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

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2008-03-05 09:33:35
2008-03-05 09:33:35

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 plug it into the breaker box. I made it so both legs in the box are live. This way, I have power anywere in the house. Of course I turn off the main breaker, but I also keep the 220VAC breakers off. The appliance will function but it will be taking twice as much current from one leg of the mains instead of equal amounts from both legs. If the total power required by the appliance is too high - and other appliances, lamps, or whatever plugged into that same leg are taking their normal loads - this way of supplying the 240V appliance may cause the main breaker for that single leg to trip. If that happens you must stop supplying the 240V appliance in this way or at least turn off all the other appliances running from that leg until the breaker stays "on" quietly and safely. Remember that such 240V appliances, as supplied for 60Hz systems as in US or Canada, are designed to run on two "hot" legs (Black and Red), not just one leg. So this kind of "double hooking-up" should really only be tried in emergencies, as the Answer above describes. why would you even ask such a question? The appliance will not function.

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