Key Points:

  • Wiring 208 volts is often necessary for household operations.
  • The steps of wiring 208 volts in single phase is different from that of wiring 208 volts in three phase.
  • The wiring procedure is simple if followed properly and cautiously. But you should call an expert if you feel confused.

One of the standard voltage levels used for commercial applications in the United States is 208V single phase and three phase voltages. It is derived from the Wye-Wye, Delta-Wye, or High leg delta configuration of the transformer’s primary and secondary windings. Can you have 208v single phase? You definitely can.

That brings up the question, how to wire 208 volt single phase?

Electric power supply providers typically install three transformers to obtain 208V supply voltage levels. The common setup for 208v single phase is 3 wires of which two are hot wires and one is ground wire. Voltage between any two hot wires is 208V in single phase.

I’ll go over each of these steps in detail throughout this article. So, let’s get started with the wiring procedure.

How To Wire 208 Volt Single Phase

Gathering Necessary Tools

Before beginning any electrical work, it is highly recommended that you gather all of the necessary tools for the job. So, how do you wire 208V single-phase? You need the following tools before you begin the procedure.

Required tools for wiring 208-volts

  1. Screw Drivers: Screw drivers with different heads are required depending on your system.
  2. Wire Strippers: Wire strippers are used to strip wires before the connection to ensure proper flow pf electricity.
  3. Rubber Boots and Gloves: Rubber boots and gloves keep you safe from electrical hazards during the wiring process.
  4. Voltage Testers: Voltage testers ensure that the cables or wires you’re working with are not conductive. Working with live wires is extremely dangerous. It is essential to know how to test live wire.

How to Wire 208V Single Phase Circuits & Breakers?

The following diagram should be followed for figuring out how to wire 208 volt single phase. But does 208 single-phase need neutral? As you can see from the diagram (Fig 1), it is not necessary to connect a neutral terminal in such cases.

208v Single Phase Wiring Diagram
Fig 1- 208v Single Phase Wiring Diagram

How to wire 208v single phase?

  1. Disconnect the power source before servicing, repairing or installing electrical equipment. To do so, switch off the main switch in the main panel box.
  2. Open the panel box cover to gain access to the breakers and terminals. You may need to use screwdrivers.
  3. As shown in the diagram (Fig 1), connect a two pole circuit breaker to any two hot terminals.
  4. The outgoing two hot wires from the 2-Pole circuit breaker, ground (as well as neutral if needed) is connected to the single phase load or appliance such as 208V water heater.
  5. A single phase 120V breaker will consume very low power as compared to the three phase water heater circuit. This way, one of the transformers will supply more power as compared to the rest of two transformers.
  6. Similarly, if most of the breakers are installed on the same bus terminal, the same problem of an unbalanced system will occur.
  7. Whereas, the management try their best to maintain the balance load and same amperes flow on each hot wire for reliable operation of the power generation plant and distribution grid system.
  8. Even if a 480v 3 phase to 240v single phase transformer is used, the procedure will remain the same.
  9. You may use a three pole breaker for single phase 120V if you only pull out a single hot wire from the breaker output and connect the neutral wire from the neutral terminal to the load point. This must be according to the connected device amperage capacity.

These are the steps that one should follow in order to wire 208 volts in single phase.


It is critical to troubleshoot any electrical component after wiring it to ensure that it is functioning properly.

Testing the 208v wiring in single phase

  1. Switch on the electricity at the main panel or at the circuit breaker.
  2. Make sure the power is back on by checking the LED indicators of the switchboard.
  3. Turn on the appliance.
  4. Make sure the appliance plug is attached properly.
  5. Try to test run the appliance to make sure that it is working properly.
  6. Keep an eye out for any overheating or sparks in the breaker box or the plug.

If all the steps mentioned above, checks out perfectly, you can rest assured that you have made a perfect wiring procedure.


In this article, I’ve gone through all the necessary steps on how to wire 208 volt single phase. With the step-by-step instructions provided in this post, I hope that wiring 208 volts at single phase will be simple and straightforward for anyone.

Stay cautious and take all necessary precautions before engaging in any electrical activities on your own.

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