Any use for a 240V outlet inside the house?


Old 12-16-12, 11:11 PM
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Any use for a 240V outlet inside the house?

I am about to tell the electrician to abandon an old 240V outlet for the dryer, and use that breaker slot instead for a couple 120V circuits. This will free up some space in the panel to separate some other circuits. But before I do this I want to make sure I won't regret it. I don't plan to ever use the 240V outlet for a dryer, because our new gas dryer is much more efficient.

It was installed in the 1960s so it doesn't have a separate ground wire run inside the flexible metal conduit, the FMC is the ground. It shares the neutral (but not the hots) with a small subpanel in the garage so that is not ideal either for re-use. The outlet is 30A with 10 AWG wire.

Is there any time I may regret getting rid of the 240V outlet on the wall? Plugging in an electric car? (I don't like electric cars anyway). Plugging in some kind of industrial-strength tool with a 240V cord?

Last edited by flyingpolarbear; 12-17-12 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 12-17-12, 04:55 AM
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It was a bit hard to follow your post. Is this in a detached garage that has a subpanel where you need more 120 volt receptacles?
Old 12-17-12, 06:15 AM
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I see no reason to keep a 240v receptacle that you don't need. Other things that would use one is a welder, large air compressor, large table saw, etc. Not 'typical' residential loads, and it would probably have to be changed anyway based on the load requirements. I'd just abandon it and use the breaker slots for something more useful. If you can easily pull the wire out of the wall it can be recycled for a few bucks.
Old 12-17-12, 06:32 AM
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Possible uses for a 240V outlet in a workshop/garage that I can see are the following:
  • Air compressor
  • Power supply for an electronics workstation
  • Electric car or plug-in hybrid car charging station
  • Oven for powder-coating
  • Vehicle lift

So, if you don't ever plan to do any of these things then you probably don't need it. If had such I'd probably leave it in place though, or maybe pull the breaker, tie off the wiring in the panel, and cover up the box with a blank plate with a P-touch label on it indicating what it is. If the wiring is left in place then it can be put into use later if the needs arises.
Old 12-17-12, 08:14 AM
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It sounds like the 240V tools are mostly for the garage. Since this plug is in the middle of the interior of the house, and it's only 30A, sounds like I should abandon it. And if I need a 240V plug in the future I should extend one from the garage subpanel with higher amperage.
Old 12-17-12, 09:25 AM
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Are you into pottery, or do you think you might take it up at some time? I've repurposed electric dryer circuits for a couple of customers who wanted to power a kiln.
Old 12-17-12, 09:52 AM
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It's funny you mention pottery and using a kiln, because a long time ago we used to have a kiln in the garage for ceramics, but that 240V 60A receptacle was turned into a subpanel.

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