Use of old AC power

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Old 09-03-08, 10:23 PM
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Use of old AC power

I am currently in the final stages of completing an outdoor kitchen, and need help. I planned on using the following:

1. 4 power outlets (1) for small fridge (1) for kegerator (2) misc

2. 6 45 watt lights
3. 1 dimmer switch

My question is can I use an old AC condenser unit electrical line to power all of this, or do I have to run new lines and separate breaker box. Any and all help would be appreciated.
 
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Old 09-03-08, 11:03 PM
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The AC line was more than likely 220 and wired to a 2 pole breaker in your main or sub panel. It would have to be rewired in the panel for 120. The white wire to the neutral bus and the black to a single pole breaker. I would assume this is at least #12 wire and probably #10. You could make this a 20A 120 v circuit to your outside kitchen but you MUST use a GFCI breaker or a GFCI outlet as the first one on the circuit with the rest fed from its load terminals.

If the former wiring was 3 wires with a ground - white, red, black and ground then you could run 2 - 20A circuits out there. In this case you would use a 20A 2 pole breaker with the black to one pole and red to the other. The white to neutral. At the kitchen end you would use the black to white for one circuit and the red to white for the other. BOTH would need to go through a GFCI outlet (two different outlets) to serve two circuits. This would ONLY work if you had 3 wire PLUS ground cable to the kitchen otherwise you are stuck with one 20A 120 volt circuit unless you rewire.
 
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Old 09-04-08, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Ichigo View Post
can I use an old AC condenser unit electrical line to power all of this
It's very unlikely. Your kitchen circuits will require a neutral wire, and most (maybe all) condenser units do not require a neutral wire. It is unlikely the original installer would have put in the unneeded wire.
 
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Old 09-04-08, 09:55 PM
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Thanks the old wire is a 12, three wires black white and bare. It comes from an outside box that has breaker off; I never turned inside panel breaker off when unit was moved 'cause I had space for new breaker. I was soooo hoping not to have to dig anymore this year. :<
 
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Old 09-04-08, 10:28 PM
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You could use it for one 120v 20 amp circuit. That might be enough for your power needs. (Note if a long distance you may need to derate to 15 amps max.) If this was originally a 240v circuit the white wire at the panel will need to be moved from the breaker to the neutral bus. Best practice would be to replace the 240v breaker with a single pole 120v breaker.
 
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Old 09-04-08, 11:42 PM
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Thanks again, while building this outdoor kitchen was more or less done to just have it and say I did all the work myself...
I think I will just call one of my local electricians and have them put a separate service in the garage for it. Again, thanks to all who helped, I have learned a lot, and will continue viewing these boards, they are great.
 
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Old 09-05-08, 12:48 AM
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If you do put anything new in the ground use PVC conduit of at least 3/4" or better 1" and pul the wires through. Then you won't have to dig if you want to change something.
 
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