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jyl jyl is offline
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240v question

This is for the PPOT House Electrical braintrust.

I need a 240v 50 amp receptacle in my kitchen, to run a dishwasher. The equipment specifies a 14-50R receptacle, the 4-wire kind.

I do not have any 240v circuits in my kitchen, or any unused positions in my electrical panel. (I had two unused positions but a few years ago, I used them to install a sub panel in the garage. I am trying to avoid having the panel upgraded because the location is no longer code-compliant, being too close to the basement laundry sink.)

There is one 240V circuit in the basement, directly below the kitchen. It is being used for a clothes dryer, using a 3-wire 10-30R receptacle. That dryer's manual says it can be used with either the current 3-wire receptacle or a 4-wire 14-30R receptacle.

What I am thinking about doing is: change the dryer cord to a 14-50P plug, change the dryer receptacle to a 4-wire 14-50R, run conduit from that receptacle up to the kitchen, install a second 14-50R receptacle there. I haven't checked if the current breaker on the circuit is 30 amp or 50 amp, if the former I'd install the latter.

So I'd have two 240v 4-wire receptacles on the same circuit. I suppose I'd have to not run the dishwasher and clothes washer at the same time.

Does this make sense?

In case you're wondering, this is to install a commercial, high-temp undercounter dishwasher. My old dishwasher crapped out two years ago and we are getting along just fine with hand washing for ordinary living, but for really big dinner parties it would be nice to have a dishwasher, primarily for all the glassware (wife likes to set table with a forest of stemware.) However, our big parties result in over two full dishwasher loads so the modern dishwashers' long cycles are impractical. Don't want to stay up until 4 am waiting to reload the dishwasher. My friend's bar is closing and he's offered me his pretty new Hobart LX30H for $350. This sort of machine is usually several thousand dollars new and a couple thousand dollars used, so seems like a good deal. My other restaurant friend says if I end up removing it, I'd be able to sell it for a profit. I'm aware of the characteristics and limitations of a commercial dishwasher. I have simply vowed to never buy a consumer-grade kitchen appliance again.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:14 PM
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So... 5k to bring you up to code or more? When your house burns down, do you think the insurance company won't notice the wiring?

Is your current box a federal pacific?

No offense, but do you think it is worth the risk?

I am sure someone with more knowledge will chime in, and tell me I am wrong, but I am okay with that.

Disclaimer, I did just add a 220 socket in my garage without a permit, but I did have space in my box.
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:02 PM
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Are you sure there is no other 220 in your kitchen that’s not being used? Maybe for an oven or stove that’s currently using gas?
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:14 PM
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John, you are really asking for it. I suppose what you way will work, but I wouldn't do it. A 50 amp dishwasher? Hell, that's a lot of energy ussed to heat that super hot water and dishes will get done within 10 min. You must like heat and noise.
Old 07-27-2018, 11:29 PM
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Make sure you can't double up some spaces in your box. Depending on what you have, you can typically do a double breaker, where you turn a single space into two circuits. Then you move one of your other circuits into that, and the space left over is free for a new circuit. Do this twice, and you will have room for 240v double throw.
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:32 PM
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John, please be careful and don't burn that place down. I am serious, I have seen lots of creative electrical work in my time tearing apart old homes (what you described is one of them). How many amp is the main panel?
Old 07-27-2018, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyle O View Post
Make sure you can't double up some spaces in your box. Depending on what you have, you can typically do a double breaker, where you turn a single space into two circuits. Then you move one of your other circuits into that, and the space left over is free for a new circuit. Do this twice, and you will have room for 240v double throw.
Good advice. Don't put both a 30 amp and a 50 amp appliance on one circuit. If you open up a space in the box for a 50 amp breaker you can run a proper 4 wire, 6 gauge conductor to the dishwasher.

This part of your plan is just craziness. Do not do this, especially the part about sticking a 50 amp breaker in front of what may be a 30 amp circuit.

"There is one 240V circuit in the basement, directly below the kitchen. It is being used for a clothes dryer, using a 3-wire 10-30R receptacle. That dryer's manual says it can be used with either the current 3-wire receptacle or a 4-wire 14-30R receptacle.

What I am thinking about doing is: change the dryer cord to a 14-50P plug, change the dryer receptacle to a 4-wire 14-50R, run conduit from that receptacle up to the kitchen, install a second 14-50R receptacle there. I haven't checked if the current breaker on the circuit is 30 amp or 50 amp, if the former I'd install the latter. "
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Last edited by wdfifteen; 07-28-2018 at 01:51 AM..
Old 07-28-2018, 01:42 AM
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What dishwasher needs a 240-50A circuit? That is more than an oven! I would consider a different dishwasher, one that need on a 120-15A circuit.
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Old 07-28-2018, 03:53 AM
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50 amps on 240 VAC for a dishwasher???
Wow!
There is probably an opportunity to create breaker space by using tandem breakers if you have your panel loaded with standard width breakers.

Don't run two devices that can exceed the amperage of the breaker on one circuit.
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Old 07-28-2018, 04:00 AM
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I just had a similar issue; had a full panel, but needed to add a 240v outlet for an electric oven.

I went through my panel and found breakers with low loads on them and then took two circuits, wire nutted them together, and ran a pigtail to the single breaker- code allowed this; you can’t put both wires under the breaker screw, but using the pigtail made it fine.

