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# powerstrip for Nema 6-15P air conditioner

Posted on 2014-07-14
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I'm looking for a power strip or wall-in switch type of device between an old air conditioner and wall power outlet. The girl in the room can't reach the air conditioner power button and it doesn't have remote control. So the power switch or extension power strip has to be close to the height she can reach.
The problem is the plug type is not normal. It has two flat and horizontal prongs and one u shape prong like below picture:

I couldn't find power strip or wall attached multi power switch. Does anyone know where I can find it?
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Question by:crcsupport

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Assisted Solution

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Author Comment

I just measured the voltage on the wall outlet, it's 125V. But as I looked online, 6-15P is used usually for 220V.
So, I guess I try the second one?
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Accepted Solution

Yeah I'd go with the 2nd one since it's more universal.
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Expert Comment

Take a look at the plug end of those power strips.  I think you won't be able to plug them into your existing receptacle.

If it's really old (pre- 1960s-70s) it might be before NEMA plugs were standardized.  One of the slots on the receptable is longer than the other, indicating that it's 120VAC with a hot and neutral.  240VAC uses two hot legs of 120V each leg.

Depending on the spacing, you could have a NEMA 6-15 plug or 6-30.

6-15 (250VAC, 15 Amp) has 0.5" spacing from ground to hot blade.
6-30 (250VAC, 30 Amp) has 0.8" spacing from ground to hot blade.

Also, how did you check voltage?

120VAC:
Hot-to-ground = 120V
Hot-to-neutral = 120V
Neutral-to-ground = 0V

Hot-to-ground = 120V
Hot-to-hot (opposite phases) = 208V
(There is only a neutral if one of the legs is used to feed 120V)

[Depending on your experience and cost of labor, you could replace the receptacle, plug, and install a wall-mounted switch all at the same time.]

pictures here:
http://www.mcmaster.com/#nema-plugs/=suseun
http://www.americord.com/nema-charts/

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Author Comment

yes I tried the power strip and it didn't work. I'm trying to understand your comments, Aleghart.
The air conditioner is very old. the plug surface says ' 6-15P.
So the two flat blades are 240VAC (120VAC+120VAC) and one ground(round prong)?
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Looks I  finally figured. So 6-15 gets two hots and one neutral. But the standard plug(5-15?) we use these days are one hot one neutral one ground.
so the power strip that I bought, 5-15 to 6-15 won't work because one hot can resemble two hots.
So, I have to use 6-15 to 6-15 power strip. But I CAN'T FIND ANY OF THIS!~
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I think the only way is now to install a switch. Looking at this video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p79UHZb09Y

if I use regular standard swithch, which wire goes to which from outlet of 6-15 to this?

6-15 plug has two hots and one neutral. But the switch is for regular hot-neutural-ground.
Is there any switch for 6-15?
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Expert Comment

5-15 is one hot + one neutral + one ground.  Neutral is required to take the single phase of 120 back to the utility company to complete the AC circuit.

6-15 is two hots + one ground.  No neutral is required because putting 120 leg with 120 leg is what gets you 240.  The circuit is completed by connecting the two hot legs.  When you see a 240 connection with a neutral it's usually because the equipment has some sort of timer or light that runs on 120.  The neutral is there to complete the 120 circuit.

For safety (and sanity), it may be better to replace the plug end with something more standard.  And consider putting a standard receptacle.

How many amps does this device pull?  Move up to the next larger size.  So, 15A would need 20A plug and receptacle.

Plug, receptacle, and wiring should match the amperage rating of the device.  15A needs 14AWG minimum, 12AWG is better.  20A needs 12AWG minimum, 10AWG is better.  You should follow your local codes.  And consult an electrician if you aren't comfortable doing your own work.
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So what kind of power switch can I use for this 6-15 outlet? I'm interested and want to install a switch connected to the outlet, but video I look at  youtube all uses 5-15 switch(1hot, 1neutral, 1ground). Can I use this switch for 6-15(two hots, one gorund) by hooking up 2nd hot to neutral port on the switch?
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Author Comment

Aleghart, I will open a new question for this. please come there and answer. I don't like to get you without any point to  you.
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Author Comment

New question for installing power switch for 6-15:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Components/Q_28481424.html
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Expert Comment

I know these thing can be little difficult to understand,I feel you should take some expert advice which can resolve your issue soon as you think.
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Author Comment

I already installed the switch. I bought a 30A-120V/277V switch mentioned above and it works like charm.
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