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Thread: I have no idea and will not even pretend to know.

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Steven Kaderabek's Avatar
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    Default I have no idea and will not even pretend to know.

    Im going to put this in basic terms. I know nothing about electrical equipment. We have a outlet in our house located under a window. I assume for an air conditioner. My question is. (in dumb man terms) is it for a 220 unit? it looks like this

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    Last edited by Terry; 06-08-2011 at 11:02 AM.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Maybe, maybe not. It is a 20A receptacle, designed for a larger load than 'normal' 15A ones. Only way to tell for sure is to either find which breaker turns it off and check, or put a meter on it. If it is a double breaker, then it's likely 220vac.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member Steven Kaderabek's Avatar
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    Thank you jadnashua. Ill climb down to the black hole and take a look at the breakers

  4. #4
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    The receptacle is a 240 volt 20 amp device but this does not necessarily mean that it has 240 volts connected to it although I would say that it being located under a window that it does have 240 volts and was installed for a window shaker.

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    DIY Junior Member Steven Kaderabek's Avatar
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    Thank you jwelectric

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    It is a 240/20 amp receptacle. It would be VERY WRONG if it did NOT have 240. The T shaped blade allows it to also accept a 15 amp/240 plug. A receptacle with the T slot in the same spot, but the other slot vertical, is for 120/20 amps.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    It is 220/240, but the easiest way to tell, if you plan to use it for an appliance is to find one with the plug which will fit it.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member Steven Kaderabek's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your help. I do appreciate it!

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    An easy way to tell if it's wired as a 220 or a 120 volt outlet is to buy yourself an electrical contact tester. They look like a pen and are plastic and take a penlight battery. You stick the small plastic end into each side of the outlet and if it beeps and lights up on both sides it's 220. If it beeps and lights on only one side it's 120. They are very handy to have and cost less than $20 and Home Depot has them. You can use them to test outlets for proper polarity and also to quickly check if something has live voltage. They also sell a small probe type tester that would also work.

    As was previously posted that outlet could be for a 220 or a 120 volt AC unit.....depending on how it is wired and the unit it was wired for........If you had a good Votlmeter you could also easily tell but they are pretty expensive....

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; As was previously posted that outlet could be for a 220 or a 120 volt AC unit.....depending on how it is wired and the unit it was wired for

    It would make absolutely no sense to install a 220/240 v. receptacle and then wire it for 110/120, since the equipment's plug would NOT work in the receptacle unless you replaced the line cord with one which had the 240 v. plug on it, which would also be assine.

  11. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    What should be and what is are often two different things, so the best and only way to tell is to test it. Normally, they'd wire that up as a 20A, 220vac source. But, you'd never know until you either tried to plug something in and it either didn't work, or burned up, or you tested it first.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    The recepticle appears to be one that could be wired to accept 2 different plugs. It would be up to the installer to wire it correctly. I assumed it was one that COULD be wired for either 120 or a 220/240 volt appliance....There are many configurations out there and here is a list of some.....

    http://www.apcmedia.com/salestools/S...NRML_R0_EN.pdf

  13. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Receptacles are designed so ONLY the proper voltage and amperage plugs will enter them. The 120 "receptacle and matching plug" have a completely DIFFERENT arrangement so they ABSOLUTELY CANNOT be interchanged. If you look at a reference chart, that receptacle is a 12/20 amp 220/240 one. It DOES NOT have a 120 v. option. The only way a receptacle could be 120/240 is if it has FOUR openings, unless it were an outdated range or dryer outlet which did not have the ground terminal.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Not to be picky, but again, what should be and what is, are not always the same. When I was working with my father one time, a 110-vac receptacle was used to plug in some equipment at a customer's location which promptly burned up. It turned out someone had intentionally wired it for 220 and not changed the receptacle. While this should NEVER happen, it can and does. Take someone with a universal motor (say a some saws or other stationary equipment you might buy from Sears) that come wired to run on 110vac. Someone wants to run it on 220, changes the wiring to the receptacle and moves the jumpers on the motor, and doesn't change the cord to the appliance. THEY know it, but nobody else does, and agreed it is not to code, but it can and does happen.

    Test it, then you'll know. Otherwise, you might be in for a surprise.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    I agree with JADNASHUA and that was my point.......Yes each recepticle/plug is MEANT to be wired for the voltage and amperage specified by the manufacturer....Sure it is not right if it is wired imporperly and could cause a problem down the road but this is the real world and people do things all the time that are not correct.

    I have looked in the receticle plug racks at various stores and there are some plugs supplied with various configurations to change the amp rating. I thought there might be some recetpticles also out there that could be wired for one of two differnt voltages and the blades changed to make it correct......That was my reasoning behind my post....

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