New 220v outlets

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Old 05-09-14, 02:57 PM
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New 220v outlets

SITUATION
I am attempting to repurpose existing 240v wiring to install a 220v outlet because the breaker box is full. The existing wires supplied power that operated augers within grain silos. I'd be removing the wires from the current setup and repurposing them to my current needs.

THE ISSUE
The issue is, after I removed the panel cover of the breaker box I noticed the 20amp breaker is wired with two reds-two blacks (twisted together) but only one white. So at the other end (picture attached) where I am attempting to install the outlet I realized I might be able to install two outlets but I'm short a white wire for the second outlet.

QUESTIONS:
-why would this breaker have two reds and two blacks?
-how did they get away with just having one white on the other end?
-can I install two outlets with this current setup?
 
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  #2  
Old 05-09-14, 03:33 PM
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The picture is not a breaker box. It is a fused disconnect. The black and red at the top is line and the black and red at the bottom is load. It appears to be a 120/240 feed to somewhere with the EGC being used as a neutral.
 
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Old 05-09-14, 03:56 PM
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Ray - If you look close you can see that it is double tapped at the top.

For some reason they doubled up the hot feeds which is not kosher. Also the neutral should not have been connected to a grounding wire.

Do you need 240 outlets or 120/240? If the former then you don't need a white neutral. Can you verify that the red and black are at least 12 gauge?

If your breaker panel is full you can see if you can fit some twin breakers and feed the other set of red/black. Since commercial panel you may not be able to.
 
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Old 05-09-14, 04:54 PM
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Ray, I am aware the pic is not a breaker box. The pic is at the other end of the line from the breaker box where I'm disconnecting the wires and repurposing them. I did not attach a picture of my breaker box.

Astuff

I do need 240 outlets. The wire I will be wiring the outlets with is 6 gauge. The existing wires are at minimum 8 gauge. No way they're 10 or 12 gauge.

For clarity, why would the former owner have doubled up the red and black wires? What was he attempting to gain? Where should the white wire have put? I too thought it odd that it was connected to the ground.

You mentioned I might not need the white neutral wire...how come? Why is it included if I don't need it?


Thanks to you both for replying so quick.
 
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Old 05-09-14, 06:41 PM
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why would the former owner have doubled up the red and black wires? What was he attempting to gain?
It's probably a feed thru. The 1st black and 1st red probably are feeding the power "IN" and the 2nd black and 2nd red are taking the power "OUT" to somewhere else for another load. That's probably why the #8 or larger conductors were used to feed 20 amp fuses. The fusible disconnect could be replaced with a breaker panel by a qualified electrician who would know whether this needs to be a dust tight panel in a grain elevator. There is considerable liability involved with electrical work in a grain elevator, I'd recommend you hire an industrial electrical contractor to correct your problems.
 
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Old 05-09-14, 07:47 PM
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CasualJoe

Both reds and both blacks are connected together on both ends: in the breaker box and as they supply the power to the fusible disconnect. They don't feed anything anywhere else.
 
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Old 05-09-14, 07:56 PM
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Appreciate the replies...

Thanks everyone. However Id really appreciate some insight into my main goal addressed

My goal here is to install two 240 outlets using the two blacks and the two reds. My confusion came when there was only one neutral. Astuff replied I might not need a neutral...

So, with the one neutral, two blacks and the two reds coming from a 20 amp breaker, can I install two 240 outlets?
 
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Old 05-09-14, 09:12 PM
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Neutral isn't needed for a 240v plug, only for a 120/240 plug. The disconnect in the picture has a non code compliant bootleg neutral.
 
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Old 05-10-14, 08:32 AM
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Both reds and both blacks are connected together on both ends: in the breaker box and as they supply the power to the fusible disconnect. They don't feed anything anywhere else.
What size breaker is feeding the two wires? It sounds as if they are paralleling the wires to increase the amperage, but #8s are too small to parallel by code.
 
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Old 05-10-14, 08:32 AM
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Twalt - It would help if you could tell us exactly what kind of 240 volt loads need to be supported. Hardwired or receptacles? How many amps each? Do they need a neutral (120/240 supply). Also a picture of the panel that is full as there needs to be some work done there as well.

The current 8 gauge wires can handle two separate 40 amp receptacles - one that is 120/240 and another that is straight 240. But they do need to be fed from separate breakers and can't be doubled up like they are now.
 
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