Thread Number: 38506  /  Tag: Brand New Vacuum Cleaners
using a transformer to use a 240 volt central vacuum on a 120 volt outlet
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Post# 409561   5/18/2019 at 15:31 (416 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        

For anyone on here who has some electrical knowledge, would these converters allow me to use a 240 volt central vacuum unit from a 120 volt outlet? I live in an apartment so really can't install a 240 volt outlet, so these transformers look interesting. I'm not sure how large of a model I would need, but 5000 watts seems reasonable. The other issue would be the plug, do 240 volt central vacuum units use a European plug or something else? If this would work, it would be awesome. Here are the two transformers I am looking at.

Post# 409562 , Reply# 1   5/18/2019 at 16:03 (416 days old) by vacuumdevil (Vacuum Hell )        

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My question would be is if the central vacuum is turned off does the transformer still draw electricity?
You should be able to find whatever plug you need it Home Depot to adapt it.

Post# 409563 , Reply# 2   5/18/2019 at 17:08 (416 days old) by constellation86 (Roy, UT)        

Short answer is no. The reason some central vacuums use 240 volts is that household 120 volt outlets can not deliver enough wattage. The maximum wattage a 120 volt 15 amp outlet is 1800. If you are lucky drawing more than this will trip the breaker if not it could start a fire.

Post# 409567 , Reply# 3   5/19/2019 at 00:19 (416 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I use a similar transformer to convert 120V to 240V to run a 240V only CMH lamp fixture -1000W .The light is 5A at 240V-so the transformer will draw 10A at 120V-this is safe and within the range of a 15A 120V outlet.The transformer can handle up to 2200W-so it could work from a 20A 120V outlet.What current at 240V does the vacuum unit draw?The 5000W transformers shown in the links would draw too much power from 15,or 20A 120V outlets.You would need to connect it to the 30A 120V outlet that homes usually don't have-twist lock plug.NEMA 30A@120V.

Post# 409568 , Reply# 4   5/19/2019 at 01:19 (415 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
Does your apartment have a 240v stove/range outlet? Or an electric dryer outlet? Because those would be my go-to. Failing that, one of those transformers is an option.

However, as already said, you're only gonna get 1800W out of a typical 15A circuit, and that's assuming NOTHING else on that circuit is drawing juice. If you overload it and trip the breaker, you trip the breaker. That's what they're there for. There's no more fire hazard than there is normally (ie, old building with old wiring), so don't worry about that.

Possible problem #2, you're looking at American to European step-up transformers. The rest of the world (foolishly) chose to use 50Hz instead of 60. I can't find any info on those converters as to frequency. I'm *assuming* it's just a giant transformer inside, which would output the same Hz as is input. Which would be good for your purposes of using 240v American appliances. But if by some chance it was a digital converter, it might output 50Hz, which would not work with most central vacs, as they usually have induction motors (which depend upon the correct frequency).

Now the real question is what is the amp or watt rating of the 240v appliance you're thinking of using? Remember that Watts = Volts * Amps, so 7.5A * 240v = 1800w = 15A * 120v. Basically watt rating is independent of voltage.

Oh also. If you're clever, and I feel like I saw this mentioned in another thread not long ago, you can find two outlets on separate phases in your apartment, and with a little ingenuity (and a trip to the hardware store) you can wire up a 240v outlet. Basically, half the circuits in your place are on one phase, and the other half are on the other. Two phases together make a whole 240v circuit. However, I wouldn't hardwire anything like that, but as a temporary thing, like an 'extension cord' that you unplugged when you finished using it, would be fine. Then, in theory, using two 15A circuits, you could create a 15A @ 240v circuit. Again, with no other loads. Actually, this would probably be easier, cheaper, and even safer than using a converter. Because, again, a converter puts the whole load on one breaker, and would then be limited to half the current draw as the other way.

Speaking of wiring, at least the first converter uses a universal outlet for the output, which would support using a normal US 120v plug. I'm fairly certain most central vac units would not even have a plug, being hardwired. But that's easily wired to a cord and plug. When you start getting into stuff like using a 120v plug for a 240v appliance, I would really make sure you label everything, so nobody does anything stupid. Not that plugging a 240v motor into 120v would do much.

