Rocker Switch 20 Amps 125volts

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  #1  
Old 06-09-04, 01:27 PM
MILKYWAY888
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Rocker Switch 20 Amps 125volts

i have an outlet that has 12 gauge 125v with 20 amps circuit breaker.

i want to convert this outlet and install a switch so I can switch back and forth or toggle between two appliances occasionally by using a switch, say with 2 ons for the 2 appliances and an option to have it at off.

is this what you call a single pole, double throw rocker switch?

where can i buy this specific switch and what's the specific brand that's good?

are there special installation instructions?

is there a risk of fire hazard? where i do my hobby, i will use the washing machine's outlet to install the switch so I can add another outlet for my tools and paint spray.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-09-04, 02:17 PM
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Code is pretty picky about laundry room receptacle circuits. You are quite limited as to what you can do with this. The modification you suggest will likely cause a code violation.

If you replace a receptacle with a switch, then where will the two loads connect? The exact setup is a bit confusing to me. Can you tell us precisely what the two loads are?
 
  #3  
Old 06-09-04, 05:43 PM
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You could use a duplex single pole/3way combo switch. Use the single pole to turn the common of the 3way on. Connect one load to each of the 3way traveller screws. The 3way will select the load and the single pole will turn both on/off.
 
  #4  
Old 06-09-04, 06:05 PM
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What Joe is talking about is a switch that will either power appliance 1, or appliance 2, but never both at the same time. This might be what you want, but the fact that you said "an option to have it at off" suggests that maybe that's not what you want. So maybe you're talking about two switches, one for appliance 1 and one for appliance 2. That way you could turn on neither, either, or both.

And when all is said and done, do you still need to power the washing machine too? And is the washing machine one of the two appliances, or is it appliance 3?

This situation confuses me.
 
  #5  
Old 06-09-04, 07:11 PM
MILKYWAY888
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Yes, what I want to do is convert the outlet into a switch that will enable to to power either appliance 1 and appliance 2, but not at the same time. Disregard the Off option - I read about a switch that has ON,OFF,ON - so I assumed this is the correct one but maybe it is making my issue more confusing. The washing machine is the appliance 1 and appliance 2 will be a 5,000 BTU aircon.

You see, the circuit breaker is located on the north end of the house. The bedroom that needs a/c is at the southend ofthe house. The basement is finished. The right thing to do is run a fresh line from the circuit breaker to power up the a/c butthe entire lenghth from the breaker to the bedroom is about 90 feet. Very long and to use pvc pipe to insulate the wire on the outside will be messy since it will pass through windows, doors, porch, etc. I could not run a wire from the circuit breaker which is in the basement, to the roof then to the attic and then to the southend of the wall then the bedroom because the roof is set low or almost flat and I could not therefore go to the attic and be able to reach the edge of the roof. If the attic can accomodate a human being, lying down, then this is how I will proceed - new wire connected directly to the circuit breaker.

The washing machine is located right below the bedroom that needs the a/c. And the washing machine is plugged to an outlet that has 20 amps, 12 gauge wire. So I thought perfect! This could be used to power up the small aircon. But then I still need to use the washing machine. So now here comes my search for a switch to do this job. When the washing machine is in use, the a/c wil be off, and vice versa. The appliances will not be used at the same time.

Can you finally help me here? If this is possible without fire hazzard problem, then I will do it.

I really believe that such switch exists. How do I describe this to an electrical store? What's the technical description. Is this the single pole, double throw rocker switch? I got this name from internet electrical supplies retailer.
 
  #6  
Old 06-09-04, 09:57 PM
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Nothing fancy needed. A simple, ordinary, garden-variety 3-way switch will do. Connect the incoming power feed to the common (black screw) and connect the two outgoing power feeds (one to the washing machine receptacle and one to the A/C receptacle) to the two traveler screws.

If you put an ordinary 3-way switch where the receptacle is, then you'll need to install another nearby box for a new receptacle for the washing machine. Or if you want to stay in one box, use a combo device with a 3-way switch and a receptacle together in one unit (such as the Leviton #5245).

Although I do not believe that this project will result in something unsafe, it will definitely be a code violation, so be prepared to undo it if you ever sell the house.
 
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