220 over 12 gauge


Is 220 over 12 gauge wire ever legit ? I had a live 220 plug (per the tester) in the garage of a house I recently bought, one of those with weird prongs but not anywhere near the size of a dryer plug. It had about 4 extra miles of wire that led to a junction box that connected to a switch that also had some 3-way component to it. I ripped it all out cause it was ridiculous and served no purpose.
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Of course, that's why they make those "weird" outlets. Compressors, air conditioners, shop equipment, large portable heaters, and lots of other things use 20 amp 240 volts

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Thanks all, I learned something today. The rest of the install was so messed up that even if I had a need for 220 out there, I would have wanted to redo it. My inspector missed the extra several feet of wiring just tucked into the eaves. And the use of a light switch above the garage door (7' off the floor) to somehow control the outside lights, though I'm not sure how.
Also, if you're taking notes, running romex on top of a board in your garage eaves and holding it in place by laying a piece of drywall on it, is not the best way to secure it.
When amateur electricians get inventive we do some crazy things.
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There's no problem with the extra wiring or the switch above the door. That's why it was "missed" because it's not a problem.
--
Steve Barker


< snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Nothing you've described so far comes even close to "crazy" in the sense of being any safety hazard whatsoever. I'd suspect from the sounds of it the previous owner probably had a reason for the switch being where it was, and as for a few extra feet of wire coiled up in an eave space and the wire tucked up out of the way, as previously noted, it was in all likelihood done that way on purpose w/ the idea of being able to move the outlet at some future time. I've many such similar "features" in shop/barn/shed areas as we speak (although I will admit I don't have anything being held anywhere by a piece of drywall :)) , but doesn't sound like the situation you describe would be any worse if the wire were simply laying there. If there's no access, I don't believe there's any code requirement that the wire be fastened.
Not that neatness isn't a desirable trait and is quite important for a whole-house installation and has advantages even in adding a branch circuit, lack of it doesn't by and in of itself, constitute a hazard.
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On 18 Dec 2006 20:15:37 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Maybe he didn't want his kids or an intruder turning off the lights. Or maybe he just didn't want to run more wire to put the swich closer. One could use a 3 foot stick, maybe with a hook on the end, to flip the switch up and down.
I put a light over my work bench and a switch for it on the wall in the middle of the bench. Now I have an excerize device in the middle of the room and it's inconvenient to go around it all the time to turn the light off. So I use a 3 foot stick.
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Ripping it out was the right thing to do. 4 miles of wire just won't work!
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Of course it is. For residential wiring applications, wire size depends only on the current (amperage) and not the voltage. 12ga wire can be used for either 15 or 20 amp circuits, at either 120V or 240V.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

....
Or even, w/ most cable, 408/440V. :)
For OP, as someone else noted, wire size is for the ampacity, not voltage. It is the insulating quality that determines the voltage rating, not the size of the wire. Virtually any cable manufactured since Romex was invented will be rated for at _least_ 600V (which, if you'll look, you'll probably find stamped on the jacket of the wire you removed).
BTW, the extra length, while perhaps not the neatest installation, probably also had absolutely no bearing on the adequacy of the previous installation. Sounds like it might have been a temporary and the person used the remainder of a roll of wire rather than to whack it up. Think about how long the wiring is in the rest of the house and it probably won't be such a revelation... :)
(BTW, Doug, I'm not preaching at you here, but just convenient spot to amplify for OP, who hopefully will come back...) :)
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