208V/240V electrical question?

Hi, I’m sort of mildly looking at kilns and found some fairly closely that might meet my needs but I had a question about power supply. I will be using a qualified electrician to install it but to decide whether I would buy either one.

One kiln is 208V single phase. The other is 240V single phase.

Would either of these work from home power?

Again, I will be having a qualified electrician install it. I just want to know whether either one would work in a home.


Short answer,yes.My ex was a potter and I hooked up many a kiln in residence and business.
Your kiln is a resistance heating device,undervoltage isn’t going to hurt it.Truth is,many power companies have fluctuating line voltage anyway.

Isn’t 240vac 2 phase? You’d need a double pole breaker (2 phases) at 120vac each to equal the 240, i would think. Unless European that uses 240vac for all the power.

No, 240 V is more properly termed split phase. What you have in most US residential installations is a transformer supplying your house with 240 VAC, center-tapped. This center tap is connected to ground, resulting in two 120 VAC circuits. In the breaker box, the circuit breakers connect to these two circuits in alternation. To supply 240 V, you simply use the output from any two adjacent breakers.

Some parts of the US have homes supplied with two phases of a three-phase 208 V line-to-line transformer. The line-to-ground voltage of such a system is also 120 V. Generally, appliances rated for 240 VAC operation will run at 208 V, but many exceptions exist, so be sure to check the ratings before you use it.

Thanks for the info! A very helpful board indeed. :slight_smile:

Q.E.D. has it right.

A quick way to check for this is to look at your main electrical panel. If the main breaker has 2 circuits, you probably have 240V split-phase. If it has 3 circuits, you probably have 3-phase 208V.

You may have to take off the cover panel, and count the wires. 3 wires (2 hot + 1 neutral) = 240V, 4 wires (3 hot + 1 neutral) = 208V. (There might also be a bare ground wire, too.) You can also count the wires coming into your house, but sometimes that’s hard to do.

P.S. Be very careful not to touch any of the wires while doing this!!!