How to convert 125/250 volt 30 amp to 120 outlet?

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  #1  
Old 07-29-04, 06:36 AM
Len Kagelmacher
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How to convert 125/250 volt 30 amp to 120 outlet?

I have an outlet in my basement for a clothes dryer. It accepts a three-pronged plug and is labeled "125/250 volt 30 amp". The line is dedicated and goes back to the circuit breaker box to two ganged 30 amp breakers.

I no longer have use for the line as such, since we don't need a dryer in that location. My question: What's the simplest and most economical (not necessarily the same...) way to convert that line to a regular 120 volt line with a regular grounded outlet?

Thanks,
-len
 

Last edited by Len Kagelmacher; 07-29-04 at 06:51 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-29-04, 07:09 AM
Tesla
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You could change hte 2 pole breaker to a 20 amp single pole breaker, move the white wire that was on the 2 pole breaker to the neutral bar and then replace the dryer outlet with a recepticle.
 
  #3  
Old 07-29-04, 07:15 AM
Len Kagelmacher
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Originally Posted by Tesla
You could change hte 2 pole breaker to a 20 amp single pole breaker, move the white wire that was on the 2 pole breaker to the neutral bar and then replace the dryer outlet with a recepticle.
Thanks, Tesla. I'll look into doing that. I wonder, though, whether there may be a transformer I could simply plug into the existing recepticle to provide the 120v output? I was hoping to avoid going into the breaker box.
 

Last edited by Len Kagelmacher; 07-29-04 at 07:31 AM.
  #4  
Old 07-29-04, 07:32 AM
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The transformer solution is more expensive and more trouble than the simple solution provided by Tesla. But if the panel has extra space, and if it is at all possible to run a new line from the panel to this location (which is undoubtedly easier than you currently think it is), then I would encourage you to ignore the temptation of this dryer circuit, and install a new circuit.
 
  #5  
Old 07-29-04, 07:38 AM
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Such a device could not easily or cheaply exist for a three pronged 220 plug. A 110 receptacle needs a 110 wire, a neutral and a ground. A three wire outlet does not have a neutral. The wiring isn't there.

Such a device could be made for a four pronged 220 plug, but I am not sure that it would be worth it, safe, or even legal. 110 receptacles must be limited to 20 amps or less. The device would need an internal circuit breaker, as the size of the 220 breaker would probably be 30 amps for a dryer, or even higher for a range.

The proper way to do what you want is what Tesla suggested. Replace the breaker and install a new receptacle box with a receptacle. Note that you will probably need pigtails for the receptacle connections, as you can't connect 10 gauge wire to most receptacle outlets.

However, If this dryer outlet is in the laundry room or laundry area, I recommend leaving it intact, and installing a new outlet if you need one. You might someday want to use an electric dryer, or the next owner of the house may have one and be looking for an outlet for it.

In my own house I did just this, I left the 220 dryer outlet intact and installed a new 20 amp circuit for the gas dryer.
 
  #6  
Old 07-31-04, 03:04 PM
Len Kagelmacher
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Thanks for the help!

Originally Posted by Tesla
You could change hte 2 pole breaker to a 20 amp single pole breaker, move the white wire that was on the 2 pole breaker to the neutral bar and then replace the dryer outlet with a recepticle.
I took your advice, Tesla, and did exactly as you suggested above. I had no spare slots in the breaker box, otherwise I would have installed an entire new circuit. This solution works just fine, however, and I'll know how to restore it back to the dryer line when and if needed.

Thanks to all for the excellent help!
Len
 
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