The prior owner of the shop had, I believe, outlets for welding equipment which were 50 amp 240v outlets with old NEMA 10-50 outlets.

But, he was forward thinking enough to have a ground wire behind the drywall which wasn't connected to the outlet.

So we are trying to figure out what to replace that outlet with to have a grounded receptacle for an 8 amp 240 volt dust collector.

Do we need to pull out the 50 amp breaker and replace it with a lower amperage? Someone at the hardware store suggested this might be the case.

Otherwise can we just replace it with a more modern 6-50 outlet or something and add that plug to the dust collector?

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    Generally, any device < 12A continuous would use a 15A or 20A receptacle, but there are exceptions. What kind of cord/plug comes with the dust collector? Model #? Oct 14, 2021 at 0:59
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    It comes wired for 120 with a standard 120 plug. But it can also be rewired to use 240, but it was bought used and so I don't have a plug, I would have to remove the current one and add a new one.
    – Justin
    Oct 14, 2021 at 3:32

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can connect NEMA 6 family sockets hot-hot-ground (no neutral). You will need to downgrade the breaker to:

  • 15A breaker if the socket is a single NEMA 6-15 (15A) socket
  • 20A breaker if the socket is a single NEMA 6-20 (20A) socket
  • 15A or 20A breaker if all sockets are 15A and there are 2 or more sockets (for reference, the run-of-the-mill 120V receptacle counts as 2 sockets).
  • 20A breaker if the mix of sockets contains any 20A sockets

(notice these "number of sockets" rules are exactly the same as for 120V circuits. That includes any local amendments limiting a circuit to 8 or 12 sockets.)

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