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How to install a 220 volt outlet

4.5/5 - (169 votes)

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

Comments ( 49 )

  1. K, going to add a 220 volt outlet in my garage for an air compressor, the compressor requires 20 amp. The question:

    I already have 110 electric in the garage that runs the lights and a couple of outlets. Instead of having to pull 3 new wires (2 hot & 1 ground) for the 220V outlet, can pull just one wire for the additional 110V I’ll need and utilize the existing 110V wire (and ground) for the second hot to the 220V outlet?

    The reason I ask is because I can run one wire through the existing conduit, Thanks.

  2. Jonathan Calender
    March 19, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    hi great video.what happens if you want to install a 220 outlet and there isnt any room in the circuit box for you to wire in another 220?thanks*

    • admin

      You would install a sub panel. Follow the link if you see one here. Or look in electrical on the main menu on top.

  3. Dominick. Great info and fun to watch video. You told me all I need for next step and saved me time and money. Hot tub awaits!

  4. Great video. I think it would be wise to tape your "white" wire using "black" tape so that everyone would know that this is a "hot" wire.

  5. Very good. Thank you so much for your info on this.

  6. I notice you put the ground pin on the bottom. I think the code is gradually changing to require it on top. That way, should a metal object like a thin picture frame fall between the outlet and a partially inserted plug, the ground pin serves to deflect the object so you don't get a short. Of course, many 220 plugs are right-angle style, and would be upside down if you put in the plug that way. So "whattaya gonna do."

    I enjoyed the style of your helpful video. Thank you.

  7. Yes and no. The same if it's a older dryer. However some newer dryers require three wire the extra being a neutral.

  8. Is this the same process for a 220 Dryer outlet?

  9. Sorry I had to make a new one. But here you go.

  10. Would you put the video back? Tks!

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