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Old 11-19-2008, 05:27 PM   #1
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convert 220 outlet to 110?


I've got an outlet (actually, just a faceplate covering 3 wires) that shows 240 V on my meter, but I'd like to have a regular 110 V outlet in that location. There are 3 wires, black, white, and bare ground. At the main panel, there are 2 interconnected 15 amp breakers (black wire on one, red wire on the other, and they share a white) that feed this outlet (and nothing else). So I'm wondering if there is any hope of making this conversion.

I tried simply disconnecting the red wire from the breaker in the main panel, but then the outlet was dead (ditto for disconnecting the black wire at the main panel). So, I'm wondering how this works, that is, how does it go from a black and red wire at the main panel to just a black wire at the outlet? It seems to me that if I can figure out where this happens, then I can pretty easily make the desired conversion. I know this is vague, but any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 11-19-2008, 05:48 PM   #2
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convert 220 outlet to 110?


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Originally Posted by Jeremy Hillary Boob, PhD View Post
I've got an outlet (actually, just a faceplate covering 3 wires) that shows 240 V on my meter, but I'd like to have a regular 110 V outlet in that location. There are 3 wires, black, white, and bare ground. At the main panel, there are 2 interconnected 15 amp breakers (black wire on one, red wire on the other, and they share a white) that feed this outlet (and nothing else). So I'm wondering if there is any hope of making this conversion.

I tried simply disconnecting the red wire from the breaker in the main panel, but then the outlet was dead (ditto for disconnecting the black wire at the main panel). So, I'm wondering how this works, that is, how does it go from a black and red wire at the main panel to just a black wire at the outlet? It seems to me that if I can figure out where this happens, then I can pretty easily make the desired conversion. I know this is vague, but any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.
You say there is BK, WH and ground at the outlet location, but BK,RD, and WH at the CB panel. You are missing something, this wiring has to go to another location. Somewhere the RD and BK are connected to a BK and WH. You have 220 on the wires because you are connected to that 2 pole breaker. Are you sure some other appliance is not using that circuit? What size is the wiring? With a 15 amp breaker most likely 14 ga.
To get 110 you need the BK or RD connected to a single pole breaker and the WH connected to the neutral buss. You have to find the splice point and connect the hot from the panel to the BK and the WH from the panel to the WH. All bare grounds should be connected together and land on the Ground buss in the panel. Before you do anything find the splice point (hopefully in a junction box) and make sure this cicuit is not being used for something else!

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Old 11-19-2008, 06:07 PM   #3
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convert 220 outlet to 110?


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You say there is BK, WH and ground at the outlet location, but BK,RD, and WH at the CB panel. You are missing something, this wiring has to go to another location. Somewhere the RD and BK are connected to a BK and WH. You have 220 on the wires because you are connected to that 2 pole breaker. Are you sure some other appliance is not using that circuit? What size is the wiring? With a 15 amp breaker most likely 14 ga.
To get 110 you need the BK or RD connected to a single pole breaker and the WH connected to the neutral buss. You have to find the splice point and connect the hot from the panel to the BK and the WH from the panel to the WH. All bare grounds should be connected together and land on the Ground buss in the panel. Before you do anything find the splice point (hopefully in a junction box) and make sure this cicuit is not being used for something else!

Thanks for the response. I've actually had the breakers in the off position for several weeks so I'm confident there is nothing else on this circuit. Yes, I believe it is 14 gauge wire. I'll poke around and see if I can find any place where a red and black are connected to black and white. If I get lucky, it should be an easy fix.
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:09 PM   #4
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convert 220 outlet to 110?


It is very possible that someone "split wired" this 220V branch. There might be a 110V circuit connected to one of the 2 pole breakers. You would know this when you find your J-box, which is something you must do before proceeding.
Of course, since you're going from 220 to 110, there isn't the chance that you'll blow something if there's another circuit. It just won't work anymore.
But I would not rest easy until I knew where that junction is.
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:19 AM   #5
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convert 220 outlet to 110?


My first posting was somewhat confused, so let me ask this again, but in a slightly different way...

