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Author Topic: electricity in the Philippines  (Read 56043 times)

Offline harry80020

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Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2010, 11:16:37 PM »
Dear Robert,

    Nice to hear from you.  You will need to find a ground/neutral buss for your Breaker box.  It is a smaller metal buss with lots of holes & set screws for all your neutral wires, ground wires, and the ground wire coming from your ground rod.  You should securely fasten it directly to the metal box so the box is connected to ground also.  I don\'t know if it is common for breaker boxed to come without the ground/neutral buss there?  You might check at a building supply store or electrical supply store to see if you can find one.  You also might ask at the power company office, they should know where to buy one.

    I have no experience with single wire earth return systems.  It is much to dry here in Denver for that to work.  When I was visiting England, I did notice that the house services only had a single wire running to each.  I wondered if they were using earth for the return, but never found another electrician to ask.  I did ask one home owner and he did say the wire was for his power, but he didn\'t know anything about electricity.  I am old school and like to see a nice copper wire for the return.

    Almost all power generated at the power company is 3 phase, it is easier for them to do it that way.  Here they usually generate at 440 volts, then transform it up to a much higher voltage for transmission.  They then transform it back down to 220 volts for your home service.  It doesn\'t matter if they run all 3 phases throughout the subdivision or just one leg, it still ends up as single phase 220 volts.  It is very very doubtful you will have 3 phase service in your home, you will have just one leg of the transformed 3 phase and the return/neutral.

    I really enjoyed your blog on your house construction, very informative.  Are you a member of our Living in the Philippines forum at: http://livinginthephilippines.com/forum/index.php ?  You should post a reference to your blog in the \"building in the Philippines\" classification under \"it\'s your money\".

    You are welcome to include my article in your blog, I am flattered.  Would you please include a \"plug\" for our forum also, I am a moderator for Living in the Philippines 3?  Please feel free to contact me at any time.

Best always,
Harry.



--- On Thu, 3/18/10, Robert Hammerslag wrote:


    From: Robert Hammerslag
    Subject: Philippine electrical
    To: \"harry80020\"
    Date: Thursday, March 18, 2010, 1:15 AM

    Harry,

    Thanks so much for the great article you wrote on electrical systems
    in the Philippines in LinP.  It\'s been so helpful to me as we build
    our own house in the Philippines.

    You invited questions, so I have one.  I bought a panel box at an
    electrical supply and got it home to find that it has only one bus --
    the hot one, but no provision at all for neutral/ground connections --
    NOTHING.  Is this common?  If so, how are the neutral connections
    made?

    The electrical distribution which serves our area (before
    transformers) is just one line.  Is this the
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-wire_earth_return system?

    It\'s interesting to note that our subdivision is the employee\'s
    subdivision for the local electrical coop so it has three phase power.
    Some of the big shots in the coop bought property in the subdivision
    so maybe it makes their lots more valuable as they have access to
    three phase?

    I have a blog about my house building at
    http://goiloilo.com/category/our-house-project/  I have not gotten to
    electrical yet but when I do I\'d like your permission to include your
    article.

    Thanks,

    Bob Hammerslag
    Pineda/Schäffter Compound
    Barangay Tan Pael
    5021 Tigbauan, Iloilo
    Philippines
    http://goiloilo.com

Offline harry80020

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Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2010, 10:28:58 PM »
Dear Robert,

    I understand what you are saying about only being able to find single pole breakers there, I got a similar E-mail from another member just last week saying the same.  My response to him should also apply in your case:
  I will give you some \"GUESSes\" on what you have, but it is very difficult to know for sure without being able to see & touch it myself.    I \"think\" what you are describing is a United States style 2 buss breaker box with American style 2 pole breakers?  I \"think\" they are using one buss for the hot wire and the other buss for the neutral wire.  I have installed 2 American style breaker panels in Cebu, but I always tied the 2 busses together so both were hot and then used single pole breakers.  Then I ran all the neutral & ground wires to a metal connection bar mounted & grounded to the metal box, the wire from the ground rod also connects here.    I would imagine your electricians did your installation this way because they didn\'t know any better and maybe because this is the only box/panel they had available?  You are fortunate they ran the neutral wire through a double/2 pole breaker, because the breaker will disconnect both wires in the event of a short or over load.  Yes, technically you do have 2 breakers in series in each circuit.  This will work and is safe, but it is \"not\" the preferred way to do things.  But it is sometimes difficult & expensive to find the correct equipment there and sometimes you have to make do with what is available.

