Electric wire in older house

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  #1  
Old 12-13-06, 10:02 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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Electric wire in older house

Hi,

I have someone to do a floor sanding. He connected his sanding machine
to fuse panel. After he turned on his machine. it ran a little bit and died. He told me that my house is very old. There are only 2 wires
instead of 3 wires entering my house. His machine is 220 volts. I
called ComEd and they told me that I need a service upgrade. I dont
know anything about electric wirings. I'm not sure is that a right
thing to do? Is there other ways to make his machine work? or I
really need a service upgrade. Please Help.

Thank you,
 
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  #2  
Old 12-13-06, 10:07 AM
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Location: Central New York State
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First and foremost.

I recommend that you find another person to sand the floor. I would NEVER let someone connect something directly to my circuit breaker panel or fuse panel.

Most of the time this causes no harm. However, I have heard horror stories about panels being ruined. Further, this practice is extremely dangerous.

Yes, if you really and truly only have 120 volts entering your house then you need a service upgrade.
 
  #3  
Old 12-13-06, 12:02 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,342
> There are only 2 wires instead of 3 wires entering my house....ComEd and
> they told me that I need a service upgrade.

If in fact you only have a 120V service, then a service upgrade is a good idea. There are very few 120V-only left in the USA. A ballpark figure for a service upgrade is $1,500; but as with any electrical work get three estimates from reputable contractors.

A service upgrade is not mandatory if the house meets your present electrical needs, but if you ever want to use 240V appliances like central A/C, electric water heater, or big power tools then you will need to upgrade.

> Is there other ways to make his machine work?

He could buy or rent a generator with 240V/30A output. Unless the contract specified that you would provide him with the proper electrical hookup, his equipment is his problem -- not yours. He could also buy or rent a smaller sander which uses only 120V.
 
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