# Can you derive a 110 volt outlet from a 4 wire 220 volt in the US?

I just purchased a new house and am installing a new gas range. I had a heating company come out and pipe gas to the location of the stove, but will still need to figure something out for electricity.
I've seen several websites and newsgroup posts saying that you can derive a 110 volt by using one of the hot wires from your range outlet and the neutral wire.
It makes sense to me, being that our 220s are just two 110s. However, all the sites that confirm this information are Canadian and I'm afraid that appliance wiring between the two countries might be a bit different. Before I electrocute myself, are there any US based electricians out there that can confirm?
Thanks!
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Yes.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Additional note. You may want to check the size of the breaker controlling that line. It might be good to down rate it to 15 or 20 amps.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Steven Kingsley wrote:

Steven: Personally, I agree with your interpretation. But being in Canada myself I think you are wise to confirm with a US source. The way I have explained our North American 115/230 volt system to some, (especially the UK where domestically they usually 'only' have two wires plus an earth; i.e. a neutral at {sort of} zero volts and a hot at 230 volts into their consumer/unit or main circuit breaker or fuse panel), is like this; We have three wires coming into our North American houses along with a ground of some sort at the point where the wires come in. The 'middle' wire, often white is the neutral at {sort of} zero volts. One of the other wires often (in Canada) black or red is at plus 115 volts and the other wire red or black, say, is at minus 115 volts. So there is, as it were 230 volts between the two 'outer' wires. Since we are talking about AC electricity it's not entirely true to speak of plus and minus but it serves to explain the process. If the three wire circuit you intend to use previously served an electric cooking stove it's most likely got a heavy two pole of breaker something like 40 to 60 amps? To protect the much thinner wiring for miscellaneous functions within your new propane stove it is an excellent idea to replace the breaker with a single pole one of say 15 or 20 amp rating and plug or wire the new stove into a regular duplex outlet connected only for 115 volts. Email direct if you wish
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Steven -
I'm also from Canada. I changed from a 230v electric range to a natural gas range a few years ago, but of course needed a 115v supply to run the controls.
I just bought an adapter. It plugs into the 230v range plug and covers it, and has a standard 115v plug on the front of it. It looks like some of those wall mounted surge protector plates, but it simply picks off one side of the 230v supply and brings out the resulting 115v to a proper 115v plug on the faceplate. The unit has it's own built in 15 amp fusing, so the control circuitry in the range is properly protected. I believe the store that sold me the range had the unit. I suspect if you ask the dealer where you purchased your range, they will have such adapters that are compatible with your U.S. wiring if for some reason it is different than Canadian wiring.
The beauty of this is that if for any reason we or future purchasers of the house want to go back to an electric range, we just have to shut off the gas supply, remove the adapter, and plug in the electric range and it'll work.
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Hint... The power that comes into your home...its 220V..
We carry adaptors for all our 110-115V based equipment to run them when working on AC units, where there is no 110-115V outlet nearby...

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I asked an electrician to install a 110V outlet from a 220 V dryer box -- he refused because it was not in conformity with our local code. What is technically possible is not necessarily code compliant.
Steven Kingsley wrote:

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About the only thing that would prevent this (NEC wise) is lack of a grounding wire. Functionally, you could move the red wire to the ground bus and color it green, but that is not NEC compliant. This applies both to 30A dryer and 50A range circuits.
If you have a grounding wire and a white and a black, I don't know how this could violate a local code unles you have some really onerous rules.
-- Mark Kent, WA
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John_B wrote:

