How to Make 120 Volts from 220 Volts

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Converting a 220Volt Circuit to 120Volt: A Safe Method for Creating 120Volt from 220Volt, Splitting a 220Volt Circuit to 120Volt.

Converting a 220Volt Circuit to 120Volt

Electrical Question: Is it possible to add a disconnect or transfer switch to an existing 220 A.C. circuit then reduce voltage to 110 by splitting 220 power circuit via sub panel reducing circuit to two 110 circuits?

This home electrical repairs question came from: Kellett, in Keaau, Hawaii.

Additional Comments: Cool.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical troubleshooting question Kellett.

Splitting a 220Volt Circuit to 120Volt

  • A Safe Method for Creating 120Volt from 220Volt

    • With this question I don’t think having a transfer switch or disconnect would be the main issue with your question, however I believe the issue would be if the 220 volt circuit has a dedicated and insulated neutral wire, if not then no you cannot split the circuit to create two 120 volt circuits.
    • The neutral IS needed. If the there is a neutral wire then it would be best to feed a small sub panel with the 220 volt circuit and split out the 120 volt circuit from there with circuit breakers sized accordingly.
    • Don’t get confused or tempted to use the ground wire as a neutral because that is Very Dangerous!
    • The neutral wire is used as a current carrying conductor and that is why is it insulated, and a ground wire is not designed to carry current except for the instantaneous occurrence when power shorts to ground for whatever reason, thereby tripping or interrupting the circuit.
    • If an insulated ground wire is used as a neutral wire this will create a very hazardous condition which could result in energized parts in the area which cane very easily produce an electrocution and shock.

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