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for USA, Canada and countries running a 60 Hertz supply service.The question asks "Can you convert an existing 240V plug to a 120V plug.?" ,Missing is the purpose of the 240V plug. Is it a Euro Hair Dryer, or a Stove Plug for a 2000W oven?

A1: IF it is for a Universal Power supply for electronic equipment, YES it can, as long as the equipment can work with 120V and less than 12 Amps of current. (12 Amps is 80% of a 15 Amp Circuit-That is the Limit of Power through the Wiring). If you need more power (Tim Allen from Tool-Time comes to mind,) then you need to contact an electrician to string new wiring to the outlet.

A2: IF it is for a specific piece of equipment that needs 240V to run, (Stove, Dryer, Welder), then NO, you cannot 'convert' the existing 240V plug.

A3: IF it is for a 'Euro' appliance (Less than 1000 Watts power), IF the frequency of the motor is for 50 Hz, NO, as the speed rating depends on that frequency.

A4: If its for a HDTV or similar appliance, NO, as the appliance is made to work in those countries where the 240 plug works. Adapers are available for the power supply, but for Region DVD players, it will not change the region you are in.

A5: IF it is for an incandescent light fixture, YES, the plug can be converted, as long as the current to the lamp does not exceed the wiring. Typical lamps in North America are designed for 60W lamps, They consume 60W of power when operating, at 120 Volts, and have 1/2 ampere of current in them. 18 Gauge AWG wiring is used for lamp cord as a minimum to handle the current. IF its a EURO lamp, designed for 60W bulbs, at 240V, it will only handle 1/4 Ampere current, and USING a 60W light bulb is TWICE as much as it is designed for. IT would work at 30, but IT IS NOT RATED for 120V service. If your house burned down, the insurance would not cover the fire because the lamp is unapproved for use in North America.

5 different scenarios, 2 will work, 3 will not. Generally you would plug the correct appliance in the correct socket in the correct country of purchase.


Do this electrical work only if you feel confident that you can do it safely. If not then this is the procedure that an electrician would use and you would be able to follow what he is doing. Again an electrician should be your first choice. This answer assumes that the old receptacle was 15 or 20 amps and the new receptacle will be 15 amps. If you consider doing this the first thing is SHUT THE MAIN BREAKER OFF. Use an auxiliary light source to see when working in a dead panel. Always keep in mind an ARC FLASH ACROSS HOT MAINS HAS ENOUGH HEAT TO PEAL THE SKIN OFF OF YOU. Before an explanation of how to do this you should keep in mind that this is for a single receptacle only. If any other receptacles are on the same circuit they will also be changed to 120 volts. That said OK, any 240 volt outlet can be changed to 120 volt by removing the white wire from the 2 pole breaker and inserting it into the neutral bus bar. Remove the other wire (probably black) from the breaker. Remove the 2 pole breaker from the breaker panel. Install two single pole 15 amp breakers into the hole left by the 2 pole breaker. Leave both of these breakers turned off. Connect the black wire that came off of the 2 pole breaker on to one of the new single pole 15 amp breaker. Re install the cover to the electrical panel, this end is finished. Remove the existing 240 volt receptacle and install the new 120 volt receptacle. Materials can be purchased at local building supply store. Remember to take the electrical panel data with you so you have the information for the 2 new breakers. Once you have the receptacle installed, identify on the electrical panel door what the breaker is used for. Leave the unused breaker in the off position. Turn the main breaker back on. Test the new receptacle with a lamp to make sure every thing is OK.


yes, you have two hot lines in a 240 outlet (!!!in North America!!!), disconnect one of them from the breaker box change breaker to a single throw and wire in new outlet

It may not be as simple as above.

Is the old wire heavy enough for the new circuit? You cannot increase the current rating above that of the old circuit, but you can decrease it safely. How many wires are there? If there are 4, you will have an unused hot. If there are 3 you need to switch one hot to be neutral to your new outlet.

