space and what I'll be putting where.
Wherever you use finer than 6AWG wire in your panel, you will need to add fuses or breakers that are appropriate for the wire size you use.

Brew on :mug:
 

day_trippr

"Now brewing exclusively with Hydrohydroxic Acid"
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
35,166
Reaction score
17,099
Location
Stow, MA
Probably smarter to downgrade the breaker...

Cheers!
 
OP
DonT

DonT

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
22
Ok, so I took a look at the dryer that currently is plugged into that circuit and it appears to be rated at 24a, and the plug is 30a. Looks like I could install a 30a GFCI and be safe`
plug.jpg
dryer tag.jpg
 

doug293cz

BIABer, Beer Math Nerd, ePanel Designer, Pilot
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
11,016
Reaction score
7,148
Location
Renton
Yes, this circuit will already have a 30A breaker, which can be swapped out for a 30A GFCI breaker.

Brew on :mug:
 
OP
DonT

DonT

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
22
Yes, this circuit will already have a 30A breaker, which can be swapped out for a 30A GFCI breaker.

Brew on :mug:
It's got a 50a breaker in there now...
 

doug293cz

BIABer, Beer Math Nerd, ePanel Designer, Pilot
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
11,016
Reaction score
7,148
Location
Renton
It's got a 50a breaker in there now...
What's the wire size? If it's not 6AWG (or larger [smaller #]) then it's a code violation. It's also unusual to see a 30A outlet on a 50A circuit. You can put a 30A breaker on 6AWG wiring, but you can't put a 50A breaker on 10AWG wire.

Brew on :mug:
 
OP
DonT

DonT

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
22
What's the wire size? If it's not 6AWG (or larger [smaller #]) then it's a code violation. It's also unusual to see a 30A outlet on a 50A circuit. You can put a 30A breaker on 6AWG wiring, but you can't put a 50A breaker on 10AWG wire.

Brew on :mug:
I have no idea what the wire size is. I haven't pulled off the panel cover, but I'll do that this weekend. We rent this place and the guy who rented before us did some really weird stuff that won't go into, so I would assume he stuck the 50a breaker in there. If it's 10AWG, I'll swap out the breaker for a 30a GFCI. I'll post up the results of my investigation...
 
OP
DonT

DonT

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
22
Here's a few more pictures....

breaker.jpg
wire size.jpg
input wire size.jpg


So it looks like to me, wires going into the breaker are 10AWG. The larger wires in the second pic are marked 600v, I couldn't see a wire size mark on any of the wires.
 

Attachments

doug293cz

BIABer, Beer Math Nerd, ePanel Designer, Pilot
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
11,016
Reaction score
7,148
Location
Renton
I can't tell from the photos what size the wires are. You might try going to a home improvement store and seeing if they will give you 1" lengths of 12AWG, 10AWG, 8AWG and 6AWG wire. You could then compare these to the wires on the various breakers.

Brew on :mug:
 

day_trippr

"Now brewing exclusively with Hydrohydroxic Acid"
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
35,166
Reaction score
17,099
Location
Stow, MA
600v relates to the insulation rating, not the wire...

Cherrs!
 
OP
DonT

DonT

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
22
I can't tell from the photos what size the wires are. You might try going to a home improvement store and seeing if they will give you 1" lengths of 12AWG, 10AWG, 8AWG and 6AWG wire. You could then compare these to the wires on the various breakers.

Brew on :mug:

Off to Home Depot I go...
 

Toto's

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2018
Messages
82
Reaction score
38
Location
Montreal, Canada
I am not sure a store will be willing to cut for you many types of wires but if you know how to turn off the general breaker and have an extra inch on your wires i would cut 1 inch of a wire and bring it to the hardware store.....
 
OP
DonT

DonT

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
22
I am not sure a store will be willing to cut for you many types of wires but if you know how to turn off the general breaker and have an extra inch on your wires i would cut 1 inch of a wire and bring it to the hardware store.....
The nice lady who helped me cut three samples for me :)
Looks like it's 8AWG, def not 10AWG. Since the dryer is the only thing on that circuit and it'll be unplugged while I'm brewing (wife not completely happy about that), I'm going to go ahead and replace the 50a with a 30a GFCI. Should be fine... Thanks for the advice, folks.

