Anyone have these element enclosures?

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oceanic_brew
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Anyone have these element enclosures?

Post by oceanic_brew » Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:56 pm

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I just moved into a new house and on my last brew session in the old place the element in my BK went out mid boil

Just to give some info on my setup before I proceed:
I run a 50 Amp Hosehead Brewery Controller from a 50 amp GFCI with a 6 AWG lead feeding the controller, then from the controller it feeds two 5500 watt elements; 1 in HLT 1 in BK from the 240v service and two pumps from a separate 120v service.

So after the element died I shut the system down and transferred the wort to my HLT and continued boiling. I figured it was just a dead element. I’m just getting my system going in the new place so I opened the element enclosure to inspect the wiring and found one of the leads (the load) going to the crimp type ring terminal that attaches to the element screw to be completely charred and melted. It actually melted the covering on the ground cable and covered the inside of the enclosure with soot.

I have no way of telling if beer leaked into it and that’s why it shorted but somehow I feel if that happened it would have just popped the GFCI in the panel given that everything is grounded and I’ve confirmed that.

I do not trust these element enclosures, the only thing that stops beer from getting in at the load is Teflon over the element threads and a silicone o ring.
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If you happen to knock the element sideways say if stirring in the pot or during cleaning then you can potentially lose a seal inside the enclosure. I am a carpenter not an electrician but I’m assuming that if this were to happen and everything is grounded then as soon as the beer provided a path to ground between one of the loads and the ground or any steel component that’s attached to the ground then the GFCI would trip. Safe assumption I presume.

Either way it’s a pretty shit design in my opinion but given how many people have these I’m assuming it’s acceptable to forge on provided everything is grounded.

Back to the melted wiring.... I’m looking at the cable that came with enclosure and element that I purchased all at everwood and written on the coating is 10 AWG (it’s stranded copper btw)

https://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm

This site dictates that 10 AWG cable should have maximum load of 15 amps.
Now, I do not know if I have this calculation done right:
Image

But that’s a hell of a lot more than 15 amps. The hosehead brewery controller says that it’s 50 amp circuit ready, and that I can power two 5500 watt elements simultaneously.

I apologize about the long post but I know it’s possible that some of you have these enclosures, possibly these cables, possibly the hosehead. Just trying to make sure I’m safe and everyone else is too. Right now I’m feeling like shit could have went down much worse than it did.

Hopefully there’s some electrical genius on here (calling you Mr. Pepper) that can help clear some of this up so I can get better components and alert whoever sold me the wrong stuff.

If my calculations are correct, with 20% safety factor I would need much more than a 10 AWG lead coming from my element to the controller.

Thanks to anyone who can chime in.



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oceanic_brew
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Re: Anyone have these element enclosures?

Post by oceanic_brew » Sun Apr 21, 2019 4:06 pm

https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/col ... utdoor-use

The electric brewery has this cable rated at 30 amps, so clearly between the site I posted above and this place there’s a 15 amp discrepancy.

A 10 gauge wire obviously can take more than 15 amps, right? You can have 12 amps on a regular 14/2 house circuit.

I’m definitely in over my head here


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Re: Anyone have these element enclosures?

Post by LeafMan66_67 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:14 pm

Hey folks, #10awg is good for 30A. Hard to tell what would have caused the melted wiring / terminal, but I would suspect a poor crimp / loose connection that increased the resistance at that location.
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Re: Anyone have these element enclosures?

Post by RossBee » Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:19 pm

What's the temp rating on the wiring? Should be running at least a 105C.
Why brew beer I can buy?

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Re: Anyone have these element enclosures?

Post by LeafMan66_67 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:36 pm

RossBee wrote:What's the temp rating on the wiring? Should be running at least a 105C.
Another good point.
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Re: Anyone have these element enclosures?

Post by oceanic_brew » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:14 pm

LeafMan66_67 wrote:Hey folks, #10awg is good for 30A. Hard to tell what would have caused the melted wiring / terminal, but I would suspect a poor crimp / loose connection that increased the resistance at that location.
Fair enough, it was hard to tell where it was so melted if it had in fact come out of the lug or like you said if the crimp was poor.

I rewired all of my elements today to ensure every crimp was done right, possible the old ones weren’t though.


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Re: Anyone have these element enclosures?

Post by oceanic_brew » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:16 pm

RossBee wrote:What's the temp rating on the wiring? Should be running at least a 105C.
105c confirmed

Seems like all is good in regards to the components, so best guess points towards a faulty connection/bad crimp.

Given that’s the point that it melted at, hopefully that’s it.


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Re: Anyone have these element enclosures?

Post by D.Pepper » Tue May 07, 2019 8:12 am

Sorry I didn't see this sooner, Glen! Looking through your post, you definitely have it sorted out. The picture of the wire end at the terminal looks like it started arcing out from a loose connection. Once that happens, things melt out fast.

I'm confident that you'll (if you don't already do) have it back going with no trouble once you re-crimp the wire. Try to get your connections back to shiny metal again so you won't have resistance losses (extra heat) where you don't need it.

I agree that the the o-ring seal between the box and the kettle doesn't appear to be a great design, but I haven't seen it to fail (yet). Cheers man!

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Re: Anyone have these element enclosures?

Post by oceanic_brew » Tue May 07, 2019 8:29 am

Thanks Dave!

Great to see you again on Sunday.
Cheers man!


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