Anyways, you need to:

  • Get a new outlet you wish to install (based on wire size)
  • Get a new breaker correctly sized to the outlet. !!!Get a new breaker correctly sized to the CONDUCTOR!!! A breaker protects the conductor, not the outlet. Although the two go hand in hand, a rule of thumb is to size the breaker based on the wire, or vice-versa(load). (eg, (CEC) #14=15A, #12=20A, #10=30A)
  • Remove the old breaker. Wire the black hot wire to your new breaker. If the other hot was a red wire and there is a neutral(3-wire), cap the red wire with a wire nut. If there is no neutral the old, unused hot needs to be connected to the neutral bus. (If for some reason you don't have a white wire (like you have a red-sheathed run of heat-ex) wrap the new neutral with white tape (and only really do this if the wire is larger than #6). If for some really strange reason you have two black wires STOP. You won't be able to tell which is which at the other end and need to pull new wire. or hire an electrician to meter it out) If you have an old neutral wire check that it is tightly connected to the neutral bus. Now the circuit is wired in the panel for 110V. Leave it off for now.
  • Replace the old 220V outlet with the new 110V outlet. If you had to mark wires with tape in the panel do the same here.
  • Smoke test! Turn on the breaker and see if it works. If it does, good job. If it doesn't, turn the breaker off and test your work.
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โˆ™ 2015-12-17 04:43:19
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Q: Can you convert an existing 240V plug to a 120V plug?
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Related Questions

How can you convert a 120V box to 240V for AC?

It can't be "converted", you have to run a 220 line and have a 220 breaker and plug installed.

How do you plug a 120V appliance into an outlet wired for a 240V?

you get an adapter

What happens if you plug a 120V appliance into a 240V outlet?

You will burn up your appliance!!!!!

If you put a 60W 120V bulb in a 120V lamp that has a transformer for 240V and plug it into a 240V outlet will it work or blow the circuitry?

Off hand no but your explanations are not clear as to who is doing what to whom,,

If you have a 240V 22A welder which has a plug similar but smaller than a dryer plug can you use this in a 120V outlet?


Can you convert an existing 120V plug on an appliance to a 240V plug not speaking of a converter but actually changing the plug so there are no long term effects on the appliance?

If I understand your question, Can you run a 110 appliance off of a 220 volt outlet? You could by only using one leg of the 220. You may also consider changing the outlet. Put in a regular 110 outlet and capping off one leg of the 220 in the wall box. You still have a neutral and a ground to work with. I read this as the questioner doesn't want to modify the outlet. Check the voltage ratings on the device. Many electronic devices nowadays can havdle 120V or 240V as it is cheaper to manufacture one powersupply and sell it everywhere. If your device is rated for 240V, you can put a 240V plug on it. If it only says 120V, no dice. 240V will burn it up.

Can you plug a 120v 20 amp wielder into a 240v 40 amp outlet?

Absoluteyl not.

You have 120v photo flash lights - how do you use them with 240v in Oz?

Power adaptors are readily available that plug into Australia's 240v outlets, converting to 120v. Find them in travel, luggage and electronics stores.

I have 240V 3 wire twistlock plug and want to wire it so I have 120V outlet?


What adapters do you need to plug your 240V Ac plug into a 110V AC supply?

There are no adptors to plug a 240v plug into a 120v receptacle. 240v requires two hot wores and a neutral and ground. 120v requires one hot wire, a neutral and a ground. If you have something that runs on 240/120 you need the cord and adaptor that came with the equipment as you willl need the wires to mate up accordingly.

Which pin is live on 20amp plug?

What is the voltage? 120V the right blade with the blades facing you. 240V both.

If you buy a light in the US with wiring for 120V can you take it to a 240v country and just change the plug?

If the light you refer to is just a plain incandescent lamp, then changing the plug and changing the lamp to a 240 volt lamp should work OK If the light has a ballast (transformer-like winding) of any kind, the voltage rating of the ballast has to match the line coming in. A few ballasts have multiple taps - you may be able to change the internal tap from 120v to 240v you can not convert it. Otherwise connecting a 120v ballast to 240v will damage it quickly.

