Electrical diagnosis please

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by BjornBee, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    I have a grocers honey tank. Will not heat.

    If you take out paper and pen, I'll draw this out.

    Draw Three circles at 12 - 3 and 6 oclock positions

    Top circle is power

    3 o'clock is thermostat

    6 o'clock is heating element.

    Draw two terminal leads on power circle pointing down. Left will be "a" and right will be "b".

    Draw two leads on the thermostat pointing to the left. Upper lead is "c". Lower lead is "d".

    Draw two leads pointing up from the Heating element. Right side lead is "e" and left side is "f"

    Now connect with a line, b and c

    connect d and e

    connect f and a

    Out the back of the thermostat you can draw the copper wire and bulb that goes in the water tank

    Out the back of the Heating element, you can draw the heating element.

    The device is also properly grounded.

    Now with all that drawn out, here is the electrical tester conditions.

    With the thermastat turned OFF, I get a light for the thermostat leads c and d. I get no light at the heater leads f and e.

    With the thermostat turned on, (meaning I turned it up until you can hear the relay kick) I get no light at the thrermostat c and d. I get a positive at the heater leads f and e

    So what needs replaced?

    After you draw it out, it is really easy. I just want soemone to tell me before I start ordering parts.

    Thank you.
     
  2. AGM

    AGM New Member

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    Bjorn I will type out all of the checks I would do. Is this 120 volts or 220 volts? I drew out the circuit and will assume 120 volts.

    If you connect a meter to A & B you should read 120v. If not then check B to ground. If B is not 120 volts to ground the no power coming from the breaker. If B is 120 volts to ground then A is bad coming from the panel. If 120 volts then this would be the neutral or common.

    Turn thermostat until you hear the relay click in and check A to D. If you don't read 120 volts then it's a bad thermostat.

    If A to D is 120 volts then check E to F. If this is 120 volts and no heat then bad heater.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    If you are getting 120, or there about, at e to f, the heater coil is bad. no other checks needed.

    For proof, disconnect wires from e and f, after turning power off. Check continuity from e to f. Continuity, element is good. No continuity, element is bad.

    PS. Take element to Lowe's or home depot. Element is likely same as 110 volt water heater. Much cheaper than bee supplier.
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    What kind of tester are you using?? If you are using a neon light or voltage sensing light they can mislead you sometimes because it takes very little to make them work. Need to get an analog or digital volt/ohm meter for good readings.

    I am also assuming this is 120 volts since only one wire is broken by the thermostat (wire b to e which should be the hot leg)

    with the unit plugged in and thermostat in off positioin (open)
    1. a to b should read 120 volts +/-.....means you have power to the plug in connection
    2. a to ground read 0 volts.....means a is neutral leg
    3. b to ground read 120 volts....means b is hot leg
    4. c to ground read 120 volts...means wire bc at least has continuity

    with the unit plugged in and the thermostat in on position (closed)
    5. d to ground read 120 volts.....means thermostat is closed and at least has continuity (contacts could be closing but maybe burnt)
    6. e to ground read 120 volts.....means wire de at least has continuity
    7. f to ground read 120 volts....means the element at least has continuity (could be weak and maybe partly burned out)

    with the unit unplugged
    8. turn the thermostat on and check resistance on cd, hopefully this will be very low. 0 is best, 1 means the contacts are open. Even though you may have gotten the 120 volts at d, this does not mean that the contacts are in good shape.
    9. check for continuity on fe, if you have no continuity then element is burnt into, you might have continuity but that does not insure the element is in top working order.

    If everything checks out OK so far then lets check the element.

    If you have access to a clamp on amp meter the element can be checked for what it is worth. Check ab to see how many volts you have, range from 110 to 120 +/-, now look on the heating element to see what the wattage is. Divide the watts by the volts and come up with the amp draw of the element.
    For example.......120 volts divided by 1000 watt element = 8.3 amps.

