PID Controller, heating element amp questions

IceMasterIceMaster Posts: 1,333Member ✭✭✭✭
edited April 2015 in Do It Yourself
Okay, so I'm ready to get ordering the stuff I need for my tank build. I was hoping someone here could just double check that I'm ordering the right things.
First, this is the heating element I'm going to order:
Also looking at ordering a PID Controller/SSR combo and this is what I was looking at:
Now, it's a 40Amp SSR. Is that okay Amp wise for the element I'm wanting to run or not enough? Or, is this not even a good controller to go with?
Also, for my 220v wiring in the breaker box, what size Amp breaker do you guys suggest running? I thought I read somewhere on here that the 240V elements draw a lot of amps. Just want to make sure I have it covered. And what size wire is recommended? Tank will be about 15 feet away from main breaker box

Appreciate any input and/or advice!!!
Post edited by IceMaster on


  • IceMasterIceMaster Posts: 1,333Member ✭✭✭✭
    So I'm looking at the PID Controller again thinking a 40amp is maybe too much because wouldn't a 240v heater element draw around 20amps MAX? So thought maybe I could go with a 25amp SSR. I'd have to go with a 30amp breaker in the main panel box in the house since I don't see a 25amp breaker and wire this with #10 wire. This sound right? No, I'm not doing the wiring, am paying someone to do it but don't want to also have to pay him to tell me whether or not this is right. I'm wanting to buy everything in advance so he can get this all done in one shot
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 9,404Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    Depends on Wattage of your element. My control box has a 40A 220v main breaker in it. You'll just have to size everything to your needs. I have a 6000W element, plus a dip arm, etc.
  • IceMasterIceMaster Posts: 1,333Member ✭✭✭✭
    oh sorry @MidOhioHydrographics, forgot to include that I'll be using a 4500W element and that will be the only thing running off of that breaker
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,403Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    Wattage/Voltage= Amperage. Your install guy should not charge you for checking the parts to buy that he will have to install.
  • IceMasterIceMaster Posts: 1,333Member ✭✭✭✭
    @WileECoyote, yes, you're right but unfortunately I live in a small area in Ontario where they charge for everything. We even have to pay taxes for each time we fart ;)
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,403Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    The heater is going to draw right around 20 A, but you need a little head room. What is the capacity of your tank?
  • IceMasterIceMaster Posts: 1,333Member ✭✭✭✭
    @WileECoyote, I'll be using a 5 foot chest freezer for now. Figured the 240v 4500w element was better then using smaller ones, save time heating the tank. So I could just go with the 40A SSR and then a 30amp breaker in the main breaker panel wired with #10? This would allow head room plus if I need to run more down the road. Another thing about me asking all this is it helps me gain a little bit of knowledge about what I'm working with ;)
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,403Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    Those items give you plenty of headroom with one element, but are not big enough to run 2. So your hope that you can run more "down the road" is not gonna work. The "5 foot chest freezer" doesn't tell me the capacity of the water you are putting in it. It would also help to know if this is in your basement, in a heated shop, or in an unheated garage.
  • IceMasterIceMaster Posts: 1,333Member ✭✭✭✭
    Okay, so we'll leave it at the one element because I'm sure I'll be working out of the freezer for some time. As far as water capacity I don't really know yet how much it will hold. Yes, it'll be in my basement within about 10 feet of the breaker panel
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,403Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    Be safe, just step up to one of these right away, 480V, 150,000 Watts.

  • BackwoodsHydroLLCBackwoodsHydroLLC Posts: 217Member ✭✭✭
    You can use contactors instead of solid state relays.  With ssr you generally need a heat sink.  With contactors they stay cooler, no heat sink needed. 

    Stick a multimeter in your shop outlet and get a volt reading.... Amps is equal to watts(5500 I think is what you said)  divided by the volt measurement you just got for your outlet.  Don't forget the pid and pump will add a few amps to your total draw.
  • jtcustomsjtcustoms Posts: 137Member ✭✭✭
    Be safe, just step up to one of these right away, 480V, 150,000 Watts.

    That would make one hell of a crab cooker haha @WileECoyote ;
  • deceased10deceased10 Posts: 83Member ✭✭
    where bouts in ontario? im in ontario aswell
  • rnewtonrnewton Posts: 166Member ✭✭
    like @BackwoodsHydroLLC said go with Contactors, SSR's tend to get hot and when they go bad they go bad they almost always fail in the on condition. You can buy 40 Amp 120 volt switched contactors from Amazon for around 15.00 so not much difference in cost.
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