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How to install a 220 Volt Outlet

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What do you need the 220-volt outlet for?

Shop tools, Air Condition, Compressor. Gee the list can go on and on. But for most chances are it would be a 20 amp that uses a 12 gauge wire on a 20 amp breaker. Then this video is for you. Just follow my step-by-step video and you will have yours up and running in no time.

So is it 220 or 240?

Simply put it’s 240 volts. 220 is a very old-school phrase, however, the term 220 is very common still today.

But how do we get 240 volts? Well, it all starts from the transformer up on the road. A single hot leg goes into the transformer and gets split by 180 degrees and alternates 60 times each second. Each hot leg gives us 120 volts, hence 240 volts.

In this video, I show you how to install a 20 amp 240 volts without a return path, otherwise, known as a neutral. For this, we don’t need one.

Most Common 

Using #12 wire has to be the most common, 20 amp. Sure you can use #10 wire 30amp, #8 40 amp, #6 50 amp. Either way, it’s the same. However, sometimes, something like a dryer or stove will require the use of a neutral. Now, what is a neutral? Well simply put it’s a return path back to the transformer back at the road.

buss bar 220 volts

So why do we not normally need a neutral? 

because you don’t need a return path

Simple, because we don’t need the return path. But something like a stove or dryer might. Why, because somewhere in these units it needs 120 volts for clocks, timmers, things like that. Simple enough, right. I think so.

And trust me, if you need a neutral, I’m sure you would know it by now.

So how do we get 220/240 volts? 

Each hot leg is 120 volts, so 2×220=240 or better known as 110×2=220. But let’s face not many of us have even seen 110 volts. Think of your grandmothers’ old waffle maker, with a two-blade plug of equal size, “non-polarized” Read about polarized plugs 

Please leave a comment or questions if you need more help.

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8 Comments

  1. Thanks Dom for your video.
    I got a older house with a 3 wires 220v outlet. I like to change to a 220v, 4 wires (add ground wire). I have a 120v outlet adjacent to the 220v outlet. Is it acceptable just to run a ground wire from the 120v box to 220v box to provide my ground wire for the 220v box?

Written by Dominick Amorosso

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