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Thread: Household Amps?

  1. #1
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    Household Amps?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    So I've stumbled across the opportunity to get hold of a commercial machine, azkoyen vienna. It needs a 20 amp outlet though, anyone know if I'm going to be able to use this in my house? I'm useless with electrics!!!

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    You'll need a sparky to run a line from your fuse board to a separate outlet.

    The electricity side of it is 10 mins work, assuming a modern board, the real cost will be running the cable from the board to wherever the machine will be.

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    Don't expect a sparky to be cheap for 'house work'. A lot of them don't like the small fiddly dirty jobs. The switch board part might be 10 mins, but running the cable would take a fair amount more.

    But if you have your heart set on said commercial machine (and the associated design limitations, the electrical isn't that much of a problem.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Breno's Avatar
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    As a Licensed sparky myself I'd be getting a few quotes before committing to buy the machine. Depending on the age of your house there may be more than just running a new circuit as you upset the maximum demand of your mains cable running into the house as well. You may or may not have to upgrade your mains cable.
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  5. #5
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    I wouldn't bother. They're not a brilliant machine and way beyond what you would need in any home. There are better options. One for the too good to be true (at any price) files.

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    It seems unlikely that the power would be an insurmountable problem.

    Unless the power to the house is marginal do you have the old style ceramic fuse holders or circuit breakers?

    An electric HWS or oven would probably use more electricity.

    Why would you want a commercial machine for home?

    To have a machine suitable for 500+ cups per day for domestic use may be overkill.

    Lots of amps means lots of $$$ on the power bill.

    Servicing seems likely to be expensive as well.

    What is the warm up time on the machine?

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    Junior Member Breno's Avatar
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    There was a period in early 2000's where Australian Standards changed and allowed "fit for purpose" on consumers mains. It's not uncommon to come across reasonably new houses whose mains are already at capacity hence my warning. Ovens and hot water systems certainly do draw more current but theses were factored in to the electrical design from the beginning.

    It's not just "older" houses that need to be careful. I'm happy to share my electrical knowledge within reason on these sorts of topics for everyone here. Am I the only electrician here?

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    I am about to graduate as an electrical engineer and agree with your comments.

    Considering that most large loads would be factored in with some diversity (kettle, AC etc), a machine that requires a 20A circuit and will be left on for a long period of time is going to present quite a large increase in load.

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    Thanks guys! I haven't seen the machine myself, but sounds like it will be getting turfed if I don't take it. Thought it might be fun to bring out every now and again if I have a crowd over, but if it's going to be a big hassle or dangerous I wouldn't bother!

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    Junior Member Breno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillyWill View Post
    Thanks guys! I haven't seen the machine myself, but sounds like it will be getting turfed if I don't take it. Thought it might be fun to bring out every now and again if I have a crowd over, but if it's going to be a big hassle or dangerous I wouldn't bother!
    In that case grab it. For occasional fun and as something to play with you may be able to lower the wattage of the element or potentially disconnect an element if there are multiple. Everybody loves freebies.

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    That's what I figured, might see if I can disconnect some of it to leave me with one group in operation, might get me somewhere close the ballpark of practicality...

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    EDIT: Don't do this please

    If your kitchen has double power outlets on the walls, just replace a double outlet with a single 20 amp wall outlet (bigger earth pin). As each outlet is 10 amp, the wiring to the wall outlet will be sized to supply two by 10 amp, 20 amps.
    The fusing of a power point is always to protect the wiring to the outlet, as there is no control over what is being plugged into it.
    I did this for my 15 amp TIG welder in my workshop.


    BTW I am not an electrician, but a ships engineer, no ETO's on out ships, (Electrical technical officers) so we do it all, legally (at sea).

  13. #13
    Junior Member Breno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy-Gadget View Post
    If your kitchen has double power outlets on the walls, just replace a double outlet with a single 20 amp wall outlet (bigger earth pin). As each outlet is 10 amp, the wiring to the wall outlet will be sized to supply two by 10 amp, 20 amps.
    The fusing of a power point is always to protect the wiring to the outlet, as there is no control over what is being plugged into it.
    I did this for my 15 amp TIG welder in my workshop.

    BTW I am not an electrician, but a ships engineer, no ETO's on out ships, (Electrical technical officers) so we do it all, legally (at sea).
    This is illegal, goes against Australian Standards and you will have nuisance tripping all the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy-Gadget View Post
    If your kitchen has double power outlets on the walls, just replace a double outlet with a single 20 amp wall outlet (bigger earth pin). As each outlet is 10 amp, the wiring to the wall outlet will be sized to supply two by 10 amp, 20 amps.
    You've described a 15A socket, on a 20A socket all three pins are larger.

    Furthermore, your average domestic power circuit is rated for 16A and has an appropriate circuit breaker in the board for it, and there's no guarantee (in fact it is very unlikely, unless you specifically specified one socket per breaker when it was wired) that that there is only that one socket in your kitchen on that circuit.

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    And...

