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Help me with my Behmor. PLEASE!
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Snaxx
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Joined: 11 Dec 2008
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Posted Thu Dec 20, 2012, 1:51pm
Subject: Re: Help me with my Behmor. PLEASE!
 

Rob989_69 Said:

The circuit is in my garage, there is a fridge on it.

As a band aid would a variac help out? I've limited understanding of just how that works. I know that you can set a specific voltage and it'll maintain it but if I have already low voltage will it work if I set it higher? Say 120?

Posted December 20, 2012 link

If the circuit is in the garage, then it's near the breaker panel?? Or do you have a fuse panel since your house was built in the 50's??  That circuit may only be rated for 15 amps.  Plugging it into a kitchen receptacle will possibly give you enough to run it without that big voltage drop since even in homes of that age, it was required to install #12 wire on a 20 amp circuit for kitchen receptacles to power the toasters, waffle irons, hotplates, coffee percolators, and other toys for the wife in her kitchen of that era.  Take a look at the breakers in your panel.  There should be markings to identify amps on the handle or nearby on the case, but visible anyway with just a quick glance.  No guarantee though that the wire for that circuit is sized properly for the breaker, but there's a good chance it is, all the way to the final receptacle.  If you have fuses, they should be marked on the face as well.

If the outlet you're using has a fridge plugged in, when it's running, it's drawing about 4-5 amps.  If it has a frost free freezer, it may not be running that you could hear, but instead is using about this same amount to run the heaters which make it frost free.  So, there could be an issue with that load drawing on the same circuit and reducing your voltage showing on the KillAWatt as well as the available amps.  

And finally, if a variac would work, any recommendations? From what I've read 15-20amp is recommended. I'd prefer to spend less than $200 but could strech a bit for something good. I'm at work so can't check ebay now but I'm assuming that may be my best bet.

I wouldn't recommend a Variac, being so pricey for an experiment, if you don't have the amps to run your roaster from a circuit, it can't produce any more amps to get to the 1650 watts that this roaster needs to run efficiently.  Variacs are usually used to reduce voltage and therefore heat output to a roaster to extend roast times or create temperature variation within a simple roaster like a popcorn popper for matching a roast profile to a bean.

Prices for parts to install a simple 20 amp circuit where you want it in the garage, if it's near the breaker panel, should be within reason, maybe a lot less than you'd think with professional installation for the whole thing, probably less then the $200 budget for a Variac.  


Ken
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Rob989_69
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Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 42
Location: Rochester
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Posted Thu Dec 20, 2012, 3:25pm
Subject: Re: Help me with my Behmor. PLEASE!
 

Ken,

It's actually on the complete opposite side of the house from the panel. Although not impossible to run a outlet. I went around my house with the KAW and it's not reading more than 116 anywhere. Although obviously I didn't test draw. I'll see what I can find as far as breakers ( I do have breakers not fuses)

So, what are the chances if I install a dedicated circuit that I will get a high enough reading to do a proper roast?
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Rob989_69
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Location: Rochester
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Posted Thu Dec 20, 2012, 4:28pm
Subject: Re: Help me with my Behmor. PLEASE!
 

Ken,

Good call on moving it to the kitchen. I think you're spot on with the circuit in the garage being on a smaller breaker. My voltages aren't great but they're much better. I'm ready about 116 with just the KAW plugged in. Turning the Roaster on dropped it to 115 and the lowest it got, when the afterburner kicked in, was 114.5. So although not ideal I think it's much better. I'm going to put in a dedicated circuit this weekend and see where I'm at. If that doesn't work it's either an electrician or a variac to bump up the power. Hopefully I won't need that.
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Snaxx
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Location: Northeast Michigan, LP
Expertise: I love coffee

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Posted Thu Dec 20, 2012, 6:39pm
Subject: Re: Help me with my Behmor. PLEASE!
 

If you're only dropping down to 114.5 from 116, then that should be acceptable volt drop to run that roaster to produce good roasts.  Just don't try running other appliance loads like a toaster or microwave at the same time should they be plugged into the same circuit, unless you know that they're on a different kitchen circuit   Code requires a minimum of two small appliance circuits in a kitchen, so you could be connected to one or the other, or more.   Also, remember that voltage supplied to a service can range from 114 to 126 volts. (120 volt nominal, -5%= 6 volt variation, required minimum supplied at peak load times)

If the garage is more ideal for your roasting, a single 20 amp circuit run to there is what you need to do.  Don't bother with the Variac, it's not a solution.  What is the approximate distance from your panel to the kitchen outlets?  How much further to where you would locate the garage receptacle? i.e. total feet for this run?  Code limits voltage drop to 3% from the panel to the furthest outlet, so depending if your home is a little bungalow or if it's a McMansion, you may have a short distance to go and be able to get by with a minimum #12 cable, or if it's a longer distance, it could require #10 to limit voltage drop, especially since you'll be running lots of watts into your roaster.  Lots of stuff you need to know to calculate even what looks simple, so the results are satisfactory and safe.  A good trusted electrician would be recommended.  

