Doug, what you say and have said numerous times in this thread is
absolutely correct. I admire you for hanging on this long without giving up.
Sometimes, though, people are always gonna try and take the easy way out.
For the OP, the responders and whoever else is still watching this
thread... Doug, and several other posters, have told you what was
suggested is wrong, dangerous, and frankly, stupid.
.... as is giving electrical advice when you don't know all the particulars.
Take it from a electrical contractor that is sometimes called upon to
help investigate the causes of electrical fires: This could easily cause
a fire or get somebody electrocuted.
Good Luck, Doug (-;.
Split outlets were the only way to go in kitchens in Canada until the
recent code update in 2003. Now a 20A circuit can power a non-split
T-slot outlet in place of a 15A split circuit.
This change was put in place to support another change in the code that
came into effect Jan 1, 2004: kitchen counter outlets within 1 metre of
a sink must now be GFCI protected. Since split GFCI outlets are very
hard to find (does anyone even make them??!) and 2-pole GFCI breakers
are somewhat expensive, the 20A/T-slot solution was adopted.
Though it was not too far out, it was not very practical.
I saw a few posts that qualified the suggestion with making sure there
were no other outlets, particuarly downstream, on the circuit. This would
not be too much of an issue with the circuit for kitchen split outlets as
the Canadian code here dictates that no more than two outlets may be on
the same circuit, and then they must not be consecutive along the
countertop (wheelchair-accessible outlets notwithstanding).
However, to suggest that such a circuit could be taken away for another
use is not likely a feasable option as the code probably requires all
the outlets that exist already.
"Never ascribe to malice what can equally be explained by incompetence."
This is dangerous, illegal, and there's a 50% probability that it won't work.
Code requires that all conductors for a given circuit must run in the same
raceway or cable. You've just built a 240V circuit - maybe - from two
conductors that run in different cables.
The probability is exactly 50% that any two random 120V circuits will be on
the *same* leg of the 240V service. Thus, there's a 50% probability that there
is ZERO potential between the two hot wires, and the outlet won't work at all.
If there are any outlets downstream of this one, congratulations, Ace - you
just disconnected their neutrals.
The only positive thing I can find here is that kitchen outlets (in the US, at
least) are very UNlikely to be wired as you describe, and thus it will be
impossible - thank God - to implement your absurd advice.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
The main power supply that goes into you breaker box is 240 Vac. The
cable has four conductors - black, red, white and ground. The black
and the red conductors are each connected to its own common bar that
you insert your breakers to. The two banks of breakers correspond to
the two bars. Each bar measures 115V against the common neutral
(white). If you measure across the two bars (Black and Red) you will
get 240 Vac.
Now go take a look at your table saw motor. All the motors I have
come across have an option to wire it for 115V or for 240V, single
phase. Whether it is wired for 115 V or 240 V the power cord that
comes out of the motor is pretty ordinary and has only three
conductors. So how do you get 240 V to flow through a 3 conductor
cord? The answer is the neutral (white) is not used. One pole of
the motor is connected to the black wire and the other pole to the red
wire. Ground is ground. That's how my garage workshop is set up for
115 Vac and for 240 Vac through its own sub panel. Its humming along
fine after >20 years. For safety the 240 V plug has both pins
horizontal so that an ordinary 115 V plug cannot be inserted into it.
These plugs and receptacles are available from any hardware shop.
Major 240 Vac household appliances like stoves, ovens and dryers use
specific four conductor cables and 4 conductor receptacles. Those are
mandated by code and come from the manufacturers that way. Why do
anything different anyway.
Only KITCHEN receptacles are connected to a paired 115 V breaker in
the breaker box. The paired breaker straddles the two bars on the
breaker box. If you measure the voltage across the wire that comes
out each breaker you should get 240 V. Therefore you can rewire a
KITCHEN outlet to give 240 V.
I didn't read your whole post, but what you are suggesting is using a
multiwire circuit for a 240v circuit. Since that is what a multiwire
circuit really is, there is no fundamental reason it can't be converted;
assuming it is on a 240v breaker rather than a pair of 120v breakers. And
if all the other outlets were removed from the circuit, to avoid mixing 120v
and 240v on the same circuit, it might even meet code.
However, even then it does not seem like a reasonable solution for someone
who doesn't know if he has a 240v service; even if he has a multiwire
circuit he is willing to sacrafice. (though the OP said little about his
problem, so it is hard to be sure)
"I didn't read your whole post, but what you are suggesting is using a
multiwire circuit for a 240v circuit. Since that is what a multiwire
circuit really is, there is no fundamental reason it can't be
assuming it is on a 240v breaker rather than a pair of 120v breakers. "
I think you read it right the first time. This PaPaPeng is a hack. He
never mentioned a word about the necessity of the need for a 240V
breaker, so that both legs get disconnected together. And only a hack
would think of re-routing wiring already in place in kitchen outlets to
make a 240V outlet. And there are some very good reasons why this
advice is bad and dangerous. For, example, the OP doesn't know
anything about even who to call to put in an outlet, you think he's
going to know that typical 14 gauge wire you find at a 120V outlet is
going to melt if you try to run a dryer with it? I hope PaPa has lots
of fire extinguishers and insurance!
I think technically a neutral carries the unbalanced current of 2
conductors that are out of phase. Then 120V ckts don't have a neutral
(it is the grounded conductor) and 240V ckts may. I don't think the NEC
uses the term "neutral".
However "neutral" is commonly used to refer to the "grounded conductor".
This is not intended to place value on the advice of the posters.
"Out of phase" is the correct terminology here. The two legs of a 240V
circuit _are_ out of phase with each other. If they were in-phase with
each other, the voltage between the two would be zero.
This has NO relation to 2 (or 3) phase wiring. A multiwire branch
is NOT a 2 phase circuit.
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
"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 think this is a classic. The OP didn't even know that he already has
240V at the electric panel, or who to call to get the 240V outlet
installed. Then along comes PaPaPeng, telling the guy how to do it
himself. And by what's he's told him to do so far, eg, unhook two
seperate 120V outlets on different legs and run that to the 240V
outlet, it's pretty clear that he doesn't know what the hell he's even
talking about. Following he's advice, someone could easily wind up
I did know that of course. I do have a clothes dryer plugged (and hey, at
least I installed the 240v cord on that one!) I wasn't clear in my original
question, and anyway I like things explained like I'm a total beginner even
if I know 50% of the answer already. What I'm ultimately looking for here
is not necessarily 240v - actually I'd like to avoid 240v if possible. I'm
looking for a balanced line. Now I know the line at the pole is 240v
balanced. What I didn't know is if the line at the house was the same, but
I assumed it was. I wasn't sure if I was going to have to make a request to
the electric company to get that balanced power directly. So if anyone
could tell me the easiest way to get a balanced line, even if I have to step
down the 240 to 12)?
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