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Old 09-12-2009, 01:59 PM   #1
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Tool to check if outlet is on seperate curcuit


I run a cleaning service, one of our machines requires to be plugged into two separate circuits. The machine won't start otherwise. This causes my employees to have to take the rather large machine to the work site without knowing if the machine will be able to receive power properly.

Does anyone know of a small, portable device that indicates whether or not two seperate outlets are on the same, or separate circuits? I've searched for all terms I could muster online, and talked to a couple local hardware stores without success. This would be a real time saver for me, thanks in advance.

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Old 09-12-2009, 03:06 PM   #2
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Tool to check if outlet is on seperate curcuit


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Originally Posted by AMT View Post
I run a cleaning service, one of our machines requires to be plugged into two separate circuits. The machine won't start otherwise. This causes my employees to have to take the rather large machine to the work site without knowing if the machine will be able to receive power properly.

Does anyone know of a small, portable device that indicates whether or not two seperate outlets are on the same, or separate circuits? I've searched for all terms I could muster online, and talked to a couple local hardware stores without success. This would be a real time saver for me, thanks in advance.
I'm unaware of anything that will differentiate circuits.
I assume that your machine requires more than 15 amps to run, thus the use of separate supply cords.
Maybe one for a heater and another for a pump?
You could try making an educated guess as to which outlets are separate from each other.
For instance, kitchen counter outlets are usually separate from wall outlets. Or outlets that are farther away from each other.
If you are working in a commercial building, try to choose outlets that are physically far apart.
One thing that you could consider is measuring the voltage from the 'hot' slot of one receptacle to the 'hot' of another. If the voltage is 208 volts or more, the circuits will definitely be different.
However, it would still be possible to have separate circuits and not have a voltage reading.
This idea, would be far from being reliable.

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Old 09-12-2009, 03:46 PM   #3
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Tool to check if outlet is on seperate curcuit


there are testers that would help determine what you are after but you need access to the panel to check it. If you have access to the panel, it is just as simple to determine which breaker controls a given recep and then shutting it off and finding another still energized recep.
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Old 09-12-2009, 05:28 PM   #4
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Tool to check if outlet is on seperate curcuit


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there are testers that would help determine what you are after but you need access to the panel to check it. If you have access to the panel, it is just as simple to determine which breaker controls a given recep and then shutting it off and finding another still energized recep.
I would assume that the OP is dispatching untrained, cleaners to a customers premises to do a cleaning job!
Cleaning staff don't usually have any technical skills. And even if they do, may bock at assuming duties that they are not paid to assume.
Of course an electrician could be hired to locate suitable outlets.
I doubt that economics would allow this!
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Old 09-12-2009, 05:33 PM   #5
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Tool to check if outlet is on seperate curcuit


Is the machine requiring 240 volts to operate? I don't think that is even legal to pull a hot leg from two different circuits. If that is the way it works one could fabricate a simple tester to with two cords and a neon lamp to tell you when you have 240.
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Old 09-12-2009, 06:14 PM   #6
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Tool to check if outlet is on seperate curcuit


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Is the machine requiring 240 volts to operate? I don't think that is even legal to pull a hot leg from two different circuits. If that is the way it works one could fabricate a simple tester to with two cords and a neon lamp to tell you when you have 240.
legal? who determines legal in this situation?

If you are thinking the NEC, you would be wrong. The NEC has no jurisdiction on the machine.

as long as the machine was UL listed and it is being used as it was designed, there is nothing illegal about what they are doing.
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:24 PM   #7
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Tool to check if outlet is on seperate curcuit


A machine with two cord sets.

And if you plug both cord sets into two outlet on the same circuit breaker,
turn the machine, which, when turn on, could cause a circuit breaker to trip.

This shut off power to the two outlet and therefore shutting down the
machine. Did I get it right?

What were you thinking. Why would you buy a machine without being
able to try it out in the real world.

There meter that plug into an outlet they will read the voltage at the
receptacle it plug into. Radio Shack perhaps.

I would buy two heavy gauge ext. cord, #12 min. and plug into outlet
into I found two outlet that and up to 240 volt or 208 volts.

But I don't think many building have duplex receptacle that are
split wire.

Great Idea. but personal I do not know anything.

Some times in comerical building you will see a sticker attach to the face plate of a
duplex receptacle. If I saw a label on plate with wording like this; brk. #1 and brk. #3 that
would tell me that I might get 240 or 208 volts between the two.

But if I saw #1 and #2, then I would suppect that I would not get 240 or 208 volts between the two.

Last edited by user62257; 09-12-2009 at 09:34 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:48 AM   #8
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Tool to check if outlet is on seperate curcuit


I know there is one item on line and I did bookmarked long time ago but I don't think that item is very safe anyway due I keep it for refernce only.

Really what amp and HP rating that machine that may will determed what circuit it can be use.

To Mod please PM me then I can able show you the link to see if you feel safe to post it here if not I can understand it.

Merci,Marc

{ I think they improve it somehow but I don't know if they are that well made or not }

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Old 09-13-2009, 01:11 AM   #9
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Tool to check if outlet is on seperate curcuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by AMT View Post
I run a cleaning service, one of our machines requires to be plugged into two separate circuits. The machine won't start otherwise. This causes my employees to have to take the rather large machine to the work site without knowing if the machine will be able to receive power properly.

Does anyone know of a small, portable device that indicates whether or not two seperate outlets are on the same, or separate circuits? I've searched for all terms I could muster online, and talked to a couple local hardware stores without success. This would be a real time saver for me, thanks in advance.
To me this whole situation seems odd! A machine with Two separate cords? The best solution is to start with the nameplate. Determining exactly what voltage the machine is using. As the other posters pointed out. There's no magic solution or tester! But if the machine is designed for 240volts or High Amperage at 120v. the employees who are sent on location could be (minimally) trained to connect it to the right power supply. Just as the workers who do wooden floor polishing. They need to hook up scraping machines that consume a lot of power. From my observations, they can handle the situation even opening up the panel and connecting to 240v. when required! (No matter what)Don't Drink and Drive, Ever!!!
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Old 09-13-2009, 01:00 PM   #10
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Tool to check if outlet is on seperate curcuit


Yes, I would give no advice until the nameplate is displayed so we can see what this thing is all about. OP, Take a close up picture of the nameplate. That would be the plate that tells the voltage, current, model or serial numbers.
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Old 09-13-2009, 01:15 PM   #11
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Tool to check if outlet is on seperate curcuit


I agree but I do seem to vaguely remember seeing something like this before. Still withholding advice without clarification but it does sound like something I have run across before, somewhere.
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Old 09-13-2009, 02:16 PM   #12
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Tool to check if outlet is on seperate curcuit


nap and J.V. are 100% correct, picture please.
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:15 PM   #13
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Tool to check if outlet is on seperate curcuit


There is a tester for cleaners, available here http://www.steam-brite.com/store/bre...or-p-7533.html
and also at interlink supply, about the same price

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