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1. Originally Posted by Hackney plumbing
Jim mentioned I really dont have 120 coming into the house but if I measure the voltage at an outlet thats what I get. How is that possible if I do not have 120 coming into the house?
because when you measure the voltage at that outlet, you are measuring from the Neutral to the hot leg at that outlet.
If that 2 pole breaker had a 1000 watt load on each pole of the breaker, the 2 loads would wind up being in series with each other fed by 240 volts, and the neutral would be handling little, if any current.
If one breaker had 1000 watt load on it, and the other pole of that breaker had a 250 watt load on it, then the neutral would be carrying the current for 750 watts at 120 volts 6.25 amps. If the 250 watt load was disconnected, then the Neutral would be carrying the full 1000 watt current at 120 volts 8.33 amps

2. Originally Posted by BobL43
because when you measure the voltage at that outlet, you are measuring from the Neutral to the hot leg at that outlet.
If that 2 pole breaker had a 1000 watt load on each pole of the breaker, the 2 loads would wind up being in series with each other fed by 240 volts, and the neutral would be handling little, if any current.
If one breaker had 1000 watt load on it, and the other pole of that breaker had a 250 watt load on it, then the neutral would be carrying the current for 750 watts at 120 volts 6.25 amps. If the 250 watt load was disconnected, then the Neutral would be carrying the full 1000 watt current at 120 volts 8.33 amps
Actually the water heater does not have a neutral. Just two 120v hots and a ground.

3. That is because the WH is a 240v device. If it also needed 120v for something, it would also need a neutral to create a 120v source.

4. Originally Posted by nukeman
That is because the WH is a 240v device. If it also needed 120v for something, it would also need a neutral to create a 120v source.
My dryer takes 240 but it has a neutral. Maybe somthing inside it requires 120?

5. Correct. The timer and such usually take 120v. This is true of many 240v circuits (such as a range). Pure 240v circuits (like a WH) only need the 2 hots and a ground.

6. Originally Posted by Hackney plumbing
Actually the water heater does not have a neutral. Just two 120v hots and a ground.
What made you bring up a water heater? That is a 240 volt device, where it draws current from the two hot legs, and nothing from the neutral unless it somehow had a fancy 115v control unit on it.

never mind, this has already been said

7. Originally Posted by nukeman
Correct. The timer and such usually take 120v. This is true of many 240v circuits (such as a range). Pure 240v circuits (like a WH) only need the 2 hots and a ground.
So if you have an old house wired for a dryer with two hot and a ground the new dryers wouldn't work at all or would they work but not be safe?

8. Originally Posted by Hackney plumbing
So if you have an old house wired for a dryer with two hot and a ground the new dryers wouldn't work at all or would they work but not be safe?
The older ciruits had 2 hots and a Neutral for the Dryer power
most likely using 10/3 kleenex without ground. The new dryers (and ranges) are supposed to be wired with nn/3 (nn= proper sized conductors) plus ground kleenex and a 4 prong plug and receptacle.
The ground on the old stuff was added to the frame of the dryer by the installer to a "safe" (not really) water pipe nearby

9. I think I'm ready to wire YOUR house now.....LOL Just kidding thanks for the tips.

My house was built in 2000. I'll be removing my panel cover and making sure any multibranch circuit is done with a double pole breaker.

10. Maybe this will help...

Maybe this will help...
I found a great explanation that I posted a few posts back. Really makes it clear. Thanks for the effort tho.

Its the last post on the first page. A guy name David Herres wrote the article.

12. America is in the dark ages with electricity. Europe, even Africa wires all for 240V and the timers and controls [DUH!] in appliances are built for 240V. Now you are outlet wiring with 16 and 18 gauge wire and don't need a neutral.

When copper was cheap and the US made it all, the copper lobby won. We all lost.

Notice that at least the Americans are smart enough to sell electric water heater timers that have a [MAGIC!] clock that runs on 240V, so you need not pull in another totally unneeded wire. Imagine the audacity of making a 240V lightbulb!

13. Originally Posted by ballvalve
America is in the dark ages with electricity. Europe, even Africa wires all for 240V and the timers and controls [DUH!] in appliances are built for 240V. Now you are outlet wiring with 16 and 18 gauge wire and don't need a neutral.
The one difference being that most of the electricity that we see in our houses is 110v, yes, and that is a lot easier to let go of it if gets you than is 220v.

I have a vague memory from the late '60's when I lived on an airforce base in Britain. I was very young. I seem to remember a TV show explaining the workings of a GFI outlet and saying that they would becoming a standard. But it could have been a few years later in the states.

14. IN a perfectly balanced split feed, the neutral is not carrying any current. It is "alternating current" and the two lines are 180 degrees out of phase, so when one's black wire is "+" the other's is "-" so they cancel each other out. The neutral takes care of any imbalance.

15. ## wire

I have heard, but do not know if it is fact, that homes in Australia only have a single 240 volt wire coming into the houses. The return to the generator is done with a "ground connection" into the earth.

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