Can I wire a water heater and tanning bed on the same 220V circuit?


The 2014 NEC is adopted in Ohio.

You need a dedicated circuit for these appliances: Refrigerator, Freezer, Electric range, Microwave, Water heater, Washer, Dryer, Dishwasher/garbage disposal, Furnace, Heat pump, Air conditioner (central and window), Sump pump, Hot tub/Sauna/Jacuzzi

A furnace requires a dedicated circuit.[422.12]

Dwelling units require at least one receptacle outlet for the laundry area. [210-52(f)] Laundry receptacle outlets in dwelling units must be fed from a 20-ampere branch circuit. Receptacle outlets outside of the laundry area are not permitted on the laundry circuit. [210-11(c)(2)]

If an appliance is a chord and plug type and it exceeds 80% of the branch circuit rating then a dedicated outlet is required. If the appliance is fastened in place and is rated for more than 50% of the branch circuit then that circuit must be dedicated. [210-23(a)]

Here is a terrible reference, but:...

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There are a few things that would make me nervous about doing this:

For a given wattage, bulbs rated for 110 V will draw over twice as much current as those rated for 240 V. For example, 60 W @ 240 V is 250 mA; 60 W @ 110 V is 550 mA. Are the supply wires going to be able to carry enough current for as many bulbs and at the wattage you want? The extra live wire is probably to allow independent control of parts of the chandelier from two light switches, so the limiting factor will be the neutral.

In any light fixture that you could buy in the US or Canada, any exposed metal parts that could be energized in a fault would be grounded. Your photos don't show a ground lead -- is there one, and is it hooked up correctly?

My advice would be to talk to an antique dealer that specializes in lighting. I imagine that there's a market for importing and/or updating fixtures to current standards, and they would probably be able to put you in touch with someone who could do...

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You might want to concentrate on the water heater first with the dryer plug removed. Also check the water heater for shorts to ground. Even though the dryer was working, it COULD be the water heater.

Just, so you get the idea, a water heater consists of a thermostat (upper and lower elements), so both are a possibility. here's a typical water heater wiring diagram.

Since you have two things on the same circuit, somewhere the devices have to be paralleled. if your in the US, I don;t think the NEC allows two wires at the breaker. You have to pigtail.

The breaker can be bad. A "test light" may be a better tool. e.g. pull the dryer plug. and disconnect the water heater. Go to the source. Meaning the breaker.

When, you don;t have the resistive element paths. i.e. an open circuit as the load, THEN you will see zero volts.

With loads, you can check the "quality" of connects by doing un-obvios...

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Speedy (and others)...sorry for the delay...I had to step away and walk this one off. I really don't want to come across as an incompetent * * *. I have done wiring in the past. I think I have just crossed 2 separate issues. I'd like to rephase so I'm clear. Thank you in advance for being patient with me.

The 2 220V appliances (if you will) are a dust collector and a hanging / ceiling room heater (to be purchased at a later date). The dust coll. tag says this: 24/12, phase 1, 110/220. It might say more, I'm going on memory. This, and the future heater, will be wired with a 30A circuit breaker, along with a 30A recepticle. I'm assuming that the 24/12, implies the 24 part is the FLA (first load amperage (?) or initial start-up?). So, wouldn't the 30A CB be correct? I'll assume that the heater will need to be run on 220V as well. With what I've read, the 10-2 wire will work.

The second issue are my outlets. Yes, I agree that using 10-2 wire was overkill. The outlets...

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Close call for condo tenant as water heater explodes

SINGAPORE: A 39-year-old Australian tenant of a condominium unit at Cote D'Azur in Marine Parade was reading a book on mortality just seconds before an explosion ripped through the bathroom and his master bedroom last Saturday.

The electric storage water heater in the en-suite bathroom had exploded, ripping the bathroom door off its hinges and blowing out the bathroom window. The force sent the door flying across the bedroom, moved the bed, and smashed the windows and glass doors to the connecting balcony.

The bathroom window landed about 10m away from the building, said the tenant, who would give his name only as Eduardo. His wife's make-up and other personal effects were also blown out the window.

"I was sitting on my bed reading at 4.50pm when my wife asked me to go to my daughter's room before going for a walk at East Coast Park. If she had not called me over, I would have been badly injured."


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You are contradicting yourself in your explanation. So we can't really tell what the power source is. Regardless of whether it's 120 or 240 volt you would still hook it up the same way. White and Black source to Red and Black load at the heater. It doesn't matter which wire to which. If it is indeed only a 120 volt source you will only get a quarter of the production the water heater is rated for.