    With unit plugged in and the thermostat in the on position (closed)
    10. clamp the meter around one wire (only one wire) either af or de and read the meter, it should be very close to the calculated amps, if it is very much below the calculated amps then the element is almost burned out but is still hanging tough.

    Like Iddee said it is just a heating element and just a thermostat, might be able to find one at the hardware store cheaper than Kelley's.

    Good luck with it and let us know how it turns out, and remember "DON'T TOUCH THE COPPER"

    G3
     
  5. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Thank you for the replies guys.

    I was just using a 110-220-270 voltage sensing light. I have a multimeter but can not locate it. Last time I seen it was a couple years back.

    I'll be going back to the farm sometime this weekend.....after printing out all that advice. :thumbsup:
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    WOW, G3, that's correct, but it's like going from NC to TN through Chicago.

    Unplug the unit. Check continuity through the element. If you don't have it, it's bad. If you do, it's good. Maybe drawing too many amps, but still working.

    Check continuity through the thermostat. You should have it when it is on, not have it when it is off.

    If both check good, then go the full route as you said above.

    BJ, throw the light away and find your multimeter...
     
  7. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I like the senic route myself :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Just checking out everything and only takes a few minutes. I have seen even a loose connection on a screw or wire nut make you go crazy.
    The heating element can never draw too many amps, it will burn out instantly. The element is nothing but a huge resistor with the water bath acting as a heat sink. Just a controlled short circut of sorts. It can draw too little amps meaning it is almost burned up, and will put out very little heat. You could always put a jumper on cd and then plug up to see what the element does (#12 wire jumper would be good to use).

    Just a small doulble boiler is all it amounts to.

    Those little neon lites are handy but can get you scratching your head.

    G3
     
  8. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Oh yeah I almost forgot

    Welcome to the site AGM, glad to have you aboard.

    Hope you stick around and talk bees with us.

    G3
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Yep, you be right............................. But, me, too. :lol: :thumbsup:

    AGM has been here since April. Just now finding his voice. :p :mrgreen:

    Glad to see you posting, AGM.
     
  10. AGM

    AGM New Member

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    Thanks for the welcome everyone. My first season with bees didn't go so good. I'll post the sad story this weekend.
     
  11. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    well sorry to hear that, but that is just part of the game.

    Makes me sad but then spring is not too far off, makes me excited for swarms and cut outs. Got two lined up already.

    G3
     
  12. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    Yes most all those heating elements ate the 500 watt water heater elements.
    some like my wax melter from Kelleys was a 1500 wat type.

    :mrgreen: Al
     
  13. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Thank you to all.

    It was the heating element.

    Back and running. :thumbsup:
     
  14. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Don't worry AGM, it couldn't be any worse than my first time out. I accidentally killed my first bees in less than 1 day, and I had driven 5 hours each way to go buy them. LOL (I can laugh about this now, but I was crying about it for a LONG time).

    The next time was much better for me, and I'm sure it will be for you too.
     
  15. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Cool, that guy you referred to me with the swarm up in Corryton also has a trap-out to do this spring. That's all I have lined up so far though.

    Hey for cutouts, I wanted to ask you if you carry liability insurance or make the homeowner sign a liability release or anything like that just in case you get a call from a sue-happy homeowner.
     
  16. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Glad to hear you got a trap out to do, is that where the swarm came from?

    No I don't get anything signed which is probably kind of stupid on my part and no insurance. To me if you are going that far might as well be a licensed pest control outfit. I always discuss in pretty good detail what I am going to do and also what I am not going to do. Most of the time the home owners will stand back a little and watch or take pics. Most of the time you can read people just by talking to them for a little while and then sometimes not.

    What I have lined up is a bee tree and a trap out. I hope the bee tree makes it through the winter, it is a huge tree. The trap out is in a chimney and should be quite fun. I started to remove it last year and Iddee gave me some good pointers but time got away from me so I think I will just do a trap out on them and then only have the empty comb to remove. The fun part will be getting everything up on the roof and the bees down, it is a three story house with steep roof pitch, 5 in 12 which is tough to stand on.

    G3