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Old 06-18-2021, 12:40 AM   #1
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Hopefully someone that is smarter than I am is up at this hour. I'm wiring a mini split AC unit at the cabin. 220 from the cabin has a black, white and bare copper. The whip connecting the unit has black, red and green. How do I connect them?
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Old 06-18-2021, 01:08 AM   #2
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you cannot!!! From the breaker box, you will need a double pole breaker in the amount required by the manufacturer of the unit, the proper gauge wire ran to the unit in to a disconnect box. The wires ran would be red and black with a ground. You CANNOT connect the red and black wires to the black and white wires of the cabin. If someone installed white and black wires to a 240 volt circuit, they are WRONG and will get someone seriously hurt or killed.
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Old 06-18-2021, 01:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terran28 View Post
you cannot!!! From the breaker box, you will need a double pole breaker in the amount required by the manufacturer of the unit, the proper gauge wire ran to the unit in to a disconnect box. The wires ran would be red and black with a ground. You CANNOT connect the red and black wires to the black and white wires of the cabin. If someone installed white and black wires to a 240 volt circuit, they are WRONG and will get someone seriously hurt or killed.

There is a double pole breaker in the box. I'm just confused by the wire colors and don't want to screw it up
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Old 06-18-2021, 01:33 AM   #4
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call me with what you see. . Terran

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Old 06-18-2021, 02:25 AM   #5
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For a 240 volt circuit that doesn’t need a neutral, it’s very common to run a romex with black, white, and bare. I am making the assumption this is what you have. If so, connect black to black, white to red, and bare to green. This is not going to kill anyone, again it’s very common/normal.
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Old 06-18-2021, 02:47 AM   #6
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For a 240 volt circuit that doesnít need a neutral, itís very common to run a romex with black, white, and bare. I am making the assumption this is what you have. If so, connect black to black, white to red, and bare to green. This is not going to kill anyone, again itís very common/normal.

Got it. I got some step by step instructions and think I'll be good to go. Electricity surely isn't my thing
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Old 06-18-2021, 05:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terran28 View Post
you cannot!!! From the breaker box, you will need a double pole breaker in the amount required by the manufacturer of the unit, the proper gauge wire ran to the unit in to a disconnect box. The wires ran would be red and black with a ground. You CANNOT connect the red and black wires to the black and white wires of the cabin. If someone installed white and black wires to a 240 volt circuit, they are WRONG and will get someone seriously hurt or killed.
Lol!
I assume you arenít an electrician?
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Old 06-18-2021, 05:27 AM   #8
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No, I am not. I have worked with my dad in HVAC for 30 years. Never have I EVER seen a 240 volt circuit use white/black/bare. I did research it and found no codes that state you cannot, however this is asinine and should have codes for it. If I see white/black, that is a 120 volt circuit. I will use my voltmeter to determine voltage, but If I see 240v running through black/white, I will walk away from it and tell them to get someone else or have an electrician rewire it with the proper 12/3 or 10/3 depending on load.
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Old 06-18-2021, 05:32 AM   #9
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you cannot!!! From the breaker box, you will need a double pole breaker in the amount required by the manufacturer of the unit, the proper gauge wire ran to the unit in to a disconnect box. The wires ran would be red and black with a ground. You CANNOT connect the red and black wires to the black and white wires of the cabin. If someone installed white and black wires to a 240 volt circuit, they are WRONG and will get someone seriously hurt or killed.
OK we are going to need some explanation...
1.What is the difference between red, black, ground or black, white, ground?
2. What if I don't use romex and pull in 3 single blacks? Will it explode?
3. What if we up grade and install (6/3 with a ground), what do we do with the 4th wire?
4. What if I connect red to black, black to white and green to bare?
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Old 06-18-2021, 05:41 AM   #10
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1. Red = load, black = load, white = neutral, green or bare is ground
2. 3 single black wires are all loads of a 3 phase circuit
3. You don't use the other wire, you wrap it around the rest (like I have seen every single time or cut it off)
4. If it is a splice , then you used the wrong first wire and should rerun with the properly colored wires. Other than that I do not understand your question.

Edit on 4. You can wire it like that and the circuit will work, however as I stated, if I see white, that is a neutral, always has been and have NEVER seen 14/2, 12/2, or 10/2 used ever in a 240v circuit

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Old 06-18-2021, 05:56 AM   #11
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Guys, I understand my first comment to the OP was wrong in the eyes of electricians, but just stating I have never seen that (and until i just researched, thought it was wrong). I was taught differently by my dad. You be courteous to the "other guy" and use properly color coded wires to distinguish the circuit. If you HAVE to use different colored wires, you wrap tape around the ends of the wire to let them know it is a load bearing wire (black or red tape).

