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220 Volt Plug Receptacles Configurations

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 These outlets are the ones you’re most likely to have in your house.

Ok, so let’s talk about the types of outlets you’ll find in your house. For the most part, you are going to see 120 volts, 15 amp, and 20 amp. And 220 2 wire, 3 wire, and four wire types.

Please remember not all 220-volt outlets use a neutral (white) wire. To give you a general idea, let’s say you just bought an air compressor from Home Depot. It requires 220 volts but the plug only has three prongs. You’ll have the two that look alike and will be the two separate hots and the other round looking on would be the ground. And of course, more than likely it would be 20 amp.

220 volts 20 amps

220 volt 20 amp
20 Amp 220 Volt outlet

This is a 220v 20 amp outlet as shown in the how-to 220-volt outlet video likely to be used for larger power tools in your garage or shop or perhaps a wall air conditioner.


220 volts 30 amps

30 amp 220v 2 pole outlet

Wire Connections for X Y W 240 Volt Receptacle Dryer Outlets The Black Wire attaches to Outlet Terminal X The Red Wire attaches to Outlet Terminal Y The White Neutral or Green wire or Ground wire attaches to Outlet Terminal W

Commonly known as a dryer outlet. Of course, used for a clothes dryer. This would be used in a wall box with a cover plate (flush mount)

220 volt 50 amp outlets

50 Amp 220v 4 wire

In a house, these would be considered the big boy. You’ll find one of these in newer homes for a stove oven combo. This is a 4 wire outlet. See my video on how to install one of these. This is 50 amp 220 4 wire. Better know as a stove or oven outlet Keep in mind, although you might have an oven, dryer, stove or whatever. It may not have an outlet at all. It could be hard-wired into the appliance. And that’s fine, lot’s of bigger commercial appliances are known to be wired that way. Tip… Red is hot (110 volts) black is also hot (110 volts) = 220 volts. White is neutral and is the returned path back to the transformer on the road. The ground is just that. Ground to the each and is always used on anything electric. Unless of course, your house is very old in which case should be updated just for pure safety.

 Surface Mount 220v outlet

Surface Mount 220 outlet

This is a surface mount 220v outlet. You would find these in older homes where the installation came after the house was built.

3 wire stove receptacle

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NEMA Straight Blade Reference Chart 8
NEMA Straight Blade Reference Chart 7
NEMA Straight Blade Reference Chart 5
NEMA Straight Blade Reference Chart 2
NEMA Straight Blade Reference Chart 3
NEMA Straight Blade Reference Chart 4
outlet chart
outlet chart
220 plugs 253262911

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Wire Size Calculator

wire calculator
How a Polarized Plug Work? 19

Use this calculator to help you determine what size wire to use.

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114 Comments

  1. You show at the top of the page exactly what I’m trying to do. Replace a 30 amp. 220v dryer outlet (it has 3 wires in the box and a ground) with a 20 amp, 220 v outlet for a table saw. Which wires do I use? the 20 amp outlet doesn’t allow for both hot leads to be connected. Red hot, black hot, and white neutral.

  2. Hello,
    I have a generator rated at 220 volt 30 amp on one outlet. Should I expect to have 30 amps on each hot leg, or 15 amps each for a total of 30 amps? The specs do not not indicate anything either way.

    Thank you

      • Thanks for your reply, after some reading and volt meter tests I found I need to use only one of the ‘hot’ leads and what looks like a capped off neutral. Really strange, it was a 240 outlet that from the fuse box to end, changed its color codes: White – hot; Black -hot; bare copper; ground or neutral?? to Orange -hot; Blue – hot; White -ground or neutral?? I’m a novice so any advice you could give would be great.

  3. im working in an all electric apt. building in southern california, the a/c unit thats mounted thru the wall needs to be replaced, the outlet tests at 208 volts, do i use a 220 unit for replacement, or do i drop one of the hot legs at the panel

    • 208 is a bit low but more normal than you would think. That should be fine and dandy however check the new unit for the voltage requirements. Min to max voltage.

  4. I just got a used ceramic kiln. The outlet on the kiln
    has a round top male prong and two slot shaped prongs
    below.
    The female outlet on the wall has an L shaped hole at the top and 2 V shaped holes at the bottom. Is there a converter to join up or do I have to install a new male end to my kiln.
    Also I could send photos of the 2 if I knew where to send them.
    Thanks,
    Josephine Harris

  5. Question, Ive installed several 20 amp 220v outlets and never had any issues. Today i installed one, and when I flipped the breaker there was a quick spark in the panel and the breaker popped… I swapped the 2 hots (white/black, using 12/2) on the breaker and it was fine…. Ive never worried about the order of Hot leads on a simple 220 circuit before? Can they be wired backwards? The run was only about 30 FT, i check the cable for possible shorts and did not find any.

  6. I have a question pertaining to a circuit’s amperage. I have a dedicated 240v/50amp circuit for a car charger. The recent PHEV we leased has the capability of accepting standard 120v or 240v input however the plug configuration is a 240v/20amp design. Can I simply rewire the receptacle to match the 240v car plug or will this be dangerous?

  7. Hello, I have a question about a 20 Amp 220 Volt outlet. I have one and need to wire to electric box. It was connected to a double pole 20amp square D breaker. However, I was told that I need a GFI or some sort of protection breaker. I purchased a 2 pole GFCI Breaker but it has a neutral connection. I do not have one on the outlet, so I am not sure what I should use. Thanks in advance!

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Written by Dominick Amorosso

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