Running 110V tools off 240V circuit - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-10-2010, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Running 110V tools off 240V circuit

I only have one 15 amp circuit in my shop/garage. I have to run a drop cord from the kitchen counter 20amp circuit into the garage to run planer or router table.
I have one 240V circuit that I either have the TS or BS pluged into. I want to make up a drop cord with a 240V male plug on one end and two 110V female plugs on the other end to give me two 110V 20 amp circuits off the 20amp 240V circuit. Is there any thing wrong with doing this? Of course when doing this no 240V equipment(TS or BS) can be operated. It would be a short run of maybe 15' and use 12 gauge wire.
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-10-2010, 09:10 PM
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I wouldn't because..

Your 20 amp 220V is probably wired with #12. The maximum amperage on no 12 is 20 amps. Your 2 circuits of 20 amps each (40 amps) exceeds the current capacity of the 220V wiring. You really need to add a few 20 amp circuits from the panel, and leave the existing 220v 20 amp circuit alone. That's my advice, but I'm not an electrician, but I'm told I'm not a bad photographer....... bill

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post #3 of 8 Old 01-10-2010, 09:35 PM
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This is probably not according to code, however it would be safe.

In your 240 V outlet there must be 4 wires:
Green or bare = ground
Black = Phase A
Red (Or a white wire marked with a sharpie or tape) = Phase B
White = neutral

If the 240 V outlet is intended for a clothes dryer, the white wire is probably not there. If there is no neutral, you're out of luck.

Assuming that the wires are all there, get some romex, 12 gage, 3 conductor with ground. (Probably Black Red White and bare) Run this into a double duplex box. In the 240 V outlet, connect the black to black, red to red, white to white and bare to green.

In the double box, install two outlets. Using a white wire, connect the silver screws of each outlet together. Connect the white wire from the new romex to one of the silver screws on either of the outlets. Connect the bare wire from the new romex to the green screw on one of the outlets and continue the wire over to the other outlet ground screw. Connect the black wire to one outlet gold screw. Connect the red wire to the other outlet gold screw.

You now have two 20 Amp 120 V outlets. They may be used simultaneously.

Use the right tool for the job.

Rich (Tilting right)
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-10-2010, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. When I ran the 220 to the garage I used 10 gauge wire but it is only two conductor with a ground. I don't have the neutral. I guess i will have to pull another wire or two to get additional circuits in the garage. The problem is the main box is in the basement on one end of the house and the garage is on the gound floor on the opposite end of the house. Its possible to pull the wie but it is not an easy task.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-12-2010, 06:31 AM
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If you run 120v on a 240v outlet, the circuit breaker is operating an uneven load on just one side and will not trip properly. It's a good opportunity for a fire when you have this set up, even though it is functional. If it is impractical to go through the house with a larger cable, then wait til spring and run it outside using direct burial cable to power a small breaker box in the garage that will give you a couple 240 circuits and a few 120 circuits. It's worth the money to have an electrician guide you, it's not worth it to risk losing alot more than losing some tools and a garage.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-12-2010, 10:16 PM
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I agree with Jim.
I have the same problem in my garage except I have several outlets to work from and am on 20 amp breakers. I don't have 220 at all except going to the AC units.
Gas dryer here.

When the shop gets built this year, there will be sufficent amp in there. Besides, I have a genny if I need portable 220.

Tools are like guns, You can never have enough.
Where did I put that tape measure???
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-14-2010, 10:51 AM
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If you have the capacity on your main panel I would definitely look at running a line to your garage and installing a sub-panel.

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post #8 of 8 Old 01-14-2010, 11:14 AM
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I also agree with doing it with a new cable and burying it underground. I did this in my shop a couple of years ago and it is nice having enough outlets and circuits without the worry of an electrical fire due to wrong wiring. Never cut corners with electrical wiring.

Who Dat...Every step of any project should be considered your masterpiece if you want the finished product to reflect the quality of your work. Have a nice day, unless you have other plans! "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."
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