Using 240v Outlet to power 120v appliance


Old 10-23-05, 07:17 PM
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Using 240v Outlet to power 120v appliance

I have a 240v outlet that I want to retain for my summer A/C. But this winter, I want to use the outlet to power a 120v appliance.

I was thinking, I could just use the ground and one of the hot wires from the 240v circuit.

Is this possible ?

But thought I should get some better advice (than my own) before I attempted to wire up a spceial extension cord with 240v plug and a 120v outlet.
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Old 10-23-05, 07:24 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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What you are proposing is extremely unsafe. Never ever use a ground wire as a current carrying wire in a 120 volt circuit.

The only way you could use this circuit would be to replace the receptacle and the breaker.

You would be better off running a dedicated 120 volt circuit for whatever your needs are.

Last edited by racraft; 10-24-05 at 05:26 AM.
Old 10-23-05, 07:34 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Philadelphia
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In a word.....NO! the grounding conductor cannot be used as the neutral conductor.You can however change the circuitbreaker feeding this circuit to a single pole & change the receptacle to fit your needs
Old 10-24-05, 05:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,219
You might also want to look into the BTU and efficiency ratings of this air conditioner, and compare it to the ratings of a new AC. I suspect that you will find that a new AC of the same BTU rating will use less power and only require a 120V circuit. The power savings might be substantial enough to justify replacing your old AC.

In this case, you would switch the circuit over to being a 120V circuit and have use of it all year round.

Another option would be to replace the 14/2 or 12/2 cable feeding this receptacle with 14/3 or 12/3 cable, providing two hots, a neutral, and a ground. You could then install a 'dual voltage' receptacle, for example

Of course, if you were to actually run a new cable, then you could simply install a new cable without removing the old one, and install a new 120V receptacle right by the old 240V receptacle.

Old 10-24-05, 05:33 PM
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I Got The Message

Thanks to all that replied.

I guess you'd say no to a kite in a storm too

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