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Test to see if outlet is 110 or 220

 
 
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 02:33 pm
I've got some weird things going on in my house electrically. it has a very complex design. It has been suggested that one or more breakers may be getting 220v instead of 110v because of being wired to both poles (don't know if i said that right) and that this could be causing very high kwh used. Is there an easy way to check an outlet to see if this is the case?
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Type: Question • Score: 8 • Views: 11,633 • Replies: 14
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BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 03:09 pm
@Tom Greenwood,
I do not think you could be powering a 110v circuit with 220v without smoking everything connected to it but a 20 dollars or so volt/ohm meter found at any hardware/electronic store would let you know for sure.

Since you seems new to such measurements be sure to read the directions before using the meter.

Oh while you are picking up the meter get an outlet circuit tester also to be sure the outlet is wire correctly as far as ground/live/return are concern. Once more read the direction.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  2  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 03:16 pm
If any 110 volt outlets were getting 220 volts, a lot of things you plugged in would be destroyed at once with a loud bang and a bright flash, and you would surely have noticed this?

You really need to get a qualified electrician.

0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 04:10 pm
@Tom Greenwood,
The first thing to check is to see if the marijuana grow operation next door has tapped into your electric meter and is stealing electricity.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 04:23 pm
@parados,
Quote:
The first thing to check is to see if the marijuana grow operation next door has tapped into your electric meter and is stealing electricity.


LOL he could pull the main circuit breaker and then see if the electric meter is still spinning to check that.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 05:32 pm
@Tom Greenwood,
Firstly, this description makes little sense...because ....

If any breaker that's supposed to be assigned 110 V..were to have 220 V running to it...that would have meant something massively failed..or an incompetent electrician messed up big time. If it's electrician incompetence, that would also mean no building permit could be issued or perhaps was issued. not to mention the risk to life and limb or appliance or property safety.

Furthermore if there was some catastrophic situation that caused a short or some whacky scenario, when you plug a 110 v appliance into any outlet that is actually (erroneously) supplying 220 v (but the outlet is designed for the shape of a 110 v plug according to Electrical Code), the appliance would smoke.

There's something perhaps bad with your description and your understanding .or the competence of whoever wired this mess.

Do NOT buy a 20 volt-ohmmeter. That would be non-productive. If it were me, I'd just hired a licensed electrician. Your personal safety and property's safety is at stake.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 06:06 pm
Don't take a chance. Get an electrician.
0 Replies
 
carloslebaron
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2015 06:56 pm
To start, using 220 volt appliances will SAVE YOU MONEY in your electric bill.

Second, if any receptacle in your house runs 220 volt, this receptacle will be different than the rest, and you can't plug your 110 volt appliances to it. (Of course, if the installation was made according to the code, and the correct receptacle was installed.)

The easiest way to check what is pulling a lot of power and you don't want to pay an electrician, go outside your house and check the electric meter.

If you see its wheel turning very fast, then go inside and turn the power off for the whole house. Go outside and check if the wheel stops. If the wheel still running, you better call an electrician.

If the wheel stops, then start to turn the power back on circuit by circuit. One circuit breaker at the time, and check the speed of the wheel. Eventually one of the circuits will cause the wheel to run fast.

Be sure that the appliances are running as they did before the power was cut off. (the refrigerator, hot water tank, TV, etc.)

It might be a grounding problem, a defective machine, who knows.

0 Replies
 
RayEGarcia
 
  0  
Reply Sat 11 Apr, 2015 02:09 am
@Tom Greenwood,
The most simple way to check both wires is that 120 volt wire will have one positive wire with current, one neutral wire and one ground. But wire of 220 volt will have two positive wire with current and a ground wire, but will not have any neutral wire.
parados
 
  2  
Reply Sat 11 Apr, 2015 12:52 pm
@RayEGarcia,
The best way to tell if a wire is hot or neutral is to lick it. If it doesn't tingle then it is likely neutral or ground. If it knocks you on your ass and your wife has to call 911 then it was hot.




(I don't suggest doing that! Really, I don't.)
carloslebaron
 
  0  
Reply Sun 12 Apr, 2015 09:19 pm
@parados,
The American Electricians Handbook (1942)

Quote:
159. The presence of low voltages can be determined by testing. The method is feasible only where the pressure is but a few volts and hence is used only in bell and signal work. Where the voltage is very low, the bared ends of the conductors constituting the 2 sides of the circuit are held a short distance apart on the tongue. If voltage is present a peculiar mildly burning sensation result, which will never be forgotten after one has experienced it. The taste is due to the electrolytic decomposition of the liquids on the tongue which produces a salt having a taste. With voltages of 4 or 5 volts, due to as many cells of a battery, it is best to test for the presence of voltage by holding one of the bared conductors in the hand an touching the other to the tongue. Where a terminal of the battery is grounded, often a taste can be detected by standing on moist ground and touching a conductor from the other battery terminal to the tongue. Care should be exercised to prevent the 2 conductor ends from touching each other at the tongue, for it they do a spark can result that may burn.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2015 08:30 am
@carloslebaron,
I notice they don't suggest doing that for 110 volts like I did. Wink
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Tue 14 Apr, 2015 09:54 am
@parados,
Quote:
I notice they don't suggest doing that for 110 volts like I did.


A friend of mine once was checking 9 volts transistor radio batteries with his tongue when he found that a 90 volts type B tube radio battery was in the pile also.

He stated that his tongue all of a sudden went down his throat as the 90 volts went across his tongue instead of 9 volts.
0 Replies
 
Emma Taylor
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2015 05:02 am
@Tom Greenwood,
Plug tester in, turn it on, go to the circuit panel and begin tripping the circuits on and off. When this goes off, you know that circuit is dead. This handy pigtail style tester can be carried in your pocket and it can test 110 or 220 circuits. If, it doesn't work .You need to get a licensed electrician.
0 Replies
 
Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2015 04:44 am
Jesus, American homes have complicated systems.
0 Replies
 
 

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