You know what you need to do? You need to find the breaker box for your apartment and look inside it. Maybe snap a pic for us. Sometimes the handwritten labels would tell you enough. ie, one of them says 'dryer' or 'stove.' But yeah, definitely also let us know the power ratings of the stuff you wanna use too.

Post# 409572 , Reply# 5   5/19/2019 at 06:07 (415 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Voltage in apt houses-in most apartment buildings in the US they are fed with 208/120V 3 phase.Between phases you get 208V phase to neutral you get 120.Most new central vacuum cleaner units use universal motors-the frequency for those won't matter.You can look for the dist transformer that feeds your building-on a groundmounted unit-you can read the secondary voltages.In one apt house I lived in-the place was fed with 480/277V another transformer in the building stepped the 480V to 208/120V to feed the apartments.The 480V ran the building equipment HVAC and chillers,building lighting.

Post# 409577 , Reply# 6   5/19/2019 at 08:47 (415 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
the transformer may not work

According to the specs, the voltage is 240 and the amp rating is 15.50, I'm thinking it would overload a regular outlet, I just wonder what kind of plug it uses, unless it's designed to be hard wired, I will include a link to the unit itself.


Post# 409578 , Reply# 7   5/19/2019 at 10:44 (415 days old) by sptyks (Skowhegan, Maine)        

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 A transformer with no load attached draws very little current. I found this statement on Wikipedia:


"Since the secondary of the transformer is open, the primary draws only no-load current, which will have some copper loss. ... Since no current passes through the secondary windings, no magnetic field is created, which means zero current is induced on the primary side."


Therefore since the current rating of the central vacuum you want to connect to the transformer is 15.5 amps @240volts and since the total amperage drawn on a 120 volt circuit would be approx. double what is stated on the vacuum's information plate. In this case: The central vac is rated 15.5 amps@240 volts, then the total amps drawn from your 120 volt outlet would be slightly more than 31 amps@120 volts which will prohibit usage of a step-up transformer in this case.


The only way to go in this case would be to connect it in parallel to your electric stove's 240 volt outlet.




This post was last edited 05/19/2019 at 11:05
Post# 409581 , Reply# 8   5/19/2019 at 16:49 (415 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
tolivac - 480/277v is for industrial use and big buildings, no apartment building is going to get that (unless it's a huge building, and even then, there would be a secondary transformer or something to provide normal 120/240 to each apartment). Also residential consumers almost never get 3 phase power. And even if they did, the circuits for the normal house stuff would still be on 2 phase. In other words, no residence is going to have access to 277v.

n0oxy - Nevermind the plug, you can always change it. But yeah, 15.5A at 240v is 31A at 120v, so it's not happening with the transformer thingy. However, using the two-outlet system I described, you *might* get away with it. Because the amp rating is a maximum rating, and typically describes the current draw at startup. So you might yet get away with using two totally unloaded circuits, and say, make sure the hose is open to suck air in during startup. Still, that's a maybe.

Where's the pic of your breaker box?

Post# 409582 , Reply# 9   5/19/2019 at 17:10 (415 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        
Probably not a good idea

bagintheback's profile picture
Check to see how much amperage you can draw on the circuit first; most are 20-30 amps. 30amps*120volts is only 3,600 watts, so 5000 will not work even if nothing else is connected to the circuit.

I'm installing a NEMA-30 in my garage to charge an electric car soon. We've been pulling >12amps from a standard 120 outlet and the outlet is starting to look burnt. The cord feels like it could melt soon. So from personal experience, limit any load to 12amps max per outlet. Like others mentioned, it's not worth risking a fire over.

Post# 409594 , Reply# 10   5/20/2019 at 00:34 (414 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

The building I lived in DID have 480V power-simple to read the nameplate on the transformer feeding the building and looking in the basement The basement also had the 480V-208/120V stepdown transformer.-indeed was fed with 480V power-I was surprised to see that.You can learn a LOT by reading nameplates on distribution transformers feeding buildings.The other apt house I lived in had TWO 208/120V 1400A transformers feeding the building-one on each side.Again looded in the basements and walking around the building.Double feeds are RARE!!!!The transformers were 13.8Kv to 208/120V in the dual transformer building and 13.8Kv to 480V in the second one-the dual fed places were larger buildings.The aprtments each had their own gas furnaces and AC which ran from 208V.The place with the 480V feed had chillers that ran from 480V.The place had two boilers-one for heat-other for hot water.They were dual fuel and could burn natural gas or fuel oil.The boilers were identical and the engineer swapped them on each season change.