    Many years ago in the United States, it was normal to run both the hot wire and the neutral wire through separate glass screw in fuses.  The installation is electrically safe, but can be a problem for the uses if only the fuse in the neutral blows and the fuse in the hot is still good.  In this case the circuit shuts down and appears dead because no current can flow through the open fuse, but the whole circuit (INCLUDING THE WHITE NEUTRAL WIRE) will be hot and have full voltage.  Even though both fuses have the same amp rating, there could be a small fractional difference, causing one to blow first  Your 2 pole breakers are really two single breakers tied together at the switches, so both will trip/open if either one senses an overload or fault.

    Since the only breakers available are 2 pole, the only correct (Harry\'s way) way would be to only use one side and leave the other with no wire.  Somehow I don\'t thing you are going to do this.

    It is always best to connect (reference) the neutral wire to a good ground in the breaker box only.  This keeps the neutral wire and the transformer secondary from \"floating\" and at 0 volts.  The neutral wire is part of the circuit and carries the exact same current/amperage, but it should always be at 0 volts.

    If you use one of the busses and there for one side of the breaker for the neutral wire, that buss should be tied to your ground rod & referenced to ground.  You should run the wire from your ground rod direct to the neutral buss and NOT through a breaker.  If you are running a green or bare separate circuit ground wire, you can mount one of the small separate busses you bought and connect the ground wires to it.  You will have to connect the ground & neutral busses together in the breaker box only and not through a breaker.  BEFORE YOU REFERENCE/CONNECT THE NEUTRAL BUSS TO GROUND, MAKE DARN SURE IT IS THE NEUTRAL AND NOT THE HOT, this would really ruin your day and anyone else standing close.

    If you haven\'t read my complete article in the Forum, it starts at: http://livinginthephilippines.com/forum/index.php/topic,661.0.html   
and is 3 pages long.  It also contains several comments/suggestions from other readers, which are helpful.  Also in the forum under \"it\'s your money\", there are a couple other articles on electricity from others that you might also want to read.

    It is always nice to hear from you, BE CAREFUL !!!

Best always,
Harry.


   

--- On Sat, 3/20/10, Robert Hammerslag wrote:


    From: Robert Hammerslag
    Subject: Re: Philippine electrical
    To: \"Harry Morgan\"
    Date: Saturday, March 20, 2010, 12:44 AM

    Hi Harry,

    Thanks for your response.  I have been a member of LinP almost since the beginning but not always so active.  I never joined the forum but perhaps I should, but after our house project is more or less complete and I have more time.  I am supposed to be retired but I get up at 0530 and am at the house project by 0700.  It\'s been so hot that by the time I get home at 5:30 PM that I\'m almost ready for bed, but I stall have paperwork to do, payroll, accounts etc. so not too much time now for online stuff.

    My wife and I did go to Iloilo City (pop about 500K) yesterday to do some supply shopping.  I spent about 1.5 hours chatting with the counter staff and owner of Western Electric supply, the biggest supplier of electrical supplies.  They had sold me the nice panel box I have and were able to supply very nice brass neutral/ground busses, so I feel my equipment is in good order -- especially after looking at what they sell for panel boxes at places like Ace Hardware.  Just really junk, with an aluminum load buss and no neutral buss.  Mine has a sturdy copper main buss.

    The part I am really confused about is the breaker.  My electrical engineer speced 2P breakers and only 2P breakers are sold here. I have not seen one 1P breaker.   My box uses plug in GE breakers.  The 2P breakers are linked -- that is when you trip the breaker, both the load and neutral are cut.  There is no way to switch off the neutral without switching off the load, so is your fear of  shutting off the neutral while leaving the circuit hot might be a non issue with this type of ganged 2P breaker?

