How do I wire a 220-volt outlet?


Quick Answer

Wiring a 220-volt outlet begins with installing a suitable breaker switch. Then, wires are run from the breaker box to the desired location, where they are attached to a receptacle or wired directly to an appliance. Most modern 220-volt wiring involves either a three- or four-wire configuration, depending on the particular application.

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Full Answer

In order to wire a 220-volt outlet, a compatible two-pole breaker must be installed by a licensed electrician in accordance with applicable building codes. Three-wire connections include two live wires, typically color-coated black and red, and a ground wire that is either bare or colored green. The four-wire connection employs two live wires, a ground wire and a fourth wire that's neutral and typically colored white.

Once the breaker is installed, the recommended 10-gauge wires are simply extended to where the outlet is needed. Then, it is attached to corresponding connections on the outlet itself. In the four-wire configuration, the circuit can provide both 120- and 220-volt connections to accommodate a wider range of applications. The type of connection needed depends on the number of wires present. Most 220-volt outlets are used for large appliances, such as dryers and stoves, and they are also used for large power tools.

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