How to Wire a 220 Electrical Outlet

Wiring an electrical outlet is a common project for the average homeowner, but care must be taken when working with electricity.

Many of today's appliances require a 220-volt outlet for proper operation, as does power equipment out in the garage. Whatever the project, knowing how to wire a 220-volt outlet properly and safely is the first step and the most important. Once complete, you'll be proud of your work and will have saved money by completing the project yourself.

Turn off the power at the main circuit breaker supplying power to the outlet to be changed. Using the electrical line tester (according to the manufacturer guidelines), verify that no power is running to the outlet.

Remove the screw and cover plate over the existing outlet to be replaced.

Remove the screws holding the receptacle in the outlet box and pull the outlet out of the box. Remove the wiring from the back of the outlet by loosening the three screws (do not remove the screws).

Pull any excess wire out of the box toward you, to allow easier access. There should be three wires: black (hot), white (neutral), and green (ground).

Looking at the back of the 220-volt outlet, connect the black wire to the top right screw, the white wire to the top left screw and the green wire to the green (ground) screw. If your wiring has four cables, the black and red wire will be connected to the top two "hot" screws, the white wire to the bottom neutral screw and the green wire to the marked green (ground) screw.

Mount the receptacle back in the outlet box using the screws and attach the cover plate to the receptacle.

Turn the power back on at the main breaker. Using the electrical line tester, carefully follow the manufacturer directions to make sure that the power is flowing to the outlet.

Things You Will Need

  • 220 electrical outlet
  • Screwdriver
  • Electrical line tester


  • Never begin working with any electrical work without first consulting a licensed electrical contractor.
  • Follow all the building codes for electrical work as related to your area.

About the Author

Billy Brainard graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Trinity College. As the department chairman he was responsible for creating and writing the curriculum for 7-12 grade students. Currently he writes for eHow and works part time helping employees by creating and writing resumes to help in their job search.