    The fact that you may have a Double 10A GPO fitted, doesn't mean that you can just revert to a Single GPO and then pull 20A. The rated load for all standard 10A Double GPOs is 10Amps total - The wiring supplying the GPO will only be rated for 10A all up.... Please DO NOT provide this kind of recommendation for which you have no qualification; you could cause someone to inadvertently burn their house down, or even kill someone...

    Mal. (suitably qualified)
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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Absolutely agree Mal!!
    One of my clients had his 20 amp 2 group machine plugged into a 10 amp circuit.
    His boss was too stingy to do it right.
    No-one knew until this happened last week!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    Absolutely agree Mal!!
    One of my clients had his 20 amp 2 group machine plugged into a 10 amp circuit.
    His boss was too stingy to do it right.
    No-one knew until this happened last week!
    Geez. Lucky that's all that happened....

  18. #18
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Yes Chris! DIY electrics like this are potential killers. No question.
    Even if he has disregard for his employee's lives and safety………….
    you'd think he'd care about the half million worth of wine in the same building.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    Absolutely agree Mal!!
    One of my clients had his 20 amp 2 group machine plugged into a 10 amp circuit.
    His boss was too stingy to do it right.
    No-one knew until this happened last week!
    Looks familiar, I've seen far too many setups like that. The best one was a Cimbali that should have had a 25 amp supply, but had a 10 amp plug chopped up to fit over the heavy power lead. The plug was hidden behind the machine, so I didn't see it until I diagnosed a major fault with the machine that required the machine taken back to the workshop. When I found the plug, I tried to pull it out of the socket, but it wouldn't come out. Went to find the switchboard to cut power to that circuit, but there were no breakers, only a bunch of juryrigged ancient fuseholders with heavy wires replacing the fuse wire. In the end I had to throw the main switch and shut down ALL power to the shop so I could tackle the plug - in the end, I had to pry the plug loose with a screwdriver, and it brought half the powerpoint with it, as it had got so hot it had melted the plastic and fused everything together! I had to tell the customer I couldn't safely turn the power back on since it would need an electrician to fix the outlet just to ensure it was safe even if nothing was going to be plugged into it.
    He just went and turned the power back on anyway, luckily nothing caught fire......
    When we returned the repaired machine we had the correct 25 amp plug fitted, and took a picture of it just as proof we had fitted the correct plug just in case he put a 10 amp plug back on, even though we had made it clear what was legally required in terms of a circuit upgrade.

    We did have another customer that had to buy a new machine, because his old one caught fire. He had staff that used to sometimes accidentally turn off the wrong breaker when they were turning off the lights at the end of the day, so he taped the breaker for the coffee machine closed. Problem was, when a solenoid shorted out due to a water leak, instead of tripping the breaker, it overheated and set the machine on fire. His biggest problem came from being in a large shopping centre - the smoke from the fire set off the main Fire Indicator Panel in the shopping centre, triggering an evacuation alarm and the arrival of 3 truckloads of firemen. He got a bill much bigger than the cost of a new machine, and had a lot of difficulty explaining himself to the Centre's managers when the tape on the breaker was found.......

  20. #20
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Wow! And to think some people would consider doing this type of thing in suburbia, with their own children in the house
    and someone else's family next door…………………..

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    I have a two group commercial machine at home (i also am a sparky) the machine was rated at 18A full load so I looked at the boiler found it had 2 separate heater elements, I disconnected 1 element, replaced the lead and plug importantly identified the changes on the machine, this allowed me to run it through a 15A outlet. You could look at getting this done but I will strenuously tell you to get it done by a licensed sparky and should only take 30 mins.
    You should be able to see if you have 2 elements as it will have 4 terminals on the element that bolts into the boiler usually with 2 brass links across the terminals. My machine works perfectly on one element as they only need 2 for quick recovery in the boiler if the machine is being used in a high output cafe.
    Pit has been great fun on the commercial unit but I am selling it due to the size which is impractical for home use. I was like you got the machine for a steal but will settle on smaller item that doesn't use the whole kitchen bench I had a laugh.

  22. #22
    Member Magyar0300's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    And...

    The fact that you may have a Double 10A GPO fitted, doesn't mean that you can just revert to a Single GPO and then pull 20A. The rated load for all standard 10A Double GPOs is 10Amps total - The wiring supplying the GPO will only be rated for 10A all up.... Please DO NOT provide this kind of recommendation for which you have no qualification; you could cause someone to inadvertently burn their house down, or even kill someone...