Ok let me make this a little more clear after your last entry. Hook black to black and white to red and ground to ground. If it is indeed a 120 volt source, the white is a neutral wire (current carrying ground) as I and the other poster said if you connect the 120 volt source to a 240 volt heater it is not going to harm anything and you will only get a quarter of the original capacity out of the water heater.

@Wired, you need a refresher on Ohm's law. With the resistive load of the element(s) they will draw half the current at half the voltage.


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You guys are getting mixed up with multi-voltage three-wire systems and the terms earthed, ground, grounded and most of all, voltage-to-ground.

In The US and (I think) north America, the nominal voltage delivered to residences is 240 volts from the secondary winding of the utility's distribution transformer. This secondary winding also has a connection mid-way between the ends of the winding called a center tap and this center tap is connected to the earth. A third wire, called the grounded conductor is run from the center tap to the residence.

From either of the secondary outer connections to the center tapped connection the voltage will be 120 volts nominal. The voltage from any of the three conductors to the earth will be a maximum of 120 volts nominal. This arrangement, first put into practice by Edison on his Direct Current system of distribution gives the consumer a choice of two voltages. ALL THREE CONDUCTORS ARE CURRENT-CARRYING CONDUCTORS!


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240 volts is line to line. 120 volts is line to neutral. The electricity must have a return path to the transformer to complete the circuit. The neutral conductor carries the imbalance and nothing more. If you have, for example, a 500 watt quartz light on one circuit on phase A and another 500 watt quartz light on another circuit on phase B then the imbalance from those 2 lights is 0. The neutral would not carry any imbalance. If one of the lights was 300 watts instead of 500 the imbalance would be 200 watts, the difference between the 2 loads. The neutral would carry the imbalance. Since a 240 volt water heater, baseboard heater, well pump, etc. uses the 2 lines to get the 240 volts there is no need for a neutral. If you had a stove or clothes dryer with 120 volt controls built in then a neutral would be required so the 120 volt portion would have a return path.

The only time a neutral is required is for 120 volt circuits, either stand alone or built into a 240...

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See larger
Control water heater with 3-way switches

Buy 3-way switches:
3-way switches at Amazon

See step-by-step installation of contactor
Figure volts-amps-watts for your water heater
How to wire switches

Do not connect 15-20 amp switches directly to 240V water heater. Amp rating shows on each switch

Larger image Control water heater with two 15-20 amp 3-way switches (same as above)
Buy 3-way switches:
3-way switches at Amazon
Contactor with 120Volt coil At Amazon
Contactor with 240Volt coil At Amazon


See step-by-step installation of contactor
See Larger 3-way switch and 3-way timer
Intermatic Ei600 and St01C are 3-way timers
For applications up to 100 feet away
Timer and switch control contactor
Contactor turns heavy-amp load on-off

3-way switches at Amazon
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If it is 12.6 A, it wouldn't be per code, but there isn't much risk involved. More like a nuisance tripping of the breaker if you use hot water continuously for hours. It's like going 57 mph in a 55 zone. The cops could write you a ticket but most people get away with it most of the time.

But we're working with round numbers given us here, not "the nameplate says ..."" so I don't think any of us really know what it will draw.

Does the manufacturer really rate it at 220 V, or at 240 as normel assumed? Or should we figure out what it would draw in my house where that circuit would measure 248 or 250 volts and it would draw more than you get by the manufacturer's numbers?

Or maybe the manufacturer's instructions actually say what breaker size is needed. We don't...

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That's standard: you should never connect neutral to ground except at the junction box (at least, not in most parts of Canada and probably the US). If you look through older threads in this forum (ground versus neutral, etc.) you'll find that ground is used as a protective measure, to ensure that casing, parts you touch, etc. are never 'hot' relative to ground.

Schip666, you are correct that standard household electricity is 2-phase (i.e. two legs 180 degrees out of phase). If you crack open your panel, you'll usually find double-sized breakers (or two adjacent breakers tied together with a tie bar) that straddle the two legs. Standard practice is to run 3-wire (technically, it's 4 if you count the bare copper grounding wire, but everybody refers to it as 3-wire) to whatever 220/240V appliances you have. That's the two 'hot' wires, the neutral, and the ground.

This is probably the setup you have for your oven, if you have an electric one. Long story short, it's probably...

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Check with the national and local electrical codes. Make sure you understand all the requirements for wiring a 220-volt outlet.


Choose the correct wire size and type for the appliance.

A label should give the amperage rating of the appliance, and this will determine the wire size. An example would be a 20 Amp air conditioner requiring a 12 gauge wire, typically a 3 wire plus ground Romex cable.

