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Running 220V equipment off 110V outlets

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Forum topic by Plain posted 07-03-2016 02:54 PM 922 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Plain

157 posts in 161 days


07-03-2016 02:54 PM

Have anyone tried to run some 220V machine off two 110V outlets. I haven’t tried but I can imagine it would be feasible to connect two extension cords to a 220V receptacle, providing that you have two 110V outlets running from different phases nearby.


15 replies so far

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1592 posts in 2322 days


#1 posted 07-03-2016 03:07 PM

While it is possible to rig up such a connection, it is not advisable due to safety concerns. The two circuits would have separate circuit breakers. If the combined circuit experienced an overload it would probably trip only one of the two breakers. This would cause the equipment to quit working but the untripped breaker would cause one half the total circuit to remain hot. The user might not notice this fact and might get shocked (and even killed) while trying to determine why the tool had quit working. This does not happen on a normal 220V circuit because the breakers are mechanically tie together which causes both to open when either one trips.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View jonah's profile

jonah

687 posts in 2761 days


#2 posted 07-04-2016 02:41 AM

Please don’t do anything as ridiculously stupid as this. Or, if you do decide to do it, please call the Darwin awards people ahead of time.

The answer is no, you can’t safely do it. If you’re going to spend the time to hack together something like him you might as well just run a 240V line.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

827 posts in 685 days


#3 posted 07-04-2016 01:55 PM

I’ve done it in a pinch but it’s a big no-no for obvious (and not so obvious) reasons.
If the power requirements are reasonable, transformers are available to convert 120-240 (and 240-120). They get expensive if you need more than 1000 Watts.

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

805 posts in 2224 days


#4 posted 07-04-2016 03:02 PM

I would think it could be done IF the two 110 V circuits are 180 degrees out of phase!!!! How you would determine this, I don’‘t know unless you have an oscilloscope. 220 V single phase is actually made up of two 110 V circuits that are 180 degrees out of phase. This is why you see a three prong plug. One prong is the ground, one prong is one of the 110 V circuits, and the 3rd prong is for the other 110 V circuits.

You can easily understand this by studying a sine curve of each circuit, then shifting the curve of the 2nd circuit 180 degrees from the first. This drawing and explanation will help. http://www.thecoffeebrewers.com/electricity.html

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

2427 posts in 1872 days


#5 posted 07-04-2016 03:06 PM

Spend the time and money to do this correctly. If you have time to do it twice or pay for damage caused by the first try, then you had the time and money to do it right the first time. Something my Grandfather taught me that has made me think about a “fix” before I actually put it into action. I suspect it has saved my butt more than once.

My 2 cents worth anyway. be safe, error on the side of caution.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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firefighterontheside

13466 posts in 1319 days


#6 posted 07-04-2016 04:46 PM

Doesn’t seem like a great idea to me either. I think One way to know if they are out of phase is to look where the breakers are in the panel. if the two circuits are next to each other they are out of phase. If they are separated by one or any odd number they are same phase. If they are separated by an even number they are out of phase.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Mark's profile

Mark

820 posts in 1437 days


#7 posted 07-04-2016 04:58 PM

I’ve been a sparky for almost 40 yrs. PLEASE listen to Herb, Jonah & woodbutcher!!! They are RIGHT!!!

-- Mark

View toolie's profile

toolie

2023 posts in 2091 days


#8 posted 07-04-2016 06:45 PM

Check online . There is a company that makes a 220 plug with two 110 leads. They also include a device to be sure the two leads are on different phases. Comes in both 15 & 20A versions.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View Plain's profile

Plain

157 posts in 161 days


#9 posted 07-04-2016 08:46 PM



I would think it could be done IF the two 110 V circuits are 180 degrees out of phase!!!! How you would determine this, I don t know unless you have an oscilloscope. 220 V single phase is actually made up of two 110 V circuits that are 180 degrees out of phase. This is why you see a three prong plug. One prong is the ground, one prong is one of the 110 V circuits, and the 3rd prong is for the other 110 V circuits.

You can easily understand this by studying a sine curve of each circuit, then shifting the curve of the 2nd circuit 180 degrees from the first. This drawing and explanation will help. http://www.thecoffeebrewers.com/electricity.html

Planeman

- Planeman40

I don’t think anything of this is true. It is the same as making the same connection in the breaker box. You do not need an oscilloscope, all you need a voltmeter to measure the tension between two hot ends. It will be either 0 in which case you are on the same phase or 220V, in which case you are on the opposite phases and can use them for powering a 220V machine.

Another comment mentioned above about the circuit being still connected when one of the breaker pops is valid. However I do not think it is a huge concern. If you machine stopped working you are not going to go and touch electrical conductors in any case.

View Plain's profile

Plain

157 posts in 161 days


#10 posted 07-04-2016 10:34 PM



Check online . There is a company that makes a 220 plug with two 110 leads. They also include a device to be sure the two leads are on different phases. Comes in both 15 & 20A versions.

- toolie


You mean http://www.quick220.com/ ?

They charge several hundred for this, when it is nothing more than two extension cords connected in a certain way in a box. A voltmeter is a perfect tool to ensure you get the opposite phases. If you do not have one, try and error is the next best method to get the opposite phases. It either works or does not.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 949 days


#11 posted 07-05-2016 04:36 AM

Doable but it’s not advisable.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View becikeja's profile

becikeja

645 posts in 2276 days


#12 posted 07-05-2016 12:03 PM

Just run a new 240V circuit from the existing panel. If you have a 120V circuit, then it has to be coming from a 120/240V panel. Just buy a 2 pole breaker and hook it up (make sure you kill the power first). Check to see, but your panel is probably rated to hold tandem breakers. Use the tandems to reduce the space taken up by the single pole breakers.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View Rentvent's profile

Rentvent

148 posts in 312 days


#13 posted 07-05-2016 12:38 PM

View toolie's profile

toolie

2023 posts in 2091 days


#14 posted 07-06-2016 12:15 AM


Check online . There is a company that makes a 220 plug with two 110 leads. They also include a device to be sure the two leads are on different phases. Comes in both 15 & 20A versions.

- toolie

You mean http://www.quick220.com/ ?

They charge several hundred for this, when it is nothing more than two extension cords connected in a certain way in a box. A voltmeter is a perfect tool to ensure you get the opposite phases. If you do not have one, try and error is the next best method to get the opposite phases. It either works or does not.

- Plain

That’s not the company I was referring to. The one I am familiar with is considerably less expensive, I just can’t remember the name of the company.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View MrUnix's profile (online now)

MrUnix

4221 posts in 1662 days


#15 posted 07-06-2016 12:30 AM

I’d only attempt it as a last resort, have to get it done now, very, very temporary solution. I’d look for any alternative before attempting it, such as running an extension cord from the 30A dryer outlet. Wouldn’t want to wind up like:

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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