Increasing Load Capacity by Joining Two Breaker Circuits?

My garage has a 20amp breaker, but I would like to occasionally be able to run it with a higher load capacity. I have 20 amp outlets, but all my outlets are wired in series therefore if one were to go out, there would be no power delivered to all outlets, however the lights are on a separate branch circuit in parallel with the 20amp circuit.


My question specifically is:

How would you use an extension cord with two male ends to plug into an outlet from my 30amp house circuit and into an outlet from my 20amp garage circuit to spread the load created by my welder and other power tools?

I realize this question may sound dumb, but I'm attempting to learn and have yet to find how people solve this problem other than by installing a higher capacity breaker (ex. 30amp breaker).

I know that if you connect two COM wires in series that you can get 230v from a 115 volt house circuit.

Feel free to use electrical jargon to describe how I should approach this problem, but if you have resources I could learn from online I would appreciate that even more since I do want to learn more.

Thank you.


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March 7, 20160 found this helpful

The 20 amp breaker is designed to limit current flow through the wires (20 amp is 12 AWG or larger wire) to protect the wire from overheating (fire).


Your power panel is staggered between two legs with the neutral being center tapped. The voltage between opposing legs is 240 volts. The voltage between the same leg is 0 volts.

Running a drop cord from a separate circuit to your garage may trip breakers if they are on opposing legs. If they are on the same leg, it will allow too much current to flow through wires and receptacles resulting in overheating and possibly fire.

What you are proposing is very dangerous and not according to code.

The proper way to do this is to increase the breaker and wiring. I would encourage you to get an electrician.

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