Warning! I am no way responsible for anything you do. Period. I am not an electrician. If your house burns down or your cat Fluffy gets fried, its your fault.
Do you have a RANCO ECT temperature controller? Do you want to be able to control a 2000 watt – 20 amp device with it? Here’s how.
But before we get started,…..Whats the reason for doing this? I decided to do this for the simple reason that I wanted to control the temps on my HLT / boil kettles, but did not want to construct a dedicated controller for it at this time. I currently use 2 different boil kettles with different element configurations, so I wanted to remain flexible. Also I wanted to be able to use the controller for fermentation temperature control. The nice thing about using a RANCO is that you can plug any device you want to control into it. So on brew day, you can use it to control your HLT for your strike water, then when you are done brewing, go ahead and use it to control your fermentation temps with heating or cooling devices.
As some of you may know, the RANCO units are only rated to 15 amps. They should run a 1500 watt hot water heater element just fine. But if you want to use a 2000 watt element, RANCO suggests using an external 20 amp relay – a RIB 2401B to be exact. I ordered a Ranco directly from the Ranco ETC store, and they pre-wired the unit for me with the external relay. But because I’m odd and wanted two of them, I copied their wiring setup to my second controller…just in case. So if you already have a RANCO and want to do this yourself, keep reading. Before you start, you are going to need an RIB 2401B external relay. Pretty easy to find online. I bought a new one on Ebay. Its rated for 20 amps, but the relay inside it says 40 amps.
OK, so have a look at this diagram. If you are a wiring guru you probably don’t need to even look at this and you wouldn’t even be here.
Here we go- this is assuming you have a brand new unwired controller and relay:
1. Open up your Ranco. Drill a 7/8″ hole in the side to accommodate the RIB relay as shown. Fit the relay and secure with the included conduit locknut.
2. Cut & strip all wires from the relay as shown.
3. Cap off the blue wire and wht/blu wire from the relay with wire nuts. You wont be using those. Attach wht/blk wire from relay to the NO connection on the controller. You may wish to add a 1/2″ conduit wire clamp at this time to the bottom hole of the controller.
4. At this point you will need to decide what type of wires you will use for you plug in to the wall outlet ( 120 VAC input ) and also what type of connection you want for your devices. In this case I am going to use a 20 ft extension cord. Take the 20 ft extension cord and cut it in half. Remove 1 ft from either end. This 1 ft will now be used for your jumper wires to make the rest of the connections. You should now have a 10 ft section with male plug, a 9ft section with female plug and a 1 ft section for jumper wires. Take the 1 ft section and remove the outer insulation. This will give you 1 ft of white, black, and green wires to make connections and enough to redo a wire if needed.
5. Cut 2 pieces of black wire – 4 inches long. Take one of these black wires, strip both ends, and connect one end to the 120 labeled connector on the right side of the controller. Take the other 4 inch black wire wire, strip both ends, and connect one end to the “C” labeled connector on the left side of the controller. Now cut a 4 inch piece of white wire, strip both ends, and connect one end to the “COM” labeled connector on the right side of the controller.
6. Here’s where its gonna get messy in there. Take your two halves of the extension cord, strip all ends of the wires, and insert both halves into the bottom of the controller through the conduit wire clamp. Connect green ground wires together with a wire nut.
7. Take the 120 VAC input wire, the 4″ black lead wire from the “120” connector, the 4″ black lead wire from the “C” connector and the yellow wire form the RIB relay, and attach all four together with a large wirenut.
8. Take the black wire from the extension cord on the load side and the orange wire from the RIB and connect with a wirenut.
9. Take all white wires, and wht/yellow wire from RIB relay, and attach all four together with a wirenut.
10. Test the function of the relay by plugging in the Ranco into an outlet and plug a small load device into the Ranco. When your device is activated, the red LED on the relay should switch to on, the “H” should show on the Ranco display if its set to heating, and your device should start functioning.
11. If its functioning, close up the the Ranco and your done! If its not, compare your wiring to the diagram, and double check that the wirenut connections are good.
You may now continue to BREW ON!