Electrical Wiring in the Home/wiring an old 240v space heater


My dad lives in an old mobile home with no heat. He purchased an old Wesix 240 - 250 v, 16.3 amp heater. I bought a double 20 a breaker for his box, ran a new heavy line and new outlet to his living room. Now I'm stuck. The cord on the heater only has two wires. How can I get 240v on one leg, and use the other leg for the neutral? Or, am I missing the concept all together. Currently, I have the black wire on one breaker pole, the white wire on the neutral bar and the ground on the ground bar. Basically I'm feeding 120 v to a 240 v heater. The heater just barely gets warm configured like this. I tried putting the black on one pole, white on the other pole, ground on the neutral, and nothing happened. Since the heater only has 2 wires I have no place for the neutral. I'm as confused as an earth worm on asphault and we really need to get daddy an affordable heat source before it gets colder. Can you help please?

Robert Wilber
Licensed Philadelphia Electrician
Philadelphia License # 3516 - 16765
Electricity is dangerous!
You can be injured or killed!
Improper installations can cause fire, injury and death!
Are you qualified to do this work?
National Electrical Code definition, NFPA 70 2008 Article 100: Qualified Person. "One who has skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of the electrical equipment and installations and has received safety training to recognize and avoid the hazards involved."
Electricity is fire in a box!
Always check with the local “Authority Having Jurisdiction” for an official interpretation before making installation decisions.
In Philadelphia, it is unlawful for anyone except an individual licensed by the City of Philadelphia to install electrical equipment and wiring.
Homeowners are not allowed to install wiring.
The owner of any property wherein any such installation is discovered shall be issued a violation by the Department of Licenses and Inspections.
The limited exceptions include replacing devices and fixtures at existing outlets.
Contact the Department of Licenses and Inspections for more information.
You are more likely to be killed by 120 volts than any other voltage [120 volts creates the PERFECT fatal current through the human body's electrical resistance!]
This information is provided for the use of parties as they see fit!
I am not responsible for the application of this information by any party, including those lacking sufficient skill or knowledge to perform these steps safely and any hazard created is the SOLE responsibility of the user.
The situation you describe has no neutral, just 2 hots which provide 240 volts between them.
I think your problem derives from the fact that many older mobile homes do not have 240 volt services, just 120 volts, which means that you cannot power that heater. If his mobile home is plug connected, you can check the plug and outlet and see if it is not just 30 amps 120 volt.
That would be why the 2-pole breaker did not provide 240 volts.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Robert Wilber


Licensed Philadelphia electrician serving Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania. I install and repair residential, commercial and industrial wiring and lighting. Troubleshooting and repair of problems that stump other people is my favorite. I am willing to help people figure out why things don`t work. I understand motor controls, transformers and machine wiring. I do not teach basics to novices or do free design work.


Experience in the area I have 44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair, 480 volts and below. This is not to be confused with one week repeated two thousand times.

44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair

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