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Discussion Starter #1
Every year I go through the same problem of not enough outlets. I end up not using numerous things because I can't figure out where to plug them in. I contemplate getting an electrician to do some rewiring every year but having been out of work for a few months without pay for a chronic injury I don't foresee it happening this year either. Here's my question to those of you with electrical knowledge. I have a smaller inground pool that isn't hardwired. I have one of those big fat (excuse my ignorance but 220 maybe?) plugs with the pump and timer on it connected to the outlet going underground. Living in the frigid NE it's always closed before Halloween. Since it's a higher amp circuit with a GFCI at the box and unused I was wondering if there is anyway of using an extension cord that converts it to 120 or whatever I would need to do to utilize it for Halloween props.
 

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Post a picture of the outlet and I can probably tell you what it is. Also see if you can find the breaker for the outlet and see what the rating is. Both of those are items you need to know first of all. And if you don't know what that is then ask a friend who is more electrically knowledgeable. Though that is if it was wired correctly in the first place.

You can find (or wire your own if you are comfortable, or have someone else do it if you are not) distro's that would work.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
First off I want to thank you for taking a few minutes to help me. The outlet photos are the one in the little"house" that a previous owner built around the filter. The pump is plugged into the timer which is plugged into the outlet. The plug you see is the timer. I did have someone from a local pool company put that in when I had an automatic chlorinator installed. The other photos are my circuit box. There are 2 breakers. 1 is labeled pool filter (20 amp) and the other is labeled pool outlets as there is another underground plug installed outside halfway between the pool outlet and my meter on a pole going underground attached to the side of an unused cement built in grill type thing. I do use this outlet at Halloween as it's the covered regular prong type. That one also says 20 amp. Hopeful you can make it out in these photos.
 

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You should be able to do it, but personally I wouldn't touch it yourself. Get an electrician to install TWO 115vac outlets with proper grounding.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Unfortunately I'm short on cash. Plug wiring is actually underground about 35-40 feet from house meter location. There's a cement walkway and such around pool that I'm not too crazy about digging up. Would make more sense to install new outside house outlets but it won't be happening this year. I wasn't sure if there might be some kind of extension cord or anything like that that I could use.
 

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That looks like a 20 amp twist lock it's already 120v so all you need is a cord that takes that from the male end (the end in your hand) to a female standard. Just make sure your wires line up right, and you probably want to have someone who knows about this stuff build it but it should not be too expensive. The two ends will probably be the most expensive part
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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You live in a house. Service will be 120 volts. 220 volt service is pretty much universally restricted to commercial locations in the US, unless the house at one point was owned by someone with a power tool intensive hobby, like auto restoration, where the previous owner had 220 volt service installed. Even then, such an installation is usually done separate from the house, with a separate power line running to a garage, for example.

The amperage of individual circuits inside the house may be pointless. Your home is fed by a 100 amp line from the pole.

just get yourself an adapter plug so you can plug in a regular extension cord and get one of those grounded splitters to provide three sockets.Be warned, the adapter plug will be expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow. I'm even more ignorant than I thought. Out of curiosity why do you need the thicker plugs they refer to as 220 plugs? I have one on my dryer and stove. Now I'm wondering if you may have possibly solved the mystery of my garage. It sits way back from my house and only 1 leg of the electric is attached to the riser. The other is split off hanging unattached. One of the prior owners used to restore cars in there I was told. The engine hoist thingie (LOL) is still on a beam.. The wiring seems to have been replaced but it still has only a 60 amp fuse box. I talked to an electrician a few years back about upgrading it to circuits and he told me I needed to contact my utility co. and find out why it was like that first as he seemed clueless why. I haven't yet. My house has 150A and was upgraded to circuit breakers as you've seen. Curious if I find an extension cord with prongs spaced like that if I could use it or not. Sounds like it's a little more complex than that.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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Wow. I'm even more ignorant than I thought. Out of curiosity why do you need the thicker plugs they refer to as 220 plugs? I have one on my dryer and stove. Now I'm wondering if you may have possibly solved the mystery of my garage. It sits way back from my house and only 1 leg of the electric is attached to the riser. The other is split off hanging unattached. One of the prior owners used to restore cars in there I was told. The engine hoist thingie (LOL) is still on a beam.. The wiring seems to have been replaced but it still has only a 60 amp fuse box. I talked to an electrician a few years back about upgrading it to circuits and he told me I needed to contact my utility co. and find out why it was like that first as he seemed clueless why. I haven't yet. My house has 150A and was upgraded to circuit breakers as you've seen. Curious if I find an extension cord with prongs spaced like that if I could use it or not. Sounds like it's a little more complex than that.
Counting the amperage of all the circuit breakers and adding them together does not give you an accurate amperage rating for your home. The utilities install home-to-pole wiring in 100 amp increments. The circuit breakers in your breaker box are there simply to limit the current entering into each circuit. If you had a single device in your home drawing 100 amps, every other device on the circuit would probably short and burst into flames. So you end up with multiple circuits limited to 15 or 20 amps of draw in most cases. IIRC, electrical appliances are supposed to be built to limit their draw to either 11 or 13 amps, with the exception of heavy appliances (washers, dryers, fridges, furnaces, central air, etc) which can draw significantly more. An electric stove/oven can draw up to 50 amps. The circuit breakers in my own home total 175 amps (9x15, 2x20), but the feed from the street is only 100 amps.