I needed to get a bulkhead and a pickup tube for my grainfather so I went ahead and picked up two Chugger pumps for the build. I was thinking of mounting them on a board, set up like a drawer so I could pull them out from under the workbench when i need them, then slide them back underneath to keep them out of the way.
Here's a couple of pics of my brewery....

workbench.jpg


brew space.jpg
 

RufusBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2015
Messages
282
Reaction score
81
Location
Nashville
I do not know the answer to this question. Is it a problem for the dryer to be on a GFCI circuit? If a dyer is prone to tripping a GFCI circuit, it could be a problem with normal operation of the dryer.

Perhaps you could put the a GFCI protection after the dryer socket, say a 30 amp GFCI breaker. This would also allow you to ease some of the giant wire gauge requirements of a 50 amp circuit.
 

doug293cz

BIABer, Beer Math Nerd, ePanel Designer, Pilot
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
11,016
Reaction score
7,148
Location
Renton
I do not know the answer to this question. Is it a problem for the dryer to be on a GFCI circuit? If a dyer is prone to tripping a GFCI circuit, it could be a problem with normal operation of the dryer.

Perhaps you could put the a GFCI protection after the dryer socket, say a 30 amp GFCI breaker. This would also allow you to ease some of the giant wire gauge requirements of a 50 amp circuit.
A dryer connected to a 3-wire outlet with GFCI is likely to be a problem. There shouldn't be an issue with a dryer and GFCI connected to a 4-wire outlet. I can explain if needed.

Dryers can normally operate on a 30A circuit, and the wires being heavier than 10AWG is not a problem.

Brew on :mug:
 
Last edited:
OP
DonT

DonT

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
22
Ordered the Brew Buddy yesterday as a kit. That should be fun putting together.... Also going to install the 30A GFCI this weekend.
 
OP
DonT

DonT

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
22
Well I received the Brew Buddy last week and have started the assembly process. I gotta say, the instructions are pretty much non-existent. It's basically, "here's a wiring diagram and a few pictures... go for it". I wasn't expecting a "Auber for Dummies", but a little better documentation wouldn't hurt. So far, everything seems to be there, except some nuts for the receptacles. A quick trip to Homer Land solved that.
front BB.jpgback BB.jpg door BB.jpg

I made some progress into the wiring today, hopefully I should have it together by next weekend.
 

4TBBUCS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2015
Messages
101
Reaction score
16
Location
Virginia Beach
I'm doing the same! And yes, I can concur that the instructions consist of a wiring diagram and some outdated pictures lol. I ran a dedicated 30A (GFCI) circuit to my receptacle from my garage subpanel. Used MC Lite 10/3.
 

Jako

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2017
Messages
979
Reaction score
275
Location
Northern Utah
Well I received the Brew Buddy last week and have started the assembly process. I gotta say, the instructions are pretty much non-existent. It's basically, "here's a wiring diagram and a few pictures... go for it". I wasn't expecting a "Auber for Dummies", but a little better documentation wouldn't hurt. So far, everything seems to be there, except some nuts for the receptacles. A quick trip to Homer Land solved that.
View attachment 716734View attachment 716735 View attachment 716736

I made some progress into the wiring today, hopefully I should have it together by next weekend.
i had a similar experience with another kit. guess they expect anyone building a system like this has experience already. i had lots of help from the forms.
 
OP
DonT

DonT

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
22
Yeah, It's been a pain. I have mine mostly wired, I'll get closer this afternoon before the game. Gotta cook a mess 'o chicken wings....
Having an auto mechanic background and having wired up a few racecars, I'm familiar with wiring diagrams but had to really study this one and take my time with it. Lots of stuff not said... I couldn't really find any detailed help on this forum or the auber forum.
I feel like I had a bit of a cognitive breakthrough yesterday so I feel better about getting it right. I just have to keep double and triple checking my wiring against the diagram.
Like Jako said, It's nice to hear I'm not alone... lol
I'll throw up some pictures later...
 

