Sparky/control box help.

Postby gibbiem » Tue Mar 24, 2015 08:03

I've read a lot about using XLR plugs for attaching elements to control box. Can you literally just replace the 13amp plug of the element lead with an XLR plug? And if so, what happens on the control box side? What I would love, when I have proper power in the shed, is a main control box and the elements, pump and stc all plug into that box and I can switch things on and off from there. But I don't know where to start... Also, would a 32amp ring be enough to power 2 2.4kw elements a pump an stc1000 a brew fridge/keggerator and lights? I want to try and keep this as simple as possible so I can learn as I go. A good starting point would be much appreciated though
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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby AleMonkey » Tue Mar 24, 2015 08:27

I would suggest a 32 or possibly even 40 amp supply would be needed to your shed depending on the continous current used at any given time. This would need to be in the form of a dedicated circuit. if you need any more advice on the supply to the shed I can help but it can get a bit complex.
I can't comment on xlr connectors as I have never used them for such a purpose, but as long as they are suitably rated and properly connected .......

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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby LeithR » Tue Mar 24, 2015 09:07

As i read it wikipedia, xlr plugs in all its configurations are not rated for mains voltages. They are rated up to 24/28volts.

I'm sure there are other plugs which will work at mains voltage tho'.

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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby gibbiem » Tue Mar 24, 2015 09:10

AleMonkey wrote:I would suggest a 32 or possibly even 40 amp supply would be needed to your shed depending on the continous current used at any given time. This would need to be in the form of a dedicated circuit. if you need any more advice on the supply to the shed I can help but it can get a bit complex.
I can't comment on xlr connectors as I have never used them for such a purpose, but as long as they are suitably rated and properly connected .......

Well the fridge will probably be on all the time once the keggerator is setup. Lights obviously only when dark, getting a shed with windows. Then just elements and pumps on brewdays. So I would need to run a cable from the mains box instead of using a spur?
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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby gibbiem » Tue Mar 24, 2015 09:13

Its something like this I'm aiming for. Just a much simpler version... http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/heati ... nts?page=8 don't want to mess about with PIDs until understand them a bit better. I've just text a mate who is an engineer and understands this a bit better so hopefully he will help where he can
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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby bobsbeer » Tue Mar 24, 2015 09:36

Firstly you don't want to use XLR for mains applications. For that you need 16 amp commando style plugs. I use xlr connectors for connecting 12v stuff and temperature sensor leads. As for power supply I got an electrician to put in a dedicated supply to our shed from the house main fuse box to a fuse box in the shed. Then I put in 3 x 16 amp circuits and also a ring main with 13amp sockets as well as a lighting circuit. So basically a mini house set up. But it gives me the ability to use 3 x 5 kw elements if I wanted too. Plus power a whole host of other stuff at the same time.
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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby gibbiem » Tue Mar 24, 2015 09:41

bobsbeer wrote:Firstly you don't want to use XLR for mains applications. For that you need 16 amp commando style plugs. I use xlr connectors for connecting 12v stuff and temperature sensor leads. As for power supply I got an electrician to put in a dedicated supply to our shed from the house main fuse box to a fuse box in the shed. Then I put in 3 x 16 amp circuits and also a ring main with 13amp sockets as well as a lighting circuit. So basically a mini house set up. But it gives me the ability to use 3 x 5 kw elements if I wanted too. Plus power a whole host of other stuff at the same time.

Yeah that's kinda what I want. How much did I cost to get that supply in the shed? So you reckon use commando plugs for the element leads? I thought about a commando plug from the main supply in the shed to a control box and everything else connected to the control box?
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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby AleMonkey » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:01

Yes a supply from your mains board is what you need with a small board in your shed. This needs testing and certification and legally should be notified to building control too. Any competent sparky can do this.
Get a few quotes in and discuss ways of making it cheaper with them, I.e. doing some of the leg work yourself, running cables etc. Many will be happy to oblige, just be up front.
Don't do the work yourself first though as most professional sparkies will either not test and certificate or bump the price up.

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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby gibbiem » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:59

Nice one. My mate rigged up his garage so will see what he can do. So for the control box I would like the mains supply going in to the control box with enough to power 2 2.4kw elements, 2 solar type pumps and an stc1000. I have 4 elements in total so would like to have them all plugged in but only power two at a time. So power to the the two HLT and then switch to the boil when ready. Could I just just normal plug sockets and have all four into some kind of switch then to the mains? This is where I get a bit lost ha ha then just on/off switch's for the two pumps and stc
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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby bobsbeer » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:22

Mine cost £400, but I supplied most of the parts, although he supplied the breakers as they have to be all the same make. I also did the internal wiring leaving tails to connect to the fuse box. The 16 amp supplies come out of the fuse box to commando sockets via switches. But there is no reason why you need to do the same it depends on how you configure your control box.

