Change old Air Conditioner outlet


Old 11-21-04, 02:07 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Question Change old Air Conditioner outlet

I have an old outlet that looks like this -l- , but the middle part is down lower. I believe it's for an old air conditioner that used to be in the window. I want to change it to a normal outlet. I connected the new outlet just like my other one's, however, there is a red wire that WAS used by the old outlet. I did not connect this one and when I fired it up there was nothing. Should I be using the red wire?

Thanks for the help!!!
Sponsored Links
Old 11-21-04, 02:17 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
What you did was, in a word dangerous. You should not simply go changing receptacles unless you know what you are doing. Electricity can (and does) kill people. You could easily have killed yourself, or caused a fire, or damaged your equipment.

What size was the circuit breaker you turned off work on this receptacle? I do hope you at least turned off the breaker.

From your description I suspect that you have a 240 volt circuit. Had you connected the red and black wires to the new receptacle you would certainly have ruined anything you tried to plug in.

I hope that I have convinced you not to try this again. It was not the smartest thing to do.

As for whether you can or cannot use any portion of this wiring, please describe the circuit breaker and the wire size, as long as the colors of the wires in the junction box.
Old 11-21-04, 02:24 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Was safe

I did turn off the breaker, and, to be safe...I turned them all off. I also tested the wires to make sure they weren't hot. Since I didn't use the red wire, I just put a cap on it so that it would be protected and then connected the black/white exactly as the other one's were.

Thanks for replying so fast!!!
Old 11-21-04, 02:30 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,678
What size is the breaker?
Old 11-21-04, 02:36 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Breaker size

The switch is red and has a number 20 with a line under it on the switch itself. Does that help?
Old 11-21-04, 04:17 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 994
Please don't take this the wrong way, but you have no business whatsoever doing electical work until you learn more about what you're doing. For your own sake, please buy a book or two and read up on things electrical before you kill yourself or someone else.
Old 11-21-04, 05:02 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Exactly how did you connect the black and white wires at the receptacle, and is the white wire connected to the neutral bar at the panel. It is quite possible that the white wire is not connected as this is/was a 240 volt circuit and a neutral is not needed.

What about a ground wire? Is there a ground wire here? if there is no ground wire then don't even bother proceeding. Any air conditioner you want to install here will need a ground wire.
Old 11-21-04, 08:46 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Not A Complete Moron

I've changed many outlets...but, have never come across one like this. Black wire (as usual), white wire (as usual), wire(not sure)????? I am not plugging an air conditioner into this outlet. Currently, it is an outlet that looks like this...( - - ). I want to change it to a normal outlet for a lamp.

The two prongs are sideways instead of vertical.

Last edited by MichaelWayne; 11-21-04 at 08:56 PM.
Old 11-21-04, 08:59 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
If it was a 220 outlet, *assuming proper wiring*, black would be hot, red would be hot, and neutral would act as ground. Is it thhn wire or similar? They may have just used what they had to get the outlet to work. If there is a ground in the outlet as well (which you did not mention), the white (neutral) would be for any additional 110v circuitry allbeit highly unlikely for an airconditioner.

Anyway, check the breaker it is connected to. See where the wires are connected and that should indicate what type of setup was installed. I'm not sure if the grounding wire has to be bare/green per NEC (Although a reference in 210 comes to mind). If so, maybe you can use green tape to indicate the wire?? I don't know on that one, you'll have to ask john or one of the other liscensed electricians.

Good luck!

This is my guess/opinion. But I could definitly be dead wrong.
Old 11-21-04, 09:23 PM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,455

This is not simply a matter of replacing the device. You MUST at least check the panel to see how this is wired.

The receptacle you have is a 15 amp/250 volt device. No neutral should be attached to this receptacle. Just two hots and a ground.

The black is surely hot, the red may be hot and probably is, the white may be hot, but in this case it probably is not. The red is not actually needed in this case since the white can act as a hot. Many folks run 3-wire under the wrong impression that you have to have red & black for 220.

You will need to confirm or re-wire so that the black is the hot, the white is the neutral, the ground is the ground and the red is safely capped off in both the panel and wall box.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes