I’m in the US. I have an electric kettle from the UK which is 240v, 2800W, that I’ve been using for years plugged into an US NEMA 6-20 style outlet (240v, 20amp), which was in the kitchen of my condo (to power a through the wall airconditioner). In the new house I bought a gas dryer, so I now have a free NEMA 10-30 style plug in the laundry room.
To adapt the kettle, I originally removed the UK style plug and added the NEMA 6-20 style one. Can I simply replace the 6-20 with a 10-30? It’s my understanding that the 10-30 doesn’t have an independent ground, so can I wire the kettle’s ground to neutral? On a dedicated circuit (as this is) neutral should be equivalent to ground when no 120v devices are present (is this correct?) I’d rather not have a 110v differential between the outside of the kettle and the body of the washing machine…
I’m sure many answers will be, “contact a licensed electrician,” which is fine for complicated things. For simple things I’m perfectly capable of connecting wires together. My question really, is this a complicated thing or a simple thing?
Those of you who have answers probably know what I’m talking about, but otherwise NEMA plug shape guides are available online. And for those who wonder why I’m even bothering, it takes much longer to boil water at 1750 watts (the highest powered 110v 15amp kettle) versus the 2800 watts of a kettle designed for 240v 20amp circuits. Ideally I’d have an electrician drop a 240v 20amp outlet into the kitchen, but $$$. The other choice is to just spend $30 on a US kettle, but waiting for it to boil is like being stuck behind somebody going 10mph under the speed limit.
Current codes have corrected the corner cutting 3 conductor 240 V circuits. For driers and stoves that have 120 V components, you now have to run 4 wire cables with separate conductor for ground and neutral. I am not sure whether the neutral/ground wire in a 3 wire cable connects to the ground or neutral back at the breaker box. Not much difference in mine, the 2 busses are part of the same stamping.
I don’t see a problem. You might find a 6-20 outlet is cheaper than a 10-30 plug. As for the cord matching the circuit, I have #18 cords plugged into 15 and 20 amp circuits all over the house. I am not sure how small of a double pole breaker you can buy, but it wouldn’t hurt to replace the 30 amp breaker with a smaller one.
The appliance’s cord was designed for 250 volt use, so that’s not an issue.
If you want to be sure it’s safe, you can install a 20-amp 2-pole (eg: 240 volt) GFCI breaker, but that’s going to cost upwards of $100 just for the breaker. By comparison, a 20-amp 2-pole breaker is under ten bucks.
A 6-20 receptacle will be about five bucks - probably cheaper than a 10-30 plug, and also a whole lot less bulky.
Your neutral and ground should be bonded at the main panel of the house. Both plugs are 3 wire. It will be easier to change the plug than the outlet. But you will be protecting the tea kettle with a 30 amp breaker.
Thanks for the advice everyone. It doesn’t look like this will be too difficult of a project. I think instead of changing the 30 amp breaker for a 20, I’ll install an inline 20 amp fuse in the kettle’s cord. That would replicate the original design of the kettle, as UK plugs contain a fuse. If I were putting a fuse on a 110v cord, I’d put it on the hot wire. As both wires are hot, does it matter which side I put the fuse on? I think I’ll take a look at how a UK fused plug is wired and replicate that, as I believe UK 220v is the same as US 220v—two hot wires, not a 220 hot and a neutral.