Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

1 - 20 of 83 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I just bought a property who is 10 years old.
For a reason unknown to me, the previous owner needed more receptacles than usual, so they are many and all over the house.

Now, this makes my original idea to install a number of 240V receptacles easier to realize, because I can use some of the existing ones without bothering to do mobile receptacles.

Now, keeping in mind the use I will do of 240V:

1) Mostly Hi-End electronics equipment
2) Some of them for the hoover
3) In the garage, some tools like: electric saw or car hydro-cleaner
4) In the kitchen: Dishwasher, possibly a microwave.

Now, my questions:

Once I have decided which receptacles will become 240V, I will need to change the wiring.
Which size shall I use? I mean, gauge is different according to use, perhaps should I use the biggest for all uses?

Breakers: dual pole?

Thank you for your help.

Regards
Alex
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,129 Posts
Many of those appliances you listed are normally 120V. In fact you would be hard pressed to find 240V versions. Are these items from abroad or industrial?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
491 Posts
Many of those appliances you listed are normally 120V.
I believe the OP is referring to split circuit plugs just like those spec'd for kitchens under the Canadian electrical code .... three wires: neutral (white) and two hots (red & black). Each of the two receptacles are on different breakers and can draw a full 15A or 20A from each plug, depending on the wiring and receptacle style.

You get 120V between the white and either the red or black wires.

240v exists across the red and black wires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,131 Posts
Metallo, The devices you list do not require 240v but some require a separate 120v circuit and others might benefits from being on their own circuit. Feeding 240v into existing wiring or receptacle boxes is a very dangerous and unsound practice since they could be part of a looped circuit that feeds other 120v devices. Installing 240v outlets for small appliances and electronics is unusual and not necessary in Canada. I suggest you consult a licensed electrician so that no personal injuries or property damage occurs.

For the kitchen, I would do this to use a 3000W electric Kettle.
Small home appliances and equipment rarely exceed 120v or 1500w. Those appliances that do are large appliances such as clothes dryers and stoves, not small appliances. If 240v receptacles were installed, they would need to be a different configuration so that 120v devices could not be plugged into them and cause damage or injury. 240v devices are typically not available in Canada so there should be no need for them.
 

·
OTA Forum Moderator
Joined
·
24,867 Posts
Stop! Do some essential reading!

Metallo, the only 240VAC appliance in a kitchen in Canada would be a full size electric range/oven. Microwave ovens run on 120VAC, as do dishwashers. In other parts of the home, high end electronics run on 120VAC. In my own home the only need for 240VAC after that is an electric clothes drier and my welder in my shop. It seems to me that you are confusing extra power needs as a voltage issue, while in Canada they are an amperage issue.

You need to get better informed about the New Brunswick electrical code because it describes exactly how you are allowed to wire your home. If you try anything different you will not pass inspection, and if you don't pass inspection your home insurance will not pay you a single dime if something terrible happened.

Buy your Province's version of the "Electrical Code Simplified" series of books published by P. S. Knight at your nearest Rona or Home Depot store. These books contain your province's Code wrapped in layman's explanation notes with diagrams. These books cover electrical wiring in single family houses. They simplify the requirements for a safe installation so that the homeowner can do all the electrical installations in his or her own home.

The info will settle almost any questions you might have about making your system inspector-proof. Even if, after reading through the book, you decide that you are not up to the job and need to get an electrician in, I'd say the book paid for itself in your peace of mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,092 Posts
I know people who immigrated here from the UK years back and on their first trip back brought back a 3000W 240V kettle and wired up a 240V socket. All in aid of getting the Tea made inside one commercial break on TV. Seriously. One of them even patched into the stove socket.

Nowadays of course those breaks are so long that a regular 120V kettle is fine.

It seems like a very bad idea to me to have 240V wiring in a house here except for the standard uses of Stove & Drier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,022 Posts
Not a good idea

Perhaps the OP is a recently moved to Canada (most of the world uses 240VAC), and wants to keep their high-end electronic equipment...while this is completely possible, there's a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • I'm not sure you can purchase CSA/cUL listed compatible receptacles for use in Canada. The voltage can certainly be achieved, but can you get the plug-ins? You do not want to run 240VAC into a North America style outlet and use travel plug adaptors, because that will present a hazard to anyone who does not realize the voltage is non-standard.
  • Beware that the AC frequency in Canada is 60Hz, not the standard 50Hz found outside North America. This could affect anything plugged into it if it requires the frequency for clocks/counters, etc.
 

