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Old 07-19-2008, 09:25 PM   #1
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Strange problem w. wall outlet, please help!


I have a wall outlet on 40 amp circuit, intended for use w. AC units. It currently supplies power but seems a bit unstaple. When I plugged the AC in, the air that it pumped out was not cold, and the fan seemed to be revving up and down. When the same AC is plugged into a 15 amp circuit, it operates normally, but will kick the breaker.
When I plugged a power strip into the 40 amp outlet, it instantly burnt the power strip.
Has anyone faced this problem before? What is going on here?

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Old 07-19-2008, 09:44 PM   #2
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Strange problem w. wall outlet, please help!


I should clarify that the AC is 115V, 15 amp. The receptacle it is plugged into is on its own 40 amp circuit.

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Old 07-19-2008, 10:07 PM   #3
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Strange problem w. wall outlet, please help!


What voltage at the outlet? And why do you say 40 amps? Are you sure your not connecting to a 240 volt branch circuit.

Last edited by Stubbie; 07-19-2008 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:59 PM   #4
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I'm picturing a standard 15 or 20 amp duplex-type receptacle for some reason, although I hope I'm wrong. What sort of receptacle is this? Can you post a picture?
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:03 PM   #5
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Strange problem w. wall outlet, please help!


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Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
What voltage at the outlet? And why do you say 40 amps? Are you sure your not connecting to a 240 volt branch circuit.
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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
I'm picturing a standard 15 or 20 amp duplex-type receptacle for some reason, although I hope I'm wrong. What sort of receptacle is this? Can you post a picture?
Hey, guys. I was very reluctant to reply as this seemed beyond bizarre.

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Old 07-19-2008, 11:11 PM   #6
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Bizarre tends to get my curiosity going....
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:54 PM   #7
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Strange problem w. wall outlet, please help!


Hey all, thanks for the replies. I'm not sure what voltage is at the outlet itself, I can check when I get a multimeter tomorrow.
The receptacle has only one outlet, the ground is hemespheric, one of the other two holes looks like a T turned on its sides, the other one looks just like an I. I can post a picture of it tomorrow.

I should add that the AC, after running for a while (w/o producing any cold air) would kind of turns itself off, sometimes completely off, other times it just makes noise and won't even pump out any air.

Thanks for any input.
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:14 AM   #8
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Strange problem w. wall outlet, please help!


I am going to assume a few things:

Judging by the fact that you are able to plug the AC into a standard 120V 15A outlet, it has a standard plug, and operates on 120V.

Next; Since you were able to plug the power strip into the 40A outlet, I assume that this outlet is a single, standard 120V type as well.

Finally, since the power strip burned out, you must have 240V at the 40A outlet.

What does the 40A breaker look like? Is it much thicker, and does it have two handles that are bonded together?

If you do have 240V at the 40A outlet, you must either change the circuit to 120V, or change the outlet to a 240V type.

In any case, I strongly recommend that you get an electrician to evaluate your situation.

FW
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:19 AM   #9
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Strange problem w. wall outlet, please help!


One more thing:

What is the size of the AC unit? If you can read the BTU, voltage, and ampere rating on the panel (can be located on the side of the AC or inside where the filter is), that would give everyone here a better idea of what you are dealing with.

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Old 07-20-2008, 08:02 AM   #10
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Strange problem w. wall outlet, please help!


Is this what you have at the wall? I think that's a 240V 20Amp plug...
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:09 AM   #11
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I think that's a 240V 20Amp plug...
Looks like he had a rough night at the tavern!
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:51 PM   #12
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Is this what you have at the wall? I think that's a 240V 20Amp plug...
No, the outlet looks like this:
http://www.homefurnish.com/CMS400Min...7Small_175.jpg
The one depicted in the picture has two outlet, mine has only 1, but they are the same design.

The AC is 9000 BTU, 15 amp, 115V.

The breakers are two 20 amps breakers, which make the circuit 40 amp.
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:08 PM   #13
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Strange problem w. wall outlet, please help!


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Originally Posted by yiplong View Post
No, the outlet looks like this:
http://www.homefurnish.com/CMS400Min...7Small_175.jpg
The one depicted in the picture has two outlet, mine has only 1, but they are the same design.

The AC is 9000 BTU, 15 amp, 115V.

The breakers are two 20 amps breakers, which make the circuit 40 amp.
I see this going downhill very fast.
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:21 PM   #14
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Strange problem w. wall outlet, please help!


And you have revealed your problem. You have a 240 volt branch circuit wired to a 120 volt receptacle configuration. Pretty stupid but I've seen this done before.The 20 amp double pole breaker is not 40 amps.... you don't add them together. What you have is a 240 volt 20 amp branch circuit. The good news is you can reconfigure this for your outlet and operate your ac as long as you haven't damaged it yet with the overvoltage. You will need someone to open the panel box and change the wiring connections and I would likely change the breaker to a 20 amp single pole (about 4 bucks).
If you don't want an electrician at this point we can tell you what to do, however if you are the least bit uncomfortable doing this I'd opt for the electrician.

Last edited by Stubbie; 07-21-2008 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:34 PM   #15
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Strange problem w. wall outlet, please help!


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Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
And you have revealed your problem. You have a 240 volt branch circuit wired to a 120 volt receptacle configuration. Pretty stupid but I've seen this done before.The 20 amp double pole breaker is not 40 amps.... you don't add them together. What you have is a 240 volt 20 amp branch circuit. The good news is you can reconfigure this for your outlet and operate your ac as long as you haven't damaged it yet with the overvoltage. You will need someone to open the panel box and change the wiring connections and I would likely change the breaker to a 20 amp single pole (about 4 bucks).
If you don't want an electrician at this point we can tell you what to do, however if you are the least bit uncomfortable doing this I'd opt for the electrician.
Not nessecrely stubbie he could have a multiwire branch circuit. Although unlikley it is possible but it does sound like he has 240 going to it and not 120.

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