convert NEMA 6-20R to 5-15R

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  #1  
Old 08-22-10, 05:01 PM
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Question convert NEMA 6-20R to 5-15R

I have a NEMA 6-20R receptacle that was formerly used for an old air conditioner. The AC that is replacing it needs a 5-15R. So with my 6-20 I have hot, hot, ground and I need hot, neutral, ground. Can I just take one of the hot and connect it to the neutral bar? One of the hots is white (yes, I know this isn't code but I just inherited the home that way) so I connect that one to the neutral bar?

I will attempt to add pics, it is a fuse box btw so don't laugh.





 
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Old 08-22-10, 05:32 PM
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Actually it is code. Just be sure to use a 15 amp fuse if the wire is #14. If the wire is #12 you may use a 20a fuse but the receptacle must be duplex or you need to use a 5-20R if simplex.

Above assumes a dedicated circuit and either a ground wire present or a metallic path such as metal conduit continuous to panel.
 
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Old 08-23-10, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by cham44 View Post
Can I just take one of the hot and connect it to the neutral bar? One of the hots is white (yes, I know this isn't code but I just inherited the home that way) so I connect that one to the neutral bar?
Yes, that is the legal way to convert the circuit.

I will attempt to add pics, it is a fuse box btw so don't laugh.
You'll probably need to use a 15A time-delay (blue rim, type TL) fuse for the AC instead of a standard W fuse. If the AC burns up the TL fuse you can bump up to the heavy-duty T fuse if needed. You can also get a mini breaker that threads into the Edison fuse socket.
 
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Old 08-23-10, 03:45 PM
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Thanks for the responses guys. The wire is #10 so I was thinking of using a 20A TL fuse and a duplex receptacle. Any problems there?
 
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Old 08-23-10, 03:59 PM
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There is no problem with that. You may use a 5-15 or 5-20 (t-slot) duplex receptacle.
 
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Old 08-23-10, 05:07 PM
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With #10 wire you may want to use a higher grade commercial back wire type that has pressure plates the wires slide under. Getting #10 around screws on a cheap home receptacle would be more difficult.
 
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Old 08-24-10, 03:03 AM
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I have successfully moved the white wire to the neutral bus. I had to cut a length of wire off the receptacle end because the wire in the box was not long enough to reach the neutral bus. I found it was a PITA to twist two #10 wires together. I put a wire nut on it rated for max of three #10 wires and used electrical tape for good measure leaving the nut cap exposed so the color can be seen.

This was the only part I was worried about because that was the first time I have ever even removed a panel cover.

Now I just need to go get a 20A TL fuse and a 5-20 duplex commercial grade back wire type receptacle. Thanks so much for the help guys. This forum has really helped me with my DIY stuff.
 
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Old 08-24-10, 09:14 AM
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If you can't find the back wire receptacle you can use a regular receptacle and pigtail #12 to the #10 but that makes the box more crowed and more hassle getting every thing together.
 
  #9  
Old 08-27-10, 03:10 AM
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I found a backwire receptacle, it made it so much easier to install. AC is working and hasn't blown a fuse.
 
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Old 08-27-10, 07:40 AM
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Glad you got it. Thanks for letting us know how it turned out.
 
  #11  
Old 04-06-11, 05:06 PM
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Just askin, can I replace Nema 6-20r with a nema 5-15r. I do not need the 6-20r there but I need a regular receptacle there instead.
 
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