making a 240 outlet a 120 outlet

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Old 07-03-04, 04:55 PM
beatstherest
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making a 240 outlet a 120 outlet

I want to make a 240 outlet into a 120. I have a black and white wire (120 each) and a uninsulated copperwire. If I hook one of the 110 wires to one side of the plug and the copper wire to the other side...is this safe. My meter reads 110 now with this hook up. I am concerned about the ground...
 
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Old 07-03-04, 05:24 PM
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No . Go back and see where that white wire gets its 110V and make it the ground wire there. Could be in the panel.



ED
 
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Old 07-03-04, 08:26 PM
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beatstherest, What you did is not safe. You are using your _ground_ wire as the neutral wire to feed the receptacle. What you should do is make sure that you change the white wire to the neutral at the _source_ for the white wire. Note: the _neutral_ and the _ground_ are different; you can't simply connect the white wire to a box somewhere. Instead you need to make sure that the white wire is connected to the neutral bus at the panel. In your main panel, the neutral bus will also be the ground bus, but this is only true at this one location.

If you trace the wire from this 220V circuit back to the panel you will probably find the white wire sitting on a circuit breaker. Simply move this wire to the neutral bus.

Back at your receptacle, connect the bare wire to the ground terminal, and the white wire to the neutral terminal.

-Jon
 
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Old 07-04-04, 05:05 AM
doingitmyself
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Originally Posted by winnie
........If you trace the wire from this 220V circuit back to the panel you will probably find the white wire sitting on a circuit breaker. Simply move this wire to the neutral bus.
-Jon
Jon,

Should the double pole breaker be replaced with a single pole breaker, or can the poster continue to use the double pole breaker without anything connected to the other terminal on the breaker?

-Terry
 
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Old 07-04-04, 08:33 AM
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IMHO, if you replace the double breaker with a single, (which would be the best option to avoid future confusion,) you'll be left with an open space in your panel once the cover is on; not a safe idea, and probably against code. I would add another single breaker to fill the spot, leaving the breaker in the "off" position. This fills the open space and gives you a breaker in place for a future circuit.
 
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Old 07-04-04, 04:17 PM
doingitmyself
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Nope, I didn't visualize the open space cause by removing the DP Breaker. That would be a problem. Thanks HD

I wonder. Aren't the DP breakers connected by a handle tie, or is that the dual breakers? If the DP has the handle tie, it could be removed and the switch opened for the unused phase? I guess this might lead to some confusion later, maybe, and perhaps there's nothing wrong with just leaving it as it is?
 
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Old 07-04-04, 04:22 PM
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If the amperage is okay, I would go ahead and leave the double-pole breaker in place and just move the white wire. That saves you the trouble and cost of replacing the breaker, and it also solves the problem of an open spot in the panel with no effort at all. Half of a double-pole breaker works the same as a single-pole breaker (except if either circuit trips, it takes the other circuit with it, which isn't usually that big of a problem).

However, it is rare to see a double-pole 15-amp or 20-amp breaker in a panel. And since you are not allowed to put an ordinary receptacle on anything larger than a 20-amp breaker, the theoretical answer in the paragraph above is usually not applicable.

Almost anything is better than what's there now, which is just plain insane.
 
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