Wiring receptacle question

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Forum topic by EOD_Eric posted 10-07-2012 05:00 AM 1247 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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29 posts in 4242 days

10-07-2012 05:00 AM

Okay, so I finally have some time to get my shop set up in the new house. I had the shop wired for 220 when it was built and started working on setting up my new bandsaw today. One problem…the installed outlets are 10-30 and 10-50 outlets. There is four wire run to each outlet, but the ground is not hooked up to the receptacle. Any idea if I can use a 10-30 plug on my bandsaw (the owners manual says to use a 6-15) or can I safely put a 6-15 outlet on this circuit. It is a 30 amp circuit…the fact that there is a 50a receptacle Already annoys me, but just don’t want to burn the house or tool up by doing something wrong.

6 replies so far

View Mark Whitsitt's profile

Mark Whitsitt

86 posts in 3994 days

#1 posted 10-07-2012 06:07 AM

Really, your biggest problem is that you don’t have ground. Get that fixed straight away!

Having an outlet rated for 50 amps on a 30 amp circuit doesn’t hurt, but a15 amp outlet on a 30 amp circuit is bad if you try to pull 30 amps. Higher rated transmission devices don’t automatically draw higher current ; it’s the current being drawn by the load(s) on the outlet that matter. If the outlet isn’t rated sufficiently high enough., that’s when you have to worry about a fire.

The manufacturer’s advice is if you’ve only got the bandsaw plugged in that outlet. If you’re planning to run your dc from the same outlet, you’ll need the 30 amp (or higher) outlet. Just don’t exceed 30 amps total or the breaker will trip. The breaker is where the actual overcurrent protection is anyway.

As far as plugs go, you should be fine using a 10-30 plug on the bandsaw; just don’t use something smaller than 6-15. The only drawback is you won’t be able to use it on 6-15 outlets, but since it doesn’t sound like you have any of those, you’re fine.



-- -- "there are many good reasons to use old hand tools, but moral superiority is NOT one of them..."

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


20285 posts in 4691 days

#2 posted 10-07-2012 06:17 AM

The 6-15 needs to be fused at 15 amps per code. It is not rated to have higher over current protection.

Definitely get the ground connected! The ground on electrical systems is like the brakes on your car. If they don’t work, you really don’t want to be driving, do you?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6848 posts in 3508 days

#3 posted 10-07-2012 11:05 AM

It’s very common to see 240V appliances running without a neutral, and I would expect that your outlets have the white wire serving as a ground, with the ground wire simply not connected. It’s also common (in unincorporated areas) to see the common (white) and ground shared a bus bar inside the panel. Sounds like your electrician had 4 conductor wire and a 3 conductor outlet. This is easily checked with a VOM, and if hooked up correctly will work fine with your bandsaw…assuming it’s wired correctly to the 10-30 plug. The saw can get by on a smaller circuit, but will be just fine on the larger one. To check the outlet, measure voltage across each hot to the ground (should be 120V), then it will also measure 240V across the 2 hots. If that’s not the case, you will need to fix the outlet.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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775 posts in 3382 days

#4 posted 10-07-2012 12:34 PM

+ 1 on fred hargis com…


View EOD_Eric's profile


29 posts in 4242 days

#5 posted 10-07-2012 04:03 PM

Thanks everyone for the helpful info. Checked the voltage and I am getting 120, 120 and 240 like I should. I am outside city limits, so I now suspect that what Fred said is what happened. Will take a look at the bus bar after church this morning. Thanks again for the explanation everyone.

View MJCD's profile


608 posts in 3386 days

#6 posted 10-07-2012 06:34 PM

Many moons ago, when Black was the only car color, the 220/240V circuits did not have a separate neutral/ground; the nature of 220/240V doesn’t require a separate neutral, and grounding-sense has matured during the years. – in the real world is that all new 220/240 circuits have a separate ground, and should.


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