Mark Mandell - Gone Round In New Jersey
Running a 240 circuit with 4-wire (2 hots, a white common/neutral, and a ground) allows you to either split the feed into two 120v feeds or maintain the main 240v but take a 120 aux receptacle off the side using one hot and the common. The common is capped in the box when not used. Examples are a feed for a 240v lathe or band saw coupled with one or more accessory work lights using 120v or an outlet for a 120v power tool like a drill or sander.
PS: This NOT the way to get two 120v circuits by pulling a single cable. Proper way is to run separate 3-wire cables off of separate breakers. If you establish the 120v aux receptacle, make sure that the 240 breaker is one that will trip the entire circuit if there's a short in the 120v feed.
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