Q:

How do I wire a 220-volt outlet?

A:

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.

To wire and install a 220-volt outlet:

  1. Obtain necessary permits
  2. Obtain any necessary building permits before beginning work and follow all building codes.

  3. Turn off the power
  4. Turn off the power at the main panel before installing the new outlet.

  5. Feed the wire
  6. Drill a 5/8-inch hole at the top of the sub-panel and feed through an MC 12-2 metal-sheathed electrical cable. Run the cable through the attic.

  7. Cut the opening for the outlet
  8. Use the metal electrical box to mark the area that needs to be cut, ensuring that the outlet is at least 30 inches from the floor. Cut out the drywall with a rotary cutout tool.

  9. Pull the cable
  10. Feed the cable to the outlet opening and pull it through the back of the metal electrical box. Secure the cable to the box.

  11. Attach the wires
  12. Attach the green grounding wire to the green grounding screw in the box and then screw the box to the wall. Remove the insulation at the end of the cable and attach the green wire to the green screw, the white wire to the silver screw and the black wire to the brass screw. Push the wires into the box and attach the outlet cover.

  13. Hire an electrician
  14. Hire an electrician to attach a new circuit to the breaker box. Turn the power back on and test the outlet.

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