Consult the manufacturer's information to discover how much current the appliance will draw. Make sure the wire you use is rated for 20 percent more. Use copper wire only. If you use aluminum wire, you will need to make sure all of the connections are suitable for aluminum.


Locate your outlet less than 200 feet (61.0 m) of the panel box. This will prevent a voltage drop that you would have to correct.


Determine whether to use 3 conductors or 4 conductors. If you are replacing an older appliance, you may have to convert...

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We get a lot of questions on our electric wiring articles from folks tackling electrical projects in their own home. One of the most common and intimidating parts of electrical work is dealing with the main breaker panel.

This article provides an overview of a breaker panel. If you’re tackling an electrical project, we highly recommend a professional resource that can show you all the details of your project, like this home electric wiring book by Stanley that we use all the time.

Safety Information

While electrical work isn’t always complicated, it can be dangerous. Some jurisdictions require you to be an electrician to perform any electrical work, even in your own home. Almost all jurisdictions require you to get a permit to complete any substantial electric work beyond simple tasks like replacing receptacles. Never perform a task that you aren’t qualified to perform, and always take appropriate precautions.

Electric Breaker Panel Volts and...

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Always Disconnect the Power before beginning work!

Failure to follow this rule can result in death or injury.

Breaker and fuse panels remain hot even if the main breaker is turned off or the main fuse is removed. Main panels should only be worked on by qualified persons.

Incorrectly performed electrical work can result in fire, damage to property, and injury or death to people. Furthermore, in some jurisdictions it may be against the law for anyone other than a licensed electrician to perform electrical work, and work which is performed by unqualified people or which has not been inspected and approved may cause your homeowners insurance policy to be void.

220 volt circuits (AKA 230 volt, or 240 volt) are used to supply power to appliances which draw high currents such as clothes dryers, ranges, ovens, cook-tops, heaters, air conditioners, rotary phase converters, and water heaters.

No matter what appliance you are wiring for, any 220 circuit has...

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220-240 Wiring Diagram Instructions - Do-It-Yourself Repairs and Basic Wiring Projects:
Replacing a Breaker in Your Panel

By Terry Peterman, the Internet Electrician

Circuit Breakers

A breaker is designed to protect your wires from carrying too much current, and to trip off on an overload or a short circuit. That is why proper sizing of breakers is so important (i.e. #14AWG wire on a 15 Amp breaker, #12AWG on a 20 Amp breaker, etc.). This is all spelled out in the CEC and NEC. Never oversize a breaker to solve a tripping breaker problem!

The first question to ask yourself is – Why am I replacing this breaker?

If you are adding a circuit, and now need to install the breaker, then this of course is necessary. The situation that I run into a lot is people wanting to replace a breaker because they think that it...

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The answer is YES provided the following: The buck boost Xformer is rated to provide the amperage required by the bed. The amperage rating should be on the electrical nameplate on the bed or inhte instruction manual. That you wire the secondary of the Xformer to the exact correct leads for the beds required voltage. (220V, 230V, etc.) Most bb Xformers do not come with a cord and "plug" to go into a 110V oulet, so you must also correctly wire a grounded plug and 3 conductor wire to the correct 110V primary leads of the Xformer. Best to have a qualified electrician do this, not a "wanna be" or handyman type. If miswired, the Xformer will "smoke" as soon as you plug it in and may damage the tanning bed! (And bb Xformers aren't cheap.) I'm sure tanning beds aren't either. Also understand, that when you take 110V and "boost" it to 220V, you are reducing the amperage by 50%. Therefore, if you're plugging into a 15 amp residentail circuit, you're only providing 7.5 amps which may not...

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220v convert to 115v?

I have a 220v outlet for an a/c I would like to convert to a 115v for a new a/c unit. Can this be done with the existing wiring? If so, how? Or is there a plug converter that may step down the voltage and change the plug to accommodate the standard 3-prong?

It is relatively easy, but if you are inexperienced in working in your breaker/fuse box, you should have an electrician do it.

What you need to do, is replace the 220 breaker with a 120 V breaker. In doing so, you will disconnect the white wire from the old breaker and connect it to the common bar. Then at the outlet, remove the 220 V outlet and install a 120 V outlet. The wiring will stay the same, as long as you had, a 20 Amp circuit before and you stick with 20 amps, or had a 15 amp circuit and stick with 15 amps in 120 V.

Self-contained forced air heater

I am going to purchase the above item; however, I must choose between a 120 volt or 240 volt heater depending on...

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