Changing 2 dedicated 110v 20 amp circuits to 1x 220v

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  #1  
Old 07-16-19, 08:54 PM
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Changing 2 dedicated 110v 20 amp circuits to 1x 220v

Hi everyone. I rewired My basement 6-7 years ago w the help of a union electrician. I was 99% positive we initially ran a 220 circuit into the laundry room, then altered it when both machines I bought ran on 110. Dryer broke, new one is 220v because I was nearly positive I was going to open the near outlet and find a capped red wire. That is not the case and the electrician and I did not have a happy break up, so I'm on my own and want to check myself.

So, obviously I need 220. I have two dedicated 110v 20 amp circuits, # 33 and 35. So they're same side of the panel one above the other. Both supplies run into the right most box. One powers that outlet. The other hops from there to a second box 2 ft to the left for the 110v dryer receptacle.

Here's the question: I can can just pop out those two breakers, replace them with a 2 pole that will hop across the bus bars, and refasten the wires to the two contacts on the 220 breaker, then in the first electrical box they both run into I wrap the proper one red, wire up the 30 amp plug and abandon the downstream load outlet by putting a flat cover over the box,right?

I don't know what I was thinking but I have three dedicated circuits in the laundry room. One for washer, one for dryer and one for lights and a counter outlet (maybe to plug in a 1200w iron?) so here's my second question: how bad would it be to leave the downstream receptacle for the washing machine off one of the two hots running to the 220? I really don't want to run extension cords.


 
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Old 07-16-19, 09:02 PM
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Btw.. these are not code questions and I am the queen of safety (learning the hard way.. pain AND I hate to admit, lots of repetition lol) I test my tick tester before I use it to test anything else, and obviously for this job, I'll shut down the panel entirely and use battery operated LED work lights.

one thing that might cause a problem, it might only be 14 gauge wire
 

Last edited by Pea-Jay; 07-16-19 at 10:51 PM.
  #3  
Old 07-17-19, 05:28 AM
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The cable is the first thing to verify. A standard electric cloths dryer circuit requires a minimum size of #10-3/g (black, red, white, bare) copper cable. If you only have #14 or #12 feeding the 120V laundry circuits then you'll need to pull a new cable.

From the context of your post, I'm assuming you currently have a broken gas/propane dryer and you have purchased a new electric dryer to replace it?
 
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Old 07-17-19, 01:30 PM
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I'm sure the wire is 12 gauge. There's no way I can pull new wire without cutting out a ton of Sheetrock.

The problem w the gas dryer is my utility company turned off the gas supply while the house was under renovation and since it was off for more than 6 months turning it back on is considered "new" account and there is a moritorium on new accounts in NYC because ther don't have enough infrastructure.. so my brand new gas dryer and Viking stove are both useless while I battle them. I can grill dinner, but I HAVE to be able to do laundry, this is killing me
 
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Old 07-17-19, 01:45 PM
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Just took the cover off the breaker panel, we did originally run 220 on 10 gauge wire to a junction box in the ceiling outside the laundry room, then ran 12 gauge wire to the outlets. So the first 30 ft is #10, then hops down to #12 for the last 15 ft.
 
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Old 07-17-19, 01:54 PM
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You would need to unhook the 12 gauge wiring from the 10 gauge wiring.

Then run new 10 gauge wire (red, white, black, green or bare) from the box where the existing 10 gauge wiring ended to a new 120/240 volt dryer receptacle.

THen run new 12 gauge wire to re-energize the unhooked 12 gauge wiring.

A 30 amp 120/240 volt (10 gauge) circuit for a dryer may not also supply a 120 volt washing machine or other 120 volt items.

One 12 gauge circuit is needed to energize receptacles in the laundry area and nothing else, and run non-stop (splices okay) back to the panel.
 
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Old 07-17-19, 07:00 PM
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So I looked up the dryer model numbers elec layout:
1200w 240v heating element. 245w 110v drum motor. 65w 110v For the fan in the upper delicates drying cabinet. It shouldn't need more than 12 amps max.

My 1200 w microwave pulls more amperage than this dryer by nearly double and it's on a 20 amp breaker. The dryer instructions do say use #10 on a circuit maximum 30 amp.

So so I picked up a 2 pole 20 amp breaker to protect the wiring/ general safety, ditched the 2x 110v receptacles and wired up their two phase supply lines the 4 prong outlet on the #12 wire. Works like a champ so far. Second load half done and all wires cool like cucumbers.

I dont reccomend this approach, and I certainly wont run it when I'm not home. My thought process is the 20 amp breaker should blow before the 12 gauge wire is overtaxed.
Did I mention I hard wired smoke detectors and have new fire extinguishers. Guess I'm feeling brave
 
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Old 07-18-19, 04:24 AM
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Nitpicking.

You are not permitted to connect a 30 amp "dryer" receptacle to 12 gauge wiring.

You are not permitted to substitute a lesser amp such as 20 amp plug for the 30 amp plug on the dryer power cord.
 
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Old 07-18-19, 05:14 AM
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Pea Jay took reasonable precautions to make this installation safe, but for others watching that approach is not allowed per code.

A method that would be allowed by code is to run the incoming 10-3/g cable to a small 30A subpanel in the laundry room. From that panel, you could then run a proper 30A dryer circuit and laundry circuit(s).
 
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Old 07-29-19, 03:22 PM
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MOST IMPORTANT: my breaker is sized for the smallest wire gauge anywhere on the dedicated cuircuts. You must do that for safety.

This is no doubt a jury rig- it would NEVER pass inspection anywhere. Temporary use only. If you can UNDERSTAND the math you will do on a online calculator, like I did, and check your ideas for days at multiple sources, something might work, as mine did. I want to be VERY CLEAR- I put a 20 amp breaker in the box- The breaker box is your safety switch. If the appliance pulls 30, the breaker will flip and my clothes will stay wet. Had I put a breaker that allows 30 amp, more than my wire guage could handle, I'd make the dryer happy and burn the house down. Always do the right thing at the breaker box.
 
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Old 07-30-19, 03:57 PM
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I know you looked up the wattage specs on the dryer before doing your calculations, but I would be interested in a reading of exactly how many amps the dryer draws on each leg in operation. Specifications have been known to be wrong.
 
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