220 electrical outlets?

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Just finishing my workshop and am doing my finish work. On 220 electrical outlets I notice there are a couple of different styles. What is the difference. There is on that is similar to a 110 sytle but with one of the blades turned 90 degrees. there is also one they call a NEMA 6(?)? All three blades are in a cricular pattern. My new jointer recommends the NEMA but would like to know what the difference is and why one is better than the other.
Thanks,
Jim
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wrote:

Not so much that one is "better" than the other, but that the differently configured receptacles are rated for different maximum current. BTW, they are all "NEMA" configurations. NEMA 5-XX are 120v plug/receptacle configurations and NEMA 6-XX are for 240v circuits.
Here is a link to a chart of the NEMA configurations for the straight blade (non-locking) configurations:
http://www.westernextralite.com/resources.asp?keyi
and for the circular blade (locking) configurations:
http://www.westernextralite.com/resources.asp?keyp
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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On Mon, 29 Oct 2007 19:14:58 -0500, Tom Veatch wrote:

"Rated" may be an unfortunate choice of words (especially when using "for maximum current"). "Keyed" is more accurate. For example, (and I can't speak to the locking series) the 6-15 and 6-20 are keyed differently, and the 6-15 is for 15 A and the 6-20 is for 20 A. However, an exception exists in the NEC which permits that in 15 and 20 A circuits (on both 120V and 240V supplies), either receptacle may be used on a 20A line. You can't, however, use a -20 on a 15 A line.
So, clearly, the 15 A receptacle is "rated" (in tems of its ability to carry the current) for 20 A, it's just "keyed" for 15 A plugs (a 20 A plug won't fit into it). However a 20 A receptacle will accept both a 15 A and a 20 A plug.
All of the foregoing is thrown out the window if the only receptacle on the circuit is a simplex receptacle--then the receptacle must match the current capacity dictated by the wire/breaker.
--
LRod

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wrote:

Well, since - if there's only one receptacle on the circuit - the "keying" of the device must match the current capacity (IOW, maximum amperage) of the circuit, I'd tend to call that the "rated" capacity of the receptacle.
But, have it your way, it's not worth arguing over..
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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On Tue, 30 Oct 2007 10:10:21 -0500, Tom Veatch wrote:

Well, it's not "tomato, tomahto". "Rated" implies capacity or ability to withstand. To say a fixture is "rated for 15 A" makes it sound like it will burn up when used on a 20A circuit. That simply isn't true. So, it is worth arguing over...unless you're wrong.
--
LRod

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wrote:

It may sound like that to you, but not to me. A 15 amp fixture wouldn't "burn up" if it were used on a 100amp circuit. It just wouldn't be protected by the circuit breaker.
Why can you use a NEMA X-15 on a 20 amp circuit ONLY if there are multiple outlets? Why won't UL list products with NEMA X-15 plugs if they draw more than 15 amps in normal operation? Do you think it might be because the X-15 receptacles aren't intended to carry a continuous current greater than 15 amps? That sounds like a "rating" to me.
You want to use the word "keyed"? Fine, use it. I'll continue to use the word "rated" and I suspect that most folks will know what I'm talking about.
Oh, BTW, is a NEMA X-50 "keyed" for 50 amps or is it "rated" for 50 amps? I don't believe you can use the same argument here as you did for the code exception case of multiple 15 amp outlets on a 20 amp circuit.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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On Wed, 31 Oct 2007 18:12:53 -0500, Tom Veatch wrote:

But it's supposed to be protected if it's mounted in a box. That's the whole point.
Yes, a 1 amp clock radio won't burn up on a 100 A circuit--I've been arguing that for years when folks post worrying about running their 3HP saw on a 30 or 40 A circuit. Note, however, that all of that wiring and equipment is outside of the wall and therefore none of it is protected by the breaker.

Don't ask me, ask the people who wrote the NEC--they're the ones who authored the exception(s). Note that those people are not the same people who run Underwriter's Laboratories, and have different parameters, goals, and sponsors.

Of course not. If that were true, how could you be permitted to use 15A receptacles on a 20A circuit? And you are permitted to do so, by the NEC,

Well, it might very well be, if it were any other current device than 15/20 A devices.

Under a lot of other circumstances we can afford to be less precise in the nomenclature we choose to use. Electricity isn't one of them. It's irresponsible to be casual about what one says just because "most folks will know what [you're] talking about" (and you only *suspect* that, to boot). Well, most folks don't. That's why they're asking questions. And this whole discussion is precisely why there are only a handful (and a small handful at that) of posters on the wreck whose electrical advice is worth following.

