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Old 02-29-2012, 09:27 PM   #1
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Adapting 6-30P to 10-30R


Hello - I'm brand new to posting here, but I've been reading a lot of posts here lately. This forum is incredibly helpful.

Anyhow, I've got a home heating conversion coming up that's going to take my furnace out of commission for a couple of days. I also have a really nice 240v, 5800watt space heater that should do a better job of heating the main part of the house than a bunch of little 1500 watt guys. Problem is, the space heater has a 6-30 plug, and my best bet for 240 in the house is my dryer receptacle, which is 10-30.

The dryer receptacle is the only thing on the circuit, and it goes directly to my main service panel (a Cuttler-Hammer with shared neutral/ground bars).

Now thinking through this here, since the "neutral" on the 10-30 goes to the exact same place as ground, is there any reason I shouldn't just build an adapter (10-30P, a foot or 2 of 8/3 romex, to 6-30R) and hook the ground from the 6-30R to the neutral on the 10-30P?

I could replace the receptacle, but the end result seems like it would be the same thing since I'd hook the hots and ground up to the same place as the hots and neutral are hooked up, and this way I won't have to swap the outlet back to use my dryer.

Thanks!
-Derek

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Old 02-29-2012, 10:09 PM   #2
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Adapting 6-30P to 10-30R


Would be just as cheap to grab the correct outlet for the plug to be safe.

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Old 02-29-2012, 10:40 PM   #3
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Adapting 6-30P to 10-30R


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Would be just as cheap to grab the correct outlet for the plug to be safe.

How's that any safer though? I'm not concerned about cheap, I'm concerned about having to re-wire the outlet twice a day for a few days so I can use my dryer.
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:13 PM   #4
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Adapting 6-30P to 10-30R


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I'm not concerned about cheap
Next suggestion would be to install another breaker and a 6-30 outlet. Then no switching has to be done and you have a place to plug your heater in if you ever need it again.
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:32 PM   #5
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Adapting 6-30P to 10-30R


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Next suggestion would be to install another breaker and a 6-30 outlet. Then no switching has to be done and you have a place to plug your heater in if you ever need it again.
Okay, you caught me there, I am somewhat concerned about cost. I don't think running a new circuit is really a cost effective idea for a short-term need. I normally use the heater in my shop which has the appropriate plug.

I'm actually asking whether there are any factual reasons why I should not make an adapter for short term use, do you have any of those to go along with the opinion which you seem to be expressing?
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:32 AM   #6
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Adapting 6-30P to 10-30R


The 10-30 should have 2 hots and a neutral.
The 6 30 should have 2 hots and a ground.
Neutrals and grounds are not the same.
This would be an unsafe install!
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:23 AM   #7
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Adapting 6-30P to 10-30R


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The 10-30 should have 2 hots and a neutral.
The 6 30 should have 2 hots and a ground.
Neutrals and grounds are not the same.
This would be an unsafe install!
How is it unsafe though? Ground and neutral buss on the same buss bars in my main panel, and this connects to one of those bars.

If I were to completely re-wire this circuit, replace the existing wire and outlet, the ground wire would use the exact same hole on the buss that the neutral uses today, so how is that any different than just adapting it?
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:16 AM   #8
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Adapting 6-30P to 10-30R


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Originally Posted by coffee_man View Post
How is it unsafe though? Ground and neutral buss on the same buss bars in my main panel, and this connects to one of those bars.

If I were to completely re-wire this circuit, replace the existing wire and outlet, the ground wire would use the exact same hole on the buss that the neutral uses today, so how is that any different than just adapting it?
It is your house and you can do what you want. The people who have responded have told you what the code requirements call for.

There are good reasons that the old 3 wire dryer hookup was made non-compliant for new installs and they all have to do with safety. The reason that 3 wire dryer hookups can continue to be used has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with $$.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:38 PM   #9
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Adapting 6-30P to 10-30R


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There are good reasons that the old 3 wire dryer hookup was made non-compliant for new installs and they all have to do with safety. The reason that 3 wire dryer hookups can continue to be used has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with $$.
I understand why the old dryer hookup was deemed unsafe. It needed a neutral, because there are components in the dryer (e.g. motor) that run on 120. It had no dedicated ground and thus any unsafe current on the case would have to travel through a path to ground that was already carrying current which is not allowed in current code.

The 6-30 has no dedicated neutral, so the third pin is simply used as a dedicated ground instead of a neutral. It carries no current unless there is a problem. Essentially, I'd be turning that neutral conductor into a ground conductor temporarily. Since the actual wires go to the exact same place on my panel, I don't see what the difference is. If I were to replace the receptacle, I'd achieve the same thing, and what I'm hearing here is that would not be unsafe.

I'd rather undertake a temporary solution than modify my wiring system, which requires a permit.

If building an adapter is against code, can you please point me to where it is against code? I'm not saying it's not, but I am not a code expert or even super familiar with code, and the only code I can find that seems to apply states that a ground conductor should not carry current, which in this case it would not be. I also can find other examples of commercially available products that adapt different plug/wiring configurations to each other. It seems more of a gray area to me.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:46 PM   #10
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Adapting 6-30P to 10-30R


Just purchase the adapter.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:01 PM   #11
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Adapting 6-30P to 10-30R


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
The 10-30 should have 2 hots and a neutral.
The 6 30 should have 2 hots and a ground.
Neutrals and grounds are not the same.
This would be an unsafe install!
I disagree. That receptacle is intended to be used with appliances that bond the frame to the neutral conductor. This heater does that, just like an old dryer or range. The difference is that this is safer than a dryer or range, because it does not use the grounded conductor as a return for 120V loads, only as a bonding conductor. It is electrically identical to a 6-30R - the only difference is the shape of the prongs. I would just install a 10-30P plug on the heater.

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