How to get this tanning bed working?
February 3, 2015 6:34 PM   Subscribe

Ex-roommate left her tanning bed in my basement when she moved out and I want to use it. It has a plug that I am unfamiliar with. She said that the people she purchased it from said she needed some type of adapter cable. Could you help me identify what I need? Details inside.

The power cord for the tanning bed looks like a regular three-pronged plug in but instead of the two bottom prongs being vertical, they are horizontal. The type of plug-ins I have in my basement are the type you would normally plug a dryer or camper into. I've tried to Google different types of plugs and I don't understand the information well enough to know what I need to purchase.
posted by sarahgrace to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
Sounds like a 220V 15amp connector (NEMA 6-15) - does it look like this? You can read what type of connector your dryer uses (presumably NEMA 10-30) and then find both connectors somewhere like home depot and make up a cable, or more likely you'll find a friend or electrician that will do that for you...
posted by foodgeek at 6:38 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

posted by devnull at 12:37 AM on February 4, 2015

[A couple of comments deleted. I'll state for OP's benefit that many answerers wish to warn about / recommend researching the cancer risk associated with tanning beds. That said, let's keep further answers focused on the actual question. Thanks.]
posted by taz (staff) at 3:01 AM on February 4, 2015

Assuming you're in North America, it could be either a NEMA 6-15 (220V 15 amp) or NEMA 6-30 (220V 30 amp). The 6-30 is larger in diameter, but without more detail it's impossible to tell which you have.

Dryer receptacles (again talking about North America) are usually 3-phase rather than 2-phase, so the plugs look different and have 4 prongs, but in theory you could build a converter cable with the appropriate plugs. This is dangerous if you don't know what you're doing - these are high voltage, high current connectors, and you also need the right wire to connect them, attached sufficiently tightly so you don't cause a fire.

As foodgeek says above, based on your question, I'd recommend finding an electrician (or at least an electrically-savvy friend) to build and test a converter cable. If it were me, I'd probably hire an electrician to install a new circuit breaker and a dedicated outlet with the correct receptacle.
posted by dttocs at 6:09 AM on February 4, 2015

Another option might be to search for an RV adapter if you can find one with the correct connectors. RVs mostly use locking connectors though (round), but that's another place you could look.
posted by dttocs at 6:17 AM on February 4, 2015

I nth the reccommendation to have an electrician to install a new circuit breaker for it. Even if an adapter or some sort can be rigged up, you may find you still can't use it because it keeps tripping if it's on a circuit breaker shared with other stuff.
posted by WeekendJen at 7:42 AM on February 4, 2015

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