I don't have technical data to prove it, but since economics doesn't support building 20 ton components for 1 ton use, it's a fair guess that the specification for the contacts for a 50 A device is indeed more like a rating. After all, it's only intended and permitted on 50 A circuits. Would you not agree that no 15/20 A receptacle is built (that is, capable of handling the current) to operate on a 50 A line? The contacts wouldn't be able to handle the current. That's what rating is.
That's the whole point of the argument on using that word in the 15/20 A exception. Clearly a device that is keyed for 15 A components but is permitted to be installed on 20 A circuits is rated (that is designed and permitted to carry said current) for 20 A service.
If you don't understand the importance of the differences I've pointed out, there isn't any purpose served by continuing to convey them. And if you don't, then please don't give electrical advice.
--
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wrote:

as the ONLY outlet on a 20 amp circuit since it is "rated (that is designed and permitted to carry said current) for 20 A service." Yet that is prohibited by code. Wonder why?

And do you understand the reason behind allowing multiple instances of 15 amp outlets, but prohibiting a single 15 amp outlet, on a 20 amp circuit?
The difference(s) I see is simply one of semantics and is completely limited to the single instance of allowing a 20 amp circuit to feed multiple instances (but not a single instance) of 15 amp outlets.
However, I will admit to some interest in why you seem to feel that the use of the word "rated" in my response to the OP was "unfortunate". Do you seriously believe it could lead the OP into some sort of unsafe practice?
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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Wow.. I would have loved the chance to pick your brain a few months ago... great info!
Mexican builders don't have a lot of RV experience, so when I specified a "50 amp hookup" they put in some weird kind of plug that a friend said might be from a dryer or something... Oh.. before we found out that it wasn't an RV outlet, we went to the States and bought a "dog bone" to plug into it to convert it to a 30 amp plug for our trailer.. We didn't realize we had a problem until the dog bone wouldn't plug into the outlet.. Last month we took a trip to Yuma and took along the dog bone.. went top an RV place and paid almost $50 for the outlet that fits the plug on the dog bone.. Lots more expensive and time consuming than asking a knowledgeable person a few questions...
mac
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I believe the different plug styles are for different amounts of current. You should choose the appropriate one for the current of your 220 line.
Mike
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The NEMA ones are great! We have put them in place of the old ones we had as the round ones are twist lock, no worry about someone accidently pulling out the plug. Besides all my outlets are in the ceiling and not on the floor or walls. See here for explanation:
http://www.nooutage.com/nema_configurations.htm#NEMA%20Configurations
Jon

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I am getting to the point of deciding what type of heat to install in a new workshop. The shop is 30'x54' with 10' walls and will be insulated to R-20 in the walls and R-38 in the ceiling. I have natural gas available and am trying to decide between using one or two of the ventless "blue flame" gas units or a single ceiling mounted vented gas furnace. The ventless units would be less expensive and have a few other advantages, but I have heard that because they do not vent combustion air outside of the building they can lead to potential moisture problems. Is this an issues to be concerned about? The shop will be used for woodworking and fossil/mineral preparation so a moisture problem would not be good.
Thanks for any recommendations or advice any one has.
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Simply put, YOU DO NOT WANT VENT LESS!! Dumping the exhaust into the building is definitely a problem, with both possible oxygen depletion and moisture. In my area you can not even install vent less heaters, they are against building code. Many of them recommend leaving a door or window slightly open when using them. Buy a 50,000~60,000 BTU Reznor UDAP, or a Modine Hot Dawg. And be done with it! Now someone will come along and contradict every thing I just wrote! Good luck! Greg
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"Greg O" wrote:

AMEN brother, AMEN.
Lew
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IMO, do not get a ventless heater. My parents have one in their basement, and I personally don't like the way it smells.
todd
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Gas is a 'wet" fuel. It comes out of the ground wet and has the moisture adjusted to be a certain 'wetness" . This makes it easier to pump and stabilizes the gas under pressure.
Using a ventless in a wood shop will increase the moisture content of your product. This does not even address the rusty tools or the odor or the possible monoxide when the heater or gas line messes up.
Pete
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I'll never do that again... IMO, an activated charcoal filter doesn't replace venting heat and exhaust outside..
mac
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mac davis wrote:

Depends on where and when you are. In a New England winter blowing all your heat out through the range hood isn't all that comfortable or cheap. On the other hand, in the summer after the house has heated to an uncomfortable temperature, sucking in some nice cool night air can be just the thing.

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I have that too Mac... never again. Kate
wrote:

and I'll never do that again... IMO, an activated charcoal filter doesn't replace venting heat and exhaust outside..
mac
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Reminds me of my parents' house in Holland. We/they had several natural gas fired heaters that sucked in outside air to feed the burners and vented the exhaust outside through a single coaxial opening totaling some 6" (guessing). Worked fine, even in brick housing. Isn't there something like that here in the US?
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Han
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