Post# 409595 , Reply# 11   5/20/2019 at 00:41 (414 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Be careful about no load on transformers-ALL transformers do have some losses-resistence-impedence of the primary windings and core loss.Its not unusual to have 2-3Kw loss in a transformer rated for 1Mva-one of the transformers in one of our transmitters.Its in an unloaded condition when the HV supply is off.For a small transformer-like the convertor transformer as in this case-the loss would only be like a watt or two.Not enough to worry over.The transformer I have has a switch-breaker that opens the 120V fed to the transformer-so no loss at all when off.

Post# 409604 , Reply# 12   5/20/2019 at 16:31 (414 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
how about this instead

I don't have an electric stove, it's natural gas. The company that sells the transformers didn't think that would work, but they suggested something else that they sell, I think they are similar but each one has a different type plug, any thoughts?

Post# 409607 , Reply# 13   5/20/2019 at 18:46 (414 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
another option

I think this is similar to what I linked to in my previous post, I just wonder if those central vacuum units have a 15 or 20 amp plug.


Post# 409617 , Reply# 14   5/21/2019 at 01:45 (413 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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n0oxy - Stop worrying about the plug. Plugs can be changed to whatever you want and won't cost you more than $5 and a trip to home depot. It's the least of your concerns.

Now, that thing that they want $200+ for is exactly what I described in my previous post. You could make that yourself for $50 or less. It's just two extension cords wired into a box with an outlet on it, nothing else is needed. Maybe scroll up and actually read my comments about it? >_>

Post# 409623 , Reply# 15   5/21/2019 at 09:10 (413 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
making device and out of phase

I have a visual impairment so wiring something like that is not really an option for me. I'm definitely technically and mechanically inclined, I work in the computer field for a living, but wiring up something like that would definitely require more vision than I have since I can't even read print.
I wonder if all of my outlets are on the same phase or if they are different. I live in apartment building with four apartment units, so it's possible that all of my outlets could be on the same phase and the apartment next door might have the other phase, not sure though.

Post# 409661 , Reply# 16   5/21/2019 at 23:54 (413 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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If you pay your own electric bill and have your own meter and breaker box, there's a 99% chance you have 2 phases in your apt. However if you're on old-fashioned fuses, there is a possibility you've only got one phase, mostly depending on the age of the fuse box, but it would have to be ancient.

Also, I don't know the severity of your impairment, but you could always ask someone to assist you with - at minimum - replacing the plug on the central vac. :/

Post# 409667 , Reply# 17   5/22/2019 at 09:29 (412 days old) by Blackheart (North Dakota)        
Twin turbo

blackheart's profile picture
That is clearly an example of a series motor system, flow within the realm of a single motor but waterlift beyond.

Post# 409677 , Reply# 18   5/22/2019 at 16:25 (412 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
electric bill

Yes, each apartment in my building pays their own electric bill and it's based on their own useage, so that would indicate that each tenant has their own meter. I really should go down to our basement and see what kind of box is down there, I've never done that. It appears that this central vacuum needs a 20 amp plug, the outlets in my apartment are only 15 amp, they are not nema 5 20 plugs, so using this method would probably trip some breakers unless the circuits are 20 amp in spite of the outlet type. I can't say for sure but I believe there is a hook up for an electric drier for each tenant, I've never used mine but I should look for that in the basement. Is there a difference between a nema 6 240 outlet, an electric drier outlet and an electric stove outlet or are the plugs similar?

