What is involved in installing a new 240V breaker in the main breaker box so you can add a 240V receptacle?

for USA, Canada and other countries running a 60 Hz supply service.

You are going to need a number of things:

* A 240V double-pole breaker of the right size for your load, (Don't try and use two single-pole 120V breakers!) and the right type for your box (SquareD breakers for SquareD boxes, GE for GE, etc.)

* A length of 4 conductor wire to run from the breaker panel to the outlet that is the right size for the breaker! Rule of thumb for wire runs under 50ft: 14 gauge for 15A, 12 gauge for 20A, 10 gauge for 30A, 8 gauge for 40A, 6 gauge for 50A, etc. Get 4 conductor wire even if you only want 240 (and not 120) for futureproofing.

* A new outlet and box to mount it in.

* Clamps to secure the wire to the box and breaker panel.

Then you need to:

* run the wire from the panel to the outlet. Leave slack at the panel, you need a couple feet inside it.

* Wire the 240V outlet. Remember the color code: the black/red/brass screws are for the black and red hot wires, the white/silver screw is for the white neutral, the bare/green screw is for the bare or green-covered ground wire.

* One slip and you're dead. So always shut the breaker panel main switch to OFF.

* Connect the wires into the panel. Which bus is which should be obvious by the existing wiring. Remember to get your connections good and tight.

* Put the covers back on everything, switch everything on and enjoy.

If anything I said above wasn't obvious, buy a book. It will explain everything better than I can in text and serve as a handy reference on the job. If you are still not confident, hire a professional licensed electrician.

Negligence with electricity is fatal.


Some things to remember are:

A - You must kill the whole box before jumping in it. KILL IT.

B - never grab more than one wire - or contact - at a time!

C - Try not to ground yourself out.

D - always use the right size wire for amperage needed.

E - You do not have to be a brain surgeon to wire in a circuit. If you are not totally confident with what you are doing definitely consult someone who will be nice enough to give you life saving tips instead of telling you to take a hike.


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.