    Here\'s my theory.  Maybe they know that the \"neutral\" may really end up carrying voltage because of poor grounds and other systemic problems so they don\'t dare leave the neutral always connected?

    I have to get a copy of the Philippine Electrical Code, but my guess is that the 2P breaker are required.  Everyone I\'ve spoken to assures me that they are always used.  That\'s all which are carried in the stores and all that electricians are familiar with.

    In my case, I am going the have three prong grounded plugs and a ground buss that can\'t be switched off.  I put a ground clamp on the network of rebar that is now about 1.5M underground. I\'m hoping that will be better than a ground rod.

    So, when you have time,let me know what you think of my 2P breaker theory!

    Cheers,

    Bob Hammerslag
    Pineda/Schäffter Compound
    Barangay Tan Pael
    5021 Tigbauan, Iloilo
    Philippines
    Mobile: 0920-600-8009
    http://goiloilo.com



Offline harry80020

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Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #32 on: March 28, 2010, 10:25:09 PM »
Dear Bob,

    You are very welcome and I have really enjoyed your blog on your house.  Maybe some day I\'ll drop by Iloilo and check your wiring?  I always do my best electrical inspections while sitting on the front porch chatting with a friend over a San Miguel, I also enjoy watching the breeze rustle the palm leaves.

    I have also posted our communications and a reference to your blog on our forum.  Please feel free to contact me any time, it\'s always nice to hear from you.

Best always,
Harry.

--- On Sun, 3/28/10, Robert Hammerslag wrote:


    From: Robert Hammerslag
    Subject: Re: Philippine electrical
    To: \"Harry Morgan\"
    Date: Sunday, March 28, 2010, 4:47 AM

    Harry,

    I\'ve made my post on Philippine wiring here: http://goiloilo.com/our-philippine-house-project-philippine-electrical-wiring/ and included your excellent essay as well as a plug for the forum.  I did take a little different perspective on the breakers and I may be wrong.  Remember you said you liked to argue about this stuff!  Comments and criticisms welcome.  Thanks again for your help.

    Best regards,

    Bob

    Pineda/Schäffter Compound
    Barangay Tan Pael
    5021 Tigbauan, Iloilo
    Philippines
    Mobile: 0920-600-8009
    http://goiloilo.com


Offline DoctorM

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Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #33 on: July 13, 2010, 10:35:11 AM »
There appears to me to be some misinformation being given or assumed about the Philippine electrical standards.  It might help to discuss the two primary residential electrical systems worldwide -- The US system, and virtually everybody else, which we will call the European system.  The Philippine system is generally half an American system – without the grounding required for 110 volt outlets.

US SYSTM
The US system provides 220 volt electrical service to every residential house.  The electrical feed consists of two hot feed wires.  Each feed wire is 110 volts measured to ground.  But the two feed wires are 180 degrees out of phase with each other.  Across the two feed wires, you get 220 volts because the wires are opposite polarity.  That makes the US residential system a 110 volt, two-phase system. 

These two hot feed wires connect to two separate hot busses in the circuit breaker box.  There is a third neutral bus for the neutral and ground wires.  The US circuit breaker box is always grounded.  The US circuit breaker box is designed so that a 110 volt circuit connects to a single circuit breaker, while a 220 volt circuit connects through two circuit breakers.  The US breaker box design connects adjacent circuit breakers to a separate hot bus, which allows the 220 volt circuit breaker pair to be connected as a double-pole – that is, they can be thrown open or closed simultaneously.       

Few US household appliances actually use 220 volts.  However central air conditioning compressor motors, and shop tools with electrical motors often do use 220 volts.  Other appliances that plug into a 220 volt receptacle, such as an electric oven or an automatic clothes dryer, may actually just run two separate 110 volt circuits within the appliance. 

