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MarkV

12:09PM | 08/10/01
Member Since: 04/05/01
32 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
I've got a 220V, 5HP (peak) compressor that pulls 15A max. I need to wire it in but it has a 3-prong plug. I was thinking of wiring in 12-3 BX as the outlet will be in the garage and I don't want to go into the walls at this stage, so I am going with surface mounting the BX. Do I need 12-3 (I want to put in a 20A circuit and I was going to wire up the 4-prong outlet and make an adapter for the compressor.), or will I really only need 2 conductors? I guess the question is do I need a neutral, or can I do without it. As I understand it, the stove is wired with 3 conductors but the dryer has only 2. The reason I want a 20A circuit is for any shop equipment I might want down the road. Is there anything that would need a 4-prong outlet?

Thanks,

Mark

Christopher Sparks

03:38PM | 08/10/01
Member Since: 08/09/01
29 lifetime posts
I've got a 220V, 5HP (peak) compressor that pulls 15A max. I need to wire it in but it has a 3-prong plug. I was thinking of wiring in 12-3 BX as the outlet will be in the garage and I don't want to go into the walls at this stage, so I am going with surface mounting the BX. Do I need 12-3 (I want to put in a 20A circuit and I was going to wire up the 4-prong outlet and make an adapter for the compressor.), or will I really only need 2 conductors? I guess the question is do I need a neutral, or can I do without it. As I understand it, the stove is wired with 3 conductors but the dryer has only 2. The reason I want a 20A circuit is for any shop equipment I might want down the road. Is there anything that would need a 4-prong outlet?

You would be able to use just 12/2 bx but I always use MC cable or 12/3 and tape the white conductor green and use that as a grounding conductor, I never like to rely on the BX jacket for the grounding.
You don’t need a neutral.
The stove probably has a 120v timer on or digital display that’s why it required the third current carrying conductor.
DO NOT make any adapter for your compressors plug, get the right receptacle preferably a single receptacle and make sure the power is off and be sure your equipment is grounded.

Lawrence

08:52AM | 08/11/01
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
It is always better to have a four-prong 220 volt plug so that the appliance has a true neutral and ground. Every book I have read that discusses it recommends doing so when upgrading the wiring in, say, a kitchen. I just did so for my stove.

However, it is also better to use an outlet plug that fits your appliance instead of using an adaptor. Adaptors weaken the physical connection and can heat up when used too much.

Your compressor is wired with three-prong, and that is the only appliance you plan to use on the circuit, so I would wire it for three-prong with two hots wires, each carrying 110-120 volts. However, there are appliances with four-prong plugs. You might want to wire the neutral to the box, anyway, cap it off in the box while the only appliance you have is the compressor, and then have the neutral there for future appliances so you can safely change out the outlet plugs when needed. Check your local code, but you might also be able to install two outlet plugs (one three prong, one four-prong) so long as you do not use them at the same time.


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