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make 240 volts from 120 at outlet?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by David Nugent, Aug 21, 2003.

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  1. David Nugent

    David Nugent Guest

    Is it possible to (at an electrical outlet), make 240volts from putting 2
    120 vac in series? I've got some 240 volt fan motors that I want to work
    on. They don't draw much current. They will run at 120v, but not at the
    proper speed for me to test them properly. I was wondering if it was
    possible to just take 2 electical cords, wire them in series and have 240

    Comments/Suggestions ?

  2. You need a 120V / 240V transformer.

    Do *not* mess with the cables, it might be the last thing
    you do. Ever.

  3. the Wiz

    the Wiz Guest

    Normally, no. Standard duplex (two connection) outlets are connected to a
    single 120volt feed.

    Some kitchen/workshop "work center" quad outlets (two duplex outlets in the same
    box) are connected to a 240volt feed which is split into two 120 volt lines at
    the quad box. With one of these outlets, you can get 120 from an outlet on the
    left and another 120 (the other side of the "240 and neutral" feed) from an
    outlet on the right.

    Be aware that you are dealing with deadly voltages and that
    1. the wiring must be correctly phased to get 240 volts
    2. you may not be knowledgeable enough to do this safely
    3. I take no responsibility for any damage you may cause to people or property

    More about me:
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  4. Chesucat

    Chesucat Guest

    One time, when I was a custodian/maintenance man for a church/private
    school, I had a call about a light switch in the boys bathroom was not
    working. So, I goes and check it out, the light switch has a spring in it
    that broke. Since it wasn't anything minor, I figured I could quickly
    change it out. I poked my screwdriver behind the switch and received an
    unusual tingling sensations from my arm to my chest. I think I jumped
    back, but it happen so fast I don't remember much. After that, I went to
    the breaker box and shut of the power for the boys bathroom!;-) The whole
    day I felt the 'tingling' sensations in my arm. I have not gotten bit
    since then, yet! Sometimes, we get into a hurry and forget to do the most
    basic things!

  5. 240V is available in most homes, via a clothes dryer outlet. You can call an
    electrician and have him install another 240V outlet for you where ever you

    To see if a duplex outlet has 240V connected (and not just 120V) use a
    multimeter set to AC Volts (>250V) and stick the probes into the duplex
    sockets. Try measuring from the left side of one outlet to the right side of
    the other. Be very careful to ensure the metal portion of the probes never
    tough each other. Try this in the kitchen as those outlets frequently have
    seperate 120V feeds to each outlet. Toasters, kettles, etc. all draw a lot
    of power. These outlets may be wired as 2 fused 120V feeds or a fused 240V
    feed, depending on what the electricians did. The multimeter will tell you

    If you don't know how to use a multimeter, or how to set it properly, then
    get someone who does to do the measuring for you.

    Hope this helps.
    Dana Frank Raymond
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