The US system literally uses the ground as part of the electrical circuit.  You don\'t feel it, but a ground connection is essential to the US electrical system -- you cannot get 110 volts without connecting to ground.  The neutral buss, and the circuit breaker box itself, are always connected to ground using a heavy copper wire attached to a copper rod driven at least 18 inches into the soil.   

US wiring inside the house consist of three wires – a hot wire through the circuit breaker, a neutral wire connected to the neutral buss, and a ground safety wire connected to the circuit breaker box.  If a metal conduit is used, it may substitute for third safety ground wire.  Both the US neutral wire, and the ground safety wires are connected to ground, but they serve different purposes.  The neutral wire completes the appliance circuit from the hot feed wire, thru the appliance circuit, and then to ground and back to the generator.  The safety ground wire, on the other hand, never connects to the hot feed wire except by accident.  Its purpose is to drain off any electrical leakage from the appliance to the exterior of the appliance that a human may touch.  The safety ground wire utilizes the third prong on a three prong receptacle, which prevents your electrocution should the appliance casing inadvertently become electrically hot through a short. 


EUROPEAN SYSTEM
The European system also provides 220 volt service to residences -- but through a single hot feed wire.  The single feed wire is 220 volts measured to ground.  If there is a second feed wire to a European house, it is a neutral wire – not hot unless an appliance is turned on.  Inside the “European” house, there may be two wires – one hot and one neutral.  But outside the house, the neutral may just go to ground, because most localities on the European system consider it too expensive to run a neutral wire all the way back to the generator when the ground will accomplish the same thing at no cost.  Europeans do not use 110 volt appliances, and you cannot get 110 volts out of the European system.  If you need 110 volts, you must use a transformer. 

PHILIPPINE SYSTEM
I can’t speak for all areas in the Philippines, but the localities I have been to use the American two-phase service – consisting of two hot 110 volt wires 180 degrees out of phase with each other.  Both these hot feed wires connect to the main generator. The circuit breaker box has no neutral buss and does not normally connect to ground.  That works in the Philippines because only 220 volt appliances are sold there. 

However, because the service is 110 volt two phase, two circuit breakers are necessary for every household circuit. The breaker box is designed so adjacent circuit breakers connect to separate busses.  Every circuit breaker must be part of a double-pole pair – to be thrown open or closed simultaneously.  However, it is very easy for the connector bar to fall off, and if only one circuit breaker is turned off, the appliance will still be hot to ground – possibly through your body – so always make sure to throw circuit breaker switches in pairs. 

There are always two hot wires to every electrical outlet.  Each side of the electrical outlet is hot.  There are no neutral wires, and a safety ground wire is not employed.  The circuit box itself may not be grounded.

EUROPEAN EXPATS bringing European appliance only face the consternation of having to plug into a US-style two blade outlet that normally is a 110 volt outlet.  The US-style three-prong plug is also only used in grounded 110 volt circuits in the US and the third prong is useless on a normal Philippine electrical circuit. Other than having to use a plug adapter, European appliances work just fine in the Philippines.   

AMERICAN EXPATS bringing 110 volt appliances into the Philippines must either use a 110 volt transformer, or modify the house circuit to tap into the 110 volt service.  It is all too easy to plug your 110 volt appliance into what looks to the American as a normal 110 volt outlet, but in the Philippines is a 220 volt outlet – with the consequence of a fried American appliance.  110 volt transformers are widely available in the Philippines, and relatively cheap. 

If you bring American 220 volt appliances, such as electric water heaters, air conditioners, ovens, or ranges, you have to be careful.  Many of these may plug into a 220 volt outlet in the US, but their internal wiring is only designed to use 110 volts.  Also, all 220 volt circuits in the US use a three-prong plug, with the third prong serving as neutral and safety ground.  Philippine 220 volt circuits are not grounded, and for that reason, your American 220 volt appliances may not work, and may be fried. 

MODYFYING THE FILIPINO HOUSE CIRCUIT.
All one has to do to get 110 volts out of the Filipino system is add in the missing pieces – a neutral buss in the circuit breaker box, ground the neutral buss physically to the earth with a thick wire connected to a copper rod driven at least 18 inches into the soil, remove one of the hot wires running to the selected outlet and replace it with neutral wire from the neutral bus – viola, you have 110 volt service.  If you are going to install three-prong plugs, then you should also run a separate bare wire from the neutral bus to the third prong receptacle (for the round pin on the plug.)

