OK so I think this can be done quite simply I just need to be positive.
an unused 240V stove plug (the 3 pronged triangle shaped) I
would like to use
this power to hook up a home vacuum system. I want
to split the 240V line into
a 120V outlet for the vacuum itself and the
other line for the outlets at each
conection (one on each floor) for the
power for the tools & attachments. I
believe I can connect the red
white to the outlet for the vacuum in a junction
box and the white and
black to a new wire out to the outlets at each connection.
OK so far?
The double breaker in the box says 40 on both connected breakers. Are
20A then? Can I leave this together and use this breaker?
Am I OK here.
Thanks for the help.
Your circuit breaker is 40 amps per leg. If you plan to use 12 ga wire,
replace the breaker with 20 amp. Since you mention red, black, and white
wires, I'll assume you have a bare ground or steel cable as a ground, make
sure your new cables are connected to the ground wire or junction box ground
No the 40 amp means 40amp on each wire. Since the 2 poles are alternating
(sine wave) you will never have more than 40 amps at the appliance. When one
side is drawing 40 the other side is at 0. When one is at 30 the other is
Does your stove outlet have 4 wires. Red, Black, White, Ground? The ground
may be attached to the box.
If not I would not try to convert it. I would run new wires from the panel.
Some 240V outlets have red, black ground (no neutral). Some have neutral but
no ground. Newer 240V outlets are required to be 4 wire.
In general this is not a good idea. but do this safely you would need to
replace your 40A with a 20 amp double pole. Or two 20 amps breakers with the
handles tied together. (That is if you are using 12 ga wire)
If you did not change the breaker then you would have to keep using the
larger wire (6ga?) on the entire circuit.
A better idea is to make a sub panel at the stove outlet with 2 - 20 amp
breakers there. In that case you would leave the 40 amp breaker in the main
panel. You couldn't do this though if you don't have the 4 wire circuit
with a properly sized ground wire.
That's not right. The 2 phases are opposite. The peaks occur at the
same time (just opposite polarities). During that time, each side is
drawing 40A. 1/240 second later, each is drawing 0A. The currents will
always be equal and opposite.
It will never total more than 40A because the sides are at opposite
The difference between ground and neutral has to do with current flow.
it you have a dedicated (currently with no load connected) 240V
circuit, how would you know which you have?
You couldn't use 4 (2 for each side) 20A receptacles?
Wrap about 600 to 800 feet of insulated wire around your neck and
connect each of the ends to the plug on your vacuum. Put on some well
insulated rubber boots and stand where you dont touch any grounded
metal objects. Grab one of the 240 V wires in your left hand and the
other wire in your right. Turn on the breaker and you will have 120
volts going to the vacuum from the inductance of the coil of wire
around your neck.
Note: You might experience heart failure from doing this, but thats a
small price to pay for progress and technology. Better yet, if you do
survive, you will know you have a strong heart and can save a doctor
bill for cardiac testing.
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