I've got an outlet (actually, just a faceplate covering 3 wires) with a black and white wire (and bare copper ground wire) that reads 240 V and I want a 110 V outlet in that location. A black wire and red wire are attached to the breakers at the main panel, but somehow they've become black and white at the outlet. Nothing else is connected to this circuit---I've had the breakers in the off position for months.

When I turn on the breaker connected to the black wire and turn off the breaker connected to the red wire, I get 110 V on the black wire (to ground) at the outlet. So, it seems like a simple fix would be to disconnect the red wire at the main panel and connect it to the neutral bus. Is there any possible problem with this approach? Thanks.
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:45 AM   #6
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convert 220 outlet to 110?


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Originally Posted by Jeremy Hillary Boob, PhD View Post
When I turn on the breaker connected to the black wire and turn off the breaker connected to the red wire, I get 110 V on the black wire (to ground) at the outlet. So, it seems like a simple fix would be to disconnect the red wire at the main panel and connect it to the neutral bus. Is there any possible problem with this approach? Thanks.
No one has suggested this because it may not be the best of ideas. Not because it hasn't been thought of but because you don't know where the junction box is or what else may be connected to it, even though you are pretty confident that it is hooked to nothing else. If you do move the red wire to the neutral bar, it will probably work, but do so at your own risk, as usual.
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Old 11-21-2008, 12:04 PM   #7
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convert 220 outlet to 110?


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No one has suggested this because it may not be the best of ideas. Not because it hasn't been thought of but because you don't know where the junction box is or what else may be connected to it, even though you are pretty confident that it is hooked to nothing else. If you do move the red wire to the neutral bar, it will probably work, but do so at your own risk, as usual.
Thanks for the reply. Is there anything that could go wrong other than killing off some other circuit (which I'm certain is not going to happen)?
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Old 11-21-2008, 12:11 PM   #8
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convert 220 outlet to 110?


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Thanks for the reply. Is there anything that could go wrong other than killing off some other circuit (which I'm certain is not going to happen)?
I can't think of anything other than that, but it is always the things you don't think of that bite you in the butt.
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Old 11-21-2008, 03:09 PM   #9
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convert 220 outlet to 110?


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Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
No one has suggested this because it may not be the best of ideas. Not because it hasn't been thought of but because you don't know where the junction box is or what else may be connected to it, even though you are pretty confident that it is hooked to nothing else. If you do move the red wire to the neutral bar, it will probably work, but do so at your own risk, as usual.

Other than it is a code violaton to use other than white or gray for a neutral in smaller wire sizes.
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Old 11-21-2008, 04:16 PM   #10
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convert 220 outlet to 110?


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Other than it is a code violaton to use other than white or gray for a neutral in smaller wire sizes.
Depends on what code is required! Our code states that the neutral wire must be identified by using a white band or being painted white!
Of course it should be so identified in the panel and at the junction where it is connected to the white.
If he finds the splice point, the re-identifying becomes redundant, as he can then switch the red in the junction to a white.
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Old 11-21-2008, 04:28 PM   #11
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convert 220 outlet to 110?


You mention shutting off the breaker to which the red wire is connected. The fact that you have a 220V receptacle with two separate breakers, not bonded together, is a violation of code.
Since you'll be fixing that, I won't report it <g>
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:26 PM   #12
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convert 220 outlet to 110?


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You mention shutting off the breaker to which the red wire is connected. The fact that you have a 220V receptacle with two separate breakers, not bonded together, is a violation of code.
Since you'll be fixing that, I won't report it <g>
Whew! For a minute there, I thought that you were KGB!

I heard that the US was becoming more socialist, but didn't think that they would hire these guys!
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:34 PM   #13
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convert 220 outlet to 110?


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Whew! For a minute there, I thought that you were KGB!

I heard that the US was becoming more socialist, but didn't think that they would hire these guys!
His vanity call of K2KGB is still processing.
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:41 PM   #14
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convert 220 outlet to 110?


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His vanity call of K2KGB is still processing.
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:19 PM   #15
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convert 220 outlet to 110?


Well, you can do this, you need a double pole breaker, a duplex receptacle, and some time.

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