Post# 409687 , Reply# 19   5/22/2019 at 20:55 (412 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
my breaker box

Ok, well I got curious and headed to my apartment building's basement, I found the four breaker boxes, one for each apartment. Since I'm blind, I couldn't read the label to determine which box was for my apartment so I did the only thing I could, I opened the first box and flipped a few switches, fortunately I got mine on the first try, I could tell because my central air blower turned off. Glad I didn't do that to someone else in the building, they probably would not have been happy, lol. Anyway, here is how the box is laid out. There is a large breaker on top, that's for the air conditioner compressor and I'm guessing it's 240 volts. There are four other regular breakers, one of them is for the central air blower, I'm guessing that's a dedicated circuit but can't confirm that, this weekend I will probably do some experimenting to see which breaker controls what, but assuming that the blower is a dedicated circuit, that would leave three left. That seems like a low number for all of the outlets and lights in my apartment, but maybe that's typical. Here is what I have. There is no ceiling light in the living room so I use a lamp there. That room has four outlets. The dining room has a light in the ceiling and three outlets. When I say outlet, I'm referring to the typical pair of them on one cover plate. The kitchen has a ceiling light and two outlets, the refrigerator uses one of those. One bedroom has a ceiling light and three outlets, and the other bedroom has a ceiling light and two outlets. The bathroom has a ceiling light and just one outlet rather than a pair of them with a GFCI. That sounds like quite a bit to have on just three breakers, unless the breaker for the blower controls other things as well. I have no way to tell if the phase is different for those breakers, or if they are 15 or 20 amp, I would need sighted help for that.

Post# 409693 , Reply# 20   5/22/2019 at 21:38 (412 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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First off, remember that ordinarily there is a paired breaker (two breakers that have their levers connected with a bar across them) on the absolute top, usually separated from the rest of them - that one is the main breaker for everything. Anything that's 240v, like the air conditioner, will also have a paired breaker, probably that's the big one you're referring to.

Three breakers for a 2 bed 1 bath apartment isn't that far fetched. Of course that does kind of mean that if you wanted to use the two circuit method, you would need to unplug or turn off just about everything in your apartment to use the central vac.

The good news is that if you have the central air running from your breaker box, which is very likely, you have 240v available. So there's that.

Post# 409709 , Reply# 21   5/23/2019 at 19:58 (411 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
another discovery nd lay out of my breakers

So, I decided to find out what each of my breakers controled, and I did discover something else. Next to the breakers I mentioned in the previous post there are four other large breakers, from what I can tell, only one does anything though. I guess none of this will indicate if the phases are different but here is what I found.
In my previous post I mentioned that my dining room has three outlets. One of them is a three prong grounded outlet, that's the one that is controlled by the separate large breaker, it's 120 volts though so not sure why it's the large switch.
As I suspected, the central air compressor and central air blower both have dedicated breakers, so that leaves us with three more. I would have liked to have written this while I was actually testing each switch but since the breakers were off, my computers wouldn't work, guess I could have used my laptop on batteries but I think I remember it well enough. Turning on the first of the three remaining breakers gave power back to the ceiling lights in the kitchen, hall and dining room along with two of the four outlets in the living room. Turning on the second breaker restored power to the remaining two living room outlets, the ceiling fan and lights in both bedrooms and all five of the outlets in both bedrooms. It also restored power to the ceiling light in the bathroom and the GFCI outlet in the bathroom. Finally, turning on the third breaker restored power to the two outlets in the kitchen and the remaining two outlets in the dining room. I'm actually surprised I have not tripped that third breaker. This indicates that when I use the central vacuum unit I have in my kitchen, that and the refrigerator are using the same circuit, I would think that would definitely trip the breaker but it hasn't. Anyway, that's my lay out, do you think the phase is different for any of those circuits? I'd be inclined to use that three prong outlet in the dining room that has a dedicated circuit for one of the phases.

Post# 409715 , Reply# 22   5/23/2019 at 22:30 (411 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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First off, if you have ANYTHING 240v running off of your breaker box (like central air) you automatically know for sure that you have the 2 phases.

Second, when you say 'large breaker' do you mean a double or paired breaker? One which is two breakers that have their switch levers connected with a bar across them? It should seem like two separate breakers with one very wide lever.

Now the single outlet you say is on the 'large breaker' in the dining room, would that outlet happen to be under the windows? If so, there's a very good chance that was originally meant to be a 240v outlet for a window air conditioner on a dedicated circuit. If it is indeed on a paired breaker, all by itself, that hints that it likely still has the wiring in the wall for 240v. It would be a simple matter for someone with electrical skills to wire it back to being a 240v outlet, and that would solve your problems. Even if it is a 15 amp circuit, it would probably manage the central vac without tripping the breaker. And you could have the breaker changed to a 20 amp one, provided the wires feeding the outlet are big enough.