Doing this to four circuits opened up a double space for the 240v appliance.

Keep in mind that the code does insist that certain items have their own breaker (kitchens have many) and sometimes special breakers like arc fault and or ground fault, so you have to make sure the circuits you double up can be together.

I think I did things like putting basement and bedroom lights on one and two different sets of outlets together.

My work was inspected, but I’m in MN, so might be different where you are.
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Old 07-28-2018, 04:39 AM
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Rather than ask us, just get an electrician out to your house and see what's possible. I happen to think it's a lousy idea, but I'll make a few points anyway.

Your panel should have information printed on it that describes the total number of breakers you can have. You may or may not be able to add more than you have now.

You discuss changing a 30 amp circuit to a 50 amp circuit. You made no mention of the wire size and length for that circuit, so you need to take a harder look at it.

I don't know if you can even legally combine those two devices on a residential circuit, so there's that question as well.
Old 07-28-2018, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by red-beard View Post
What dishwasher needs a 240-50A circuit? That is more than an oven! I would consider a different dishwasher, one that need on a 120-15A circuit.
^^^Emphatically, this! Code is a dedicated circuit for the clothes dry and, if I remember correctly, a dedicated circuit for the dishwasher. I think you need to calculate your service requirements and consider a service panel upgrade.
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Old 07-28-2018, 06:03 AM
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Hmm. Panel is already loaded up with tandem breakers. There is no separate 240v circuit for the oven, it is gas. I calculated my service requirements when i did the garage sub panel, didn't need an upgrade for that reason.

I will think about using the existing 240v circuit for the clothes dryer to run a sub panel, then run separate circuits for the dryer and the dishwasher from that. Come to think of it, I have another potential 240v appliance to add later (commercial two head espresso machine) so a sub panel might be the best approach.

The dishwasher has a booster heater, takes hot water and heats to 180 F for the rinse cycle, hence the power requirements. Hobart Model LX30H https://www.heritageparts.com/medias/HOB1802.pdf?context=bWFzdGVyfHBkZi1tYW51YWxzfDI2OD U1OHxhcHBsaWNhdGlvbi9wZGZ8cGRmLW1hbnVhbHMvaDZlL2g2 Ny84OTY0ODUwODEwOTEwLnBkZnwyMmVmMGI3ZDBlZjRhMGUzZG JjZjE1YjE3ODg1NDQ4NzY2ODI5NTRkYjM4ZGNhZWQ0MjA4MGJj NDhkMDJlZjkx
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Old 07-28-2018, 07:45 AM
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What brand and model dishwasher is it???
Old 07-28-2018, 07:51 AM
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What brand and model dishwasher is it???
Read the thread....
Old 07-28-2018, 07:57 AM
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My advice is to continue washing your dishes by hand.

I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night too....
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Old 07-28-2018, 07:57 AM
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I recently did my kitchen and ran a sub panel to the basement, and wired for a future 220 stove, it seems like the easiest way for what you’re taking about too. The existing dryer wire might not be thick enough to use for the sub panel and you might need to pull a thicker gauge from the main panel. Otherwise it was a great move in my situation.
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Old 07-28-2018, 08:15 AM
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I am unbearably familiar with Hobart commercial dishwashers. I've had 4-5 of them. They are commercial units built for restaurants. The reason they need the 180 degree rinse cycle is to pass health inspection, and still run a load in 90 seconds. Which they do.

As far as the dishwasher itself, Hobart has manufactured them with the cheapest possible parts imaginable. They are always breaking because of brittle plastic parts that can't handle the heat cycles. We moved to Jackson many years ago because of the quality of parts, and have been happy ever since. I don't think they are very noisy, considering the quick cycles.

What is the benefit of having a commercial dishwasher vs. a residential? 90 second cycle with sanitation rinse that's it.... If you're running more than ten loads a day that needs to pass health inspection, you will appreciate it. If not, it is a waste of money. The other issue is that they don't clean the dishes at all, the wash cycle is a minute. You have to pretty much hand clean the dishes before putting them in. Also, they are very messy, water gets everywhere because the door gaskets aren't really meant to hold the water in like a residential unit. Better have a floor drain nearby....


I bought a Bosch residential unit about twenty years ago, it is still the best appliances I have ever owned. That's my recommendation.

Last edited by EdRogers; 07-28-2018 at 09:50 AM..
Old 07-28-2018, 09:45 AM
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How many 4 a.m. dishwashing sessions have you had in the 2 years you have been without a dishwasher? Seems like a ton of work to save the trouble of occcasionally washing a bunch of dishes, and if it is stemware of any value I would imagine it shouldn’t go in a dishwasher to begin with.

We’re you thinking of doing this all along or was this spurred by the prospect of getting a killer deal on a commercial Hobart?

My dad made me read an article on how much a free product costs the recipient, somewhat similar to this situation, the machine required a bunch of modifications to make it work in said application and in the end “free” was very costly. I know that this doesn’t help with the electrical solution but something to ponder.
Old 07-28-2018, 09:48 AM
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Another thing to consider, all this "forest of stemware" may not survive in that kind of DW. We use crystal on occasion and always hand wash it ourselves. We don't even let guests help.
Old 07-28-2018, 09:50 AM
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