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Yatt - Yet Another Thermostat Thread

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barney

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Hi all. I thought I would give everyone a heads up about the thermostat I found at www.actrol.com.au. (Actually, I went to Annerley Home Brew in Brisbane and they pointed me there) It's a Refco -30 - +30 job, 15A, SPDT and it comes in its own plastic box with knob and 1 "grommet". There wasn't any info on the differential so I had to email the manufacturer to find out the differential (they told me 3C +/- 2K) I only then had to buy a plug, socket and some flex, no jiffy box required! $40.88 inc GST. The part # is TSC-093, catalog # 144195. The website says they sell wholesale only, but on phoning them, this is not the case. I rigged it up as per Justins wiring diagram, because it is the same kind of thermostat, ie. it has 4 tags, Common, Earth, 1 and 2. 2 is the tag to use for cooling. I notice that of the homemade thermostats, noone has hooked up the earth, is this ok/safe/necessary? :unsure:

I know that fridges don't operate well with nothing in them, but I left mine on overnight with one of those digital indoor/outdoor thermometers inside. Set to 17C, I got a minimum of 16C and a maximum of 19C, so that should stabilise with something in there (beer).



EDIT: the correct URL is www.actrol.com.au, thanks Corey
 

Corey

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Barney - that looks to be a good find. I'm not having any luck with www.acrol.com.au. Could you make sure it's the correct site?
 

Corey

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Ah - it's www.actrol.com.au
 

Justin

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Nice find. Perhaps this is the new tobins thermostat for homebrewers? There certainly are a few options out there. Good work on posting the info here for all to see.

Cheers, Justin
 

morry

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That looks pretty good. My fridge does the job fine for lagers, but I might have to look into getting one of those for winter ale brewing
 

SJW

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MORRY: So u brew lagers in your fridge without a thermostat? i was thinking of doing the same but my fridge on the least coolest setting keeps the air temp at about 5 or 6 deg. So i was thinking of wrapping the fermenter up in a blanket and trying to do a lager that way. How warm does your fridge get?
 

Justin

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SJW, with a little bit of experimentation and correcting you can get your fridge to sit a bit warmer than that using one of those dial timer switches (set it so it turns on for 15 mins every 45mins or so, but that depends on your ambient temp/fridge etc). This is what I used to use, it works ok and is cheap but the thermostat is much better.

Cheers, JD
 

SJW

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Thanks JD, the only problem with that is the fridge i got for my beer is a new electronic type and i have been told that power to the fridge is required for a defrost cycle aswell as the cooling cycle. So mayhbe i should buy a cheap old fridge and keep it the the lawn locker for fermentation/conditioning.
 

vlbaby

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Barney,
the earth wire is the most important wire of the lot inside your box.
Leaving it off wont stop the thing from working, but if something inside comes loose one day you may find the metal components, i.e the rotary shaft the knob sits on, becomes live with 240vac and you wont find out until someone gets a shock.
At the very very least make sure the earth wire on the plug and socket ends is solidly connected together, otherwise the entire fridge could become electrified if there becomes a problem with the fridge.

Sorry if it sounds like I'm trying to scare you, i'm just a concerned electrician.
Anyhow I have to say you've found yourself a good score. Good one Barney!

cheers

vlbaby
 

barney

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vlbaby said:
Barney,
the earth wire is the most important wire of the lot inside your box.
Leaving it off wont stop the thing from working, but if something inside comes loose one day you may find the metal components, i.e the rotary shaft the knob sits on, becomes live with 240vac and you wont find out until someone gets a shock.
At the very very least make sure the earth wire on the plug and socket ends is solidly connected together, otherwise the entire fridge could become electrified if there becomes a problem with the fridge.

Sorry if it sounds like I'm trying to scare you, i'm just a concerned electrician.
Anyhow I have to say you've found yourself a good score. Good one Barney!

cheers

vlbaby
I have the earth connected to the mains plug that goes into the wall socket, and also to the socket that the fridge plugs into, but not attached to the thermostat. Should I rig that up too? In Justins diagram, and someone else who posted a photo of an EGO thermostat wired up, the earth is not connected to the thermostat.
 

berto

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No it doesnt have to connect to the thermostat, but you need to pass it straight through from your fridge plug to the mains plug inside your box as shown in the other diagram.
 

vlbaby

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barney,
sounds like you've connected everything right, but if there is a provision for an earth on the thermostat itself you should use it. The reason its there, is that in the event something in the thermostat makes contact with the metalic frame of the thermostat, it will blow the mains fuse (or safety switch if you have one). If there is no earth there, its possible the fuse wont blow and the entire thermostat becomes alive including the nice long capilary tube and bulb that exits the box.
For the sake of few extra connections its worth it to be safe.

vlbaby.
 

Ducatiboy

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personaly I would replace the fridge thermo with the adjustable unit. The Tobins unit is cheap and usable, but it is better to spend a bit extra and but a better thermo unit.
 

morry

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SJW, My fridge, at its warmest setting is on about 10 degrees and on its coldest, managed to freeze my beer. So I currently have it sitting a bit above that, around 3 degrees or so. It was a good find on ebay. :D
 

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