How do I test to see if a 220 line is energized? Breakers are not
clearly marked at the box and I need to be assured of a disconnect
before I work on the stove outlet. The wiring is 20-year-old service
with two blacks and a ground ending in a outlet that accepts a 3-prong
male from the stove. Will a simple outlet tester do the job? Please
be specific about the procedure. MK
They don't make outlet testers for those outlets.
Important: 220V circuits have _two_ breakers. The breakers _should_ be
tied together, but they may not be in older installations.
What you want is a means to test whether there's voltage between
either of the two blacks and the ground wire.
At first glance, using a voltmeter or neon tester first between one black
and the ground prong, and then between the other black and the ground prong
seems adequate. Once both tests yield "no voltage", you're good. If one
goes "no voltage", and the other doesn't, at least you've found one of the
It really isn't, because voltmeters and neon testers draw so little current
that induced voltage beween one energized hot wire and an adjacent non-energized
hot wire will show power in both leads. Theoretically, if you got _both_ of
them de-energized, the voltmeter or neon should show non-energized both ways.
So, if you used a neon tester and got "dead" both ways, you're okay.
Do, of course, test both ways _before_ turning off breakers to make sure that
the tester is working, etc.
If you do all of the testing and you cannot get both tests to show "dead",
then you're going to need to replace the neon or voltmeter tester with a
"real" load to eliminate induction effects. A 7w bulb (christmas light or
nightlight) on short wire probes (be _careful_) will do the job.
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
i used to test them, a/c 220 outlets to make sure both legs of the
circuit was working.. this is what i used.. a 220 volt light bulb in a
socket with pig tails on it... checked one hot and ground and the light
would light up half way bright--- then checked the other hot side to
ground and it would light up half way(as its 120 volts) the checked out
both hots with one pigtail to each.. then i would get full brightness
with 220 volt bulb... this way i knew the 220 a/c line was working...
you can do the same thing with a multi meter.. just check each leg to
see if you got 120 volts to each and then go to the two hots and look
for 220 volts from it.....
Don't know what you mean by a simple outlet tester, but if
you mean a bulb in a socket with two probes the answer is
yes. A three prong outlet means two hot legs and a ground.
Voltage between the two legs is 240 and voltage between the
either leg and the ground is 120. Put a small bulb, e.g.,
40W in your tester and test any two of the outlet slots.
You have 3 possibilities a-b, a-c, and b-c. Two
possibilities will be 120 volt and on possibility will be
220. Not that you care but you can tell by how bright the
bulb is and if you hold the probes in contact for more than
a second the on the two hot legs the bulb may burn out.
But if you have an outlet and plug, why do you need to make
sure the power is off? Just unplug the stove to work on it.
mike korenchuk wrote:
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