2

I have a unused 20amp double pole circuit breaker (240/250V) at the panel. I would like to use it to control one 240V outlet (with L1, L2, G connections, no neutral) and two 120V outlets.

My thinking is that I need to pull four wires from the panel, all 12awg, and wire the first (240V outlet) with L1, L2, G; then continue from there to the two separate circuit 120V outlets, the first with L1, N, G, the second L2, N, G.

Is there anything safety-wise or code-wise that would disallow such a setup?

The devices plugged into these outlets would be small kitchen appliances for 120V and an electric kettle or electric grill running on European voltage (I will change the plug at the device cable) for the 240V outlet.

1 Answer 1

4

That is fine. It will require /3+ground cable, and a 2-pole breaker with common trip (so not two breakers handle-tied).

This is called a Multi-Wire Branch Circuit or MWBC.

I have a unused 20amp double pole circuit breaker (240/250V) at the panel.

Except most likely, your installation will require GFCI protection. The only way to put GFCI protection on this is a GFCI breaker.

and an electric kettle or electric grill running on European voltage (I will change the plug at the device cable) for the 240V outlet.

Nope, not allowed unless the device is Listed with a USA/Canada/(your country here) endorsement by a qualified NRTL. Several European labs are qualified to do that, but manufacturers rarely ask them to.

In particular, Cheap Cheese junk from east Asian nations is not allowed. They fake CE, even.

Also, remember that your 230V neutral is bogus. It is actually 120V above ground. If the appliance has a polarized plug, it may not be insulated for a hot neutral.

Generally, dragging electrical appliances across oceans is not worth the jet fuel. The fuel economy of jets is strongly affected by weight (mass->AOA->induced drag) and you end up making 3-6 times the item's weight in CO2 just bringing it here. If you care about such things.

9
  • Ah, these European style small appliances have been dragged here by someone else, presumably on a container ship :) I bought them off Ebay, and they've been working just fine. But the polarized plug point is very valid!
    – Misha0001
    Commented Oct 18, 2022 at 1:06
  • 6
    I significant part of the ~230V using world either doesn't have polarised plugs or doesn't pay much attention to polarity, any sane manufacturer designing products for such a market will make sure the neutral is properly insulated. Commented Oct 18, 2022 at 3:23
  • 1
    If the device uses a grounded Euro plug, I'd think that'd be the bigger potential problem. As Misha observes the lack of polarized plugs means they can't make any assumption about which of the two pins is hot; but could safely assume that ground is equal to one of the two power pins not midway between them. Commented Oct 18, 2022 at 11:46
  • 1
    @Dan honestly if the plugs are not polarized (Schuko) then we can safely assume both legs are insulated for 240V. The problem is Britain since theirs are always polarized. Commented Oct 18, 2022 at 22:52
  • 1
    @Misha0001 I don't think the "house fire" comment is valid for continental European appliances bought at a reputable shop, but for stuff off eBay, absolutely, since 99% of that stuff is cheap Chinese junk, it's not even European. Yeah. That stuff will kill you. FYI, "a sample size of one" is not statistically valid :) Commented Oct 18, 2022 at 22:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.