Convert 240v to 120v?

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Old 11-12-09, 09:57 PM
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Convert 240v to 120v?

I have a few dedicated circuits in my garage that are 240v but I don't need them so i want to convert them to 120v. They are 12ga wire so I will keep them 20amps if I can. They have 3 wires black,white,and ground. Can I change the white wire from a hot wire and make it a neutral at the fuse panel and then change the outlet? Will this make it 120v? Do I need to change the breaker?
 
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Old 11-12-09, 10:31 PM
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Can I change the white wire from a hot wire and make it a neutral at the fuse panel and then change the outlet?
Yes.
Do I need to change the breaker?
No, but if you are short on spaces in your panel you might want to. Leave a note in the panel explaining it is for a 120v circuit.
 
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Old 11-12-09, 10:37 PM
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I've been in the panel before and I think the 240v breakers are 2 120v breakers hooked together with a metal clip, so if one side trips it will also trip the other side.
 
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Old 11-13-09, 01:23 AM
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It sounds like the outlet is being fed with a multiwire cable. If so and the white was used as a hot before (which should have been remarked with colored tape other than white or grey), you can move the white to the neutral bar and end up with a 120 volt circuit. As far as the breaker goes, remove the two pole breaker if it is a factory assembled. You will then be able to install a single breaker and install a breaker blank in the open spot, or install two single breakers and you will have a spare unused one.

Turn off the breaker before starting. Check for voltage at the outlet before starting work to make sure that it is really off, and then check for the proper voltage at the outlet before you plug anything in when you are done. I would hate to hear that you have had an unsuspected surprise.
 
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Old 11-13-09, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by 854x4 View Post
I've been in the panel before and I think the 240v breakers are 2 120v breakers hooked together with a metal clip, so if one side trips it will also trip the other side.
But there may be an internal ganged trip.
 
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Old 11-13-09, 08:12 PM
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Thanks I'm going to change three 240v outlets to 120v next week I will take a picture of the breaker panel and maybe you guys can tell me if they used 1 240v breaker or 2 120v breakers. I was going to kill the main breaker when I'm working on the fuse panel do I need to do this or do I just need to kill the breaker I'm working on?
 
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