How to Wire a 220-Volt AC Plug
Most homes are wired with 220-volts AC. This supply is center-tapped, so the house is wired as if there were two 110-volt AC voltage supplies. Many appliances draw less than 15 amps and only need 110-volts AC to power them. However, larger appliances, like dryers and ranges, require 220-volts AC. Many air compressors also require more power than a 10- or 15-amp 110-volt AC circuit can provide, which means a connecting to a circuit that uses the total 220-volts AC supply. For many appliances, this also means wiring a plug as well.
Review the directions supplied. If your plug came in a plastic bag, it likely has instructions included. Be sure you understand them.
Identify the prongs. If you have wired a 110-volt fixture or plug, then you are aware that the different prongs connect to different colors of wires. The same principle holds true for 220-volt plugs, and this is very important to keep from tripping the circuit breaker. A three-prong plug will connect to two colored wires that each supply 110 volts and a bare copper wire which is the ground. One of these colored wires will be black, while the other one should be red, white, or blue. The four-prong plugs connect to a black and a red wire that each supply 110 volts, a white neutral wire, and a bare copper ground wire.
Strip the insulation jackets. Using the wire strippers, remove about 1/2 inch of insulation from each wire in the bundle.
Connect the wires to the prongs. Feed the wire bundle in to the open-faced plug assembly. Using either pliers or a screwdriver, connect each colored wire to the respective prong.
Assemble the plug. Place the cap piece over the other half with the wired prongs. Place the supplied screw into the screw hole and tighten it until the cap is snug and will not come loose. Hand tightening is sufficient.
- If you are unsure about your wiring, have someone who is look over your shoulder the first time or two that you do this.
- Be sure the wires you are working with are nowhere near live electricity, which at 220-volts AC has the potential of being lethal.
John Yarbrough has been a freelance writer since 2009. He has published online works on eHow with an emphasis on electronics, home improvement and other technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and a Master of Science in engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University.
- UK Plug Socket image by Phil2048 from Fotolia.com