Also, if the new circuit would be going in a garage, you'll need a GFI receptacle for this location.  

Ken
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Prof
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Prof
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Posted Thu Dec 20, 2012, 6:59pm
Subject: Re: Help me with my Behmor. PLEASE!
 

One thing Joe mentions is that the time of day can mean different voltages.  Try in the AM or early PM and see what it reads.

 
LMWDP # 010
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Rob989_69
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Location: Rochester
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Dec 21, 2012, 4:34am
Subject: Re: Help me with my Behmor. PLEASE!
 

Ken,

The plug where my roaster would go (ideally) is roughly a 50-75ft run from the box. Only due to the fact I'll need to go up, over, and around a lot of things. I'd guess the kitchen outlet I tried was only about 12-15 feet from where my roaster sits.

I may go with 10 anyway just to be safe unless there's a reason not to? I'm relatively comfortable running it myself but may consider getting an electrician in to see what they'd charge me. If it's not much more it'd definately be worth it.

Prof,

I'm going to run a check tomorrow morning and see if there's any significant difference. I did run the tests around 6pm last night when everyone is running every light and tv in their house around me.
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Prof
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Prof
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Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Fri Dec 21, 2012, 6:47am
Subject: Re: Help me with my Behmor. PLEASE!
 

Sorry if I missed it, but if you are using an exension cord you will likely be suffering a bigger voltage drop.  If you must get an exension cord, get a thick one, with no more than 12-gauge (mine is 8).  

ymmv, but it works for me.

 
LMWDP # 010
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Rob989_69
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Location: Rochester
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Dec 21, 2012, 7:08am
Subject: Re: Help me with my Behmor. PLEASE!
 

Nope, plugged directly to the outlet. I was going to use a surge protector originally but read the manual and saw they recommended against extension cords and have been running it direct since. I wish it were that easy.
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Snaxx
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Joined: 11 Dec 2008
Posts: 178
Location: Northeast Michigan, LP
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity burr
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Roaster: I Roast2
Posted Fri Dec 21, 2012, 9:22am
Subject: Re: Help me with my Behmor. PLEASE!
 

Prof Said:

One thing Joe mentions is that the time of day can mean different voltages.  Try in the AM or early PM and see what it reads.

Posted December 20, 2012 link

Definitely true, but summertime can mean more steady readings on the low side for most of the day and into the night, since everyone's got the AC cranked up.  This time of year, it's often dependent on meal times when kitchen appliances are in use, so mid-morning, late evening, should give you a higher voltage to work with.  More lights will be on in homes into the evening this time of year, but lighting loads don't draw major amounts.  Unless of course your neighborhood has competing holiday light displays for the space station to view as it passes over!!


Rob989_69 Said:



The plug where my roaster would go (ideally) is roughly a 50-75ft run from the box. Only due to the fact I'll need to go up, over, and around a lot of things. I'd guess the kitchen outlet I tried was only about 12-15 feet from where my roaster sits.

I may go with 10 anyway just to be safe unless there's a reason not to? I'm relatively comfortable running it myself but may consider getting an electrician in to see what they'd charge me. If it's not much more it'd definately be worth it.

Posted December 21, 2012 link

50-75 feet is reasonable for volt drop on a #12.  Other than price being much more for #10 over #12, you likely won't gain much since you've already seen that the volt drop on your kitchen recept. was only a small amount compared to the garage circuit you were on.  It wouldn't hurt though if you want to go that way.  If the price difference is not much more for your budget, I'd go that way.

At least checking with someone local to install it, would give you a better idea what to expect for results.

Ken
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JKalpin
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JKalpin
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Posted Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:30pm
Subject: Re: Help me with my Behmor. PLEASE!
 

As a start, you might remove the front panel of your fuse-box and measure the phase-to-neutral voltages. (...Or, find a friend with a multimeter who is comfortable doing so.)  What you would find in the fuse-box is 3 wires coming in which might come off a municipal 208-Y-120 transformer.  So phase-to-phase might be 208V (for your stove and clothes-dryer) and phase-to neutral might be 120V (for your lighting and plug-in receptacles).  

If I were doing it and found that one side was 119 to 121 but the other side was 116 to 118 ...well then ...I would be trying to find a plug with the higher voltage for my roaster.  Or, alternatively I would try to find out why the 'low' side was low.  

It might be something real simple, like an elderly funky fuse that should be replaced or just tightened, or even the wiring in the fuse-box needs to be tightened.  It mght be you have a beef with your local distributer; he might have a bad fuse or a loose screw.

WARNING:  DO NOT DO ANY OF THE ABOVE UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING OR HAVE IT DONE BY AN ELECTRICIAN.  We want to roast the beans, not the Geekster.

 
Jerry
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