220 volt outlet

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  #1  
Old 06-03-02, 05:43 PM
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ptrickey
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220 volt outlet

I am hooking up a 30amp outlet for 220 volts equipment (outlet has three "hookups"). At the outlet side of the circuit, I put the common (white) wire on the round or ground "hookup", and the red & black wire from the double breaker 30 amp circuit on the "prongs" part of the outlet. The outlet was tested with a volt meter, which showed 120 volts from the common to each of the black & red sides of the outlet. The equipment does not work, which I assuming it is "getting" 220 volts.

My question is: Several people have said that if you check with a volt meter from the red side of the outlet and the black side of the outlet, you should show 220 volts (which I do not show). The problem I have with this is only testing the red & black sides of the outlet does not complete a circuit - but I am not sure of this..

Can you clarify this for me????
Thanks....
 
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  #2  
Old 06-03-02, 06:32 PM
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You didn't say how you connected this in the panel. If you connect the red and black wires to the two screws of a double-pole 30-amp breaker, the white to the neutral bar, and the bare to the grounding bar, you should be okay. Did you do this? If not, what did you do in the panel?

Yes indeed, you should measure 220 volts or more between the red and black wires. The fact that you don't indicates that they are on the same phase of the power. This is confusing, since you said that you used a double breaker, which should make this impossible (unless you hooked both red and black to the same screw). Please help us understand.

Testing between the red and the black should complete a circuit.

What gauge wire did you use?

What kind of equipment is this that you are plugging in?
 
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Old 06-03-02, 06:41 PM
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ptrickey
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Sorry, let me clarify this situation:
The red & black wires are hooked up to the 30 amp double breaker (one to each breaker) in my breaker box. The white (common) and ground wire are connected together at the neutral bar. This breaker box is an extra panel from my 200 amp panel in the house.

The equipment I am hooking up is a glass kiln, which has power requirments of 220volts @ 24 amps max.

The gauge wire used was 10 amps.

Sounds like it should show 220 volts but is not for some reason... Do you have any suggestions?????
 
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Old 06-03-02, 06:57 PM
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Check the voltage directly with your voltmeter across the two screw on the breaker itself. If you read 220 or more there, then it must be the way you connected the wires.

Also make certain that the breaker is compatible with the panel. The breaker should be from the same manufacturer as the panel, and it should be of the same type as all the other breakers in the panel. Please tell us the manufacturer of the panel and breaker.

When you say "double breaker", you mean a double-wide breaker that is a single unit, right? Be sure you don't just mean two breakers. Just for fun, tell us the slot numbers that those two breakers occupy in your panel.

Does your panel mix grounding and neutral wires on the same bus for the other circuits too? This is legal, but only if your subpanel is not grounded to your main panel.

Just FYI, your white wire is not a common. You are using the white wire as a grounding wire. To comply with code, you really should be using the bare wire for this, and you don't need the white wire at all. I'm not sure if it's alternatively allowed to reidentify the white with green tape or not -- perhaps somebody else can help me out with the code details on this.
 
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Old 06-03-02, 07:09 PM
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ptrickey
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Thanks, I will check the voltage across the breaker and let you know if it is 220 volts.

The breaker is a General Electric breaker (which the panel is also a GE). Also, the double breaker is a double wide breaker in ONE single unit. The position in the panel is the upper left at the very top (I assume #1 & 2). My panel is mixing grounding & neutral wires on the same bus, however, I have a separate ground at this panel.

I will rewire the outlet using only the bare wire (for the ground) and tape up the white wire.

I will let you know what happens as to the breaker voltage check as soon as possible - thanks for all of your help...
 
  #6  
Old 06-03-02, 08:00 PM
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ptrickey
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I just checked the 30 amp double breaker and there is not any voltage reading between the two (red & black) wire hookups. I might have the reason why:
The panel in our workshop is a load center, which is off of a 60 amp breaker from our house. In the load center there is a red & black wire (that comes from the house), which when I check the voltage on both of them is 240 volts. Since this is a load center in my work shop, to get 240 volts should I use one 30 amp breaker on each side of the load center panel to get my 240 volts?

