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How to install a 220 volt outlet

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Installing a 220-volt outlet isn’t all that hard at all. Following the instructions in my video and you’ll be fine.

So here’s the deal on installing more than one per circuit. It’s all math by the way, oh yeah, and lots more money. If you have 2 220 outlets and each one is 20 amps. You’ll need to use #8 wire for the whole circuit including a 40 amp breaker. Now just the wire alone is going to cost you. So yes you can, but do you really want to?

A big misconception is that you can only install one 220 volt device/outlet per circuit/breaker. Although you’ll better off for every 220 devices/outlet having it on its own breaker.

In the below diagram you will notice that for a 220-volt outlet you would need a two-pole breaker. What this means is that the breaker will take the power from the panel by the two very different phases. Each one is 110 volts. Combined you have your 220 volts. However, you will still need ground as you can see. Some need a neutral as well. Most of the time these would be things like your stove. But for now, this pretty much covers a simple 15 or 20 amp 220 volts.

The wiring needed for this type of insulation you would use 12/2 wire for a 20 amp installation.


If you’re looking for instructions on how to install a 4 wire 220 outlet see this video 

The red wire is really just red for the picture. If you’re using a 12/2 wire you would simply just use the white and the black wires to power the outlet and the bare copper for the ground that I show here in brown. Don’t think you can just use two separate breakers. It just doesn’t work that way.

This setup does not use a neutral wire. The neutral wire is a return path back to the transformer, in other words, a balanced. More reason why you can’t add more than one 220 outlets per breaker. And this is considered a two-wire setup.

You may like to read my how to wire a clothes dryer using 4 wire. This setup uses the neutral wire. Click here

Don’t forget to look at how to wire a 4 wire 220-volt outlet.

Check my new video on how to install a 220-volt outlet VIDEO

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  1. You talked about having two 220 outlets on one circuit. Can you explain that more. I ran 10 ga wire in my garage for an air conditioner. I put two outlets in there just in case I needed another 220. They are on a 30 amp breaker. I now have bought a new air compressor which needs 220 and draws 15amps. The a/c draws 11.5 amps. The plugs are nema 6-20. Will this work

    • It’s close to 80% and that’s the max you want to be. However, what are the start-up amp draw. If both units kick on at the same time. That’s what you want to be careful of.

  2. Loved the video, but I still have a question about a 3 prong dryer. For years I had no problems until one day wham the dryer would not start. I have tried, on 3 different machines and one of those was new out of the box, to use a dryer in my house after this. The outlet is new and a new 30 breaker also, yet any machine plugged in is only getting partial power. Voltmeter has 120 on each side, but still no joy. Could the line from the breaker to the outlet cause this? That is the only thing I can think of right now.

  3. I have recently moved and I have a Jacuzzi that’s run on1 110v . Buy 220v it heat in an hour I’m in Edison NJ and want a price on putting the 220 box in and if you’re prices are responsible I also have other electrical work that needs to be done call me when you can at 917 348 0355 Wooding Ave Edison NJ

  4. Dominik
    I have a question about running a 220 v 30 amp line, breaker , and 3 prong plug to a 18,000 btu window unit. I have removed some unused breakers from my panel to create space for 2 new 30 amp breakers to create the 220 volts of power. I’m not sure what wire to use (bought 10/2 and 10/3). Can you please advise me on what wire to use and how to wire it to the breaker? I have free space on my neutral bus bar and ground bus bar as well. As in like which color wires go where. Obviously in know which one the ground is but not sure on the other configurations. Mainly the 3 prong plug required on the unit is confusing me on what wire to use and how to hook it up to the breaker panel. Any help would be a huge help. Thanks so much!
    Austin Earhart

  5. Thanks for this Dominick. Very helpful. I wanted to ask. I have one slot left in my box but need to run a 220 for an air conditioner. I saw you can buy a 1 inch 2 pole 220 v 20 amp breaker that just takes up one slot in the box and not 2 like the one you showed here. Do you think this 1 inch think 2 pole would be alright?

  6. Great video and very informative. You saved me a good chunk of change. I ran the line, connected the receptacle, grounded the line in the box then put in the circuit without incident. Thanks a lot brother!

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Written by Dominick Amorosso

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