Far cheaper to buy 220V lightbulbs.
While several people have pointed out you should never use a safety
ground as a return, the OP did not say that. He uses the word common,
a term sometimes still used for neutral. He therefore may or may not
have a safe way to do this. He says common wire AND ground wire,
implying he has both available.
On Nov 20, 11:37 am, email@example.com (Doug Miller) wrote:
Being a 240V line to a pool pump, this raises another issue. Where
is the GFCI? If it's in the panel, then he needs one that will
accomodate both 240V and drawing 120V on the same circuit. Some GFCI
are strictly 240V and if you unbalance it by drawing 120V from one leg
to neutral, it will trip.
On Nov 20, 1:52 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Exactly! Just too many open questions.
The OP has not posted sufficiently concise information to make a
complete conclusion. In other words the OP may not be knowledgeable
enough to ask; let alone complete the work safely and in accordance
That's often a problem with these "If I did this ..... " questions.
We, trying to help, are all asking more questions, perhaps jumping to
or postulating reasonable conclusions and/or saying "If this, or If
that .... ."
Still think for safety and insurance purposes the OP needs to consult
a 'knowledgeable' electrician; not just some Joe around the corner who
'says they know what they are doing' (and by the way I am not a
licensed electrician so this is not a comment protecting an
association or anything!).
Electricity around pools should not be taken lightly! There are
several ways to arrange things that would 'work'; but whether safe or
satisfactory to insurance or electrical codes ....... ?????
Or just put two 120 volt bulbs of the same wattage in series across the
240 volt line. <G>
It's likely not to code, but thinking about it, each side of the 240
volt circuit is only 120 volts above ground, and for a zillion years
table lamps didn't have polarized cord plugs, so there was a 50-50
chance that the threaded portion of the light bulb sockets in them were
120 volts off ground.
Nobody asked you the most important question. Is your pump motor
240/120 convertible? Most are with a simple swap of a jumper under the
bell cap. The next question is, what does it draw at 120v?
Generally speaking I would say you can do this if it is 1HP or less.
Probably not if it is 1.5HP. I bet you have 14ga wire going out there
(15a). This will need to be GFCI protected.
I see *nothing* in the original post that indicates the presence of a neutral.
The fact that he's using the circuit to run a 240V motor strongly suggests
that there is *not* a neutral, as 240V motors neither need nor use a neutral
and thus are typically wired without one.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Perhaps you should reread it:
"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 outlet?"
One hot wire...common wire...ground wire. What do you suppose he means by
"common wire" other than neutral? He's certainly NOT referring to the
ground wire since he says "common wire AND ground wire"...clearly two
different wires. And of course he doesn't mean the other hot since he
expressly stated "connecting only one hot wire" let alone that it would not
make any electrical sense.
We won't know unless and until he clarifies but presence of a neutral is
VERY STRONGLY suggested in the OP. There is really nothing else "common
wire" can mean. There is no need for this blather about using ground as
neutral. He never said anything of the sort.
I suppose that by that, he means the neutral wire which he *imagines* to be
present in the existing 240V motor circuit -- but is almost certainly absent.
I agree that it's clear he knows the difference between the two. What's not at
all clear is whether he -- or you -- realizes that 240V circuits typically do
*not* contain a neutral conductor.
Sorry, but that's just not correct. The description of the circuit as powering
an existing 240V motor "VERY STRONGLY" suggests the ABSENCE of a neutral
Neither did I. But there is no evidence whatsoever, absent an actual count of
the uninsulated conductors present in the cable or conduit, that the OP does
in fact have a neutral available. Many people do not understand that 240V
devices do not have or use a neutral conductor. The OP may be one of them. You
appear to be another.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Some of us even occasionally call the two legs of a 240 volt circuit,
Which in North American residential service is most unlikely to be
But let's not introduce that (phase) complication into a very unclear
original question; still lacking information.
I give up! Who's on first ...... etc.
:-) :-) :-)
BTW. The reason for the constant reference to 'North American' (which
seems to be a good working system capable as it is of supplying both
120 and 240 volts) is because in Europe and elsewhere a 240 volt
supply could very well be one 'hot' wire at 240 volts (50 hertz) and
one 'neutral' at around zero volts. But could also be (in some
systems) two leads, neither at a zero potential, neither really
considered to be a neutral but at 240 volts (50 hertz) with respect to
each other. However the two leads 'could' in certain systems be
'phases'. :-( :-(
Oh come on. If he's a troll then he's a genius troll. Who could possibly
foresee that a simple question like that, reasonably clear but for his use
of "common" instead of "neutral," would lead to so much needless argument?
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