I have heard of technicians walking away from jobs because of this. They didn't want to become the liability because someone assumed that the white wire was a neutral.

Last edited by Terran28; 06-18-2021 at 05:58 AM.
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Old 06-18-2021, 06:11 AM   #12
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In residential work, you will see far more white conductors used for 240v than you will see red. Yes, it should be wrapped in tape to indicate it’s a hot.

If an electrician used “12/3 or 10/3” for a 240v load that didn’t require a neutral, he was throwing money away...
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Old 06-18-2021, 06:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Rubi513 View Post
In residential work, you will see far more white conductors used for 240v than you will see red. Yes, it should be wrapped in tape to indicate itís a hot.

If an electrician used ď12/3 or 10/3Ē for a 240v load that didnít require a neutral, he was throwing money away...
Every single residential 240v circuit I have seen has had the red wire it it. And the issue I see with that is if they reduced it back to 120 volt, then they have the black load line and the bare ground as neutral and the white line capped off...
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Old 06-18-2021, 06:31 AM   #14
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Every single residential 240v circuit I have seen has had the red wire it it. And the issue I see with that is if they reduced it back to 120 volt, then they have the black load line and the bare ground as neutral and the white line capped off...
Well you learned something new. Never assume black/white=120V. Iím surprised you have never seen it, I would bet money it is that way on just about every house.
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Old 06-18-2021, 06:35 AM   #15
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Every single residential 240v circuit I have seen has had the red wire it it. And the issue I see with that is if they reduced it back to 120 volt, then they have the black load line and the bare ground as neutral and the white line capped off...
Then you havenít done much residential work.
So, youíre ok with someone using a bare ground as a neutral?
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Old 06-18-2021, 06:42 AM   #16
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Then you haven’t done much residential work.
So, you’re ok with someone using a bare ground as a neutral?
Actually I have seen it once and only once. In the house I live in as a matter of fact. The kitchen AC was 240 volt, when it was changed out before I moved in and converted to 120 volt, they used the black wire for hot, the bare ground for neutral and capped the white. I removed the cover plate to see what it would take to put in a duplex plug and discovered that. Haven't touched it since...

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Old 06-18-2021, 06:52 AM   #17
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A bare ground used as a neutral is more dangerous that a white wire not labeled as a hot.
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Old 06-18-2021, 07:26 AM   #18
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Guys, I understand my first comment to the OP was wrong in the eyes of electricians, but just stating I have never seen that (and until i just researched, thought it was wrong). I was taught differently by my dad. You be courteous to the "other guy" and use properly color coded wires to distinguish the circuit. If you HAVE to use different colored wires, you wrap tape around the ends of the wire to let them know it is a load bearing wire (black or red tape).

I have heard of technicians walking away from jobs because of this. They didn't want to become the liability because someone assumed that the white wire was a neutral.
The electricity flowing through the copper does not care what color the insulation is. It is absolutely normal for someone to run a 12/2 romex for a 240v circuit that does not require a neutral. It is also common to use the white as a switch leg or hot (depending on your personal preference) when wiring up lights and switches. It is common curtesy to label or mark the wires, but any electrician will tell you to never trust the color of a conductor. Thatís why you test it with a meter.
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Old 06-18-2021, 07:52 AM   #19
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Bowlife has the right idea here. Yíallís answers of liability for using a black and white wire to run a 240v circuit are ridiculous. 94% of commercial work uses the whole rainbow for conductors, just gotta check it with a meter. If youíre worried about someone thinking itís a neutral because the wire is white just refer back to the Natural Selection page in the Book Of Life


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Old 06-18-2021, 08:26 AM   #20
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When i built my house i had this conversation with my electrician. We bet a lunch on it. In a circuit that consists of only 240 volt loads it is legal to run two phase conductors and ground. In a circuit with both 240 and 120 volt loads you must run a neutral conductor. I bought lunch.
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Old 06-18-2021, 08:33 AM   #21
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Bowlife has the right idea here. Yíallís answers of liability for using a black and white wire to run a 240v circuit are ridiculous. 94% of commercial work uses the whole rainbow for conductors, just gotta check it with a meter. If youíre worried about someone thinking itís a neutral because the wire is white just refer back to the Natural Selection page in the Book Of Life


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Big difference between commercial, industrial and residential.
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Old 06-18-2021, 08:34 AM   #22
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Big difference between commercial, industrial and residential.

