220 3 wire subpanel lost one wire?


Old 04-22-14, 05:52 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2014
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220 3 wire subpanel lost one wire?

Short story. Have a barn 60' ft away from garage. Already has had a 220 v subpanel running off my main panel using three #6 wires underground . Comes off a 60 amp breaker. One of the wires underground was cut. I would like to avoid running new wire and really only need 110V for a few lights and light power tools(drill, hand saw etc...).
How can I use the 2 remaining wires to reconfigure this. I do already have a ground rod and wire at the sub-panel if this makes any difference.
When I tried to simply use one half the subpanel I get 110 but when anything is turned on the voltage drops to near zero??
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Old 04-22-14, 06:12 AM
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It would be 120 not 110 but you need three wires for even 120. While the old installation was grandfathered with a combined neutral ground for 120/240 a 120 would requires a separate ground thus three wires one of which must be white and one which must be green unless the wires are larger then #6. Is this conduit? If so you need to pull new wires.
Old 04-22-14, 06:19 AM
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NOt in conduit. Direct bury. As an interim until I pull new wire can I get this to work so I have a light at least?
Old 04-22-14, 06:54 AM
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Are you sure that just one wire was cut as opposed to all three rusted out?

Yes you can (I did not say may) jack-boot (or boot-leg or boot-jack or jack-leg or whatever) two wires to light a light bulb out there. As it would be neither safe nor code compliant I won't take the time to write a treatise with multiple "if this then do that" sentences here on how.

Running an ordinary 3 wire extension cord (for just a light or two) or a heavy duty extension cord (for light tools used one at a time) on the surface would be better. The exposed cord would be a constant reminder that what you have is temporary until you can dig a trench and lay a new conduit or or direct bury cable.

Last edited by AllanJ; 04-22-14 at 07:36 AM.

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