If you put a 240V bulb in a 120V lamp that has no transformer and plug it into a 240V outlet will it work or blow the circuitry?

Not only will it work, but it will last for much longer than if it was connected to 220volts!

How can you plug 2000 watts 240v into a 120v 20 amp breaker with out replacing your breaker and all the plugs on the line?

You can't.

If you have a breaker that has a 120240v and your dryer has a 240v plug can you change the receptacle to a 240v?

if i have a breaker that has a 120/240v and my dryer has a 240v plug can i change the receptacle to a 240v

How can you wire one half of a 20 amp 120 v duplex wall socket to run 240 volts over 2 legs 2 separate 120 v legs?

You can't. I'm not sure exactly what you're trying to do, but the way it is written is not possible. It seems you might want to use half of a duplex receptacle for 120 and half for 240. This would not be code compliant, nor would it make sense. A plug designed for 240v will not even fit into a 120v receptacle. You need a 240 volt receptacle rated for the amperage you will need. Also, an existing 120v receptacle has nothing to do with your 240v receptacle. For a 240 volt receptacle, you'll need to run 2 new 120v lines (in the same cable). The existing 120v circuit cannot be used here, even if you added another 120v circuit, because when a load uses 240v, both 120v circuits supplying the 240v must be controlled by a common disconnect (a 2 pole breaker designed for 240v circuit). My advice would be to show an electrician what you want done. I'm sure they can tell you how to make that happen.

How do you plug a 240V appliance into an outlet wired for a 120V?

You don't. The plug (cap) has a different configuration between the two voltages. This is to prevent plugging a device of one voltage into a supply of a different voltage.

How do you plug two separate but stackable washer and dryer with one needing 240V and the other needing 120V into one 240V outlet?

You DON'T! The washer needs to be on a separate dedicated circuit; 120v, 20 amps. The dryer needs to be on a 240 V, 30 amp dedicated circuit. Trying to do otherwise is unsafe.

WIll sump motor blow if I connect 240V?

It may not blow, but it will turn twice as fast and burn out very quickly. It is meant for 110 only. Check the sump pump. Some of them can be wired either 120v or 240v. If yours is like that, just wire the motor for 240v and plug it in.

Can you use a 120v cord that will fit a 240v socket the appliance is 240 and the cord is thick?

120v and 240v cords usually have different end configurations and will not plug into the different recepticles. However, if you changed the plug end, and the cord has the proper size rating, then yes, you could use the same cord. But, it also depends on the cord too. Most 120v cords only have three wires in them. One "hot one "neutral" and one "ground" wire. A 240v cord would have FOUR wires, two "hot" wires, one neutral wire, and one ground wire. Therefore, if you changed the voltage from 120v to 240 using a 3 wire cord, you'd not have a ground wire and that could be VERY dangerous. Note that occasionally a 240v device (e.g. some motors) will only need three wires (red,black,green, no neutral) and can be wired with a 120v cord if the cord is rated for 240v.

What happens if you plug a 240V electrical appliance into a 120V circuit?

At best, nothing will happen; the appliances won't run. At worst, the appliance will try to run on the lower voltage, fail to do so, and damage some of the mechanical parts. This is one of the reasons why a 240V appliance has a different plug than a 110V item.

Can you plug 240v appliances into 220v socket?

Yes you plug a 240v appliance into 220v receptacle.

How do you change over so you can plug a 120V RV plug into a 240V single-phase twist-lock receptacle?

Is the 220V plug 220V only or 110/220V? (The former will have 3 prongs and the former will have 4) If your case is the latter just use the ground, neutral, and one of the hots. This will give you 120V single phase. If the case is the former you can't get 110V off that plug.

How do you rewire a 120V lamp to a 240V?

If your trying to plug in a 110 Volt lamp into 240 volt outlet the answer is simple. You must buy a step down transformer, or your lamp will burn out.

Can you plug in a 100v plug into 120v outlet?

No you cannot plug a 100v into a 120v outlet, it will fry whatever the product you are plugging up.