Note that every 220 volt circuit you convert yields two 110 volt outlets, as a 110 volt outlet only has one circuit breaker and one hot wire to it.

If you are smart, you will also want to replace all your flat blade 220 volt outlets with the round pin European outlet.  Then you never have to ever worry about inadvertently plugging your 110 volt appliance into a 220 volt outlet and frying the appliance.

I hope this clears up the confusion.

Offline dylanaz

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Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #34 on: July 20, 2010, 06:19:09 AM »
If you are smart, you will also want to replace all your flat blade 220 volt outlets with the round pin European outlet.  Then you never have to ever worry about inadvertently plugging your 110 volt appliance into a 220 volt outlet and frying the appliance.

Good info THANKS !

I just fried a nice photo and DVD printer that was 110v - luckily all I had to do was replace a capacitor in the internal  Power Supply - but im going to read this post of yours a few times for the tips...

Good stuff !
I have seen so much conflict while in the Philippines - amazingly 99% of it was merely online computer experiences :D

Offline dylanaz

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Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #35 on: July 23, 2010, 08:00:45 AM »
After reading Doc\'s post again I decided to test out my electricity usage 1 more time...

Turning on ALL fans in the house - got my meter to 0.70 consumption....

Now heres the shocker...

Turned my A/C unit to high and it went to 4.0 !!!

Every week with that AC on is a MONTH WITH FANS ON AND NO AC !!!!

Well - I need A/C for at least the computer room - so turned the 0.6 HP AC window unit to LOW AC and dropped usage to 1.20 !!!

I CAN LIVE WITH THAT !!!

CHECK YOUR METERS !!! That little discovery can cut my bill by MORE THAN 50% !!!!
I have seen so much conflict while in the Philippines - amazingly 99% of it was merely online computer experiences :D

Offline Friscomama

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Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #36 on: July 29, 2010, 04:06:24 AM »
Hi,
I\'m new in here and I\'ve been reading some of the posts in the forum.

I\'m planning to build a commercial bldg and starting a business back home.  I came to the USA as a child and now wanting to go back.  Life here in the USA is not the same as when I was growing up.

So, with that said, I was warned that the electricity in the Philippines is very high.  Thanks to Dylanaz\'s post, it reminded me of what is the average BTU for an AC in Manila.  I could be posting the wrong question, not very experienced in electrical aside from being a user.  Any information would be greatly appreciated.  We are talking about a bldg approximately 2000 sq meters with high ceilings.  And, oh, thanks for this forum Don.  :D

Friscomama

Offline RUFUS

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Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #37 on: July 29, 2010, 06:25:50 AM »
Friscomama
Welcome to the forum...
A 2000sqm building would require a commercial cooling unit, not the typical wall mount ones that you may be thinking of.
A 10,000 btu wall/window unit will do about 50-60sqm
SO SAYETH THE RUFUS

Offline Friscomama

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Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2010, 07:03:34 AM »
Friscomama
Welcome to the forum...
A 2000sqm building would require a commercial cooling unit, not the typical wall mount ones that you may be thinking of.
A 10,000 btu wall/window unit will do about 50-60sqm

Hi Rufus!  ;D  Kamusta?

Thank you so much for your answer.  What\'s the average cost per BTU for electricity?
Salamat po,
Friscomama

Offline dylanaz

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Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #39 on: July 29, 2010, 08:38:56 PM »
Friscomama
Welcome to the forum...
A 2000sqm building would require a commercial cooling unit, not the typical wall mount ones that you may be thinking of.
A 10,000 btu wall/window unit will do about 50-60sqm

Hi Rufus!  ;D  Kamusta?

Thank you so much for your answer.  What\'s the average cost per BTU for electricity?
Salamat po,
Friscomama

Im not sure about converting BTU\'s but my last bill near manila was P11.87 per kWh when all misc fees were factored in...

