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Converting a 240 Volt Circuit to 120 Volt

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Convert a Circuit from 240volt to 120volt: The Basics of converting a Dedicated 240 Volt Circuit to a 120 Volt Circuit.

Dedicated Circuit Conversion from 240 Volts to 120 Volts

Electrical Question: I’m working with a Kitchen remodel in a 1961 ranch style house. We took out the wall oven and wanted to add a dishwasher. The original wiring is black, white, and red no ground that I can see.  My father in law had me get 14-2 wire to join with the old wiring in junction box and then the new wiring will go to dishwasher. How can you do this? I don’t see how with extra red wire and no ground? Any suggestions?


This electrical question came from: Robyn, from Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Robyn.

How to Convert From 240 Volt to 120 Volt

240 120 electric circuit conversion

Application: 240volt to 120volt Circuit Wiring.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced, Best installed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Electrical Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and install electrical circuit wiring.
Precaution: Identify the panel circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring and components.
Warning: Working in an electric panel is dangerous due to arc flash hazards and the possibility of electric shock, therefore homeowners and non-electricians should not perform this procedure but rather consult an electrician for assistance.
Notice: Installing or modifying circuit wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

Electrical Circuit Conversion

Here are the Basics of converting a Dedicated 24o Volt Circuit to a 120 Volt Circuit

  • A junction box must be installed in an accessible location for the circuit wiring.
  • The Wire Gauge and Type must be sized and approved for the amperage of the existing circuit.
  • The circuit wiring and the circuit breaker must be identified at the electrical panel.
  • The 240 volt circuit breaker of the circuit is turned off and the circuit wiring is removed from the circuit breaker.
  • In this case where there is a 3wire circuit, the black wire is used for the hot, the red wire is identified with white electrical tape and used for the neutral and attached to the neutral terminal strip, and the white wire is identified with green electrical tape and the wire is used as the ground and attached to the bonded ground terminal.
  • This pattern of identifying the converted circuit wiring is performed at the junction box location as well, and the ground wire is bonded to the junction box and used for the circuit ground.
  • A 120 volt circuit breaker sized for the type of wire and the wire gauge is installed into the panel where the black wire of the converted circuit is attached.

More about 240 Volt Circuit Wiring

240 Volt Wiring Diagram
220 Volt Wiring Diagram

Wiring 120volt and 240volt Electrical Circuits

Home electrical wiring includes 120volt and 240volt circuits and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how electrical outlets for the home are wired.

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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.

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