Outlet Question.

Old 02-05-03, 10:56 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Outlet Question.

I recently bought a house with a garage. The original owner had a line running directly to an air compressor. After he left there were just the bare wires remaining. I decided that I wanted to put an outlet there. I get the box, the outlet and put them all together. I turn the power on plug in a palm sander and the thing goes nuts with power, speeding so fast to the point of overheating. I turn it off, baffeled, I plug in a shop vac. Boom, the same thing. really high revs. I am thinking that the power that is in this line is 220? instead of the regular 110 amp. how do I go about changing this line so that I can use the outlet without frying my powertools? thanks! J

Or is there a possibility that I wired the outlet wrong?
Old 02-05-03, 11:10 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
First, don't plug anything into this outlet again that you don't want to have fried!!!! It does sound like this is a 220, but I'm somewhat surprised that neither appliance was fried when you plugged it in. You need to find this out for sure, if it is 220 two of the wires would be "hot", that's the first thing you need to check. To do this you will need some type of voltage tester. Once you find the answer to this, let us know.
Old 02-05-03, 11:11 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 12,070
Received 200 Upvotes on 160 Posts
No doubt 220. You will have to open up the service panel it is run from to make the change. How knowledgable are you with electrical work? I'm talking stuff that can kill you if you do it wrong.
Old 02-05-03, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: port chester n y
Posts: 1,983
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Using a simple lamp-socket with a 120 volt lamp, test each of the 2 wires for voltage-to-Ground. "Ground" is either a metal outlet box or a bare metal conductor inside the box. DO NOT place the test-lamp socket across both wires!!!!! If both wires are "Hot" to Ground you have a 220 volt Branch-Circuit. Locate the circuit-breaker that his circuit is connected to by looking for a "Double-pole" breaker that occupies 2 positions in the panel.The next step is to convert the circuit to 110 volts.------Good Luck!!!!
Old 02-05-03, 11:22 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
No doubt 220

If this is true, you must first find the breaker for that outlet (a 2 pole breaker) and turn it off. You have not told us what color the wire is, or what size. It seems to me if you have enough confidence to wire in your own receptacle, that you should be able to do what it takes to make it right. First you need to get a single pole breaker (you can actually use a 2-pole breaker, but it complicates things) then, you attach the black wire to the breaker, the white wire to the neutral bar, and make sure the ground (green or bare) is attached to the ground bar. Once you do that, as long as the black wire is attached to the black (or gold screw) side of the receptacle, the white wire is attached to the white (or silver) side of the receptacle, and the ground is attached to the ground (or green) screw, it should be fine, but we must know the size of the wire to suggest what size breaker and what the rating of the receptacle should be.
Old 02-05-03, 01:14 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
How do I know what size the wire is? On the wire it says essex 12-2G non metallic type NM-B. Inside there are three copper wires, one bare one black and one white....
Old 02-05-03, 01:48 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
12-2G means 12awg with ground. That means you can use a 20 amp breaker with a standard (15 or 20) amp receptacle, just wire it like I said before, and you should be fine.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: