220V 4 wire to 3 wire? - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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220V 4 wire to 3 wire?

the new house we are moving into has a 4 wire 220 in the garage, but my welder and plasma is 3 wire, what do I need to do? whats the 4th wire for?

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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 11:27 PM
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I think it's using 2 hots, a neutral and a ground. Pretty sure you just need to eliminate the neutral and use the 2 hots and the ground. Check in the breaker panel to verify which color is hooked up to the neutral to make sure you eliminate the correct wire at the plug end.

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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 11:51 PM
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yeah its a ground.
Just get a new cord and put the ground wire on an internal ground screw on the welder case. Or on a welder you can also tie the ground (green) and netural (white) together at the junction screw in the welder.

Or simply change the plugs out in the house. While you're changing plugs get those damn GFI's out of the garage too
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 11:55 PM
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the new house we are moving into has a 4 wire 220 in the garage, but my welder and plasma is 3 wire, what do I need to do? whats the 4th wire for?
You could replace the 4 wire receptacle with a 3 wire of the same amp rating. Just leave the neutral (white) wire disconnected in the junction box. Be sure you tape off the end or cap it with a wirenut so it doesn't contact any of the hots by accident.

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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-16-2007, 12:05 AM
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You'd want to leave the ground disconnected, not the netural.
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-16-2007, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Id rather swap out the house receptacle

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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-16-2007, 12:15 AM
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A neutral is not needed on the welder, disconnect it and cap it at both ends. 4 wire 220 volt lines are mostly used for stoves and dryers where there are 120v circuits within the 220 volt unit (clocks, timers ETC) the 4 wire 220 volt circuit are now code required so those 120v circuits are not using the equipment ground as the grounded conductor (neutral).

Remove the GFCI protection? Yeah they can be a PITA if your equipment is faulty to begin with but if they are removed and someone ends up dead as a direct cause of the removal I wouldnt want to be in your shoes.
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-16-2007, 12:19 AM
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yea i sorta like my gfci's out side and in my house, being electrocuted again is not my idea of fun.
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-16-2007, 01:47 AM
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Don't leave the ground wire loose - tie it to the neutral.

It's probably cheaper & easier to change the cord on the welder than to change the socket. And just think: once it has the new 4-plug, you'll be able to use the welder in the kitchen!
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-16-2007, 01:52 AM
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A neutral is not needed on the welder, disconnect it and cap it at both ends. 4 wire 220 volt lines are mostly used for stoves and dryers where there are 120v circuits within the 220 volt unit (clocks, timers ETC) the 4 wire 220 volt circuit are now code required so those 120v circuits are not using the equipment ground as the grounded conductor (neutral).
Might work with some welders, but with most of them I doubt it. Especially a wire feed. Even if it does, taking the netural out would be stupid since you wouldn't be able to plug anything in to that plug except for the very very few things that will work without a netural.


If you have a refrigerator or an auto-defrost freezer in the garage take the GFI out and put it on a regular plug.
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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-16-2007, 05:04 PM
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Might work with some welders, but with most of them I doubt it. Especially a wire feed. Even if it does, taking the netural out would be stupid since you wouldn't be able to plug anything in to that plug except for the very very few things that will work without a netural.


If you have a refrigerator or an auto-defrost freezer in the garage take the GFI out and put it on a regular plug.
Just about everything youd put on a 220v line will work without a neutral. I've been an electrician for 12 years, obviously in that time Ive ran a good amount of 220v circuits with a good amount of those being for welders in industrial, commercial and residential applications, I have not seen one welder not function without a neutral.

You can use a single receptacle for an appliance like a freezer in a garage without GFCI protection and still be code compliant.

I'm not even really against doing away with garage gfi's, besides being a code violation, but many houses have one GFCI in the garage that also protects the outside receptacles and the bathroom, outside and bathroom you really want GFCI protected.
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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-16-2007, 09:00 PM
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You'd want to leave the ground disconnected, not the netural.
Wrong

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Don't leave the ground wire loose - tie it to the neutral.

It's probably cheaper & easier to change the cord on the welder than to change the socket. And just think: once it has the new 4-plug, you'll be able to use the welder in the kitchen!
Wrong also

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yeah its a ground.
Just get a new cord and put the ground wire on an internal ground screw on the welder case. Or on a welder you can also tie the ground (green) and netural (white) together at the junction screw in the welder.

Or simply change the plugs out in the house. While you're changing plugs get those damn GFI's out of the garage too
Wrong again, but after you said to leave the ground disconnected this doesn't surprise me. Placing a neutral under a ground screw with a ground wire is dangerous and ignorant. There is only one place in the whole wiring system that bond is done, and it's at the service.
Sorry to be an a-hole but some of the wiring advice on these 4x4 sites is just scary.

