replacing 110 volt with 220 volt

Old 07-11-02, 12:20 PM
bronco std
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replacing 110 volt with 220 volt

I want to put 220 volt line into my garage for an stick welder. My box is in the house, not in the garage. It is on the same floor opposite side of the house.

Ok,.. my townhouse is using a Siemens 100 amp Circuit Box I think Type QP breakers, (whatever the qp means?). It is not Square D, it does not say that anywhere. The box is full, no more room to put another breaker. All of them are singles with 15 or 20 amp 110 volt, except two they are 220 volt 30 amps, One of the 220 breakers goes to the Dryer the other goes to the A/C. I have gas range and stove, so it uses 110.

I have thought of tapping into one of those other 220 lines and running it to the garage. I do not think that is a good idea. The outlet will need to be on a minimum of 40 amps for the stick welder. I have heard that I can double up the singles (gen. lighting) and run a 220 where the singles used to be (getting a new double breaker in there place for 220). Then run new wiring to the garage.

I have got an estimate for 275 bucks for the job. But I would like to do it myself. I do have the mechanical know how since I rebuild cars as a hobby, I've just done very little electrical work on houses.

Is there anyone who can point me in the right direction? Oh yeah, the outlet in the garage will need to be GCFI as well, so what will that entale in the project?

Old 07-11-02, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
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I'd recommend you take that $275 price and let an electrician do it. Sounds like a good price.

The problem is that panel work of this kind should only be done by a pro or a seasoned DIYer. This is not a good place to get your feet wet in electrical work. There are just too many ways to mess this up.

On the other hand, if you are not in a hurry, and are committed to doing this yourself, start by getting several books on home wiring from your local public library and reading them cover to cover. This will begin your education.

On your specific issues
  • Yes, you can use tandem or twin or skinny breakers to make some room in your panel for a new 240-volt breaker.
  • You have to carefully pick which circuits to move. If you incorrectly select a multiwire circuit, you may create an unsafe condition. So as you read your books, learn what a multiwire (aka shared neutral) circuit is, how it is wired, and the theory behind why it works.
  • Make sure you only buy the right breakers for your panel. Employees at home improvement centers are famous for giving out bad advice on what is compatible with what. In fact, these employees are famous for giving out extremely bad advice on all aspects of electrical work. This is not to say that many, many home center employees aren't very knowledgeable, just that it's not easy for you to figure out which ones they are.
  • Normally, 240-volt circuits do not need GFCI protection even in a garage. But you can if you want. It's done with a GFCI breaker.
  • You are very correct that tying into one of your existing 240-volt circuits would indeed be a bad idea.
  • Make sure you know how to read the electrical specs on your welder. Often, it will tell you what size breaker to use and what size wire to use. If 40 amps turns out to be what is asked for, you'd normally use 8-gauge copper wire (two insulated conductors plus a ground). Learn how to figure out what size wire is used with what size breaker.
  • There are lots of rules for how and where you can run this wire, and how you must protect it and secure it. The books will show you this information.
Good luck in your quest, whether you do it yourself or have it done. If you do it yourself, take plenty of time to learn before you start.

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