How to Add a 220V Outlet


Adding a 220-volt outlet to your existing main electrical panel can only be done if there is room for a double pole 220-volt breaker. Open the panel door and check to see if there are two blank spots on the inside of the cover. They will be on the same side as the double row of breakers and identified by a rectangular horizontal flat piece of metal.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • 220-volt breaker
  • Wire pliers
  • 2-Cable clamps
  • Cable wire (2 wire Romex or type NM cable with a bare grounding wire)
  • Outlet box
  • Pocket knife
  • Wire strippers
  • 220-volt outlet
  • Outlet cover plate
  • Remove all electrical power from the main panel. Switch the main breaker to the "off" position. Pull the main panel cover from the box using the screwdriver to remove the four or six screws that holds the metal cover in place. Set the screws to one side so as not to lose them. Identify the small rectangular flat metal plates on the inside of the cover. Remove them using the wire pliers. Install the new 200-volt breaker onto the bus bars. Depending on the make and model of the electrical panel, the breaker will either screw into place or simply push onto the raised bus bars.

  • Remove a wire knock out in the bottom of the main panel. The cable wire will run through this knock out hole to the outlet box. Install a cable clamp into the hole and tighten using the wire pliers. Mount the outlet box in your desired location. Run the cable from the main panel to the new 220-volt outlet box. Leave enough cable inside the main panel so it will reach the new breaker and the rear ground bar in the main panel. Extend the cable at least six inches past the front of the new outlet box after installing a cable clamp and running the wire through it.

  • Remove the outer insulation of the cable assembly using the pocketknife. Strip enough of the outer plastic jacket so the individual wires will reach the termination points. There will be two insulated wires and one bare copper ground wire. Strip one inch of the plastic insulation from the wires to reveal the bare copper. Connect one of the insulated wires to the copper colored screw on the outlet. Attach the other insulated wire to the other copper colored screw. The bare ground wire in the cable assembly will be attached to the green screw on the outlets metal frame. Place the outlet inside the outlet box and secure with the vendor provided screws. Install the outlet cover plate.

  • Terminate the wires in the main panel box by attaching the two insulated wires to the screws at the base of the new circuit breaker. Attach one wire to one each of the screws. The bare copper ground wire will be attached to the long metal bar at the rear of the main panel. Other bare copper wires will already be connected to the bus bar. Leave the new 220-volt breaker in the "off" position. Replace the main panel cover. Switch the main breaker to the "on" position. Turn the new 220-volt breaker on.

Tips & Warnings

  • The breaker and wire must be of the same amperage as the device you are feeding. Follow all local electrical codes when installing any type of electrical devices.

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