NEC applies the same in all applications


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Old 06-18-2021, 08:41 AM   #23
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No, I am not. I have worked with my dad in HVAC for 30 years. Never have I EVER seen a 240 volt circuit use white/black/bare. I did research it and found no codes that state you cannot, however this is asinine and should have codes for it. If I see white/black, that is a 120 volt circuit. I will use my voltmeter to determine voltage, but If I see 240v running through black/white, I will walk away from it and tell them to get someone else or have an electrician rewire it with the proper 12/3 or 10/3 depending on load.
Surely youíve heard of phase tape? If your so scared of the white wire than put a little red tape on it.
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Old 06-18-2021, 08:42 AM   #24
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NEC applies the same in all applications


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Speaking of code, the code only specifically mentions 5 ďcolorsĒ and how they should be used:

Orange B phase of a 240 V Delta system indicating a ďhigh legĒ where it measures 240V to ground. White or grey to indicate a grounded conductor (neutral) and green or bare to indicate a grounding conductor.

It does allow provisions for marking the wires regardless of color such as with phase tape.

Even most modern residential wiring no longer uses the white as a switch leg which was a poor practice to begin with.


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Old 06-18-2021, 08:50 AM   #25
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Speaking of code, the code only specifically mentions 5 ďcolorsĒ and how they should be used:

Orange B phase of a 240 V Delta system indicating a ďhigh legĒ where it measures 240V to ground. White or grey to indicate a grounded conductor (neutral) and green or bare to indicate a grounding conductor.

It does allow provisions for marking the wires regardless of color such as with phase tape.

Even most modern residential wiring no longer uses the white as a switch leg which was a poor practice to begin with.


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I agree, white as a switch leg is a horrible idea. On the other side of that running 10/3 or 8/3 for an A/C application is just a plain waste of money. Not a single unit out there that needs to utilize a neutral as all are straight 240 not 240/120. Only thing I could see that being useful is if the install tech wanted a 120v GFCI mounted inside the unit for servicing the unit. Most of the time what I run into is dual black conductors and a green, if three phase you might get lucky and have marking tape for the different phases providing itís not a delta system like mentioned. In the OPís application I personally donít see a need to distinguish between the different legs or have a neutral, systems gonna run the same if itís black on black or black on white.


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Old 06-18-2021, 08:53 AM   #26
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NEC applies the same in all applications


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Yes, but still a big difference between a house and a chemical plant, which was my point.
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:34 AM   #27
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First of all, assuming that color of a wire is an indication of voltage is bad practice in all cases. Most people are correct that you don't typically see a 2 wire romex in a 240v, single phase application. On the other side of that, most residential 240v, 1 phase loads use some sort of small 120v load for a timer or a clock or something, and they need the neutral. This necessitates the 3/c - w/gnd. I have dealt with every color of the rainbow, and colors with tracer stripes. If it concerns you to phase tape the white and use it as a current carrying conductor, then pull a 3/c romex. In the end, its your place and you want to be happy and comfortable with it.
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Old 06-18-2021, 10:14 AM   #28
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Gotta love electrical threads where non-electricians jump in to give wrong advice. It’s always good to make sure you are talking with a licensed journeyman/master electrician when looking for advice.
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Old 06-18-2021, 10:17 AM   #29
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Gotta love electrical threads where non-electricians jump in to give wrong advice. Itís always good to make sure you are talking with a licensed journeyman/master electrician when looking for advice.
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Old 06-18-2021, 03:45 PM   #30
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Gotta love electrical threads where non-electricians jump in to give wrong advice. Itís always good to make sure you are talking with a licensed journeyman/master electrician when looking for advice.
Agreed. I got my daily entertainment out of it though.
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:13 PM   #31
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Sometimes i use brown, orange, and yellow. Lol
White wires are often used for hots, and if they are, they simply need a single band of black or red, or even blue phase tape..
Some of our residential houses have 240v 3phase services, they will have a 3ph meter, but only a single ph breaker panel.. the 3 phases will go from the meter to a 3ph disconnect, then straight to the a/c.

Would love to see some comments on a "california 3way" lol
Its how old timers wired 3way switches without travellers.
Basically, you use 2 3way switches, you wire the hot and neutral to each switch, then wire from each switch to the light., haha
The light works when it gets a hot from 1 switch and a neutral from the other.
Flipping a switch, the light goes out because it has 2 neutrals... or 2 HOTS, lmao

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Old 06-18-2021, 09:31 PM   #32
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A meter comes in handy most of the time, just sayin.
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:33 PM   #33
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Wow
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:35 PM   #34
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Quote:
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Sometimes i use brown, orange, and yellow. Lol

Would love to see some comments on a "california 3way" lol
Its how old timers wired 3way switches without travellers.
Basically, you use 2 3way switches, you wire the hot and neutral to each switch, then wire from each switch to the light., haha
The light works when it gets a hot from 1 switch and a neutral from the other.
Flipping a switch, the light goes out because it has 2 neutrals... or 2 HOTS, lmao

Iíve seen that once in 30+ years.


