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  • Adding 220

    I'm thinking of getting a new table saw that would require 220v. My shop is an out building of my own construction. For power, I ran #3 copper wire (black, red, white & ground) from my main panel in the garage (200 amp service) to the shop.There I have a main panel like the one in the garage, but have removed the bar making it sub panel (hope I'm saying that right). As for the wiring inside the shop, I ran 12/3 through out. The building is seperated into 5 circuits, 1 for each wall and 1 for the lights. All of the outlets on a given wall ARE linked together. So, my question is can I simply convert a wall by changing a single pole breaker to 2 pole and connect the red wire at both ends (the breaker & new 220v outlet)? Oh I should probably mention that none of the red leads in the 12/3 are NOT connected to anything at this time. And if so, does that mean I must or am, converting the whole wall? Thanks for any input you may offer!

  • #2
    Re: Adding 220

    Yes if you connect the red and the black to a two pole breaker you will have 220vpower with a neutral. This would convert the whole wall. If you wish to have both 220v and 110v you would have to run a new wire to be within codes. You can't have both 220 and 120 outlets on the same two pole breaker.

    If your equipment requires only three prong outlets you would replace all the outlets and cap the neutrals in the outlet boxes. If you required 4 prong outlets all the wires would be used.

    As your current set up sounds pick a wall and convert the whole thing to 240v make sure you take out any 120v outlets on that circuit.


    • #3
      Re: Adding 220

      If I understand you correctly, you pulled 12-3 wire from the panel to each outlet on the wall and only used the balck and white wires with the red wire not being used at each outlet box. Your question if I understand correctly is can you remove one of the 120v outlets, pick up the black and red wire in the box and connect a 240v plug to the black and red wire. Ok, if that is what you want to do and the red wire is NOT connected to anything right now inside the panel and it is just hanging there waiting to do something you can do this: At the one outlet that is now 120v using the black and white wire that you want to change to a 240 outlet. Do this: Remove the 120v outlet and remove the black and white wire from the outlet. wire nut the white wires together if it passes on to the next outlet. Wire nut the black wires together with a pig tail, then wire the pig tailed black wire and the red wire to the 240 outlet along with the ground (green or bare wire). Go back to your breaker panel and remove the single breaker you had on the balck wire and get a 20A 2 pole breaker and put it on the black and red wire. Be sure you use a 2 pole breaker with a bar across the 2 of them. Now you will have 240 at that one outlet for your saw. Be aware however that one side of the 240 line to the saw (the balck wire) has other loads on that circuit from your other outlets. If the current draw on that circuit is too high, you may blow the breaker due to high current on the black wire. But if you have little or no load on the black circuit when you use the saw, it should be no problem. The best way is to run a home run for the saw, but this will work.


      • #4
        Re: Adding 220

        That will work but is it code?


        • #5
          Re: Adding 220

          In the USA most areas allow it. You might look into special duplex receptacles that are both 120 and 240 Volts. The wiring has to be done with care. If you did 2 receptacles as such I recommend wiring the 120 Volt on one using black + white and the other using red + white. If in doubt, please have an electrician help you with this.

          Be sure to fully check Voltages at the receptacle before plugging anything in. Check them twice to be on the safe side.

          Leviton #5842 comes to mind. It's rated at 20 Amps and both 125 & 250 Volts.

          If you have enough space in your breaker panel, it would be better to add a new 2 pole breaker and do new wiring for the 240 Volt receptacles. I'm surprised at the use of 12-3 wire for the 120 Volt receptacles unless the idea was to split them up on 2 circuits sharing a common neutral. This requires making sure not to connect up things wrong or you'll over load the neutral conductor and not trip a breaker. The result is *&^%$#@

          If in doubt about any of this, please contact a licensed electrician to help you and check things over.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by Woussko; 03-04-2008, 08:16 PM.


          • #6
            Re: Adding 220

            Thanks for all your input.