Then you could just hook up a very long cord to the central vac unit you want, and plug it into the dining room outlet whenever it's cleaning time.

Post# 409716 , Reply# 23   5/23/2019 at 22:32 (411 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
Also, forgot to mention, if you have other unused paired breakers, the apartment likely is wired for either an electric stove or dryer, or both. So that's also good news.

Post# 409720 , Reply# 24   5/23/2019 at 23:48 (411 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
large breaker

Yes, the large breaker that I mentioned that is connected to the one dining room outlet looks just like the large breaker switch for the central air compressor, and yes, interestingly enough it is very close to a large window. Perhaps I should see if I can find someone with electrical skills to see what kind of wiring is on that outlet. I think there may be a drier hook up in the basement as well so perhaps I could make use of that. I think those driers use a nema 14 plug and central vacuums use a nema 6 plug but there is an adapter available to handle that. Apparently the nema 6 plugs have two hot wires and a ground but no neutral where as the nema 14 plugs do have a neutral wire.

Post# 409732 , Reply# 25   5/24/2019 at 10:49 (410 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
having a 240 outlet installed

I have decided that I'm going to see if I can have a 240 volt outlet installed, perhaps rewiring that outlet in the dining room rather than trying to take a shortcut. Interestingly, one electrician company told me it would be thousands of dollars because my apartment is on the second floor and the box is in the basement because they would have to run the dedicated circuit wire on the outside of the building, I'm going to check around a bit more, I have a hard time believing that to be the case.

Post# 409738 , Reply# 26   5/24/2019 at 13:17 (410 days old) by luxflairguy (Wilmington, NC)        

Don't run a-foul of your landlord or management company on this! Check with them first! Greg

Post# 409755 , Reply# 27   5/24/2019 at 22:03 (410 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
Mike, if the outlet in the dining room is under the windows I can almost guarantee that it was once a 240v outlet. In that case, rewiring it to be 240v again is a simple affair, perhaps a 5 minute job, would be equally as safe and effective a solution as running a whole new line, and shouldn't cost you much at all.

However, I'm still betting that you do have an outlet for an electric dryer or stove, given those apparently unused large breakers you described. Checking behind the stove wouldn't be a bad idea.

Having an electrician visit your home, or at least someone moderately familiar with electrical work, would also be a good idea. Describe your situation to them and mention all I've said here.

Post# 409761 , Reply# 28   5/25/2019 at 08:24 (409 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
that's teh plan

I do have a company in mind, I have talked to them and they say that what I'm asking for should not be a problem. I think you might be right about that dining room outlet, it has another unique trait to it that no other outlet in the apartment has. There is a metal strip that comes out of the outlet and goes in to the wall, so it was definitely set up differently than the others. I need to get some time off work and see when they could come and take a look.

Post# 409789 , Reply# 29   5/26/2019 at 00:23 (409 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Was the dining room outlet used to run a 240V AC unit at one time-from another resident that lived in that apt?

Post# 409890 , Reply# 30   5/28/2019 at 21:16 (406 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
having an outlet installed

I'm not sure whether it was ever used for a window air conditioner, but my landlord said that if I want to have a 240 volt outlet installed it's fine with her.

Post# 409897 , Reply# 31   5/29/2019 at 00:25 (406 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
Just be sure not to spend money for no reason. I'm still banking on that outlet being wired for 240v. I'm also still assuming you have a 240v outlet behind the stove.

Post# 409924 , Reply# 32   5/29/2019 at 21:03 (405 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        

I looked behind the stove, there is nothing there, my stove is gas. I think I have decided which company here I will ask to see if it's possible to have an outlet installed, and the first thing I'm going to ask them to check is that outlet in the dining room. As you said, why install an entire new circuit if we don't have to?

Post# 411098 , Reply# 33   7/2/2019 at 11:43 (371 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        

So, I'm hoping to get my 240 volt outlet installed July 31, if it's possible. Really excited, then I can get some 240 volt super duper central vacuum beasts.