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Old 06-18-2021, 09:42 PM   #35
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If you cant find the breaker to shut off the control power.. it might be because someone tapped the feeder, lol
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:44 PM   #36
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I see california 3ways odten, in nearly all of these old early 1900s homes
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:51 PM   #37
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This is the crap i deal with, old "A-base" style meters, these meters are "hard wired", you cannot unplug the meter.. you have to de-terminate the wires, while hot.. and usually the insulation breaks.. is brittle from being overheated.

Then, theres lots of indoor fuse boxes, mounted outside.!
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Old 06-18-2021, 10:01 PM   #38
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Heres a good one i found recently. Its a 480v 3ph feed to a twist lock outlet on a column, for a welder.. no telling how many years it had been operating like this.. basically, the brown didnt get stripped when terminated.. but it still made enough connection when the voltage blew thru the thin flattened insulation.. smh
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Old 06-18-2021, 10:16 PM   #39
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Heres another beauty..! Just kept adding wires to more fuse boxes or other loads. Another indoor fuse box mounted outside.. very large old home, 60amp service, they never upgrade them.. they just add on to what theyve got.. sad

Can see where it was burning up on the center.. neutral
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Old 06-18-2021, 10:41 PM   #40
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I wired my shop at the lake with black,red,blue and green,white

Commercial color in residence

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Old 06-18-2021, 11:01 PM   #41
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I wired my shop at the lake with black,red,blue and green,white

Commercial color in residence

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A 5 wire system? Please explain? Or pictures would be better to see whatís wired wrong.
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Old 06-18-2021, 11:04 PM   #42
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3phases, neutral, ground... 5 wires
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Old 06-18-2021, 11:05 PM   #43
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3phases, neutral, ground... 5 wires
He said to a residence? Never heard of a three phase residence?
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Old 06-18-2021, 11:18 PM   #44
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A 5 wire system? Please explain? Or pictures would be better to see whatís wired wrong.
He didnít say it was a 5 wire system...
He just said he used those colors.
It doesnít make anything ďwrongĒ.
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Old 06-18-2021, 11:19 PM   #45
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He said to a residence? Never heard of a three phase residence?

Not common, but I have.
It was 480v 3 phase...You can get what you want if you’re willing to pay.

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Old 06-19-2021, 12:00 AM   #46
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Not common, but I have.
It was 480v 3 phase...You can get what you want if youíre willing to pay.
Please excuse my ignorance Iíve only been a master electrician for 22 years and held a contractors license for 14 years and canít recall ever seeing three phase power available in a residential area. I have installed a lot of phase convertors in shops in residential areas.
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Old 06-19-2021, 12:05 AM   #47
Briar Friar
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Originally Posted by Rubi513 View Post
In residential work, you will see far more white conductors used for 240v than you will see red. Yes, it should be wrapped in tape to indicate it’s a hot.

If an electrician used “12/3 or 10/3” for a 240v load that didn’t require a neutral, he was throwing money away...
I am lucky someone (installer/electrician) did this to an AC system at an inherited rental. I had a leg burn out or ground out err lightening strike err somechit. We ran on the other leg and disconnected grounded leg….as opposed to having to rerun entire line.

Thanks BigBaller…wherever you may be ballin.
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Old 06-19-2021, 12:12 AM   #48
Zmaxhunter
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Locally, in my little town of 2000, i can easily think of 6 homes with 3ph 240v.. its always a wild leg, 240v to ground.
We have our own generators, own power plant.. but we (the town) buy our power from a large provider, Evergy.. if we lose power from evergy, we can usually have our city generators online in about 15 min.. just cant afford to run them.. which is why they are backup only now.
When i was a kid, we always made our own power.. plant ran 247365
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Old 06-19-2021, 12:22 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Zmaxhunter View Post
Locally, in my little town of 2000, i can easily think of 6 homes with 3ph 240v.. its always a wild leg, 240v to ground.
We have our own generators, own power plant.. but we (the town) buy our power from a large provider, Evergy.. if we lose power from evergy, we can usually have our city generators online in about 15 min.. just cant afford to run them.. which is why they are backup only now.
When i was a kid, we always made our own power.. plant ran 247365
Bet those three phase appliances were pretty expensive or the electrical service and transformer to convert to single phase power.
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Old 06-19-2021, 12:28 AM   #50
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All it is used for is the AC compressor., the main house panel is normal single phase
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