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Helga, I’m curious… if you have access to a split-phase electrical panel, you could add a 220-volt breaker and run a new cable. Simple, less expensive, correctly sized, and less cumbersome than an adapter.
 

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My electric panel is too far from my parking area and on a different floor, so trying to run a 220V new wire would be too difficult and too expensive.
 

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Helga,

Got it. I had a look at the converters and there is a trick to them. You can’t just plug them into any pair of outlets. They each outlet must be the opposite phase as the other.

In most homes in the US, to he supply is fed into the house using a split phase transformer with a center tap to ground. This means there are two 120-volt “banks” that are 90°out of phase with each other. Separately measured, each of these phases will be 120-volts measured to ground. Measured against each other, the phase differences will be additive and the resulting voltage will be 220-volts. Each 120-volt supply into the plug in converter must be supplied by its own supply that must be out
of phase with the other. In your breaker box, typically the left side of the breakers are one phase and the right are in the opposite phase. You would need to supply the converter with an input from each side of your circuit breaker box for it to work correctly.

My guess is that for ease of wiring, adjacent outlets on the same wall would be powered from the same feed. You would need to check to make sure if the location where you want to plug in the adapter reads 220-volts phase to phase and 120-volts phase to ground.

If you plugged the converter into 2 sockets on the same phase, but different breaker circuits, you would have higher current handling capabilities, but only 120 volts.

Using the converter Into two plugs in the same
Circuit would be essentially adding an extension cord and wouldn’t gain anything.

Does this make sense?
 

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I am not 100% clear. If you are saying the converter won't give out 220V if plugged into standard US dual outlet, then what would an electrician need to do for this converter to produce 220V?

To run 220V from breaker box, an electrician would have to start at the breaker box, install a 220V enabled breaker and run a 220V wire all the way around the house to the desired 220V location.

What would an electrician have to do to get the two 110V outlets to be functioning in the way that this converter would be able to convert to 220V? Would the work by electrician be easier? Would he not have to start all the way at the breaker box?

Thank you.
 

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I am not 100% clear. If you are saying the converter won't give out 220V if plugged into standard US dual outlet, then what would an electrician need to do for this converter to produce 220V?

To run 220V from breaker box, an electrician would have to start at the breaker box, install a 220V enabled breaker and run a 220V wire all the way around the house to the desired 220V location.

What would an electrician have to do to get the two 110V outlets to be functioning in the way that this converter would be able to convert to 220V? Would the work by electrician be easier? Would he not have to start all the way at the breaker box?

Thank you.
You are correct, this converter will not provide 220 volts if both plugs are plugged into the same electrical phase.

Let me see if I can explain this more clearly… Your circuit box has two “sides,” each carrying 120 volts with reference to neutral (ground). If you have ever had a socket out of the wall box, these are the black and white wires, hot and neutral. (the bare copper wire is a safety ground).

In most sockets, you get only one hot (120 volt) wire to each, with the other leg of the socket leads back to a neutral phase. One breaker, one “hot” wire = 120 volts.

To get 220 volts, you need two circuit breakers, two “hot” wires = 220 volts. For 220 volt appliances, one wire from each phase is brought to the socket, typically black and red wires.

You can get 220 volts from these converters IF you have a location where there is an two sockets, one from each phase are close enough together to plug in the two wires from the converter.

An electrician could determine if 2 sockets are on different phases by measuring the voltage between them. This can be dangerous if you aren’t 100% comfortable, so it’s best to get someone qualified.

If you have nearby sockets that are on different circuits, but the same phase, an electrician can rewire the electrical panel to put them on different phases, but they will need to be able to trace the wires back to the panel and move the correct wires.

I realize there are a lot of IFs, but it’s essential to make sore your have all the right answers when trying g to make this work.
 

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What Vadsoom said is correct, but maybe saying this might help: (I may be wrong here so please note that I am not an electrician, so this will have to be verified by a certified electrician. I am posting this to give you hope!)

1. IF you have you have two different circuits in your garage (I'm guessing you are installing in a garage?), THEN they each can be turned off with 2 different circuit breakers in your panel box.

2. IF this is true AND IF the breakers are in different columns in the breaker box (i.e. one on the left side, one on the right side), THEN you can make 220v by combining them with the converter device.

3. IF the two breakers are in the same column in your panel box, THEN you would have to rewire one breaker to the other column in the panel box to get your 220V.
 

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What Vadsoom said is correct, but maybe saying this might help: (I may be wrong here so please note that I am not an electrician, so this will have to be verified by a certified electrician. I am posting this to give you hope!)

1. IF you have you have two different circuits in your garage (I'm guessing you are installing in a garage?), THEN they each can be turned off with 2 different circuit breakers in your panel box.

2. IF this is true AND IF the breakers are in different columns in the breaker box (i.e. one on the left side, one on the right side), THEN you can make 220v by combining them with the converter device.

3. IF the two breakers are in the same column in your panel box, THEN you would have to rewire one breaker to the other column in the panel box to get your 220V.
Jeb is mostly correct. The only caveat is that most breaker boxes alternate phases using buss bars that allow 2 adjacent breakers to be used as 220 volts. In other words, it’s not the column that determines the phase, but the shape of the buss bars inside the panel. In this case, if your garage uses 2 breakers next to each other inside the breaker box, that’s a GOOD thing!
 

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220 has not been the voltage or standard in the US for decades.

240V it is, or twice 120V.

It's like calling a Smart the 'other' Mini.

SR
 

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My electric panel is too far from my parking area and on a different floor, so trying to run a 220V new wire would be too difficult and too expensive.
So I do not come here often, but saw this by email feed when it started.

We are on our second, leased Smart Cabrio Electric. Though the lease ran out and now we are looking at buying it out.

First, I was an electrician, licensed many years ago in another state. Most of the info here has been correct. Though you need to be concerned about the current required not just the voltage.

I have set up several chargers in our homes here in our state. Our state allows a homeowner to do this with a permit. Inspections are required. We put in a Level 2 charger from Siemens, VersiCharge Hard-Wired (VC30GRYHW) is the model number.

This needs a 40 amp breaker and at least a 8 gauge wire called 8-2 (it has three wires with a ground) if the run to the panel is more than 100 feet you will need 6 gauge wire. Both Smarts we have owned need 30 amps, and the charger we selected required that 40 amp breaker.

If you could connect at 30 amps, you would need to be close to the panel, and you would use 10-2 wire. I would not do that. I am conservative, and know if I had a fire, my insurance company would not cover it.

Even if you have two outlets near each other that are on opposite sides of the panel, resulting in the availability of 220 volts or 240 volts, today 120/240 is the norm.... The best connection you will find in the garage is 20 amp. If you have two 20 amps on different sides of the panel, you would have 240 available. However, this is only 20 amps, this runs on 12-2 wire. Not large enough for a 30 or 40 amp circuit. And again if over 100 feet way to small.

More likely you have one 15 amp plug in the garage, why? Builders are cheap, if they can save money they will. Even if you have two, and they are connected to opposite sides of the panel your idea will never work. The breaker will trip.

And that's a good thing, because if it did not, the wire would overheat and catch on fire.

We electricians often joke about the plumbers, "All we get is a shock, they can drown!" Being a plumber too, I have a more practical perspective. Make an error in wiring or plumbing and your insurance company will walk away when you have a (catastrophic) claim.

You do need to do this right.
 

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Coco, you are 100% correct! I’ve had a phone conversation with Helga regarding the requirements for her Smart and discussed the concerns you raised. Thank you for watching out for us!
 
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