Here is my set up before the breakers were put in.

PB140002.JPG
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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby gibbiem » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:43

See that looks perfect, although I'd just like one commando plug going to the control box and really just for the control box to be one big switch to switch between elements or on and off and turn pumps on and off etc. Also we will be renting for maybe 6 months to a year so don't really wanna fork out that kind of money to have to do it all again in a permanent home
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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby AleMonkey » Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:09

2 x 2.4kW is 20A alone so a 16A plug and socket will not suffice. Next size up is 32A If you only want one supply to your control box.

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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby gibbiem » Tue Mar 24, 2015 13:12

Yeah aye, then I've 12amps for pumps and stc. The stc won't use much will it? And think the pumps are 5 each
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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby bobsbeer » Tue Mar 24, 2015 17:12

I feed 3 16 amp leads into my control box , one for each element. I also have a 13 amp feed to power the pids, fan and other stuff in there.
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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby gibbiem » Tue Mar 24, 2015 17:39

bobsbeer wrote:I feed 3 16 amp leads into my control box , one for each element. I also have a 13 amp feed to power the pids, fan and other stuff in there.

Ah right. See ive got 4 elements in total. The maximum I would have running at any one given time is 2 elements, two pumps (sparge and transfer to kettle) a light and the brewfridge. So the control box itself would need a 32 amp supply and then say a 13amp for the fridge and lights?
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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby AleMonkey » Tue Mar 24, 2015 18:42

Your fridge won't pull much current at all, but still best to get a sparky or two in to help you design your install. He will be able to advise about the best solution for your needs along with all the appropriate cable calculations and assess your existing system for suitability for the planned additions.

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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby gibbiem » Tue Mar 24, 2015 18:55

Yeah I agree. Will be rented too so suppose it'll all need to be above board!
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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby bobsbeer » Wed Mar 25, 2015 00:22

Even more so in that case. I planned out what I wanted to do and what I needed and the electrician did what was needed. But think of the future if you go down that route. More is better as you may change to higher wattage elements in the future.
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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby scott-ayling » Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:54

bobsbeer wrote:Mine cost £400, but I supplied most of the parts, although he supplied the breakers as they have to be all the same make. I also did the internal wiring leaving tails to connect to the fuse box. The 16 amp supplies come out of the fuse box to commando sockets via switches. But there is no reason why you need to do the same it depends on how you configure your control box.

Here is my set up before the breakers were put in.

PB140002.JPG


This is how I'm going to get the electrics sorted in my shed this week , showed my old man your pic and said he could do it no bother

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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby bobsbeer » Mon Mar 30, 2015 14:24

That should be great. One good thing by having an electrician involved is that they can test everything once it's in place and issue a certificate. On mine he was able to check all the earth and continuity connections.
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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby AleMonkey » Mon Mar 30, 2015 15:36

bobsbeer wrote:That should be great. One good thing by having an electrician involved is that they can test everything once it's in place and issue a certificate. On mine he was able to check all the earth and continuity connections.
.

I would second that. Testing and certification is essential to any electrical alterations or additions. You have no idea whether or not it is safe to use otherwise.

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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby boab44stout » Tue Nov 29, 2016 13:04

Didn't realise putting power into a shed would be so expensive might be cheaper just buying a grainfather it only needs one power supply
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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby Aleman » Tue Nov 29, 2016 15:00

Look up Neutrik Power connectors as an alternative to the suggested Commando Plugs and Sockets. They come in 20A and 32A flavours, as well as Male and Female poled plugs and sockets which are keyed so they cannot be mis-mated . . . They are also much smaller than Commando Sockets, I've used them on my BrewPi fridge conversion for mains power. . . Can be had for reasonable money on the Bay of E

http://www.neutrik.com/en/audio/powercon/

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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby Kyle_T » Tue Nov 29, 2016 15:27

I have the Neutrik Powercon connectors on my kit, lovely little things.

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Re: Sparky/control box help.

Postby boab44stout » Tue Nov 29, 2016 20:03

nice looking couplers they look meaty enough to handle anything :electric:
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