The garage circuit breakers total up to 60 amps probably because each outlet has its own circuit breaker. The garage is actually fed by a 100 amp line.

Incidentally, the socket for your pool appears to be a NEMA L5-20 locking socket. It is wired for 120 volt service at 20 amps. The hook on the ground points the wrong way for the L6-15 and the other L6 sockets (which have grounds hooking inward like the L5 series) have a spade tab nearly 3 times the size of the smaller tab.
 

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I've never heard of a house only being wired for single phase power. Most have two phase, each being 110 to ground. Using both lines gets you 220 since they are out of phase. Heavy appliances like stoves and dryers and also pool pumps use 220.

Some commercial places are wired for 3 phase, but I think each line is still 110.
 

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I've never heard of a house only being wired for single phase power. Most have two phase, each being 110 to ground. Using both lines gets you 220 since they are out of phase. Heavy appliances like stoves and dryers and also pool pumps use 220.

Some commercial places are wired for 3 phase, but I think each line is still 110.
That's my understanding as well.
The commercial, 3 phase power is 208V. The three 110v legs, each 120 out of phase with each other, results in the 208v 3phase.
 

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You live in a house. Service will be 120 volts. 220 volt service is pretty much universally restricted to commercial locations in the US,.
No offense but PLEASE do not offer information on something as important as this unless you absolutely know what you are talking about. This statement is completely wrong. Just about every home has 220 volt service. Just because the standard outlet is 120 volts does not mean the service coming in is 120. There are 3 main cables connected to the panel, a neutral (white wires) and 2 separate 120 volt lines that are out of phase with each other. Half of the panel gets fed from one of the 120 lines and the other half gets fed from the second 120 line. Cloe, Please have someone who knows what they are doing take a look at what you need, this is nothing to fool around with if you don't have the knowledge.
 

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But back to the original question...
given the size of that plug (it looks smaller than 220) and that there appears to be only one breaker (only one phase), it's most likely 110. You could also look and see if there's an info panel on whatever is on the other end of that plug (pool pump or whatever) and that should say what voltage and such it runs at.

so then you could probably just get something like this, if you can be sure about identifying the type of connector you have.
http://www.amazon.com/Conntek-Locking-Adapter-Straight-Connector/dp/B001H9TSEW/
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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No offense but PLEASE do not offer information on something as important as this unless you absolutely know what you are talking about. This statement is completely wrong. Just about every home has 220 volt service. Just because the standard outlet is 120 volts does not mean the service coming in is 120. There are 3 main cables connected to the panel, a neutral (white wires) and 2 separate 120 volt lines that are out of phase with each other. Half of the panel gets fed from one of the 120 lines and the other half gets fed from the second 120 line. Cloe, Please have someone who knows what they are doing take a look at what you need, this is nothing to fool around with if you don't have the knowledge.
Your rant applies to homes built after 1998, IIRC, which is a minority of the existing home stocks in the United States. My house, which was built in 1962 and has not had any rewiring done since, has only two lines coming from the street, one hot, one neutral.
 

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Your rant applies to homes built after 1998, IIRC, which is a minority of the existing home stocks in the United States. My house, which was built in 1962 and has not had any rewiring done since, has only two lines coming from the street, one hot, one neutral.
Not sure how you mistook this for a "rant". Your original statement is incorrect, simple as that, and now you've added another incorrect statement about homes built prior to 1998, again, not true. I am not disputing that your home only has 120 volt service, there are some out there, but it's not the majority. I'm sure you had good intentions for offering advice but this is a potentially dangerous situation for someone with no electrical knowledge or experience. Let's not turn this into something it's not intended to do, I just wanted to make it clear for the original poster to not assume his house was only 120 volts. Have a great great day and Happy Haunting!
 
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