Jako

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2017
Messages
979
Reaction score
275
Location
Northern Utah
lol wings looked... good. nice job looks great. have you tested anything yet?
 
OP
DonT

DonT

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
22
Thanks. Wings were tasty ;)
I haven't tested anything yet... I'll wait until I have everything hooked up and double checked. I found a mistake today... Installed and wired an SSR backwards...oops.... I want to make sure everything is correct. Last thing I need is to burn **** up....
You can see my mistake in the pic of the back plate if you zoom in and look at the left SSR
 
Last edited:

4TBBUCS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2015
Messages
101
Reaction score
16
Location
Virginia Beach
I've been tinckering with this panel off and on for th better part of 3 weeks now. Unfortunately, my job has limited the time spent. So far, I'll say that double and triple checking EVERYTHING is an understatement lol.
 
OP
DonT

DonT

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
22
I've been tinckering with this panel off and on for th better part of 3 weeks now. Unfortunately, my job has limited the time spent. So far, I'll say that double and triple checking EVERYTHING is an understatement lol.
Same here... I have just the interlock/IPS circuit left. I hope to get that wired in today. found another mistake yesterday... nothing that would have caused a fire, but still. I was going thru it circuit by circuit, so I'm pretty sure it's all correct now.
Have you done the test for the interlock/IPS circuit yet?
 

RufusBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2015
Messages
282
Reaction score
81
Location
Nashville
Same here... I have just the interlock/IPS circuit left. I hope to get that wired in today. found another mistake yesterday... nothing that would have caused a fire, but still. I was going thru it circuit by circuit, so I'm pretty sure it's all correct now.
Have you done the test for the interlock/IPS circuit yet?
In my business we have a practice called blue line. Print a copy of your schematic, go wire by wire, line by line and confirm each connection. Highlight each wire on your schematic as you go. You can devise some way to flag each wire (blue painter's take perhaps) to confirm you do not have any extra wires.
 

4TBBUCS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2015
Messages
101
Reaction score
16
Location
Virginia Beach
Not sure if I'm alone in this, but the provided hardware leaves a lot to be desired. Needless to say, I chucked it and made a trip to HD Ha!! All stainless now!!!
 
OP
DonT

DonT

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
22
Congrats man! I'm still humping away on mine. Let me know how testing goes and good luck.
Thanks. I'm wondering if there is a particular start-up procedure. I'm thinking I'll plug it in with the internal breakers in the OFF position first....
 

4TBBUCS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2015
Messages
101
Reaction score
16
Location
Virginia Beach
Thanks. I'm wondering if there is a particular start-up procedure. I'm thinking I'll plug it in with the internal breakers in the OFF position first....
Yeah, that would be a good idea I'm sure. I just finished up the back wall, moving onto the front door tonight at some point.
 
OP
DonT

DonT

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
39
Reaction score
22
I plugged in the box the box yesterday and it didn't start a fire... HOORAY! :mug:
I did the interlock test and it all looks good. Next I'll turn on the internal breakers and hook up the sensors to see if everything works. I think I'm good though...

The next thing I'm pondering is pump placement and being able to plug them in. It appears the cables are going to be too short to reach the controller. I'm thinking I may have to extend the cables.
 

4TBBUCS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2015
Messages
101
Reaction score
16
Location
Virginia Beach
I plugged in the box the box yesterday and it didn't start a fire... HOORAY! :mug:
I did the interlock test and it all looks good. Next I'll turn on the internal breakers and hook up the sensors to see if everything works. I think I'm good though...

The next thing I'm pondering is pump placement and being able to plug them in. It appears the cables are going to be too short to reach the controller. I'm thinking I may have to extend the cables.

What size length are your pump cords? Also, where are you planning to mount your panel? I ended up fabricating a mount out of an articulating tv mount! My pump cords are 10ft plus 3" or so with the locking adapters I'm using for the pumps.
 
Top