120V heater tape off a 240V source.
Asked Dec 31, 2006, 02:57 PM
My question is very similar to HandyJohn's and much my question was answered in is post. Mostly verifying my suspicion of needing a step down transformer here. Just wondering if you know of any simpler options I may be overlooking outside of running a dedicated line.
Here's my situation:
1) I stupidly ran 10/2 UF cable 50 feet undeground to my well house. Was in a hurry to supply water to the home. Closed things up with the backhoe. The submersible pump runs on 240V (2 hots, 1 ground, no neutral). The cable feeding to it has two hot wires (both running to the breaker) and one ground. No neutral in the cable. I should have run a fourth wire in there for neutral! Hindsight 20/20 thing here.
2) At the moment, I'm insulating my pipes and running heater tape which takes 120V (1 green ground, 1 black hot, 1 white neutral).
Only a couple options I see for running that heater tape:
1) Run a 120V extension cord to it for now until figuring out what to do. Safest option that gets things functional and buys time.
2) Off the 240V source, tap one 120V wire and the ground. Run the neutral into ground. I've heard this would complete the circuit, but I don't like doing it that way. I understand it is dangerous and not up to code. Not wise to energize a ground wire like that. I might be willing to risk it if no other options and maybe even install a seasonal switch, but that's all too Mickey Mouse. Best to go with an extension cord and later a stepdown transformer, I believe.
... Unless, any of you see a better idea? I'd rather not dig new trenches and run more wire right now.