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120 volts at the well house

Clay Showalter

Southern member northern landowner
4,670
110
Guilford County
I want to install a water softener at the well house, I only have the 240 for the pump, I know it is not code but can I tap off one side of the circuit for 120? Will be dangerous?
 

Wildlife

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Supporting Member
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USA
As long as your wire conductors (AWG) to the pump are sized accordingly to handle the increased start up (AMP) demand along with the breaker at the panel being able to handle it, you should be fine. If the wire size is good, but the breaker isn't, just up the breaker size one. Coming off one of the phases for the pump to the water softener should work for you if your service wire for the pump is sufficient in size. I assume your electric inspection has been finalized already, if so, like I said, it shouldn't be a problem, Good luck!
 

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Clay Showalter

Southern member northern landowner
4,670
110
Guilford County
The problem is it is just 12/2 wire, it should be code to run 12/3, then there is no issue, but in this case I don’t have a neutral. I know you should never use the ground as a neutral, heck I was just thinking Of grounding the neutral at service pole grounding rod, which is only 15 feet away.
 

Wildlife

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Supporting Member
3,862
148
USA
The problem is it is just 12/2 wire, it should be code to run 12/3, then there is no issue, but in this case I don’t have a neutral. I know you should never use the ground as a neutral, heck I was just thinking Of grounding the neutral at service pole grounding rod, which is only 15 feet away.
Water metal pipe that goes into the ground, or water itself is the best known electric ground source. That said, if your water softener has a digital display or computerized, you most definitely want a neutral wire that goes straight back to your electric panel, especially if you wish to maintain any kind of warrantee for the unit. It will work if you connect to the ground rod, but I really wouldn't recommend it as a final installation/solution. I quickly assumed that a 12/3 or a three wire service connected your water pump. If it were me, I would want a properly sized neutral wire back to the electric panel for continuity, safety and reliability purposes.
 
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Wildlife

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I drew this up real quick and it will work if the 12/2 ground wire is of adequate size to handle peak load. I would also ground both the pump and the softener to the ground rod and any water metal pipe to the ground as well.

Again, best of luck to you!
 

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Clay Showalter

Southern member northern landowner
4,670
110
Guilford County
I drew this up real quick and it will work if the 12/2 ground wire is of adequate size to handle peak load. I would also ground both the pump and the softener to the ground rod and any water metal pipe to the ground as well.

Again, best of luck to you!
Thanks man, does it matter if the panel is a sub panel and the neutral and ground are not bonded
 

Isaacorps

Member
4,498
110
Columbus
For God’s sake don’t use the ground as a neutral. If the ground fails, you’re fucked. The bare ground is used as a grounding conductor, not a grounded conductor. It can but should not serve 2 functions. There’s a reason things were wired with a neutral but no ground and not the other way around back in the day. I mean if fires, insurance claims, and potential loss of life are an acceptable risk then, by all means proceed
 

Clay Showalter

Southern member northern landowner
4,670
110
Guilford County
For God’s sake don’t use the ground as a neutral. If the ground fails, you’re fucked. The bare ground is used as a grounding conductor, not a grounded conductor. It can but should not serve 2 functions. There’s a reason things were wired with a neutral but no ground and not the other way around back in the day. I mean if fires, insurance claims, and potential loss of life are an acceptable risk then, by all means proceed
That is why I am looking at a control transformer
 

Clay Showalter

Southern member northern landowner
4,670
110
Guilford County
For God’s sake don’t use the ground as a neutral. If the ground fails, you’re fucked. The bare ground is used as a grounding conductor, not a grounded conductor. It can but should not serve 2 functions. There’s a reason things were wired with a neutral but no ground and not the other way around back in the day. I mean if fires, insurance claims, and potential loss of life are an acceptable risk then, by all means proceed
Just thinking what about grounding the neutral separate from the ground coming from the house. I have a grounding rod from the saw service about 15’ away.