extra wires ?220v

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  #1  
Old 05-22-07, 02:26 PM
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extra wires ?220v

I have a gage box on the outside of my house with 5 wires in it. Blk, Wht, Red, Blue and bare copper. From what I know about this location is it was used to power an outdoor 220v spa.
I would like to split this location for two purposes...

1. power a 110v spa (must be on its own circuit)

2. power two recepticals for plug-ins and possibly to power a light on the other side of my yard.

I understand the simple Blk, Wht, bare to install a receptical but beyond that I don't know if 220v can be split from one to two circuits. I looked in the breaker box and there are two 20amp breakers marked as "spa" so does that mean they can be seperated or are there tests I can do to check? Finally what is the blue wire?
 
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  #2  
Old 05-22-07, 02:56 PM
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Open up the panel and look where the wires connect. You can figure out nothing by guessing. I suspect that the wires represent a 120 volt circuit and a 240 volt circuit, but the only way to know for sure is to open the box and look at the wiring.
 
  #3  
Old 05-24-07, 01:34 PM
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extra wires

I've finally had a chance to ID the two extra wires in my gage box

Again one is red and the other blue.
Each are hot wires and both run to seperate breakers at the panel. I suspect they are for 220v.

so with that, I use one for a hot lead (black) and eliminate the other but what do I do for a neutral wire (run another white wire).

Also, when running underground wire, I understand minimum depth is 18" but I spoke with a friend who said it is possible to go only 12" is this true? Is it still 18" under a concrete walkway?

thanks,
 
  #4  
Old 05-24-07, 01:55 PM
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There are 35 different circumstances in the code for burial depth, each for a different combination of factors.

If you have no white wire, you'll have to run one and it has to be in the same raceway as the hot wire. Same for the grounding wire. But I thought from your first post that you said you had a white wire and a grounding wire. Don't you?

It might be easier to ignore this existing wiring and start from scratch? Perhaps the existing wiring is a temptation, a distraction.

Do a google search on multiwire circuits.
 
  #5  
Old 05-24-07, 02:03 PM
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I still don't understand your confusion.

Use the white wire, the bare wire, and two of the other wires for your two circuits. You will have a multiwire circuit.

You will of course need to use a GFCI breaker or use GFCI receptacles.
 
  #6  
Old 05-24-07, 02:28 PM
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wiring confusion

Maybe I can clarify by starting over...

I'm trying to achieve two separate 120v circuits...

Originally there 5 wires coming in from the breaker box (blk,red,wht,blue,bare)
The blk, red, blue wires are all hot. After tracking them back to the breaker box each is wired to a different breaker.
I took blk, wht, bare and added a receptical.
That leaves me a red and blue hot wire both connected at the breaker box on seperate breakers.

I want to use one to add a receptical on its on circuit. I will eliminate the additional wire. Now, I'm confused on where I draw a neutral from. Possibly I'll have to pull another wire (white) for the neutral.

O' just thought of a possibility...
If I disconnect one of the extra hot leads and place it on the buss then I get my neutral wire without having to pull any wire and I'll have an additional bare circuit for future use... does that sound right?

I hope this helps and you can help
 
  #7  
Old 05-24-07, 03:06 PM
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Any chance you're in an industrial or commercial building? Have you got three-phase power?

In a residential setting, two hot wires can share a neutral (in certain very specific settings), but not three.

Have you got a voltmeter? If not, get one. They're only about $15 at most home centers. With all the breakers turned on, CAREFULLY measure the voltage between each pair of wires (five wires means 10 pairs) and report the voltage readings.

Finally, give us the breaker numbers (the number on the panel cover next to each breaker) of the three breakers.
 
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