If I wanted to have a dedicated 240v outlet installed, who would do that,
the electric company or an independent electrician? Would they have to wire
it special from the street, or is there already a line at my circuit box
that's 240v? How much would it cost? thanks.
You'd call a regular electrician. You have 240V capability at your service
entrance (e.g. breaker box) -- they just need to run a line from there to
wherever you want the outlet.
Cost will vary depending on distance from the box and difficulty in running
There should be 240v into your electrical panel and meter. A contractor
will be the one to call.
The cost depends upon the difficulty of the installation and upon the
contractor's rates. You can expect anywhere from $100 to $500, depending
upon several factors. Ask around for references. Usually you get what
you pay for.
All you need to do is to buy a 240V breaker for the main breaker box
and wire it to your outlet receptacle. You can do that yourself.
Read up the wiring instructions from DIY home wiring book or ask the
hardware store salesman. Install an incompatible 240 type receptacle
so that someone won't make the dangerous mistake of plugging in a
regular 115V device and start a fire. I presume you know the usual
precautions about work safety when doing your own electrical
I have a feeling you have a 240V appliance from a 240V system country
that is too pricey to throw out. If it is only a single 240 consumer
appliance that doesn't draw too much power its a lot easier just to
buy a 115V to 240V step up transformer from the sewing machine dealer
which has a ready to use unit complete with plug and socket
One easy alternative way to get a dedicated outlet is to modify the
duplex outlet already in your kitchen. Duplex outlets in Canadian or
US kitchens are normaly wired to separate 115V breakers for the upper
and the lower outlet. The reasoning is that often these outlets are
overloaded with one too many kitchen gadgets like a toaster, coffee
pot, egg beater, etc. so that popping a breaker is not uncommon.
Having a separate circuit for the upper and the lower outlet means
that when one outlet is popped the other one can still be used
(assuming the wife and the kids are not knowledgeable about resetting
Okay, the way to get 240V out of this is to connect the hot wire of
the upper outlet to your 240 outlet live wire screw. Then connect the
live wire of your lower outlet to the neutral of the 240 outlet screw.
Tape off/snip off the neutral wires of the original duplex receptacle
so that there is no bare wire to cause a short. The ground wire stays
connected to ground. Be sure you use a 240V type outlet that is
incompatible with your regular 115 V plugs.
Ya gotta start somewhere gents. In fact I've learned to do many DIY things,
and have even gone on to do them professionally. However, since I'm having
this addition built by a builder, I won't bother to learn more than I need
to know to make sure the job is done right.
Jeff, this was in no way intended as a lack of respect for you.
It was intended to indicate that "All you need to do is.." may not be
sufficient instructions for someone who may not understand enough to fill in
the parts that were not listed. Handling electricity and wiring can be
dangerous, if not done right. Even if it is done in a way that would
logically seem safe, it might not be according to code and if the next
person working on it does not know that, they could be injured making an
assumption (which of course they should never do).
I do suggest that if you want to take on this job and make any changes
to your wiring, that you consider beginning with a good book on wiring.
Even if we were to give you step by step instructions for a normal
situation, there is always that chance that you are up against something not
according to code (see paragraph above) and that could get you killed. The
full book better covers those things and other unexpected things that you
don't see yet.
Yep, I think there needs to be sufficient respect shown to the job
itself. Im an electrical engineer, and I just did lots of wiring on my
mothers house. 120V aint too bad. Overall the danger in installing
120V and 240V is equal. Bad install means hazard for the person living
at the residence.
But to the installer 240V means much more danger to himself. Being able
to issue a few expletives is a luxury of still being alive...
As an EE I know how electricity works, but that does not mean I know
anything about the safety standards electricians have developed over the
years. I even read the DIY book in the store. Looks so simple.
But I have a wife and son, and I refuse to touch 240V. Fear is good.
As for assumptions. I recall one day turning off the circuit breaker in
the breaker box, then proceeding to install a new outlet/switch at my
mothers other house. I got a nasty shock. My mom laughed and said
something about my father's wiring the house. Even professionals can
I agree with what you wrote. I will add one time I was replacing a hall
light. I turned the light on and when down to the basement to unscrew the
fuse I thought was it. No luck, on the second try I came back up and the
light was out so I went to work. After loosening everything I was pulling
the fixture down when I was suddenly showered in sparks. As it turns out
the lamp had burned out while I was loosening that second fuse. It was yet
another circuit. Needless to say, I was lucky and pulled both mains (it was
a duplex with two entries) before continuing.
Not directed at you as you already know, but I would not recommend doing any
work on wires unless you have a multimeter to test the actual circuit with.
You should first, of course, ensure that the multimeter is working correctly
and you're using it correctly.
Yea, but now you might have just opened up the neutral on the
downstream line. I say "might", because maybe it had a pigtail (in
which case there might not even be neutral "wires" as you write, but
only a single neutral wire pigtail, to cut).
And here is another interesting point that I have never thought about:
So does a 240V foreign-made plug have polarity, like modern US 120V
plugs? You seem to suggest that it does, by calling one of the screws
the "neutral screw". So, you just told the OP to put hot 120V on
sometihing that is meant to be neutral. Way to go.
And the kicker:
As pointed out, the OP doesn't even know who to call. Why would you
presume anything like this?!
What you are suggesting is, first of all, senseless, since 240V
circuits do not have a neutral.
Second, what you are suggesting is dangerous because if you connect
these two circuits in the described manner, the circuits will no
longer be safe to work on if only one circuit breaker is turned off
(if a device is plugged into the 240V outlet and turned on).
I have just such a 240V set up in my kitchen for >20 years now. I do
all my own wiring and so do a lot of people I know who are not
electricians or engineers. If you don't feel comfortable handling
live electrical work then don't. But there are lots of ordinary
people who do like to do their own stuff and can do it without
injuring or killing themselves. That's why there is a healthy market
for DIY books and TV programs. For your info I also put in a lot of
sweat equity to build the house I am living in. Never did it before
or since. But that was the only way I could afford a house. Its one
solidly built house.
I do electrical work in my house myself, however, what you are
suggesting is a bad way to go. Your setup will make it difficult to
make "live electrical" into "not live", by tying two circuits
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