Electrical Controller Problem

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Electrical Controller Problem

Postby Walker » Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:21 am

A question about electricity. I built a controller, 240 volt, 40 amp SSVR with a manual dial potentiometer, I installed a digital watt, amp, voltage meter just to see what was going on. I have a 5000 watt heating element. I went to test it, in water bucket, and the voltage is correct in and out to the heating element. However it’s only showing a 190 watt draw with a .60 amp draw approximately. Not sure what this means is the SSVR bad? Is the heating element bad? Any ideas as to what’s wrong. The heating element was used. Thanks
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Re: Electrical Controller Problem

Postby Doubleuj » Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:21 am

Hey mate, firstly, are you a sparky? If not, tut tut tut and get a sparky to check it out.
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Re: Electrical Controller Problem

Postby Walker » Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:42 am

Nope no sparky here but this isn’t rocket science stuff. If I can build the controller, which I did, following instructions posted here and other places then I shouldn’t need a sparky. Can’t get a professional for every problem I come across. Treat electricity with respect and you will have no problems. My problem seems simple and was looking for some advice. If I don’t get any I’ll still figure it out myself. No offense I know you mean well!
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Re: Electrical Controller Problem

Postby Tesla101 » Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:59 am

The furst and easiest thing to do would be to test the element. Take a resistance reading and then use Ohms law and the info you already have to determine if the element is OK or not.

If it's OK then the controller is shot. Up to you if you want to try and trouble shoot it or you can get a new 4800w controller from 5 star for 43 bucks plus shipping. They also have a great range of elements
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Re: Electrical Controller Problem

Postby Andrew » Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:25 am

Sorry but a 5000w element would kill our controllers
Edit to add: a “normal” home has 10amp outlets suitable for 2400w elements.
Some homes may have 15amp that is suited to 3600w elements
I have no idea what would be needed to run a 5000w element
Maybe that’s the first place to start ???
Last edited by Andrew on Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Electrical Controller Problem

Postby Professor Green » Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:11 am

Hi Walker, I would advise that you have a sparky check this out to make sure it is both wired correctly and safely.

Also a 5000 Watt element requires 20 amps, where are you running this from?
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Re: Electrical Controller Problem

Postby Walker » Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:59 am

Thanks everyone but I got it all sorted out. In the US the normal household current 120 volts, 15 amps, second would be 120 volts, 20 amps for higher draw appliances. My controller is none of these it’s 30 amp, 240 volts, 10 gauge copper wire. Kind of normal stuff here. Well anyway the problem was a faulty heating element. I’ll change that and be all set. Thanks
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Re: Electrical Controller Problem

Postby The Stig » Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:21 am

That info of NOT being in AU would have been handy in the first post.
Glad you got it sorted
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Re: Electrical Controller Problem

Postby Walker » Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:24 am

Ya I kinda figured that out after a fashion I’ll be more careful with that.
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Re: Electrical Controller Problem

Postby Tesla101 » Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:31 pm

:think:

Walker wrote:Thanks everyone but I got it all sorted out. In the US the normal household current 120 volts, 15 amps, second would be 120 volts, 20 amps for higher draw appliances. My controller is none of these it’s 30 amp, 240 volts, 10 gauge copper wire. Kind of normal stuff here. Well anyway the problem was a faulty heating element. I’ll change that and be all set. Thanks


Sorry walker but that doesn't make sense. If your mains voltage is 120v how are you running a 240v controller?
If you say the higher appliances are120v 20A then that's 2400 Watts.

How can you run a 5000w element?
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Re: Electrical Controller Problem

Postby Walker » Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:45 pm

Tesla101 sorry I didn’t explain in detail enough. In my area the common or by code required main entrance power to a home is 200 amps. This power runs to a main circuit panel where it is then used to wire 120 or 240 volt items. Wiring in the home uses 14 gauge wire for 15 amp receptacles such has lighting, tv, stereo etc., lower wattage. For heavier loads 12 gauge wire for 20 amp receptacles is used for things like refrigerators, toasters, microwave ovens etc., higher wattage. All these use 120 volts of power. 240 volts can run through 12 gauge wire to a certain amperage also.

240 volts is require for items such as electric stoves, hot water heaters, cloths driers, welders etc. you would wire accordingly for the device being used. Wire size would determine increased wattage limits. Most items would use 8 gauge or larger wire. All this is well documented.

For my controller I have or had a 5000 watt heating element. This element requires a 30 amp, 240 volt, hook up in the main panel box and requires minimum 10 gauge wire. This system does limit where the controller can be used.

Also US uses 60 hertz and most other countries 50 hertz. Inventor Nikola Tesla.

Electricity is pretty tricky stuff but simple if you are educated properly. It’s easily a handyman project for anyone with a little mechanical knowledge, controller.
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Re: Electrical Controller Problem

Postby Tesla101 » Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:56 am

Walker wrote:
Electricity is pretty tricky stuff but simple if you are educated properly. It’s easily a handyman project for anyone with a little mechanical knowledge, controller.


It may be a handyman project, however I would still get a licensed electrician to do any mains powered work.

Remember, if there does happen do be an electrical fault somewhere that causes your house to burn down, the first thing the insurance company is going to want to know is who installed the device that caused the electrical fault. If it was not a licensed electrician, then I'm afraid you're on your own.
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Re: Electrical Controller Problem

Postby The Stig » Sun Mar 08, 2020 10:08 am

Let’s not get carried away Tesla
We don’t know what happens in the good old US of A compared to Australia.
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Re: Electrical Controller Problem

Postby Tesla101 » Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:00 pm

Yep no worries Stig.

Sorry Walker if I came across as a bit of a smart ass. Sounds like you know what you're doing.

To get 240v mains in the US is it 3 phase or still just single phase?
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Re: Electrical Controller Problem

Postby Tesla101 » Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:29 pm

Hi Walker,

Re Ohm's Law to determine if your element was faulty or not...

To test if your element had failed you could've measured the resistance and then used Ohm's law to calculate if it was faulty or not. If it's a 5000w 240v element, then using the P=V*I formula the current you'd expect to flow would be 5000=240*I, 5000/240 = 20.83amps. Then by using Ohm's law V=I*R to calculate the resistance you would transpose that to R = V/I. So 240/20.83 would give you 11.52 ohms for your element.

Sorry if it came across as a joke, was just trying to help out.
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Re: Electrical Controller Problem

Postby Walker » Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:24 am

Thanks Tesla101 I just used a multimeter much simpler.
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