Jeep Wrangler 4xe Forum banner
1 - 20 of 49 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks to Wrangler4XEFan I discovered I have two 110v outlets on dedicated 20 amp circuits next to where I park. This means a 220v converter could be installed to support a level 2, 20 amp charger.

However, these are in phase with each other, so I have 0V potential. Would all I need to do in order to get them out of phase is move one of the breakers to the other side/buss in the panel?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
Thanks to Wrangler4XEFan I discovered I have two 110v outlets on dedicated 20 amp circuits next to where I park. This means a 220v converter could be installed to support a level 2, 20 amp charger.

However, these are in phase with each other, so I have 0V potential. Would all I need to do in order to get them out of phase is move one of the breakers to the other side/buss in the panel?
Dammit Jim, I’m a doctor - not an electrical engineer, lol. Sorry I can’t help you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lol, thanks for the bump

I've gone on panel wiring dive. I think I'll just be able to swap the breaker to the other side. But looking for confirmation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
It's up or down 1 - if you look at a 240V breaker (double pole) it's twice as wide. That's because the phases alternate as you go down slots in the panel. So, move the breaker for one 20A circuit up, or down a slot.

Make sure you can do this safely before doing anything, of course!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
It's up or down 1 - if you look at a 240V breaker (double pole) it's twice as wide. That's because the phases alternate as you go down slots in the panel. So, move the breaker for one 20A circuit up, or down a slot.

Make sure you can do this safely before doing anything, of course!
Agreed. You can do it but it is kind of hokie and the existing wiring is probably to thin. Also if you were to do that you need to bridge the two breakers together so if one trips it will trip the other. See my photo for example. This is my 50amp RV circuit. You can do it but I would recommend new 8 or 6 awg wire. Even if you don't rewire you need to turn the entire panel off when you move the breaker and or wires. I take no responsibility, lol. Best of luck!
1771
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's up or down 1 - if you look at a 240V breaker (double pole) it's twice as wide. That's because the phases alternate as you go down slots in the panel. So, move the breaker for one 20A circuit up, or down a slot.

Make sure you can do this safely before doing anything, of course!
Ah, that makes more sense now!

What I'm working with are 3 20 amp circuits that someone had added to the garage. The two that run next to each other are in phase. One up from there goes to the other side of the garage. Wiring is 12 guage, short runs (panel in garage) and no other loads on the circuits.

I suppose I could swap the top two around.

Those 2x110v combiners come with up to 15 foot extension cords. In theory, I could just do that. I was just trying to make it clean and keep wires short as possible.

If I were to go in the panel to begin with, I could just add or replace it with a 40 amp 220 direct wire. But I lease from a REIT and they won't entertain any modifications/upgrades. Even swapping two circuits would be pushing it.

However, I don't think a permit was pulled for those 3 circuits as they aren't labeled. I've suspected a prior occupant was an electrician.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Getting odd again. All 3 of the circuits seem to be in phase. They occupy the top 3 slots of the panel, all on top of each other.

I'm testing the on the small side of the plugs, which from what I read should be the hot wire.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Thanks to Wrangler4XEFan I discovered I have two 110v outlets on dedicated 20 amp circuits next to where I park. This means a 220v converter could be installed to support a level 2, 20 amp charger.

However, these are in phase with each other, so I have 0V potential. Would all I need to do in order to get them out of phase is move one of the breakers to the other side/buss in the panel?
First off... I have been enjoying the knowledge being shared here for a while.
The replies to this post have prompted me to actually join so I can correct some disinformation that may or may not promote hazardous conditions.

A picture of your panel would go a long way towards helping give an educated answer to your question.
The old adage defiantly holds true here. (a picture is worth a thousand words)
The panel may have the ability to have additional circuits installed by replacing some of the existing breakers with
tandem breaker units. Panel brands, styles and capacities need to be known to make this determination.

As has been stated, the breakers in a typical single phase residential panel are arranged in two rows. The phasing alternates from top to bottom "A" -"B", "A"-"B", ...
The breakers that are side by side are the same phases.

