Changing A 220 Volt Receptacle From 3-wire To 4-wire
July 5, 2006
Q: I have a three prong, 220 volt outlet with only three wires that I want to convert to a four prong outlet. You mentioned that I need to run a new 3 conductor cable with ground to install the four prong outlet. How exactly do I do this?
A: It is difficult to tell you how to install the new cable without seeing your place. Basically you need to run this cable from your electrical panel to the receptacle (outlet) location. You can either run your wire up and through an attic space or go down through an unfinished basement or crawl space. Home Depot has a good book about this.
You need a connector on each end of the wire where it enters the panel and receptacle box. You need to staple your wire within 12 inches of the connector and every three feet thereafter for support.
Your wire size depends upon the load being served. 12/3 copper with ground is rated for 20 amps, 10/3 copper with ground is rated for 30 amps, 8/3 copper with ground is rated for 40 amps.
Remember safety first when working with electricity. Be sure to turn off the power and verify that the power is off using a volt meter before beginning any work.
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