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# How can you run a 240V supply into your home when the circuit breaker is 120V?

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for USA, Canada and countries running a 60 Hz power service. A service drop to a home is done with wire that is called triplex. This means that there are three wires twisted together that go from the service pole to the mast head on your home. This is called a three wire system. There are 2 hot legs and a neutral. The voltage between the hot leg (one) and the neutral is 120 Volts. The voltage between the hot leg (two) and the neutral is 120 Volts. The voltage between hot leg (one) and hot leg (two) is 240 volts. The single pole breaker is a safety device that connects to the (load, at 120 volts) and returns from the load back to the neutral. The load in most cases will be lights, plugs small appliances. The two pole breaker is a safety device that connects hot leg (one) to the (load, at 240 volts) and returns from the load back to the hot leg (two) at the two pole breaker. The loads in this case will be oven, range tops, hot water tank, clothes dryer, and in many homes baseboard heaters.

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In USA 240V comes into your home even though most of your equipment is 120V. I say most because your clothes dryer for one, if you have an electrically-heated one, most likely runs on 240V. The answer to your question is that 2 legs (power lines) come into your house. One leg is colored Black, the other is Red.

Each leg is 120V to common (ground). The voltage is AC (Alternating Current) so it is always going from +120V to -120V on each leg. But at opposite times, so that at some point in the cycle one leg is +120V while the other leg is -120V. And if you measure the voltage difference between +120V and -120V you get 240V.

The US wiring system works like this: to turn on your lights you switch into one leg, the current goes through your wiring to your lights and back to common. But your dryer switches into one leg and returns the current to the other leg. If you look in your breaker box you see breakers on both sides. Looking straight across, these breakers are on the same leg (L1). The next set down the panel are on the opposite leg (L2). Adjacent breakers all the way down the panel are on opposite legs. A two pole breaker spans these adjacent legs and that is how you arrive at 240 volts. Your dryer is connected to a two pole breaker that taps into both Black and Red legs.

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To accurately specify a voltage, you have to specify two points to measure, and the voltage is the difference between the two. If only one point is given it is usually implied that the second point is a grounded or 0 volt point. In the U.S., the three wires that enter most homes can be thought of as at +120V, -120V and 0V relative to ground. The 0V line is the "grounded" conductor, sometimes also called "neutral" and must be well connected to the earth where the wires enter the building (and no where else!) The +120 and -120 are actually different phases of an AC voltage wave. So by choosing which two points to connect to, a load can receive 120V or 240 V. Since there are two ways to get 120V, the breaker panel is usually set up to distribute the load between the two 120V phases.

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As always, if you are in doubt about what to do, the best advice anyone should give you is to call a licensed electrician to advise what work is needed.
Before you do any work yourself,
on electrical circuits, equipment or appliances,
always use a test meter to ensure the circuit is, in fact, de-energized.

IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY SURE YOU CAN DO THIS JOB
SAFELY AND COMPETENTLY
REFER THIS WORK TO QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS.

.
Thanks for the feedback!

# What happens if the same 120V source is supplied to both hot terminals of a 240V appliance?

Answer   I can see the need for this question. The power goes out frequently around my house. I have a generator that only puts out 110VAC. I made a special adapter to pl

# How can voltage increase to 240V when only 120V is coming from the breaker box?

  Answer   That could only happen if the neutral wire (white) becomes disconnected at either the panel, the meter base or the transformer.

# If you have 240V going to a panel can you wire two 120V breakers for a 240V appliance?

Overcurrent devices cannot be doubled up for higher voltages.     You need breaker designed for 220V. While you are technically correct, you need the 220V breaker beca

# What happens when you supply only 120V to a 240V motor?

  Answer   it won't work properly  

# How do you install a 15amp 120v circuit breaker?

This is a job which should be done only by a professional licensed electrician. Do not attempt to do this if you have not undergone proper training in the safety procedures

# Can you run a 120v product on 240v?

No, the manufacturer specifies the voltage that the device has to operate on and this voltage has to be adhered to. If the question was "Is there a way to run a 120 volt produ

# Can you split a 240v circuit into two 120v circuits?

yes, a 240 v circuit normally has 2 120 volt legs which are opposite phases and a neutral wire, there will be 120 volts between either hot wire and the neutral and 240 volts b

# Is there anyway to get 120V 60hz from a 240V 50hz power supply?

The way I have 110VAC/60Hz is to take 12DC power supply and 12DC to 110AC 60Hz converter, designed for car use and can be found in the netshops.   The way that industry us

# How do you wire a 120V circuit off a 240V circuit?

In a 4 wire, 220v AC circuit, each black wire carries 110v, the white serves as the return, or negative, and the copper is the ground. So connect the white to the negative po

# How do you wire an existing 240V circuit line as the feed to a new subpanel with 120V circuit breakers?

  Answer for USA, Canada and countries running a 60 Hz power supply service.     Warning that must be heeded   Firstly, you MUST have 4 wires run to your s

# How can you convert US 120V or 240V circuit into a single-phase 240V circuit to use on a European appliance?

  The voltage isn't a problem, you can run 220 from your house and use that to run a European appliance, the problem is whether the appliance is dependant on line HZ. Euro

# How do you add a 240V circuit when there is no more room in breaker panel?

    Adding circuits     First, let me say that adding another breaker on any panel should not be done just because you can, and there is room. The power dist

# Why is it important that homes have circuit breakers?

  Homes should have circuit breakers so that you can slow down voltage in electronics.

A 240 volt breaker can be removed and replaced with 2 - 120 volt breakers. The existing 240 volt breaker should not be used to supply 2 separate circuits.

# Can you change a 120V to 240V without having to involve the circuit breaker?

  Answer   In simple words, NO!!! On the first day of Electricity 101 they tell you if you do not know what you are doing, DON'T DO IT!!!

# What do you need to do to operate a 240V 50Hz halogen lamp on a 120V 60Hz circuit?

You can't run this light on a 120V circuit and get the same light  output if it is designed to run on a 240V service. You need a  voltage converter transformer. They are a c

# Can you run a 240V appliance on 120V?

In general, no don't try it. The result will either be  damage (e.g. overloaded motor burnout) to the appliance or a severe  reduction (e.g. an electric heater giving off on