If you intend to operate a charger on 240v. 20a., you need to confirm that the wiring is the proper size.
You stated in another post that you think the PO installed these outlets, this is more of a reason to double check that everything was done properly vs. done with what they had on hand.
Do you know what size wire is suppling these existing outlets?
A case in point, per the NEC 90*c #14awg cu is rated at 25 amps. However, this is only used for derating due to wire length, ambient temperature, bundling, etc. The maximum overcurrent protection allowed is 15 amps.

The wiring for the individual circuits may be a multi-conductor cable that is sharing the neutral wire. This is perfectly fine if the neutral wire is suppling two different phases.
If you move a circuit that is sharing a neutral and now have that neutral being shared by the two circuits on the same phase the neutral can end up carrying twice it's rated capacity without being adequately protected.
The point is simply moving breakers around in a panel should not be done without confirming that it won't cause an adverse effect. It could be wrong already and hasn't reared its ugly head yet.

I could go into it further, but I've written a book already...
there is a lot more to installing an outlet than simply making space for a new circuit.

FYI, I'm not trying to dissuade you. I've helped many people with their wiring projects free of charge, even when I was in business.

Post up exterior and interior pics of your panel, and a general idea of where it is located in relation to the planned charger location.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Agreed. You can do it but it is kind of hokie and the existing wiring is probably to thin. Also if you were to do that you need to bridge the two breakers together so if one trips it will trip the other. See my photo for example. This is my 50amp RV circuit. You can do it but I would recommend new 8 or 6 awg wire. Even if you don't rewire you need to turn the entire panel off when you move the breaker and or wires. I take no responsibility, lol. Best of luck! View attachment 1771
This pic brings up so many questions...
what size wire is connected to each of these breakers?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I'm testing the on the small side of the plugs, which from what I read should be the hot wire.
You should confirm that all the outlets are wired properly...
with a voltmeter individually test each slot to the ground opening.
One slot (hot phase) to ground should indicate 120v. the other slot (neutral) should indicate 0v.
You should perform this test on each set of openings on duplex receptacles as the top and bottom openings can be wired to separate circuits.
Once you have confirmed which slot is hot you can test between the two hot slots at each device to determine if they are on the same phase, after that you can test between the multiple outlets you are considering.
If you haven't tried it already, an extension cord will help to bring the outlet openings closer together for testing.

It sounds like a lot of steps, but can go very quickly without removing any covers or devices.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
It's the top 3 circuits on the right. Wiring on them is 12 guage.
View attachment 1788
Did you determine the wire size at the panel? (If so a picture of the wiring in the panel would be a big help.)
Is the panel surface or flush mount?
Is your electric meter on the other side of the wall? (I'm just curious as to why the panel is upside down)

Would a new outlet for a regular level 2 charger below the panel be an option?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Are there plans to replace the existing breakers with a QO250 breaker to realize the full 50a capability of the circuit?
The current setup is limited to the 20 amp rating of the QO120 breaker on "B" phase (circuit 27).

Breakers are limited to 80% of rating for continuous loads (3 hrs or more).
The location of the breakers will help them dissipate the heat more easily and allow a longer delay before they trip from an overload. However, the undersized breakers are the limiting factor in the circuit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I had checked the neutral before but didn't think the duplex outlets could be different. I reverified all the sockets and circuits. I would expect #25 and #27 to show out of phase. But all 3 are acting like they are on the same leg.

The meter is on the other side of the wall. It comes in through a ground feed. The meter is wall mounted, so it sticks out from the garage wall. The house construction is from around 1997.

As far as why it's upside down? I was curious about that too. I've not had a panel setup like this before. I would say, "Because Florida?".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I had checked the neutral before but didn't think the duplex outlets could be different. I reverified all the sockets and circuits. I would expect #25 and #27 to show out of phase. But all 3 are acting like they are on the same leg.