See if this sounds correct to you......
Thanks for your help...
 
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Old 06-03-02, 08:06 PM
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NO, do not use one breaker on each side. Stick with the double-pole breaker. Who wired this load center? A properly wired GE load center will have 240 volts across a double-pole breaker inserted in any two vertically adjacent slots in the panel. If you carefully remove the cover from the panel, you should see how this works.

Check the feed coming to this panel to see if it is correctly wired to the subpanel. Something is rotten in Denmark.

One other thing to check. Is this breaker a full 2 inches wide? Perhaps you mistakenly do not have a double-pole breaker but rather a tandem or twin breaker. Go back and check, and anwer my earlier question about what slot numbers it occupies.
 
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Old 06-03-02, 08:22 PM
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ptrickey
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The breaker is in position # 1 in the load center. The (I assume) double breaker is each 1/2 tall and are connected together and turn off & on together. The smaller breakers were used to only use one slot in the panel.

The load center was wired by an electrician (he also put in the breaker) and ran the wire to the outlet box. I only installed the outlet to match the kiln.

In the load center panel - the left side is where the red wire from the house is installed, with the right side connected to the black wire from the house breaker.

Hope this clears up some of the problems.....
 
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Old 06-03-02, 08:35 PM
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Mystery solved!! You do not have a double-pole breaker. You have a tandem breaker. But what you need is a double-pole breaker. This will require two spaces in your panel, one above the other.

Your electrician was either very unqualified, or there was a miscommunications between you two when you discussed the circuit for the kiln. I'm suspecting maybe the former. What do you think? Did he/she seem competent to you?

Unless you figure that you were at fault in what you told him, I would not advise calling back this electrician to fix it. If you have two slots available, one above the other, in your panel, go to the store and buy a 30-amp double-pole GE breaker.
 
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Old 06-03-02, 08:54 PM
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Double check

Hey, somebody check me out here. I just checked Home Depot's inventory, and they do have a 20-amp GE breaker that is called "240/120" and "double-pole" breaker that is a space-saver design (SKU #198277). So what gives? Is this really a 240-volt double-pole breaker that is only 1" wide and only takes one slot in the panel. I don't think so, but it's been a while since I looked closely at a GE panel.

The other thing that gets me wondering is that a 30-amp tandem breaker is pretty rare. There are 30-amp quad breakers that provide two double-pole breakers in a 2" space, but that doesn't seem to apply here. Also, I'm puzzled by ptrickey's statement that the handles are tied together.

Anybody got a contrary opinion, or does anybody agree with my prior assessment. I'm starting to have doubts.
 
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Old 06-04-02, 06:06 AM
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John:

I'm with you on the breaker. How can a 1" wide breaker connect to both buses (in a regular GE panel)? Maybe it's for a special panel (sump'n new perhaps?), which, I suspect, ptrickey doesn't have. ptrickey, where did you get this breaker?

Either he's got a double for a different panel or he's got a tandem.

ptrickey, get a regular full-size double breaker as John suggests.

John, you asked some questions, but I'm not sure things are 100%.

There are grounds and neutrals on the same bus in the sub. Is there a ground running from the main to the sub, ptrickey? Is the sub grounded to rods?

Can a white be recoded green and used as a ground in this case? (I know he seems to have a bare ground, but for the sake of world enlightenment...)
 
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Old 06-04-02, 07:21 AM
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ptrickey
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I replaced the 1" double breaker with a regular 2" double breaker and it works properly now (shows 230 volts when testing both sides of breaker). When I went back to Home Depot this morning they had another breaker that had 1" GE Double breakers (like what I supposedly had earlier), but I stayed with the 2" breaker and everything is working properly.

As far as the subpanel (or load center) in the workshop, it has a separate ground that is grounded with a grounding rod, and does not use a ground from the panel in the house.


Thanks for all of your help.
 
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