Control Panel (Part 1)


STEP 1: Choose enclosure

We use a 16x16x8" watertight steel box enclosure with a locking door to house our control panel components.

A larger enclosure may also be used, such as 20x16x8" or 20x20x8". There's no such thing as too much space. Don't go any smaller however as space will be tight.

This enclosure is rated to the following NEMA and IP protection standards:

  • NEMA 4: Watertight (weatherproof). Must exclude at least 65 GPM of water from 1-in. nozzle delivered from a distance not less than 10 ft for 5 min. Used outdoors on ship docks, in dairies, and in breweries.
  • NEMA 12: General-purpose. Intended for indoor use, provides some protection against dust, falling dirt, and dripping noncorrosive liquids. Meets drip, dust, and rust resistance tests.
  • IP65: No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact. Water projected by a nozzle against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects (i.e.: can be used in washdown conditions).

It's important to note that these ratings are only for the enclosure itself. Once you punch a hole in it to add a component, to maintain the rating the component that's been added must also be rated to the same protection standards and be mounted correctly.

To meet watertight ratings the accessible parts must present some sort of barrier and use a gasket to create a seal with the enclosure.

Most of the components we use are rated to provide adequate water and moisture protection in our brewery. While we don't intentionally get the panel wet, having some protection helps against accidents.

Protection ratings and what they mean for home use: In most locations you do not actually need to build your control panel to specific ratings when only used in the home. The ratings are only required for commercial settings that have to undergo regular inspections as they are required to have safe workplaces for their employees. In most locations, you, the homeowner can build and use anything you like as long as it is not permanently connected to the rest of your house. That does not mean however that it will be safe for you to use (only you can be the judge of that). We feel that anything you build for home use should still be built to be safe to use so we try to follow industry standards as much as possible.

All purpose clear silicone sealant was used on the inside of the enclosure around some of the unrated components (Amp/Volt meters and receptacles) to better seal them against outside elements.

The cord plugs and connectors that plug into the control panel are not, however, watertight. Weather-resistant sealing rubber boots would have to be used if complete protection against moisture is required for the cords. We didn't feel this was necessary for a panel used primarily indoors.

Indoor/outdoor rated 16x16x8" steel box enclosure. The reversible hinges allow for 120 degree door opening.


The orange back plate is removable for easy mounting of internal components.
Four wall mounting brackets are included.


A polyurethane gasket and front rain gutter ensure a high degree of protection.
The ground wire ensures that the door is properly grounded to the rest of the chassis.

A removable handle is used to lock the door.