I have a 240 volt 20 amp GFCI circuit breaker powering an outdoor appliance that has 2 electric motors and a motor control unit to synchronize them. I would like to wire a receptacle off of 1 hot leg of the 240 volt breaker instead of having to wire it to another breaker because of ease/cost. I have been trying to see if this would be up to code.

1 hot leg would run to a disconnect switch then to the motor control unit, the other hot leg would run to the receptacle then the disconnect switch then the control unit, then the neutral would run to the receptacle then to the control unit.

Thanks in advance for any light you can shine on this.

Edit: It is a 4 wire feed (hot/hot/neutral/ground). The appliance is hardwired, the feed goes into the motor control unit, then from there out to each motor (It is a 2 motor boat lift, each lift beam/motor assembly is independent). The motors can be powered 120v instead of 240v, but it is not currently wired that way. It is an older appliance/lift, there is no product literature for a UL listing and the company has since closed.

  • You can't do exactly as you propose, but there may be a way -- are you open to replacing the current disconnect switch with a small subpanel? And just to confirm, do you have a 4 wire feed (Hot/Hot/Neutral/Ground) to this appliance currently? – Nate S. Nov 5 '19 at 17:42
  • Many electronic things nowadays work on 120 or 240. Check the plate on the motor control unit. You may just need to replace the cord on it. – longneck Nov 5 '19 at 18:45
  • Hello again. It looks like you now have two separate accounts; you should request that they be merged. – Daniel Griscom Nov 5 '19 at 21:02
  • What is the amperage of the 240v breaker? Is there a neutral? It may be possible but harpers question and mine would need to be answered first to know if it can be done. – Ed Beal Nov 5 '19 at 22:52
  • 3
    I’m voting to close this question because there are unanswered questions in the comments, and the OP seems to have abandoned this. – FreeMan Nov 30 '20 at 13:01

Using a neutral for multiple hots creates what the NEC calls a "multiwire branch circuit". There are specific requirements , but generally the code requires all hot conductors of a MWBC be disconnected simultaneously with handle ties or multipole breakers. There is a requirement for MWBC's to only serve line to neutral loads unless fed by a multipole breaker, not just a handle tie. [2017 NEC 210.4(C)ex.2]

There are technical aspects that deal with types of appliances and percentage of circuits that fixed in place appliances are allowed to use that may render sharing the circuit with receptacles illegal. Specific requirements required in the installation and operating instruction are part of the UL listing, and may also render sharing the circuit illegal.

  • OP says it's on a 240V GFCI, so it's already a two-pole breaker. – Nate S. Nov 5 '19 at 18:34

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