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Solved: 220 converted to 110 ?

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (Not Computer-Related)' started by hannab, Jul 12, 2007.

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  1. hannab

    hannab Thread Starter

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    I have a 220 outlet that was for an A/C window unit - before I owned the house - . I now have a 110 wall unit and would like to use this outlet location instead of having to use an extension cord to plug it in someplace else. Is it possible to convert down? Has anybody ever done it? I'll hire an electrician, just want to know if it's a stupid question or something thats doable. Thanks.
     
  2. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Yes. You can even do it without running a new wire by using just "one side" of the 3-phase system. But this is not the recommended way to do it. An electrician will simply connect the other end of the wire differently inside the fuse panel, or run a new wire.
     
  3. hannab

    hannab Thread Starter

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    WOW. THAT WAS QUICK - we'll see if I can get an electrician that fast :p Thanks!:)
     
  4. iltos

    iltos

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    should be, hannab

    usually, a 220 circuit is a "home run"....meaning the three wires (plus a ground) run all the way back to the electrical panel

    so there should be a 220 breaker (which looks like two 110 breakers linked together....which is pretty much exactly what it is) that is hopefully labelled "AC plug" or something telling you that it is the plug you want to change.....

    it is possible, tho unlikely, however, that it is a part of 220 circuit, linking several 220 locations to the same breaker....this would be a more difficult and expensive scenario, and could mean just leaving the existing 220 outlet, and adding a new 110 outlet along side of it.

    but it's not a dumb question at all....get your electrician out there and he or she will sort out the details.
     
  5. hannab

    hannab Thread Starter

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    and thanks to you too, Iltos :) .....it may be the second scenario as the room also has individual electical heat - former owner was a DIY and did many strange things :eek:

    actually when we come across some of the things he did it's more like :mad: :mad: :mad:
     
  6. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Chuck Trusted Advisor

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    EDIT: Too many interruptions while typing. Follow the advice of iltos and Elvandil.

    If the current 220 Volt outlet takes a 4 prong plug, there is a very good chance an electrician can replace it with a 110 volt outlet. If it takes a three prong plug, the amount of work to convert to 110 depends on the power cable coming into the junction box holding the outlet.

    A common 220 Volt house wiring circuit consists of two out of phase 110 volt circuits connected together and sharing a common (neutral) line. You get 110 volts connecting the load between one of the hot lines and neutral. You get 220 volts when connecting the load between the two hot lines.

    A four contact receptacle includes the neutral line. A three contact receptacle does not use the neutral line but it may taped up and coiled in the back of the junction box.

    If you do not have the neutral line coming in the outlet's junction box, the electrician would need to figure out the location of the other end of the cable feeding the junction box. It would then be a matter of changing the wiring at that location to feed 110 Volts into the cable and putting in the correct outlet for you. There is a good possibility that the outlet has it's own fuse or breaker that is not shared with any other outlets. In that case the electrician should be able to change the wiring at the fuse/breaker box to convert the line to 110 volts and put in a new outlet.
     
  7. hannab

    hannab Thread Starter

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    I may not get this done until next month, but I will let you guys know how it goes :)
     
  8. iltos

    iltos

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    LOL
    a-yah-up.....i'm a builder who specializes in adding onto/remodeling homes....i know that story all too well.
     
  9. hannab

    hannab Thread Starter

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    and it's a sad, sad story :( :(
     
  10. hewee

    hewee

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    Maybe getting another 220 A/C window unit would be cheaper then paying to rewire things and I think will cool better too.
     
  11. Knotbored

    Knotbored

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  12. hannab

    hannab Thread Starter

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    well that's an interesting solution - I didn't know they still sold them :eek: and wish I had thought about that 5 years ago when I first had the unit put in- but I see there are plenty for sale at PC Richards site - I'll have to see what my husband thinks about that and if we could find one to fit the hole that's already in our wall :D it may be the way we have to go, since he made me realize that we still need the 220 line for the baseboard heating unit in the room.
     
  13. hannab

    hannab Thread Starter

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    interesting too, and much cheaper :p are they considered safe :confused: electricity make me nervous.
     
  14. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Chuck Trusted Advisor

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    You should be OK using one as long as it has the correct grounding plug and receptacle as well as labels showing UL approval. It should also have a fuse or circuit breaker to protect against any type of overload.

    I have used a smaller version of a similar product for operating a 220 VAC piece of equipment on a bench that only had 110 VAC. You need to consider that these transformers are not 100% efficient. They will draw a small amount of power when plugged in and the air conditioner is not running. They may also get quite warm (not hot enough to be a fire risk) when running at full load. You would be paying for the electricity that is being wasted as heat in the transformer as well as the extra electricity used by the air conditioner to remove the generated heat from the room.
     
  15. hewee

    hewee

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