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Old 10-05-2013, 07:06 PM   #1
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Odd Outlet Issue


In my living room there's a 240volt circuit; I presume it was for air conditioning. The problem is that it's the wrong type of outlet and normal plugs fit.

Why would someone do this?

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Old 10-05-2013, 07:19 PM   #2
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Odd Outlet Issue


Have you measured the voltage to be sure it's 220?

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Old 10-05-2013, 07:36 PM   #3
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Odd Outlet Issue


Perhaps someone left the 2 pole breaker in but is only using one pole for a 120 circuit.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:37 PM   #4
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Odd Outlet Issue


I've checked it with a multi-tester and it's 240 volts. It works fine and I use it to charge my laptop and BlackBerry (they both have a charger that can take advantage of that higher voltage).
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Old 10-05-2013, 11:46 PM   #5
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Odd Outlet Issue


Why would someone do this?
Because their stuff wouldn't fit in the other receptacle and then they wonder why everything they plugged in blew up.
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:22 AM   #6
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Odd Outlet Issue


Pull the outlet and post a picture of what colors are connected to the outlet. Also a picture of your meter showing the reading helps. I am betting someone that lived there before, had some kind of foreign country gear, that only used 240vAC and had changed out the plug on the device, to fit in the outlet. That would be the only reason that I could see them doing that.
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Old 10-06-2013, 04:08 AM   #7
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Odd Outlet Issue


I have unfortunately seen things like this... in one case, I saw where a previously hard-wired (via the cord) air conditioner was given to his son, who - instead of getting the right NEMA 6-15 plug - just lopped off the end of one of those thick appliance extension cords and attached it. He then moved the neutral for the (dedicated) outlet by the window to the other pole of a double-pole breaker. Nevermind doing it the right way costs all of $15 or so.

I've also seen where a drop-ceiling heating tile circuit was repurposed following its removal and connected to a receptacle in the wall. When tested with a cellphone charger, everything worked, and no one thought that cellphone chargers are switching power supplies. I happened to be visiting the day that a shop vac was plugged into that outlet. For the first 5 seconds it worked better than ever.
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:48 AM   #8
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Odd Outlet Issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelson View Post
I've checked it with a multi-tester and it's 240 volts. It works fine and I use it to charge my laptop and BlackBerry (they both have a charger that can take advantage of that higher voltage).
This is a joke right?
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:01 AM   #9
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Odd Outlet Issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelson View Post
In my living room there's a 240volt circuit; I presume it was for air conditioning. The problem is that it's the wrong type of outlet and normal plugs fit.

Why would someone do this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelson View Post
I've checked it with a multi-tester and it's 240 volts. It works fine and I use it to charge my laptop and BlackBerry (they both have a charger that can take advantage of that higher voltage).
I know of no charger that would still be in one piece after plugging it into a 230 volt receptacle.
Besides how did you plug anything into the "outlet" as you call it.
Its the "wrong" type, so how did you plug anything into it?
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:34 AM   #10
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Odd Outlet Issue


JV: most of my phone chargers are labelled 100-240V, 50-60 Hz.

The OP stated it was a normal 120V outlet, "wrong" in the sense for 240V usage.
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:36 AM   #11
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Odd Outlet Issue


It sounds like the receptacle is a standard 15 amp duplex connected to 240 if I understand the OP.
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:04 PM   #12
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Odd Outlet Issue


dual circuit outlet. that someone replaced and didn't break out the jumper.......?
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:41 PM   #13
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Odd Outlet Issue


There are three colors in the box; red, black, and white plus a ground which is bare copper.

Using the multi-tester I found that the voltage across the black and red wires is 240 volts and the voltage across the red to white or black to white is 120 volts.

Can I just exchange the red with the white or would it be a best practice to replace the breaker too?
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:09 PM   #14
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Odd Outlet Issue


Someone did not break off the tang, is why you are getting 240 volts. Again post a picture of how it is hooked up.
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:10 PM   #15
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Odd Outlet Issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
I know of no charger that would still be in one piece after plugging it into a 230 volt receptacle.
Besides how did you plug anything into the "outlet" as you call it.
Its the "wrong" type, so how did you plug anything into it?
Incorrect. Any newer charger that is for computers and cellphones, are going to be Universal voltage. That means you can use them on a 240vAC 50hz or 120vAC 60hz with no problem. Same goes with computer power supplies.

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