Found 220v outlet outside my house.


Old 08-28-05, 10:14 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 56
Found 220v outlet outside my house.

Our house (built in '74, bought in March of this year) appears to have a 220v plug in a weatherproof box outside of what would normally be the garage. The garage was converted to a den at the time of building and a window was put in place of the roll up door with a concrete planter in fromt. The outlet is just above the planter at the outside corner of the garage door wall and I have no idea what it could possibly be used for.

I assume it was built after the planter was put in due to its height on the wall (about 20" or so) and my wife came up with the idea that it might have been used for an electrical hookup for an RV or trailer. That would make more sense if our driveway was bigger than single wide.

My questions:

1. WHy is this here? What would I do with it?
2. Can I convert it to 110v myself or do I need an electrician?
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Old 08-29-05, 02:47 AM
ElectricalMan's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Harrisonburg
Posts: 744

I am guessing it could be many things but a Window AC unit comes to mind if it is higher and next to a window.

As for being definate to what was used on it I guess the only real way to know would be to ask the previous owners or see if it is labeled in the service panel. ( ok what are the odds it was labeled correctly....hand anyone ! )

As for converting it to 120V, yes it is possible but we would need to know more info first.

1.) What size is the wire supplying this outlet.
2.) In your panel what is the amp rating of the breaker supplying it. I will assume breaker...( could be fuse panel as well )
3.) Did you use a volt meter to check voltage to this outlet?
4.) Do you know know HOW to use a volt meter to check voltage?

The reason I ask you these questions is their are many things you could do but we need to know a bit about it first and only YOU can tell us that.

Do some checking and see if your panel is labeled, get yourself a volt meter or a low cost circuit tester that can handle 120/240...

Post back to us when you have some more info and we will try to go into more detail.

Can you do this......Yes and No.....should a Electrician dog this...Yes and No....if you have NO experience with working with electricity then I can only say read up some books on it before you attempt it, visit your local home depot and look for electrical wiring books and learn a bit before taking on the project....if you have more money than time just let an electrician handle it but if you have the time you can learn to do it and we will assist.
Old 08-29-05, 06:56 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 56
I'll try to trace it back to the panel and see which breaker controls it. Our panel is labeled "Lights" and "Kitchen", etc.. very helpful I've been relabeling them to say "living room, N wall" "mbr s wall" etc. I'm competent with 110 but I've never dealt with 220 before although I believe it shouldn't be any harder as long as the proper precautions are taken.

By the way, good thought on the window A/C unit but I neglected to mention that the outlet is near a louvered window so it's unlikely that it was for an A/C.
Old 08-29-05, 08:06 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Find the breaker, which should be easy with a voltmeter, or any other kind of electrical test device. Describe the breaker to us in terms of whether it is single-pole or double-pole, and what its amperage is.

Then describe the exact configuration of the receptacle, so that we can identify it as to amperage, voltage, and number of connections.

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