Post# 412249 , Reply# 34   7/31/2019 at 15:41 (342 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
great news

I'm happy to report that I now have a 240 volt outlet in the dining room, and it was very interesting how things were wired. Madman was correct, that outlet had once been a 240 volt outlet, to make a 120 volt, whoever did the wiring actually used the ground wire for neutral. That doesn't sound like the proper way to do things but it's been that way since I was here. Now here is where it gets interesting. The breaker for that outlet is a 40 amp breaker for an electric range, and it turns out I did have a range outlet I just didn't recognize it. It's a separate box behind the stove and actually uses two fuses, and that outlet in the dining room feeds off of that same circuit. I'm not exactly sure what the electrician did, but somehow he was able to get the second hot wire back again, probably from that neutral ground wire, and the meter showed it as 239 volts. He installed two new 20 amp fuses in that box in the kitchen and left the 40 amp breaker in the box. He literally did not have to drill any holes or run any new wires, the way he described it, he made things the way they were originally when that outlet was installed. It took about 15 minutes, and cost $190. I'm guessing it would have been much more expensive if he had needed to run a whole new circuit, but we were able to use what was already there. So I now have a NEMA 6-20 amp plug in my dining room and can get some 240 volt central vacuum units, really excited.

Post# 412252 , Reply# 35   7/31/2019 at 16:38 (342 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
drier hook up and range plug

Here is a bit more information. There is definitely a drier hook up in the basement and a dedicated breaker for that, there are two other large breakers and I have no idea what they do and the electrician was not totally sure either. I'm not sure what a range outlet is supposed to look like, now that I know I have one, I took a look at it, from what I can tell, it has three fairly large rectangular prong holes, the two on top are somewhat diagonal, and the one below it is more straight. I'm guessing that might be a NEMA 14 plug but not sure.

Post# 412362 , Reply# 36   8/4/2019 at 09:00 (338 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
another update

According to UPS, I should get my Drainvac twin turbo on Tuesday, really excited. Besides having the 240 volt outlet installed, I did purchase the quick 220 power supply as well, this connects to two 120 volt outlets that are out of phase and combines them to give you 240 volts. I received that yesterday and was able to find two outlets in my apartment that were out of phase so I will now have two ways to power my 240 volt units. I'm still glad I have the dedicated 240 volt outlet since that will be easier to hook the units to without having extension cords all over the place. If anyone is interested, I will include a link to the quick 220 model that I purchased.


Post# 412405 , Reply# 37   8/5/2019 at 01:43 (337 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

This same J-box for converting 2-120V to 240V is shown in the Hypervac duct cleaner vacuum site-on another thread here.It allows you to run their 240V portable duct vacuum from two opposing 120V outlets.Since the Hypervac 240V unit has a Variable Speed Drive on its motor can be set to a speed that won't blow breakers or fuses.And the motor starts gently and graduately.3 Hp.

Post# 412480 , Reply# 38   8/7/2019 at 08:39 (335 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
got my Drainvac Twin Turbo

Got my first 240 volt central vacuum unit yesterday, in a word it's awesome. The outlet I had installed definitely works, I plan on testing it with the quick 220 volt power supply tonight. What a beast!

Post# 412490 , Reply# 39   8/7/2019 at 11:56 (335 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
"Madman was correct"

I usually am. I'm also very humble.

I'm glad I could help.

Post# 412507 , Reply# 40   8/7/2019 at 20:01 (335 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
yes, you were correct

Yes, you were correct about that outlet once being a 240 volt, I would have never thought of that, just curious, what made you suspect that? Have you seen a lot of apartments where that was the case? I'm guessing that whenever it was turned in to a 120 volt outlet, whoever changed it just used the ground wire as the neutral, I'm not sure what the second hot wire was doing all this time, I guess just sitting there, but the electrician had no problems turning it back in to a 240 volt outlet, he did not have to drill a single hole or run a single new wire, I'm guessing everything he needed was already there and it was just a matter of putting the wires in their proper place, works great, and the quick 220 power supply works great as well, I would definitely suggest that if you need 240 volts and don't want to install an outlet.

Post# 412533 , Reply# 41   8/9/2019 at 00:44 (333 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
Dude, tons, TONS of older apartments and houses have added-on dedicated outlets for window air conditioners. It's extremely common, especially in Chicago, a place that's temperate with hot summers. And especially on buildings that have been fitted with central air conditioning, those outlets are almost always converted to 120 volts since they are no longer needed. The fact that it was below the window in a main room like the dining room, and since you also said it was on its own breaker, it was a dead giveaway.

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