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Author Topic: Phase coupler question (pics inside)  (Read 28863 times)

bzellinger

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Phase coupler question (pics inside)
« on: July 13, 2006, 10:50:18 AM »

What are these and do they have anything to do with installing a phase coupler? See my blog for pictures.

http://zellinger.blogspot.com

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steven r

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Re: Phase coupler question (pics inside)
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2006, 11:21:19 AM »

I'll defer to the "electricians" here to clarify the boxes but they look like subs to the main breaker. One for AC and the other for a 220V appliance at or formerly at the "s wall" area. Is this an older home by any chance?

While phase couplers can be installed at the breaker box, I don't recommend it. It violates code and invites problems. A plug in coupler at the "s wall" might work.

Note: Pictures can be inserted with your posts. It might save the need to link elsewhere to see them.
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bzellinger

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Re: Phase coupler question (pics inside)
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2006, 11:26:40 AM »

The south wall just has a regular 3-prong plug outlet. It's not the wierd shaped plug. Are there any plug-in couplers that accommadate a regular 3-prong plug? My home is about 40 years old.
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dave w

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Re: Phase coupler question (pics inside)
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2006, 11:47:05 AM »

The south wall just has a regular 3-prong plug outlet. It's not the wierd shaped plug. Are there any plug-in couplers that accommadate a regular 3-prong plug? My home is about 40 years old.

No, not really. A  "coupler" whether passive or the amplifying/repeater style units require a 220-240V connection because they "couple" the X10 signal from one phase in your house to the other phase. Smarthome.com does have a unit that plugs in to a dryer outlet. In any application I think the "amp/repeater" version is a better investment than the "passive" coupler version. The cost is about double, but you get a stronger signal throughout the house. $0.02.
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bzellinger

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Re: Phase coupler question (pics inside)
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2006, 11:59:03 AM »

Well, half of my homes outlets don't work because the interface is using one leg. Is this correct? Wouldn't a phase coupler do the job? I have no 220v outlets in my home.
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steven r

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Re: Phase coupler question (pics inside)
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2006, 12:43:59 PM »

The south wall just has a regular 3-prong plug outlet. It's not the wierd shaped plug. Are there any plug-in couplers that accommadate a regular 3-prong plug? My home is about 40 years old.
Just curious... Was there ever a room AC plugged in at the south wall? Do you use the "regular 3-prong plug outlet"? If not, check the voltage and wiring there. Have you lived in the house since it was new? Any modifications to the south wall?  i.e. Can you vouch for the wiring over the history of the house? (I've seen some strange wiring arrangements by do-it-yourselfers.)

I grew up in a house that didn't have central air. My parents later installed a couple room AC units. While our units were 110V, I remember recommendations that they have a dedicated outlet. The 220V room units require wiring for 220V. Central air was added later.

Well, half of my homes outlets don't work because the interface is using one leg. Is this correct? Wouldn't a phase coupler do the job?...
That clearly points to the need for a coupler. Now you just need to figure out where to put it.

...I have no 220v outlets in my home.
No drier plug? 
If the "220V to s wall" is not being used, you could have an electrician wire an approved coupler from that box. It might also be useful to have an electrician check your wiring.
I'd also recommend turning the breaker "OFF". If you're not using it would be safer that way. You also may discover that some "creative wiring" (to code or perhaps not) where the 220V has been split elsewhere in the house.
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bzellinger

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Re: Phase coupler question (pics inside)
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2006, 12:56:41 PM »

No room AC. I had the original central AC unit replaced 4 years ago.

My drier plug is a regular 120v plug. I've checked all my appliances and they're all 120v.

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steven r

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Re: Phase coupler question (pics inside)
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2006, 01:03:52 PM »

...I had the original central AC unit replaced 4 years ago....
Did they add the AC beaker box then or was it there before the replacement?
Anything happen when you turn off the "s wall" breaker?
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bzellinger

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Re: Phase coupler question (pics inside)
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2006, 01:26:56 PM »

It was there already.
Nothing happens when south wall breaker turned off.
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steven r

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Re: Phase coupler question (pics inside)
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2006, 01:38:04 PM »

...Nothing happens when south wall breaker turned off.
Perhaps someone else will comment but at this point I think tapping off that box is the best place to put a phase coupler. Have an electrician check your wiring to make sure it is unused and then tap off it for a phase coupler. I think there are hard wire units for that purpose but haven't seen them myself. Otherwise have the electrician install a 220 outlet next to the box and use a plug in coupler.

SmartHome has this coupler. They may also have one that boosts the signal.
Note the diagram with the proper way to install it.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2006, 01:46:27 PM by steven r »
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bzellinger

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Re: Phase coupler question (pics inside)
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2006, 01:57:48 PM »

Here are some pics of the south breaker box. The size is too large to post here:

http://zellinger.blogspot.com
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steven r

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Re: Phase coupler question (pics inside)
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2006, 02:00:29 PM »

Ok here's a SmartHome coupler-repeater that's on sale.
Yeah it costs almost 4 times as much as the other one but a coupler-repeater can often do what a coupler alone can't.
Again, note the diagram with the proper way to install it.
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steven r

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Re: Phase coupler question (pics inside)
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2006, 02:22:35 PM »

Question for the electricians...

I was able to take the easy way out with a plug in coupler but it doesn't look like bzellinger has that option.
Can bzellinger tap off his 220V box for a hard wired coupler and stay within code specs or will it need to be a dedicated pair of breakers?
If dedicated breakers are required, would it be code wiring for him to disconnect the out feed from his 220V "s wall" breaker. He says it's not being used.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2006, 02:33:15 PM by steven r »
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billy

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Re: Phase coupler question (pics inside)
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2006, 01:07:40 AM »

Looking at the top 2 pics, I have to say that this box is feeding a 120 volt 20 amp circuit somewhere. Notice only one black wire off the bottom righ hand side of the breaker. That is a 220 2 phase breaker not a good idea!
If it it's an unused circuit you could put a box next to the panel and install a range receptacle to plug the coupler into.
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steven r

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Re: Phase coupler question (pics inside)
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2006, 01:29:06 AM »

Looking at the top 2 pics, I have to say that this box is feeding a 120 volt 20 amp circuit somewhere....
Good eye. I didn't notice that. Is the box not really 220V?
Would it be better for him to tap off a pair breakers from the main box?
« Last Edit: July 14, 2006, 01:34:08 AM by steven r »
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