Or roughly USD 26 cents per kWh !

\"WOW !\" - Says the guy with a load controller on his USA property and who even then watched the meter with a passion !  :D


I have seen so much conflict while in the Philippines - amazingly 99% of it was merely online computer experiences :D

Offline Friscomama

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Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #40 on: July 30, 2010, 10:09:14 AM »
Gentlemen,

You guys have been so helpful and great.  Thank you for the information.   Now, I just need to get familiar with The Philippine geography.  :D ;D

Friscomama

Offline GregW

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Ako si Goyo.   Amerikano akong lawas pero Bisaya akong kasing-kasing


Offline Tall_man

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Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #43 on: August 09, 2010, 02:52:15 PM »
For what its worth, the residential tarrif here in Thailand is about 3.5 baht per kWh; thats about 11 cent US. I rent a room and the land lord tacks on 100% surcharge (7 baht / kWh) so I am paying 22 cents per kWh  ::)
No Where For Very Long...

Offline harry80020

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Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #44 on: August 29, 2010, 01:15:00 AM »
Dear Noel,

    Short answer is it all depends on what the neutral is doing, is it there to provide 110 volts for the mag starter coil, work light, or other 110 volt component?  If this is the case your choices are to replace the 110 volt components with ones for 220 volts, or to buy a 220 to 220 volt transformer and wire the secondary of the transformer to the USA style.  If your mag starter uses a 110 volt coil, you \"might\" be able to find a 220 volt coil for it, or replace the whole contactor with a 220 volt unit.  If you have a 110 volt work light, simply replace the bulb with a 220 volt bulb.  If your saw has one of those neat little laser lights for the cutting mark and it used 110 volts, it will have to be replaced or dis-connected.

    As for the 220 volt 3 hp motor, it doesn\'t care if it\'s 220 volts come from +110 & -110 volts or from +220 & 0 volts.

    The following values are approximate since I can\'t see the motor and I hate having to dig in the code book even if I could see the motor:  If you opt for a 220 to 220 volt transformer, you will need at the very least a 4.4 kw (4400 watts), bare minimum.  And you will need 10 gauge copper wire.  The following might cause some confusion, especially for engineers, but I will include it also as a \"rule of thumb\": Your short circuit/ground fault protection should be \"about\" 60 amps and your overload protection should be \"about\" 25 amps

    Also, and I can\'t stress this point enough, make sure the metal frame of the saw is properly grounded !!!

Best always,
Harry.

--- On Fri, 8/27/10, Noel DelRosario wrote:


    From: Noel DelRosario
    Subject: Philippine 220V wiring question
    To: harry80020@yahoo.com
    Date: Friday, August 27, 2010, 6:15 PM

    Hello Harry,

    My name is Noel DelRosario, I came across your article (http://goiloilo.com/our-philippine-house-project-philippine-electrical-wiring/) regarding the wiring practice in the Philippines.  I plan to ship my woodworking tools in Manila.  I want to make sure that they will work in Manila, and I have been searching the net for some answers.  Yes I\'ve contacted the manufacturers technical support, and they are not familiar with the 2 wire 220v.

    As described in your article, the US 220v wiring will have 2 110v wires, 1 neutral, and 1 bare for ground.  My table saw is wired here in the US as such.  It has 3 hp motor, 220v, 60hz wired from the electrical panel to the magnetic starter with on/off switch.

    Please advise how can I wire the 3 wires (dual 110 and neutral from the table saw) to a typical residential Philippine wiring of 1 hot 220v and the neutral from the magnetic starter terminals to the wall power source.  I realize that I will need to change the receptacles from 3 prongs to 2 but that the easy part.  If I do then there is one extra wire (110v); how can I wire 2 110v terminals and 1 neutral to receive 1 220v and 1 neutral power source.  I hope I make the question clear.  I\'ve attached a typical wiring for the saw, you will find it towards the last pages of the attached.

    I am shooting at moon here hoping you can answer my questions.

    Thanks in advance,
    Noel