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-   -   double rocker switch question (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/double-rocker-switch-question-177981/)

markharmon 04-24-2013 11:33 AM

double rocker switch question
 
Hi,

If I have 4 pot lights and I want 2 to be controlled by one switch and the other by the remaining switch on the double rocker I would break the tab to create a separate circuit on the switch, right and use both common terminals?

SquishyBall 04-24-2013 12:13 PM

Yeah. Although, going to the outlet, you've most likely got only 1 switched hot line. So you can't do this unless it was wired to handle two switched lines to that outlet. If it was, then you'd break the tab on the duplex receptacle, and wire one screw terminal up to each of the output terminals on the switch.

jbfan 04-24-2013 12:32 PM

Got a model # of the switch.
They should have a common hot side and separate switched sides.

markharmon 04-24-2013 02:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SquishyBall (Post 1166271)
Yeah. Although, going to the outlet, you've most likely got only 1 switched hot line. So you can't do this unless it was wired to handle two switched lines to that outlet. If it was, then you'd break the tab on the duplex receptacle, and wire one screw terminal up to each of the output terminals on the switch.

I have a 30amp double pole breaker but the outlet I want to feed is 120v. Can I still use the double pole breaker but just disconnect one of the hot wires and use it as a single pole breaker? Also, if its a 3 wire double pole which is 120/240v can I wire it to a 120/240v outlet and still use 120v appliances. If I wanted to add a switch to this it would need to be a 120/240 switch, correct?

SquishyBall 04-24-2013 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markharmon (Post 1166326)
I have a 30amp double pole breaker but the outlet I want to feed is 120v.

Do you mean you're trying to daisychain a 120V outlet off something like a dryer outlet? No, you shouldn't do that because a 30A 120/240 outlet is supposed to be a dedicated circuit and only serve the one appliance.

If instead you mean can you turn your 30A 120/240 into a simple 20A 120, sure you can do that. You're just running bigger than necessary wire and not using one of the conductors. If you're going to have a 20A outlet on the end, then you need to change out that breaker to a 20A breaker. A regular 20A breaker is like $4.

Quote:

Originally Posted by markharmon (Post 1166326)
Can I still use the double pole breaker but just disconnect one of the hot wires and use it as a single pole breaker?

Not really, cuz you're going to be putting in a 20A duplex receptacle, right? That has to be protected by a 20A breaker.

Quote:

Originally Posted by markharmon (Post 1166326)
Also, if its a 3 wire double pole which is 120/240v can I wire it to a 120/240v outlet and still use 120v appliances. If I wanted to add a switch to this it would need to be a 120/240 switch, correct?

Well, if you wire it to a 120/240V outlet, that's either going to be the 4-prong push-in plug or a 4-prong twist lock plug. What 120V appliance are you going to find to fit that plug? Those appliances are going to have a normal 15A plug, which will plug into a 15/20A receptacle, which need to be protected by a breaker at 20A not 30A.

What exactly do you have, and want to switch to? Cannibalizing a dryer circuit to put in a household branch outlet circuit seems wasteful.

markharmon 04-24-2013 03:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SquishyBall (Post 1166340)
Do you mean you're trying to daisychain a 120V outlet off something like a dryer outlet? No, you shouldn't do that because a 30A 120/240 outlet is supposed to be a dedicated circuit and only serve the one appliance.

If instead you mean can you turn your 30A 120/240 into a simple 20A 120, sure you can do that. You're just running bigger than necessary wire and not using one of the conductors. If you're going to have a 20A outlet on the end, then you need to change out that breaker to a 20A breaker. A regular 20A breaker is like $4.



Not really, cuz you're going to be putting in a 20A duplex receptacle, right? That has to be protected by a 20A breaker.



Well, if you wire it to a 120/240V outlet, that's either going to be the 4-prong push-in plug or a 4-prong twist lock plug. What 120V appliance are you going to find to fit that plug? Those appliances are going to have a normal 15A plug, which will plug into a 15/20A receptacle, which need to be protected by a breaker at 20A not 30A.

What exactly do you have, and want to switch to? Cannibalizing a dryer circuit to put in a household branch outlet circuit seems wasteful.

Ok, so 120/240 outlets only take 4 prong appliances? So, if I dont need the 240v breaker and I just want 120 I can't still use the double pole breaker just remove one of the hot legs?

jbfan 04-24-2013 03:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markharmon (Post 1166353)
Ok, so 120/240 outlets only take 4 prong appliances? So, if I dont need the 240v breaker and I just want 120 I can't still use the double pole breaker just remove one of the hot legs?

No.
General purpose receptacle can not be protected by higher than a 20 amp breaker.
You must replace the breaker if you want to use a 15 or 20 amp receptacle.

markharmon 04-24-2013 04:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbfan (Post 1166358)
No.
General purpose receptacle can not be protected by higher than a 20 amp breaker.
You must replace the breaker if you want to use a 15 or 20 amp receptacle.

what is the current breaker is a double pole 20 amp breaker? Can I just remove one of the hot legs from the breaker?

jbfan 04-24-2013 07:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markharmon (Post 1166382)
what is the current breaker is a double pole 20 amp breaker? Can I just remove one of the hot legs from the breaker?

Yes, as long as you have a neutral and a ground wire.

Baxter01 04-24-2013 08:18 PM

I don't think it can be stressed enough that you can not use a 15 or 20 amp receptacle with a 30 amp breaker.

markharmon 04-24-2013 11:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbfan (Post 1166496)
Yes, as long as you have a neutral and a ground wire.

Do 120/240v outlets require 4 prong devices?

jbfan 04-25-2013 07:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markharmon (Post 1166672)
Do 120/240v outlets require 4 prong devices?

most cases, yes.


What are you trying to do?

Pics and, or info of the equipment will be quite helpful!

wkearney99 04-27-2013 11:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markharmon (Post 1166326)
I have a 30amp double pole breaker but the outlet I want to feed is 120v.

You'd help us all a lot more if you explained WHY you want to do something, not just whether or not a particular setup can be changed. This because not everything can be simplified or reduced in they ways you're thinking.

As in, breakers are designed to be the weakest link in the wiring circuit. The idea is if you start pulling too much current for the wire to handle then the breaker will trip BEFORE the wire overheats. That and the electrical code specifies which gauge (thickness) of wire is rated to handle certain loads. This so if someone comes along later and finds a particular gauge wire in the wall they'll have a rough idea of what the circuit for it is designed to support. This is why you generally should NOT use heavier gauge wire for a lesser circuit. Because someone might pull apart that wiring later and make 'assumptions' about what's there and how it can be used. If you've gerry-rigged something that isn't to code then you might be setting things up for BIG problems later.

So it really comes back to "what are you trying to accomplish" and this leads to "what do you have available". These two questions are key to just about all home improvement scenarios.


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