I wonder why your code says 'no'. Especially since someone has described an 'adapter' complete with 15 amp fuse. Neat idea; glad someone mentioned it. But maybe it IS to avoid 'modifications' that the not knowledgeable (amateur electricians) may not understand even though as John B says "is technically possible". We can all probably list stupid and unsafe things that people do; even when everything in their house is absolutely to code! Here are my few contributions. 1) A lady's phone was grimy so she ran it through the dishwasher with a load of dirty dishes! Afterwards it didn't work and put the phone line out of service! In another case an outside pool phone fell into a swimming pool from a rickety table/stand; twice! The same house also left the pool phone out in the rain. 2) Someone shampooed their cat. Then put it in the microwave to dry! 3) Someone ran an extension cord into a bathroom and plugged in an electric heater! The story I heard was that someone fell over the heater getting out of the bath but, fortunately, did not get a shock! 4) A food outlet owner took the door off a microwave oven, jammed the door switches so it would operate continuously; at least two employees got burns to their hands putting food in/out! Along same lines; a microwave in a train's lunch bar mounted about 15 inches immediately behind the head of the person serving food/drinks! Lots of jolting motion on a train! 5) The couple who, during an extensive power failure brought their gas barbecue inside the house and asphyxiated themselves.
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In alt.home.repair on Sat, 19 Jul 2003 22:27:56 -0230 Terry

This is a badddd idea. LOL. But if you put the cords in the dishwasher, they come out great! (I don't use hot air to dry. I just use time.)

Meirman
If emailing, please let me know whether or not you are posting the same letter.
Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
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wrote:

Actually, it may work if you dry the phone in your oven, pre-heated to 170 degrees (turned off after pre-heat), overnight.
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Heh. No need to get the working parts wet. I used to 'rebuild' Real Phones (you know, the kind that lasted 40+ years and weighed about six pounds) by pulling off shell, dial/TTpad cover, field stripping handset cover, etc, and washing all the pretty parts with dish soap. Set on sunny window overnight to dry, and reassemble. Never tried washing cords, though, other than with windex and a soggy rag.
aem sends...
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You guys are the best! Thanks for all the great information.
Now that I have confirmation that using a hot , neutral, and ground is safe; I wonder if anyone knows of a place in Canada that would ship an adapter to the states?
Seems like it would be a lot easier than replacing circuit breakers and everything at the junction box.
I've been to three hardware stores and one appliance shop asking about the adapter. They all hadn't hear of it, but thought it was the most brilliant idea ever.
For those who haven't seen one..
Steven
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On 20 Jul 2003 07:13:56 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@stevenkingsley.com (Steven Kingsley) wrote:

It is safe, if the 15A outlet is fused as such.

Do they not ship to the US? Why not get a friend in Canada to buy one and ship it to you?
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I like the built in fuse. It looks good. The question I have is about plug. There are a number of different plugs\outlets used. Are you sure you are getting a matched set?
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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That's a good question. My range outlet, starting at the top, as one vertical prong, two vertical prongs side by side in the center, and a round ground prong on the bottom.
It's difficult to tell from the adapter photo if it would be match, but there's nothing in the photos that makes me think it wouldn't.
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snipped-for-privacy@stevenkingsley.com (Steven Kingsley) wrote in

The plug is as you describe - 1 vertical prong at the top, 2 side by side at the center, and a round ground prong at the bottom. The receptacle for the 110v plug is a standard 3 prong plug.
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D. Stoner wrote:

You may refer to a NEMA chart of plug and receptical configurations at http://www.leviton.com/sections/techsupp/nema.htm .
Note that the sizes are not consistent, nor are they indicated. For instance, the overall diameter of an 18-20R is much greater than that of a 5-20R.
-- Jack Gavin
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snipped-for-privacy@stevenkingsley.com (Steven Kingsley) wrote in

That's the adapter I have - works great. I just checked Home Depot here and they have them in the electrical section under "Gas Appliance Adapter". They don't ship anywhere, but I'd imagine there are Home Depots in pretty much every state.
I could be wrong, but I believe that where I am in Canada there is only one configuration for 220v range plugs. There is a different configuration for 220v electric clothes dryer plugs, so the adapter is for ranges only. It wasn't a problem when we converted the electric dryer to gas, however, since there was already a 110v receptacle for the washing machine next to the dryer.
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There have been at least two different outlet/plugs for ovens in the US.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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