I have a 220 volt line that powers my pool pump. I want to run 110
volt lights near the pool pump and would like to convert 220 to 110.
Is this as simple as taking the 220 wires, and connecting only one hot
wire side with the common wire and ground wire to a standard 110 volt
Yes. Stoves and dryers are the only special case where you could
do this. It's been against US code for a couple of years now,
so you can't do new installations that way anymore.
[It's been against Canadian code for at least 30 years.]
I wouldn't dream of doing it with a pool pump outdoors. You're
compromising the ground. That plus water that you immerse yourself in
If you lost a ground connection (many ground connections really aren't
that good - I've seen too many people just wrap them without wire nuts -
or worse, assume that simply lying against the electrical box sides was
sufficient), the pump frame, the fixture, and everything else bonded
to them in the area could go hot. And you're just asking for corrosion
- which'll kill the ground eventually if it's carrying any current.
Bad. Really really bad.
This is one of those "it'd probably work for a while" _will_ eventually
Either he has four wire, or he converts the pump to 120V. Either
way is reasonable. Might not be able to convert the pump to 120V,
or the circuit may not be beefy enough for it. Strictly speaking,
probably both approaches are still against code (code doesn't like
sharing motors (except very small ones) with anything else on a circuit).
But an inspector would probably let you get away with it for a light
bulb or two on a "change" (rather than new install).
A 240V bulb is by far the simplest/cheapest solution.
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
They make 220 v lightbulbs you know.
Living temporarily in Europe where it's all 220V, 50 Hz, we use our
same lamps and just buy the 220V bulbs. Works fine.
Sure you can buy transformers but for lights there's no point.
Just for future reference, it's 240 and 120 -- hasn't been 220 and 110 for a
long, long time.
No. You probably need to pull a new cable. A 240V circuit consists of two hot
conductors and a ground -- and NO neutral conductor. A 120V circuit consists
of one hot, one neutral, and one ground.
In other words, to get a 120V circuit, you need a neutral, and you probably
don't have one. It's possible, although unlikely, that your pool pump circuit
contains an extra conductor -- check the cable going to the pump, and count
the wires in it. If there are four of them (black, red, white, and bare), then
you can do this easily and safely: black and red to the pump, black and white
(or red and white, doesn't matter) to the 120V outlet, and bare to everywhere
that needs a ground. Verify at the breaker box that black and red go to a
double-pole breaker and white to the neutral bus bar.
If you only have three wires in the cable going to the pool pump (black,
white, and bare), then you don't have a neutral, and you need pull a new cable
that does have one. Rather than remove the existing 3-wire 240V circuit and
replace it with a 4-wire 240V/120V circuit, it's much less trouble to simply
install a new 120V circuit.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
There is a major difference between making something work, and making it
work safely. Equipment grounding conductors are NEVER used to conduct
anything but fault currents. You'd create an electrical hazard by using a
ground instead of a neutral for your 120 volt circuit
The question is the neutral. Does the wiring out to the pool pump provide a
neutral? If not, you really should not do this.
If there is a neutral, you can take a 110 volt socket off the circuit for
low wattage appliances. It is not acceptable to use the ground as a neutral.
Christopher A. Young;
"Tool" < email@example.com> wrote in message
Since the code requires an insulated 12ga copper ground wire to a pool
pump it will usually be wire in conduit. Adding a neutral should not
be that hard. For that matter pulling in 2 wires for a totally
separate circuit is not that hard either. Just be sure you put the
GFCI on the load end of that conduit.
No: You cannot safely use the ground as one side of an electrical
circuit! Especially in the vicinity of a pool electrical safety is
extremely important. Also non standard wiring might invalidate any
liability insurance, if discovered, even if an an accident did not
The use of ground as one side of a circuit, even an electrical cooking
stove, is not standard or approved in any jurisdictions that anyone
with an electrical background is aware.
The ground wire is there to safely connect items to ground and prevent
electrical shock and/death 'in the event of a fault condition'. Under
normal no-fault conditions the ground wire does not carry any
Suggest you get someone competent and probably licensed, to reduce you
r liability for something dangerous. Also suggest that the circuit you
are proposing be equipped through a GFI, either an outlet or GFI type
circuit breaker. This may be mandated by regulation anyway in your
Respectfully suggest that anyone asking that question in that manner
does not have the knowledge to safely do such work. Yes; it might
work, the lights may come on an everything 'appear' to be OK until
something happens! With any electricty in or near a pool make sure
someone present knows CPR.
Also depending on regulations in your jurisdiction it likely may not
be legal to connect pumps and lights to the same fuse/circuit breaker.
many of these items may seem onerous but they make sense and in some
ways are to protect us from ourselves.
Suggestion: If all you need is a convenience light 'near' the pool it
may be possible to use a transformer. The transformer would convert/
step down the 220 to 110 volts to feed a conventional lamp. A
transformer for say 100 watts would not be too expensive or large. The
metal frame of such a transformer and the box it is mounted in should
be grounded for safety. The output of the transformer could have
switch to control the light. But again everything should be wired/
mounted in standard way to conform with approved electrical safety and
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