The meter is on the other side of the wall. It comes in through a ground feed. The meter is wall mounted, so it sticks out from the garage wall. The house construction is from around 1997.

As far as why it's upside down? I was curious about that too. I've not had a panel setup like this before. I would say, "Because Florida?".
I had checked the neutral before but didn't think the duplex outlets could be different.
Yeah, it's possible for the duplex outlets to have separate circuits on top and bottom, not typical but the PO could have wanted separate circuits for two large loads in the same area.

I reverified all the sockets and circuits. I would expect #25 and #27 to show out of phase. But all 3 are acting like they are on the same leg.
You are correct, 25 & 27, as well as 27 & 29 should have 240v between the hot wire pairs.

The meter is on the other side of the wall. It comes in through a ground feed. The meter is wall mounted, so it sticks out from the garage wall. The house construction is from around 1997.
Is the electrical panel surface mounted as well?
If it is, a new dedicated outlet for the charger would be fairly easy.


As far as why it's upside down? I was curious about that too. I've not had a panel setup like this before. I would say, "Because Florida?".
:LOL:
Probably the contractor figured he could save a few dollars on each home by making the main service conductors - from meter to main breaker - as short as possible.
I've seen it way too many times.:mad:

However I can assure you that not all FL EC's cut corners on there work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes, the panel is surface mounted. The extra outlets that were added come out the bottom to a junction box. That's how I verified the guage.

I figured I could replace the existing two circuits with a 40 amp direct wire charger. But I'm forbidden from making changes. That's why I was thinking of going the combiner route. The only thing using any of those 3 circuits is my L1 charger.

But then there is that mystery of why all 3 have 0v potential on their hot wires. I suppose the next step will be to look inside. I may do that tomorrow morning as I would cut the main first.

Appreciate the knowledge! I've been learning a bit here.

Oh, #27 has a GFI outlet. Could that have anything to do with it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Are there plans to replace the existing breakers with a QO250 breaker to realize the full 50a capability of the circuit?
The current setup is limited to the 20 amp rating of the QO120 breaker on "B" phase (circuit 27).

Breakers are limited to 80% of rating for continuous loads (3 hrs or more).
The location of the breakers will help them dissipate the heat more easily and allow a longer delay before they trip from an overload. However, the undersized breakers are the limiting factor in the circuit.
No because this is for my 40' diesel pusher RV. Incoming power to the RV splits into two individual legs at the power inlet plug from the RV. This is just fine with zero problems for 3 years of regular use with dual A/C plus all the other goodies running. Don't want to hijack michails thread. Feel free to offer your knowledge. My understanding of his situation was 2 seperate circuits, each at 120v with a respective 20amp breakers which he wanted to combine into one 240 volt, 40amp circuit for EV charging. In which case the wiring is too thin for the neutral to carry return voltage. Best option would be a new run completely if he is going to be going to this much trouble for a "rigged" setup. I would stick a new 50amp breaker in that top left last 2 slots, run a new plug and call it a day. Under $100, done in an hour.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I thought the voltage combiner would split the load between the two neutrals. I was looking at somethg like the Quick 220 model. I've seen some other models as well.

True it's not an ideal setup but I'm not allowed to make any modifications. Otherwise I'd just replace the breaker and get a direct wire Level 2.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
@FireCracker4xE
My understanding of his situation was 2 separate circuits, each at 120v with a respective 20amp breakers which he wanted to combine into one 240 volt, 40amp circuit for EV charging. In which case the wiring is too thin for the neutral to carry return voltage.
This is why I decided to reply to this post.
Your explanation and pic of a 20 amp and 30 amp breaker tied together for a 50 amp circuit gives the false impression that he could simply upgrade his wiring, tie his two 20 amp breakers together and have a 240v 40a circuit.


Best option would be a new run completely if he is going to be going to this much trouble for a "rigged" setup. I would stick a new 50amp breaker in that top left last 2 slots, run a new plug and call it a day. Under $100, done in an hour.
From what I've learned so far, I agree. (y)
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
Top