    Mal. (suitably qualified)

    actually the wiring will be rated to 20A that's why most power circuits have a 20A breaker if 2.5mm cable run. The breaker is there to protect the installation (wiring) not the outlet or appliances as most people believe. But a standard 10A GPO single or double will not take 20A and will burn out overtime, catch fire etc which is why it is illegal and dangerous to cut off larger amp plugs and put 10A plug on. So Mal is quite right do not play with electricity unless you have a ticket, you can't see it and it is unforgiving.
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  23. #23
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    Another word of warning, don't plug your 10A machine into a double adapter or power board or extension lead, plug it straight into the outlet. Anything with a heating element should be treated the same, directly into the GPO. If I took a picture of every melted plug on a heater, clothes dryer, dishwasher because of this you would be amazed how often it fails in a spectacular say.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breno View Post
    Another word of warning, don't plug your 10A machine into a double adapter or power board or extension lead, plug it straight into the outlet. Anything with a heating element should be treated the same, directly into the GPO. If I took a picture of every melted plug on a heater, clothes dryer, dishwasher because of this you would be amazed how often it fails in a spectacular say.
    Hi Breno,

    I'm assuming this would not apply if that extension cord is a higher amp rated extension cord? Or is that also not advisable.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    So much crap being posted here... Let me break it down.


    > You should not pull any more than ten amps through a 10A GPO (aka general-purpose outlet aka socket). That is the max the socket is designed to handle and it has nothing protecting it except the fact that a 15A+ plug shouldn't fit in it (which doens't take into account stupid people swapping plugs without knowing what they're doing).


    > You can put whatever socket you like on your wall. If you want to install a 15A/20A socket that's fine, because the circuit-breaker (or fuse, assuming you aren't running rewirable fuses with incorrect wire fitted) will trip before you pull an unsafe level of current through the wiring. Be prepared to put up with nuisance-tripping if your wiring isn't adequately sized


    >It's not advisable to run heavy loads over extension leads, though if using a heavy-duty (read appropriately-sized) lead it won't be the end of the world, especially if the lead is short. I wouldn't use a long lead and connecting multiple leads together is bad news, as are breakout boards (IMO).


    >Domestic wiring is sized according to the principle of "maximum demand". This is far less than what you would draw if you plugged a 2.4kW heater into every GPO and is designed to give sufficient supply for what is likely to be used at any one point in time. Generally, power circuits will be cabled (and protected with circuits-breakers sized at) 16A or 20A. You can find out by checking the circuit-breaker rating but be aware that that is the total power able to be pulled through a circuit that will supply a whole bunch of GPOs/etc.
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  26. #26
    Member Magyar0300's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    So much crap being posted here... Let me break it down.


    > You should not pull any more than ten amps through a 10A GPO (aka general-purpose outlet aka socket). That is the max the socket is designed to handle and it has nothing protecting it except the fact that a 15A+ plug shouldn't fit in it (which doens't take into account stupid people swapping plugs without knowing what they're doing).


    > You can put whatever socket you like on your wall. If you want to install a 15A/20A socket that's fine, because the circuit-breaker (or fuse, assuming you aren't running rewirable fuses with incorrect wire fitted) will trip before you pull an unsafe level of current through the wiring. Be prepared to put up with nuisance-tripping if your wiring isn't adequately sized


    >It's not advisable to run heavy loads over extension leads, though if using a heavy-duty (read appropriately-sized) lead it won't be the end of the world, especially if the lead is short. I wouldn't use a long lead and connecting multiple leads together is bad news, as are breakout boards (IMO).


    >Domestic wiring is sized according to the principle of "maximum demand". This is far less than what you would draw if you plugged a 2.4kW heater into every GPO and is designed to give sufficient supply for what is likely to be used at any one point in time. Generally, power circuits will be cabled (and protected with circuits-breakers sized at) 16A or 20A. You can find out by checking the circuit-breaker rating but be aware that that is the total power able to be pulled through a circuit that will supply a whole bunch of GPOs/etc.

    Not sure if it is crap but maybe not as well described/explained as you have done. As previously stated your best bet is to get the advice of a local sparky or have them give you a quote to install a designated circuit (quotes are usually free) then at least you will know what can and cant be done in your particular circumstance.

  27. #27
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    To clarify, I wasn't referring to everything posted previously.

  28. #28
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magyar0300 View Post
    actually the wiring will be rated to 20A that's why most power circuits have a 20A breaker if 2.5mm cable run.
    Unfortunately, you can't take this as a given...

    I've seen plenty of installations in older homes that did NOT use 15A+ rated cable to GPOs. Not a problem when they were originally wired to the then Wiring Rules, but as you know, plenty of people just jog down to Bunnings or where-ever, buy a few Double GPOs and connect 'em at home themselves.

    Personally, I never tell people who are not qualified that anything is rated higher than the connection point that is already legally installed. Far too risky where a home handyman might be lurking...

    Mal.

  29. #29
    Member Magyar0300's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Unfortunately, you can't take this as a given...

    I've seen plenty of installations in older homes that did NOT use 15A+ rated cable to GPOs. Not a problem when they were originally wired to the then Wiring Rules, but as you know, plenty of people just jog down to Bunnings or where-ever, buy a few Double GPOs and connect 'em at home themselves.

    Personally, I never tell people who are not qualified that anything is rated higher than the connection point that is already legally installed. Far too risky where a home handyman might be lurking...

    Mal.

    I agree Mal. Unless people work with it for a living it is hard to understand the complexities, compliance and legislative issues and changes that occur, and you are right there are some people out there that know enough to be dangerous.

    Kyle



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