·
OTA Forum Moderator
Joined
·
24,867 Posts
Jake said:
I don't think you are allowed to make a 240V connection with the 14/3 wire
Nope, there are very specific wire, voltage, and amperage levels specified in the Electrical Code. Kitchen sockets must be [email protected] although in some provinces such as B.C. it is now okay to use [email protected] if the wire is 12/2 or 12/3, and such receptacles must use the special 20A slot type.

Again, don't do anything against Code, Metallo! You would pay dearly in the future if you try to sell the place or, heaven forbid, a disaster happened.
99gecko said:
Beware that the AC frequency in Canada is 60Hz, not the standard 50Hz
For Europeans wishing to simply run 240VAC all through the house the frequency difference is a major problem. 10Hz doesn't sound like very much of a difference but it certainly is, potentially causing damage to most electronics and especially to items with motors. Only certain consumer products allow 240VAC-50Hz or 120VAC-60Hz at the flip of a switch or a change in a transformer cord.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Hi folks,

thanks for the many comments I got so far.

I gave for discounted it was clear I recently moved to Canada from Europe, but I do apologize for not having specified and lead to some time waste.

So yes, stuff is from Europe, 240V/50Hz and I am perfectly aware that in Canada is 120V/60Hz.

I don't want to discuss why I carried my stuff here because it would be off topic, but I assure you there are good reasons, we are not talking about a simple kettle.

I do not see any problem in:

1) Changing the wiring to some receptacles with appropriate cabling for 240V
2) 60Hz is not an issue, most of my stuff will self adjust electronically, it used to be an issue for some equipment 40 years ago, not during the last 20 years.
3) 240V dangerous? Not at all, it is not anywhere else in the world, especially if well marked no problem.

So, I am just asking which size the wires have to be according to the use I will do as described in my first mail.

Why cannot I use the Canadian plugs?
I can change the cord plugs of my electronics accordingly, no adapters.

Hope I made things clearer.

Cheers
Alessandro

PS: In NB there are no restrictions to do 240V, not at all, I have friends here that have put 240V all over their home and obviously cannot be an issue, it works safely in most of the world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
Familiarise with a book before changing anything.

Many receptacles does not mean properly wired. Many people just add on to circuits thinking that is okay, and end up wiring a whole basement off one circuit!
Verify that the products you are using rated at 240v/50Hz can handle 240v/60Hz the standard in Canada or get the required adapters.
Cable such as 12/3 is made for carrying two lives (red/black) and a neutral (white) and a ground (bare or sometimes green). This is used as a split(double) circuit, for 120 volt, but there are receptacles that have one 120 volt, and a 240 volt plug in.
Any kitchens I work on now only have 20 amp circuits installed, and I use a receptacle that accepts both 15 amp and 20 amp plugs. Make sure the receptacles are appropriate for what you are doing, don't use 120v receptacles for 240 volts or 15amp receptacles for 20 or more circuits. For example your stove and dryer both use 240 volts, but the plugs and receptacles are not interchangeable.
I recently was looking at a Black and Decker Home Wiring book at a library see http://www.blackanddeckerbooks.com/description.asp?isbn=9781589234130&subtopic=4, and it appeared to go over the basics very well and I would suggest looking at a book like that (full of pictures) before making any changes.
 

·
OTA Forum Moderator
Joined
·
24,867 Posts
The provincial electrical code is the law. Period. Get a copy of it and wire your home exactly to the code.

Wiring your home in ways that break the code will cause you serious problems in the future:
  1. electricians will refuse to do any work on your home due to it being wired against code, or will charge you additional fees to correct it before doing the work you require
  2. you will not receive building permits from any authorities until you bring your electrical system up to code
  3. the hydro company can demand to see proof that your wiring is up to code before connecting/reconnecting
  4. no electrical or building inspector will ever approve your home until it has been brought up to code
  5. no insurance company will ever pay coverage if your non-code wiring causes a fire or other damage
You asked here for information and I'm giving it to you straight. I don't care what neighbours or others around you have done. This is all about being a law-abiding citizen and a responsible home owner who does not do illegal things that cause my (and everyone else's) insurance rates to go up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
I agree with you stampeder, but I doubt anyone sitting down with the electrical code for the first time would make any sense of it. My information was to get him to look at things in a book and around his home that it is not as simple as some people perceive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Dirtroat: I am aware of the book and it is my intention to buy it tomorrow, actually it is one of the many I browsed recently in the bookstore :)

Stampeder:
I do not know why you are so aggressive with me but I just want to point you to a few considerations:

Did I state somewhere that I am going to do the work against the law? No, I did not.

My wiring will be up to code because I will do it better than the code actually requires. Rules in EU are much stricter than in Canada and it is very easy for me to respect the basics here.

I see you live in BC, I don't want to go into details, but NB rules are different, therefore I would not mention points which obviously you miss.

Yes, I am a proud law-abiding citizen and if your concerns about insurance costs relate to the few people not respecting the code in this country, well, I think you are on the wrong track.
As far as the people I know who have wired their home 240V, everything is according to NB code and safe, so you can sleep without worry.

Regards
Alex
 

·
OTA Forum Moderator
Joined
·
24,867 Posts
dirtroad, the book I mentioned ("Electrical Code Simplified") makes it easy.

Metallo, I am being direct and honest with you. This is a discussion forum. If you only want agreement with what you propose then there is no point posting here. If you want the very best advice then you came to the right place but you have to be willing to accept facts that do not seem to please you.

Follow the electrical code and use CSA/UL rated appliances and electronic equipment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Well, basically I had asked the size of the wires, but I was referred to the code, which make sense but sometimes getting an opinion is useful.
I wrote to the forum to get answers to two questions, you continue to think that things do no please me and I do not understand why... but it doesn't matter.

If I will have additional questions, I know I can count on the support of this forum.

Thank you
Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,131 Posts
Kitchen sockets must be [email protected] although in some provinces such as B.C. it is now okay to use [email protected] if the wire is 12/2 or 12/3, and such receptacles must use the special 20A slot type.
That's not quite correct. Kitchen receptacles are to be split into two 15 amp circuits, fed with 14/3 wire and tied to a 2 pole breaker. The exception is when the receptacle is within 3 feet of a sink or other water hazard. In that case, it is to be a 20a GFI receptacle with normal 15a prongs (or combo 15a/20a prongs), fed with a 20a single pole breaker and 12/2 wiring. But that's OT.

As to approved receptacles, there are dozens of approved receptacles and plugs for amperage ratings from 5a to 500a and voltages from from 120v to 600v. The problem is finding most of them since they are so rarely used. I am quite sure there is an approved 240v, 15a configuration and it is probably available from an electrical wholesaler. IIRC, the 240v, 15a receptacles are similar to 120v, 15a receptacle but with the pins rotated 45 degrees (in a V configuration.) There are also locking 240v receptacles with the pins in a circular pattern.

Metallo, there is a solution to your problem, as described above. It is perfectly legal to install 240v receptacles but they must be an approved configuration. DO NOT WIRE UP A 120v RECEPTACLE AS 240v. It's dangerous and illegal. It must also be kept separate from other house wiring (not in the same box) so having extra receptacles makes little difference, unless they are already on separate circuits in their own box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Metallo, there is a solution to your problem, as described above. It is perfectly legal to install 240v receptacles but they must be an approved configuration. DO NOT WIRE UP A 120v RECEPTACLE AS 240v. It's dangerous and illegal. It must also be kept separate from other house wiring (not in the same box) so having extra receptacles makes little difference, unless they are already on separate circuits in their own box.
I understand what you are saying, it is a good point.

Actually, because the house is 10 years old, the electrical schemes are no longer there (as well as the home plans), therefore I am wondering where I can get them?
Are they supposed to be registered somewhere?
I am thinking to the cadastre or similar authority where the property is registered, because it would be very useful for me to have the original schemes.

However, my idea is to identify the sockets that have a direct wiring to the panel and are totally independent, pull off the wires and get 240V ones in.
If not, I will have to go for separate ones, but that is not a nice solution because most probably they would be mobile sockets. I will be able to check this in the next few days.

Regards
Alex
 
1 - 20 of 83 Posts
Top