First idea that comes to mind is that the circuit is not powered on, and
you're using a digital meter -- and measuring a microampere current that's
induced in the line by current in an adjacent circuit. Connect a load of some
sort to the circuit, and see what happens to the voltage then. I'm betting it
drops to zero.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
When I check my other outlets, on another circuit, they read 240 with
a digital meter. It is just these 4 that register 60 on each one.
Previous post said they may be wired in series, how would that happen?
On Sat, 03 Nov 2007 00:53:42 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug Miller)
Turn off the power and take the outlets out of the box. Examine the
wiring and make a note of how its wired. The only way I can think to
have the outlets wired in series would require something to be plugged in
to each one to complete the circuit. (I.E. When one bulb goes, all the
lights go out.)
Should the outlets successfully been wired in series, I'd love to find
out how that was accomplished! It's almost planned stupidity.
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.
To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
As Doug mentioned...
Does your meter "auto range"? You might be reading a very tiny, as
in microvolts, induced voltage.
** http://www.bburke.com/woodworking.html **
An induced voltage doesnt have to be tiny. 60V is well within range of
an induced voltage on an open wire with a high impedence meter.
You have an open wire somewhere up line from where you're measuring,
as others have said.
Take a lamp and plug it into one of the dead outlets, turn it on and
the voltage reading should drop to zero.
That's not the point. The point is that supplying a continuity with a
relatively low resistance should drop the voltage to zero. That would
eliminate the "induced voltage that you saw. If you wired things somehow
in series, the bulb would (on that 60 V) probably glow only faintly if at
If you put a lightbulb that is designed for 110V in a 220V circuit I
assume it will burn, maybe brightly for only a short period of time. I
think R is constant R=I/V, so maybe I will be half if V is twice, maybe
In Europe almost all bulbs will be 220/240V. I know that even with a
transformer, our Dutch 220V sewing machine would not run on 110V. I
can't check it anymore, since someone stole it.
American 220/240 volt is twin phase (two hot wires) in the EU its
single phase (0ne hot wire) thats why the equipment is not
In the UK both the Earth and neutral go to ground (neutral at the
substation , earth eithr at the sub or copper point in the ground )
Our 110 Volt systems are used only on construction sites from a centre
tpped transformer so you only get a 55 volt shock if you ground
I was so naive as to think that inputting 110 V to a transformer with
a220V out put would be able to power a sewing machine. It didn't. Why,
I don't know - not enough amps to go through the transformer? 50 vs 60
Hz? But spouse got a made for (or in) US sewing machine and did make
nice quilts and other things <grin>.
nope, not in the USA that I live in....
We have single phase, center tapped 240 volt supplied to residential
areas. This is not "twin phase" at all, it is just the output of a
center tapped transformer. The center tap is considered "neutral" and
is grounded in most areas, so the individual legs of the service supply
110 volts relative to ground, and the voltage across the two legs are
240 volts. Commercial service is quite different, though can supply 110
volts in some configurations.
There is no place coming from commercial mains that you're likely to
find a split 110 volt supply even at construction sites. All
construction sites are supplied the same 240 volt center tapped service
as the building will have when it is done. Assuming otherwise can get
you in serious trouble....
I don't know if one leg of Euro 220 volt power is grounded or not, but
the big difference that causes people problems with trying to run Euro
motor based appliances in the US is the US is on 60hz and Euro is 50hz.
For some things (transformers, etc.) this is typically a relatively
minor issue, with only minor heating effects and increased losses, as
long as they are lightly loaded. On the other hand, the shorter cycle
time between 60hz compared to 50hz causes starting problems for some
motors, in that they won't start unassisted, and will run faster and
sometimes hot enough to destrly themselves if you do get the Euro motor
running on US current. I would imagine a sewing machine might have
other issues, as it is a variable speed motor to begin with, and the
issue may have been more of one with the controller than the actual motor.
The original poster that suggested the circuit is open somewhere and you
are measuring induces voltage was probably correct. You need to put
some sort of load on the circuit to see for sure. if it's a 240 volt
outlet, you will find out immediately if you really have induced voltage
if you connect a bulb across the circuit. If it's open the bulb will be
dark and you can measure 0 volts, and if it were actually 240 volts and
the meter lied, the bulb will burn out quite dramatically within a
second or so.
Haven't read the posts following this one, but I'd like to point out
that Ohm's Law is V=IR so that R=V/I and I = V/R so it follows that
with a constant R, double the voltage means double, not half, the
amperage. The equation for Power, P=IV, does imply that for a constant
power, double the voltage implies half the amperage.
I'd like to get a supply of those European light bulbs.
I've set all the machines that support conversion to run on 220V.
Which means that the built-in work light on my drill press sees 220V
unless I rewire the tool, adding a neutral conductor and replace the
NEMA 6-15 plug and receptacle with a NEMA 14-15 configuration (the
circuit is already wired as a 120/240 3+ground circuit). Or I could do
as the owner's manual recommends, which I won't repeat here since it
violates holy hell out of every electrical code I've ever heard of.
(I found some 220v light bulbs at Grainger, but they won't fit the
cavity in the body of the drill press)
Thanks, dpb, I've ordered a couple of those.
I hope they mean it where they say "_regular size_ light bulbs like
you use in your home". The ones from Grainger are slightly larger
diameter than the "regular size".
I didn't check the base/configuration data specifically, but should be
Don't you have a neutral in the cordset, though? All seems would need
to do is to tap off the one hot side for the light.
Otherwise, probably simplest to just put a replacement line cord on the
tool, I'd think.
The existing cordset only has two conductors plus ground. But to get
both 120 and 240 to the tool, 3 conductors plus ground are required -
2 "hot" wires for the two legs of the 240v, and 1 "neutral" for the
120v, plus, of course, the equipment grounding wire.
A new 4 wire cordset (plus plug and receptacle replacement) would fix
the supply problem and is probably the best long term solution
assuming the DP won't ever be converted back to 120v. But, a new 4
wire cordset also means the tool needs to be rewired (or the existing
internal wiring at least has to be reconfigured) to get the two hots
to the motor and one of the hots plus neutral to the worklight
fixture. I haven't opened it up to see, so it might not be any big
deal, but 220v light bulbs, if they fit, is a very simple solution.
And, of course, a completely separate task light clamped to the DP
column is always a "that's good enough" option.
Call me old, but we ran split voltage appliances on 3-wire for a long
But, unless it's a heck of a press, seems hardly worth even the extra
hassle of the special-order light bulb to me..
That, of course, is just me...
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