» Residential Electrical Wiring: Guide to Home Wiring
» Need Electrical Help? Get a Quick Reply! Ask the Electrician
220 Volt Circuit to 110 Volt
By Dave Rongey
Summary: Electrical Circuits Question:
I have a 220V outlet that is only used in the summer to run a window A/C unit. Can I tap off of this outlet to make a 110v outlet right next to it to run a small electrical heater in the winter? How do I go about this?
Converting a 220 Volt Circuit to 110 Volt
How to Convert a 220 Volt Circuit to 110 Volt
I have a 220V outlet that is only used in the summer to run a window A/C unit.
Can I tap off of this outlet to make a 110v outlet right next to it to run a small electrical heater in the winter?
How do I go about this?
P.S. the 220v outlet is not recessed in the wall.
Hi Randy - Great Electrical Repair Question!
First off I'm assuming this 220 volt AC circuit is a 15 or 20 amp circuit.
The 220 volt circuit for the AC unit most likely does not have a third wire dedicated as a neutral.
Usually a 2-wire romex with a ground wire is run to the AC receptacle and the white wire is identified with black or red electrical tape designating that it is a hot wire. Because the ground wire is usually un insulated it can not be used for a current carrying conductor such as a neutral wire.
This circuit can be converted to 110 volt and a 110 receptacle can be installed during the winter months in place of the 220 volt receptacle, here's how:
To convert a 220 volt circuit to 110 volts - First the circuit must be positively identified back at the source panel.
One of the power legs attached to the 220 volt circuit breaker, usually a white wire (as described above) needs to be disconnected from the breaker and attached to the neutral buss.
It would be best to place a one-pole circuit breaker in place of the two-pole breaker, inserting a spare breaker or spacer in the remaining space, then be certain to label the circuit for it's intended use.
This is not the most convenient way to do this but it will work. The problem is that this procedure will need to be reversed in the summer time if you decide to use the air conditioned again.
The idea of initially installing a dedicated 4-wire electrical circuit which could then be used as a combination of 1- 220 volt receptacle (for the AC in the Summer time) and 2-110 volt receptacles ( Heater in the Winter time) would be great.
I actually do this when installing power for window AC units because I know sooner or later these units may require a dedicated neutral wire just like the electric dryers and the range circuits.
As mentioned above, if this circuit is larger than 20 amps there will be a few more items to address, so please let me know.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.