Author Topic: 5500 watt element breaker size?  (Read 615 times)

Offline russell

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5500 watt element breaker size?
« on: February 19, 2018, 11:32:27 PM »
   I am planning an electric home brewery. I have a 240 v outlet planned, if I run a 5500 watt element and a pump can it all be on a 30 amp breaker?
         I don't think I could I run a 5500 watt and a 1600 watt element at the same time, can I?

Offline Stevie

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5500 watt element breaker size?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2018, 11:43:03 PM »
Full power that is 23 amps. Pumps should be around an amp. Rest of the panel shouldn’t be much depending on what you do.

No, you wouldn’t be able to run both. The smaller burner is going to be 120, so just have it be powered by another circuit. With a 50a you could run both, but your two hot legs would be out of balance (1600w element is 120 and only on one hot leg). This is bad news as it could cause over heating.

Offline russell

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Re: 5500 watt element breaker size?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2018, 11:47:52 PM »
  But the 240 v, 30 amp breaker could run the 5500 watt element along with the control box with a PID in it and pump cant it?
 
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 11:50:39 PM by russell »

Offline Stevie

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Re: 5500 watt element breaker size?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2018, 11:51:58 PM »
  But the 240 v, 30 amp breaker could run the 5500 watt element along with the control box with a PID in it and pump cant it?
Yes, even at full power. The electronics are minimal. Shouldn’t be over 25 amps with a single pump.

Offline russell

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Re: 5500 watt element breaker size?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2018, 11:54:06 PM »
thank you, your a great help... love this foram

Offline yugamrap

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Re: 5500 watt element breaker size?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2018, 09:21:26 PM »
First, make sure the breaker you choose is GFCI or use a separate GFCI for protection.

Then, do some math. 

Watts = Amps x Volts ... so ... Amps = Watts / Volts

Build in a 15-20% safety factor on the breaker (local code often requires this).

You're probably really getting closer to 220 volts than 240 volts from your utility.

So, 5500 watts / 220 volts X 0.80 = 20 amps.  If you have a 30-amp breaker, you should have plenty of amps to handle the element, associated electronics (which typically only draw a few hundred milliamps), and probably a couple March or Chugger pumps, too.  Adding that second 1650-watt element would put you at 26 amps - still under 30, but closer than I'd care to be if running other accessories (pumps. etc.). 

If you want to run two elements at the same time, you're probably better advised to use a bigger breaker.  I have a 15-gallon 3-vessel system with a 5500-watt element in the HLT and another 5500-watt in the BK.  The system also has 2 Chugger pumps.  I run both elements at the same time for back-to-back batches and/or to heat up cleaning solution while boiling.  I have a 50-amp GFCI breaker for the whole system with both pumps running, the HLT element at 100% and the BK element at 80%.  Both elements at 100% would be 11,000 Watts / 220 volts X 0.80 =  40 amps.  So, that leaves another 8 amps at 220 volts to spare for the 120-volt pumps and electronics.

Also, don't overlook that you'll need heavier-gauge wire to handle the higher amperage.  I bit the bullet and had a licensed electrician install the breaker and run the heavier-gauge cable to the 220/240-volt outlet.

Be safe and have fun.

Brew on!
...it's liquid bread, it's good for you!

Offline Jrang

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Re: 5500 watt element breaker size?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2018, 01:13:47 AM »
First, make sure the breaker you choose is GFCI or use a separate GFCI for protection.

Then, do some math. 

Watts = Amps x Volts ... so ... Amps = Watts / Volts

Build in a 15-20% safety factor on the breaker (local code often requires this).

You're probably really getting closer to 220 volts than 240 volts from your utility.

So, 5500 watts / 220 volts X 0.80 = 20 amps.  If you have a 30-amp breaker, you should have plenty of amps to handle the element, associated electronics (which typically only draw a few hundred milliamps), and probably a couple March or Chugger pumps, too.  Adding that second 1650-watt element would put you at 26 amps - still under 30, but closer than I'd care to be if running other accessories (pumps. etc.). 

If you want to run two elements at the same time, you're probably better advised to use a bigger breaker.  I have a 15-gallon 3-vessel system with a 5500-watt element in the HLT and another 5500-watt in the BK.  The system also has 2 Chugger pumps.  I run both elements at the same time for back-to-back batches and/or to heat up cleaning solution while boiling.  I have a 50-amp GFCI breaker for the whole system with both pumps running, the HLT element at 100% and the BK element at 80%.  Both elements at 100% would be 11,000 Watts / 220 volts X 0.80 =  40 amps.  So, that leaves another 8 amps at 220 volts to spare for the 120-volt pumps and electronics.

Also, don't overlook that you'll need heavier-gauge wire to handle the higher amperage.  I bit the bullet and had a licensed electrician install the breaker and run the heavier-gauge cable to the 220/240-volt outlet.

Be safe and have fun.

Brew on!

yugamrap, not trying to be critical, but your math is a little off.

When figuring amp load on a circuit it's just wattage divided by voltage. You don't multiply it by .8. So in this case the 5500 watts would be divided by 240 volts, which would equal 22.9 amps. The safety factor you might be referring to is the National Electrical Code (not local code) states that you can only load a branch circuit up to 80% of it rated capacity. In other words, a 30 amp circuit is only allowed to carry 24 amps.
(30 x .8=24) of continuous load.

Running the additional 1600 watt, 120 volt element, would require a separate 120 volt circuit.