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This is my question we had an electric heater that was in a small bathroom.On the outside wall it was ran on 220 and has been long removed and the wire ends taped up. I want to use that line for more power to run LOR boxs this winter and maybe a pool during the summer the question is can i use the existing wire and remove one of the 220 hot wires and use it as a ground that way it is only 110 and just run it out of the wall in to my yard to gfic plug box ??



the breaker it is on is a 20 amp dual pole I was thinking just pop off one wire and use that for the ground



Dale

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Yep,

Assuming that the heater was the only one on the circuit & there's no wall thermostat involved it should be pretty simple. If there is a white & a black wire at the panel, the black wire would go to the breaker. The white wire would be used as the neutral.

This is actually different than a ground because grounds only carry current if there is a fault, not normal circuit current. As far a the white wire's connection in the circuit breaker panel it would go with all the other white conductors on the neutral bar. If the panel is the "main" breaker panel this same bar would have the grounds as well as a bonding screw. Subpanels have the grounds and neutrals isolated from each other on different bus bars.

Charlie

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nope no thermostat involved it had a bulit in one so it went with the unit i have taken the second wire off the breaker and grounded it and it has 114v now so i guess i got more power the easy way :)



Dale L

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There are a couple of Electrical people around here that could answer this, but is it safe to only use one pole of a two pole breaker?

I would pull the two pole and replace with two single pole breakers.

Chris

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cvyvial wrote:

There are a couple of Electrical people around here that could answer this, but is it safe to only use one pole of a two pole breaker?

I would pull the two pole and replace with two single pole breakers.

Chris

It isn't unsafe, but it would be cleaner to replace it with a pair of single breakers (or one breaker and a filler plate to cover the unused hole), also less confusing for the next guy that is working on that panel.

-jim-
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It might be better to get to seperate ones for the panel that way i can still run a diffrent line off the other one if need some day



Dale L

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Your existing 220 Circuit should come from a double pole breaker (in your lighting panel)to your 220V recep. There should be two black wires and a bare ground connected to the outlet and in the lighting panel on the other end. If you want to change that to a 120 Volt circuit and do it right you will need to know what size wire was pulled for the 220V circuit. More than likely it was at least a #12 wire. This will be good for you to make up a 20 Amp 120 V circuit out of it. You need to change out the double breaker to either two single pole 20 Amp circuit breakers or 1 single pole and a blank in the spare space you will have. You need to connect one of your black wires ( Hot) to the new 20 Amp circuit breaker. The other black wire will need to be the nuetral wire. This is not cool when it comes to electrical code(Black wire as a nuetral) so to make it right your local hardware or electrical store will have some white electrical tape. Wrap this black wire(nuetral) with this white tape and connect it to your nuetral buss in the lighting panel. NOTE: Be sure you know which black wire is the hot on the rectacle side of this circuit and which will be the new nuetral. Connecting the "Hot" black wire to nuetral is a BIG NO NO. Will cause all sorts of sparks and your lights will go out the minute you turn on your new breaker. (Direct short to ground). The bare wire will still be your ground wire and connect to the ground lug on the recep and to the ground buss in the lighting panel.( A lot of time the nuetral and ground busses are bonded together in the lighting panel) The ground is not a current carring conductor while the white nuetral is the return path of the circuit. The white can carry voltage potential on it. Not normal but it can. If you do not provide a nuetral conductor your voltage will "float" and cause you big problems because your circuit does not have a complete path back to you panel. Some people (althought not right) will make two circuits out of the 220 V recep be using the bare ground as a nuetral and the two black wires for each of the 120 V circuits. Not a good ideal. Not code. Insurance won't pay if you burn the house down. Be Careful and do this at your own risk. :)

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Taping anything #6 and smaller to color code is a code violation in NEC 2005. As long as your not using the ground as the neutral you should be fine but PLEASE change the 2 pole breaker to a single pole to protect some one else that may get into the panel and yourself incase you would have a fire, if an insruance inspector would see that they can denie your claim..

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Allen wrote:

Taping anything #6 and smaller to color code is a code violation in NEC 2005. As long as your not using the ground as the neutral you should be fine but PLEASE change the 2 pole breaker to a single pole to protect some one else that may get into the panel and yourself incase you would have a fire, if an insruance inspector would see that they can denie your claim..

This is correct for identifying a black as a white or gray to indicate an grounded conductor / neutral.

Interestingly enough, you can remark a white as black (or other ungrounded color) for these smaller gauges per NEC 200-7 Exception #1 - At least thru the 1996 code book (OK, It been a while since I done real work :laughing:) I believe the intent is so that 2 wire NM cable & similar could be used for 240 circuits. For 2 wire switch legs, it is not even required to mark the white to indicate is an ungrounded conductor.

I had assumed - probably a mistake - that this was NM/Romex or BX cable supplying the old heater. If so, the white was probably identified as an ungrounded conductor. If this was done by tape, it could be removed. Typically we would magic marker the wire as this fit the "permanent" requirement more than tape but I have frequently seen tape used.

Charlie
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the wires coming off the 2 pole breaker are both black (not sure of gauge) then goes threw a wall to a junction box where the 2 black wires become 2 red wires id ont know who put this in it was done like that when we bought the place

I did go out and buy to seperate 20 amp breakers I will use one for the new line and the other I will just put in but have it turned off incase i need one later for some thing else



Dale L

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Dale Leady wrote:

This is my question we had an electric heater that was in a small bathroom.On the outside wall it was ran on 220 and has been long removed and the wire ends taped up. I want to use that line for more power to run LOR boxs this winter and maybe a pool during the summer the question is can i use the existing wire and remove one of the 220 hot wires and use it as a ground that way it is only 110 and just run it out of the wall in to my yard to gfic plug box ??



the breaker it is on is a 20 amp dual pole I was thinking just pop off one wire and use that for the ground



Dale


My take:

Is there a White, Black and Red? If so, and you need more power, make TWO 110 v. circuits. Also, most double breakers can have the center piece removed. Do it.

If not, get some 12/3 with ground and run new wire so you have two new circuits. More power is good.


I steal the pool and my compressor lines to get more power. Don't need a pool filter in December!

More power is good. More power begets more creativity. More creativity needs more power. (ect...) be careful....
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CharlieAirey wrote:

Typically we would magic marker the wire as this fit the "permanent" requirement more than tape but I have frequently seen tape used.

Charlie



We use spray paint, the inspectors seem to fine with it.
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