Change dryer receptacle to air conditioner receptacle


Old 07-12-06, 08:13 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1
Change dryer receptacle to air conditioner receptacle

I have a 240V dryer receptacle that I want to change into a 240V air conditioning receptacle for a window unit.

Currently the receptacle is a 30A/240V 3-wire receptacle which looks like #3860 here:

I want to change this to 20A/240V receptacle like:

Currently there are three wires running into the receptacle: red, black and white. (No ground wires are anywhere in the apartment, an old New York City loft)

When I test the load with an analog multimeter, the red and black test out to 240V, but red/white or black/white doesn't give me 120V, just a very small deflection on the needle (like 5V, but it does move).

The circuit breaker is a double pole 30 AMP breaker.

So my question is, there's probably more to this than just replacing the outlet. And if so, what else needs to be done? Or should I just stop right here and get an electrician?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-12-06, 09:09 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You cannot do this. There are several reasons I say this.

First, doing your own electrical work in an apartment, especially in New York City is illegal. An electrician must do any electrical work, and must have the permission of the landlord.

Second, while you do have enough wires for a 240 volt 20 amp circuit, you do NOT have the proper wires. For safety reasons you are not allowed to use the white wire as a ground wire. As an aside, it does not seem to be properly connected anyway (or your test method is flawed).

You have no choice but to have a new circuit run by an electrician.

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