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Old 06-06-2012, 07:09 PM   #1
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Looking for some help with 240v to 120v wiring


Hi everyone,

I have a question on 240v -> 120v wiring. I have an old house (1943). I removed some old shelving in the garage which had outlets mounted to it. The existing wiring went to a switch and three 120v outlets. Being a noob I took it all apart and didn't document the wiring or take any pictures. Fast forward and now I can't seem to wire it back to 120v.

I've searched around and it seems like the proper way to fix this is to replace the circuit with a 120v circuit, in which case I will hire an electrician to do it. Running through the circuit breaker and testing lights and outlets (with a multimeter), it is on its own circuit.

The wiring looks like this with associated voltages between the wires. I've tried wiring an outlet in several different configurations and the multimeter is showing 240v or 0v.

I live in the US btw.


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Old 06-06-2012, 07:13 PM   #2
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Looking for some help with 240v to 120v wiring


You need to go back to where it hits each junction point to see how it is wired. Regardless if it is #12 or #14, even if it is #10, it can be wired either as a 2wire multi-wire branch circuit without ground, if a older system, or as 240v Single Phase. Also, on the jacket, it should state the wire gage and manufacturer info.

But easier, just follow where it enters the breaker or fuse panel and look how it is wired up in there. If it is a MWBC, Red & White is one branch of the circuit, Black & White is the other, as you posted. Problem is, you will only be able to use it in a 3-wire configuration for something like a baseboard or wall heater, due to today's standards require the circuit to be grounded.

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Old 06-07-2012, 01:58 AM   #3
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Looking for some help with 240v to 120v wiring


Trace this cable/wire back to the panel, as Greg stated above, and tell us which breaker this goes to (what's the amp rating - will be printed on the breaker handle).

Also, what did the receptacle for this box look like? Do you still have it?
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:50 AM   #4
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Looking for some help with 240v to 120v wiring


Are you putting it back the same way it was wired originally?

Assuming these were two 120V circuits to begin with, you would just use one of the hots and the neutral. Then cap off the unused 2nd 120V feed (unless you still need that circuit)
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:28 AM   #5
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Looking for some help with 240v to 120v wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
Are you putting it back the same way it was wired originally?

Assuming these were two 120V circuits to begin with, you would just use one of the hots and the neutral. Then cap off the unused 2nd 120V feed (unless you still need that circuit)
Or you ignore the silly "smaller than #4" phase identification insulation rule, get a roll of green tape, do a simple panel move with the extra conductor, and have a nice safe 3W 120V grounded circuit.
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