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Old 04-10-2009, 12:21 PM   #1
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Default 240 Electrical Question

I am currently putting together this power distribution board to power several heatsticks in the apartment I moved into recently.
However I've run into an issue with the receptacle.

My receptacle is 10-50R and if you take a look at the above setup, it requires the 2 hots, neutral and ground to be wired up. I know sometime in the 90's that they changed the code from 3 wire to 4 wire connections and I can only assume that since the appliance is old they never upgraded the receptacle to 14-50R. If you open up most old appliances the ground and neutral are usually bonded, but from what I've come to understand from several sites is that it is unsafe and could cause the appliance to become hot.

My question is, since I can't change the receptacle would I be able redirect the ground elsewhere and ground it within the box and wire it up with just the 2 hots and neutral in a 10-50P male plug? Will this cause issues with the GFCI?

Any light on this subject or help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


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Old 04-10-2009, 01:15 PM   #2
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I'm not an electrician or anything but I imagine you should be able to run a separate ground wire to the box itself (assuming it is metal and grounded etc) just like you would do if you had one of those adapters (110V) that adapts a 2 prong to 3 prong, you generally are supposed to tie the extra green wire on those to the screw for the faceplate, thus grounding it to the box.

I haven't had experience with what you are working with though, I bought a 4 prong outlet when I did my 240V electric rig build. I'd suggest asking a local electrician if you know any.


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Old 04-10-2009, 08:33 PM   #3
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I'm not really finding any clear answers on the net regarding this situation and I don't personally know any electricians. I'll keep the search on until I can get some clear answers before I try anything out. Thanks.
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:22 PM   #4
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If you open up an electrical panel, you will notice that the neutral bar and the ground bar are either the same, or tied together.

Most 240 devices have no need for a neutral. The ground is just for safety and the two out of phase hots will provide the 240.

However in your case it appears that you are actually using the 240 to produce two different 110 circuits. So in your case, you need two hots and a neutral. (again read above, in most cases, ground and neutral are the same). Just use a meter to verify that you have 110 between either hot and the neutral/ground. In most area code permits the installation of ground fault outlets without a ground wire, as they will still trip appropriately.

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Old 04-10-2009, 10:19 PM   #5
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Where the F*** did you find that tutorial?

I recommend finding a better, less hazardous way to power your heatsticks. What that guy is doing is taking wire and devices that are only rated for 15 amps and putting them on a circuit that is protected by a 30 amp breaker. That is illegal, and just asking for a fire.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:31 PM   #6
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That is a really bad idea. I have been an electrician for 21 years. I have seen people try and do things like you are describing and it never ends well. Your best bet is to add a new 4 wire circuit with the proper sized wire and device. Anything else and you are asking for problems.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:46 PM   #7
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I can see putting a cord and plug on a board with a 4 circuit sub panel with breakers for controlling an outlet for each hot stick, but don't do what they did.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:52 PM   #8
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All I can say is WOW!
This is proof there are people out there that create
off the wall do it yourself butcher jobs that are fire hazards
and death traps. They are proud of their work also. Just think
how many more are built that have not been posted. Sorry I will
not reply as mentioning the word NEC Code Book as in the past I
have been reamed out by certain members on this forum.

You should read the final fire reports after a house or building has
burned down after all the evidence has been collected by the fire investigators.
Then the insurance companies have the great pleasure
of denying a claim on homeowners that have performed non to code
wiring standards jobs.

I stayed away from Ding-Bat work, saw enough stupidity on my off hours.
Industrial then commercial only if I was hungry but never had any time off.

One reply about neutrals and grounds are the same was enough for me.
Best of luck with your project, do it correctly and be safe. A proud 30 year IBEW member here.
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:02 AM   #9
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Yea, 12 year IBEW member and living in a farming community the first thing that came to mind was a farmer with enough knowledge to be dangerous.

I have had more than 1 person tell me that it does not have to be right to work. Hows that for logic.
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:45 AM   #10
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Not an electrician but trying to be constructive to the OP. Here is a question to the electricians in the audience..

Would installing a sub breaker box with the correct 15 amp breakers be a viable option?


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