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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-16-2007, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by LoneGunman View Post
Just about everything youd put on a 220v line will work without a neutral. I've been an electrician for 12 years, obviously in that time Ive ran a good amount of 220v circuits with a good amount of those being for welders in industrial, commercial and residential applications, I have not seen one welder not function without a neutral.
Well like I said some welders might work, as long as there is no 120 volt circuits in it. And "just about everything"....? No. Maybe 2 or 3% of things made today that require a 240 volt plug will work without the netural.


It would be stupid to wire up a plug with no netural anyways. There is no reason to do it except for saving a little money on copper.
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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-16-2007, 10:05 PM
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Wrong
wrong


Opening the netural line to the recepticle and running its netural to the ground instead is one of the dumbest things I have heard of




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Wrong again, but after you said to leave the ground disconnected this doesn't surprise me. Placing a neutral under a ground screw with a ground wire is dangerous and ignorant. There is only one place in the whole wiring system that bond is done, and it's at the service.
I didn't say put the netural under a ground screw. I said if he put a 4 wire cord on the welder to put the ground wire from the new cord on to a ground in the welder. Or put the neutral and ground together right at the netural screw where the cord attaches to the welder. Besides what you think, doing that on a welder its 100% safe. Many things today come with an internal bond connecting the netural to a ground anways. If a grounded plug is used and a 4 wire cord, then that bond is seperated and the ground wire from the cord is put in place of it. While that will seperate the ground and neutral lines, manufacturers still advise using ground wires with 3 prong plugs without seperating the internal ground connection.
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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-16-2007, 10:38 PM
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hell with just git rid of the welder Problem solved
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post #16 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-16-2007, 11:33 PM
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Well like I said some welders might work, as long as there is no 120 volt circuits in it. And "just about everything"....? No. Maybe 2 or 3% of things made today that require a 240 volt plug will work without the netural.


It would be stupid to wire up a plug with no netural anyways. There is no reason to do it except for saving a little money on copper.
It would still work even if it had 120 volt circuits in it, how do you think stove clocks and lights worked for years on a 3 wire circuit? The ground acted as the neutral, thats why the code was changed, you don't want the ground to act as the neutral.
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post #17 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-16-2007, 11:35 PM
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I think there's some confusion here, as usual, so let's go over this again...
The problem is there is a 4 wire receptacle that the brother wants to be able to use his 3 wire equipment from. Are we all good with that so far?
The 4 wire receptacle would be fed from a (?)amp 2 pole breaker: 2 hots, a neutral and a ground feeding the 4 wire receptacle. Still good?
The recommendation I and others made is pretty straightforward: remove the 4 wire receptacle, and install the 3 wire receptacle of a similar voltage and current rating. If this part gets confusing let's go into some detail... His equipment is already wired, and for the hell of it let's just assume it's been done correctly. The 3 wire receptacle is the part that is in the wall. It has 3 terminals on it and they are for connecting the two hots and the ground (green or bare) wire. So the use of the existing circuit wires to wire this 3 wire receptacle correctly leaves the white (neutral) wire without a terminal. That's why it would be abandoned and safe-ended for possible future use. Enough detail?
There are instructions in the operators/installation manual of every welding machine I have ever wired...
"Install equipment in accordance with the US National Electrical Code, local electrical codes, and manufacturer's recommendations"
"Ground the equipment in accordance with the US National Electrical Code and manufacturer's recommendations"
The NEC does not permit the use of the groundED (neutral, identified, white or natural gray) conductor as an equipment ground. It also forbids any load side (of the service bond) connection of the groundED (neutral, identified, white or natural gray) conductor to the groundING (green, green/yellow stripe, bare) conductor. That's the reason why I say DON'T DO IT!
Mike2... you've got 18 and a half thousand posts in less than 3 years. When have you had time to learn electrical work?

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post #18 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-16-2007, 11:52 PM
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hell with just git rid of the welder Problem solved
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post #19 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-17-2007, 01:24 AM
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Don't leave the ground wire loose - tie it to the neutral.
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Wrong also
I was talking about the ground on a 4-wire cord being installed on the old 3-wire welding machine. They should be tied together. There's nothing wrong with RE-connecting the ground & neutral circuits. The only time it could ever be a problem is if you were disconnecting the mains with the breakers still installed & the welder switched on. Then you MIGHT end up with the whole house grounding thru the welding machine, but that's a ridiculously slim chance.
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post #20 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-17-2007, 09:27 AM
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I was talking about the ground on a 4-wire cord being installed on the old 3-wire welding machine. They should be tied together. There's nothing wrong with RE-connecting the ground & neutral circuits. The only time it could ever be a problem is if you were disconnecting the mains with the breakers still installed & the welder switched on. Then you MIGHT end up with the whole house grounding thru the welding machine, but that's a ridiculously slim chance.
So you know better and still tell others who don't know better to do it? Great.

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