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What type of electrical socket for the future ? 15A? 20A?

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mr_wibble

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G'day,

I'm going to have the sparky come over and put high current socket(s) in the power box.
(We only have single-phase power available in the street - if that matters)

When I first started looking, I thought that 3600 watts would be more than enough draw.
But what if (in the future, say) I wanted to run a 4500 watt element, etc.

What sort of socket(s) should I get installed for now and the future?
I want to know the proper names, so I get exactly what I need.

cheers,
-kt
 

MitchD

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The cabling is more important. A 2.5mm will potentially be suitable for either scenario, but go further from the switchboard and through different installation conditions and you may find you need a 4-6mm.
 

clickeral

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I currently use 2x 2400w elements in my 50L HLT and if I had 20Amp I could get away with one element

Personally I would get 2 15amp at the least with 6mm 3core wiring for future proofing

When I build my garage I will be going 3phase and the biggest rated plugs I can get

Nothing wrong with over engineering
 

mr_wibble

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What does the cable size actually refer to ... Is "6mm 3core" 3 cores by 6mm each ?
(I guess it has to be, otherwise it would be only 2mm each to add to 6).
 

TheWiggman

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If you have single phase you will be able to run higher current than 15A but you'll need a specific outlet running off it's own breaker to provide means to do so. You'll need a large plug like some of the products linked here. I understand the above guidance is well-meaning but as soon as you enter this territory, you'll really want the guidance of a licenced electrician.
The other half of this story is that you'll be entering the world of industrial power, which comes with industrial prices. No more $8 plugs from Bunnings, be prepared to spend hundreds just on the outlet, plug and cabling. Unless you can pick some up second hand, but single phase high current connectors are terribly common in my experience. The upside is you've have very good quality gear that will be safe from most brew antics.
 

dblunn

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Hi, I stayed with 15A plugs/outlets because of price. They are just a little more expensive than 10A ones but once you go 20A the price jumps. As Wiggman said, the bigger ones are even more so! I went multiple 15A double outlets, this gives me a 3.6kW element and some left over for a pump on each outlet.
 

kunfaced

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you can step down from a 20A male plug to a 15A female, but not the other way around.
 

Maheel

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I went with these type for 3600w on a dedicated 15amp line to the brew shed
I bought both plugs and sockets off ebay 2nd hand

i have a 3600w unit i often run for 5-8 hours and these are the go with decent wire.
i cooked some "normal" 15a plugs

i recon i spent around $100 on the gear for 5 plugs and 3 sockets (for various builds) and am so glad i did.
and i have kept a few spares in the parts box

ebay link search
http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/Sockets-/117488/i.html
 

Bridges

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Mr Wibble said:
What does the cable size actually refer to ... Is "6mm 3core" 3 cores by 6mm each ?
(I guess it has to be, otherwise it would be only 2mm each to add to 6).
6mm2 is the cross sectional area of the copper used in the cable. So yes there will be two cores at 6mm2 and a 2.5mm2 earth cable in a 6mm2 cable. There are a lot of factors in determining the maximum current carrying capacity of a cable. Length, where it is run and how it is run all have to be taken into account. Go big on the cable and you can upgrade or add an extra 15a outlet later if you think you may have to.
 

northernbrewer

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Is the socket actually going to be in the meter box? Or in a garage/other room. Perhaps getting a subpanel installed with the 6mm2 wire then 2 * 15 amp plugs. or even 3 * 15 amp plugs.
 

mr_wibble

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I emailed Romar Heating Elements about what sort of HLT element would be suitable (180 litre pot, 50-120 litres of water).
The actually rang me back with suggestions and explained the limitations, patiently answering my noob questions in the process.
(So a big thumbs-up for them.)

For ~100 litres raising the temp from ~20 to ~80 in 1 hour he said a 4500 watt element (20A) would be OK.

The sparky is coming soon to let me know if we can get that sort of power.

Right now I just brew in the yard, so I was thinking of just having a socket in the electricity box, or running to an external socket.

I'm not so worried about the cost, since I can tell myself it's a 1-off :unsure:
 

Ducatiboy stu

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Mr Wibble said:
What does the cable size actually refer to ... Is "6mm 3core" 3 cores by 6mm each ?
(I guess it has to be, otherwise it would be only 2mm each to add to 6).
Dont forget that only 1 15A outlet can be terminated per cct

So if you want 2 15A cct's you need to run 2 lots of cable
 

buckerooni

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this thread is perfectly timed. in the same predicament as I want to heat up 80L in well under an hour using electric. 20A maxxed out at 4800w looks like the go. I've already got power going to my shed so I guess this will sit beside it giving me 2400 (existing) and dedicated 20A for the kettle.
I think I have enough to call my sparky mate without sounding like a complete moron now.
 

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