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Old 12-22-2008, 01:46 PM   #1
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Another dryer/plug question


My Mom has an older 3 prong dryer outlet, and the new dryer came with a 4 prong cord.
My intent is to change the cord on the dryer to match the outlet.
I will remove the ground strap from the dryer terminal, then connect the existing ground wire from the outlet to the neutral terminal, and run a separate ground wire from the cold water line to the dryer case.
Does this seem like a safer way to address the problem than just jump the neutral and the ground conductors?

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Old 12-22-2008, 01:50 PM   #2
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Another dryer/plug question


This sounds almost like a joke, how is the plug wired?What wires are in there? It might be easy to just put a 4 prong in there.

Always shut power off.

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Old 12-22-2008, 02:12 PM   #3
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No joke whatsoever.
Existing outlet is 3 wire. Plug on dryer is 4 wire.
Service is about 100 feet from dryer, so running a new 4 wire service from panel would not be cost efficient.
My theory is to move the ground wire from the ground buss over to the neutral buss, then ground the case of the dryer to the cold water line going to the washer. I would then have a separate ground, and would not be diverting current through the old ground conductor back to the panel via the neutral terminal within the dryer.
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Old 12-22-2008, 03:11 PM   #4
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Another dryer/plug question


I'll just say that doing as you say are all code violations. Why not just keep the 3 wire connection and convert the dryer to 3 wire??

You guys don't get the name OKIE for nothing..... Don't take this personal...it is a poor attempt at humor.
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Old 12-22-2008, 03:20 PM   #5
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Another dryer/plug question


Buy a three prong plug for the dryer. Install the jumper from ground to neutral inside the dryer. Forget the water pipe, that is a bad idea.
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Old 12-22-2008, 03:59 PM   #6
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Thanks John.
Even though some inspectors frown on this practice, I have found that I am grandfathered into pre 1996 code, so this is what I will do, even though I don't agree that it's the safest method, it's for sure the easiest.
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Old 12-22-2008, 04:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
My theory is to move the ground wire from the ground buss over to the neutral buss, then ground the case of the dryer to the cold water line going to the washer. I would then have a separate ground, and would not be diverting current through the old ground conductor back to the panel via the neutral terminal within the dryer.
Might as well discuss this so we can learn the whys and why nots.

When you say move the ground wire from the ground buss over to the neutral buss I am assuming your talking about the dryers 3 wire supply at the terminations in the panel where the overcurrent protection (circuit breaker) is located. This is confusing because a 3 wire dryer supply is 2 hots and a neutral. Anyway if there is a ground buss and neutral buss that are isolated (not bonded) from each other in the panel, this suggests that this is a sub-panel and not the main panel. Care to clarify?
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
Might as well discuss this so we can learn the whys and why nots.

When you say move the ground wire from the ground buss over to the neutral buss I am assuming your talking about the dryers 3 wire supply at the terminations in the panel where the overcurrent protection (circuit breaker) is located. This is confusing because a 3 wire dryer supply is 2 hots and a neutral. Anyway if there is a ground buss and neutral buss that are isolated (not bonded) from each other in the panel, this suggests that this is a sub-panel and not the main panel. Care to clarify?
U

I believe the actual configuration of a 3 wire supply is 2 hots and a GROUND. This is where the problem lies
The heating elements in the dryer are 220V and the drum motor is 120V, which would require it's own neutral connection to operate safely.

Relocating the existing grounding conductor within the 220V Romex bundle (black/red/green) to the neutral buss would allow the current from the dryer motor (120V) to flow through the neutral terminal inside the dryer, back to neutral buss, as specified by code.

I don't claim to be an electrician, but I believe a grounding conductor should not carry current. Only a GROUNDED conductor (or neutral)

Having said this, I am now without a safety grounding conductor in this scenario.
This is where I thought I could use an approved grounding clamnp and conductor from the water pipe, and ground it physically to the dryer enclosure, therby sending any short-circuit current back to ground which should in turn trip the breaker.

I now have a properly wired 120V motor, 220V for the heating element, and a ground wire bonded from the water pipe to the dryer enclosure, similar as a bonding conductor necessary in a spa.

I talked to several electricians and one electrical inspector and got 3 different opinions.

One said, "no problem". One said "not the best way, but it will work" One said, "just jump the neutral and the ground inside the dryer and use a 3 wire plug" and the building inspector said "I recommend you pull another wire from the sub panel to the outlet"

I'm going the easy route......jump the neutral and ground inside the dryer and use a 3 prong cord! WHEW!!!!
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
I believe the actual configuration of a 3 wire supply is 2 hots and a GROUND.
Actually no...think about it...a ground (GREEN) would not be connected to the neutral terminal of the dryer but to the frame. You would have no neutral.


Quote:
Relocating the existing grounding conductor within the 220V Romex bundle (black/red/green) to the neutral buss would allow the current from the dryer motor (120V) to flow through the neutral terminal inside the dryer, back to neutral buss, as specified by code.
If your supply from the panel is black,red and green then you have the wrong cable it has no neutral.. You cannot use a green wire or reidentify it as a neutral (white).

Are you saying that in the original setup the green wire is connected to the neutral pin of the 3 wire dryer receptacle? 3 wire dryer receptacles/plugs do not have a ground connection only a neutral and two hots. You also say that in the panel it is connected to a ground bar? And you want to move it to the neutral bar? I maintain that it is really connected to the neutral bar and if there are two bars in the panel they are bonded together in what is called a split neutral.

Last edited by Stubbie; 12-22-2008 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 12-22-2008, 06:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
I believe the actual configuration of a 3 wire supply is 2 hots and a GROUND.
Your thinking of a 240 volt appliance. A 3 wire supply to a dryer is 120/240 and is 2 hots and a neutral. The neutral shares the ground path.... that is why a bonding jumper is used from the neutral terminal of the dryer to the frame.
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Old 12-22-2008, 06:49 PM   #11
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Steve, NOTHING you are proposing in this thread is safe or legal. WHY are you trying to make this harder than it needs to be??????

Leave the old 3-prong receptacle and change the cord to match. The pre-existing circuit is grandfathered to have the ground bonded to the NEUTRAL of the circuit. Your assumptions about all this are VERY wrong.

DO NOT simply connect the ground to a nearby cold water pipe. This is NOT a safe practice!

Your cavalier attitude about this is quite scary.
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Old 12-22-2008, 06:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Steve, NOTHING you are proposing in this thread is safe or legal. WHY are you trying to make this harder than it needs to be??????

Leave the old 3-prong receptacle and change the cord to match. The pre-existing circuit is grandfathered to have the ground bonded to the NEUTRAL of the circuit. Your assumptions about all this are VERY wrong.

DO NOT simply connect the ground to a nearby cold water pipe. This is NOT a safe practice!

Your cavalier attitude about this is quite scary.
Wow it sure is nice having so many primadonnas looking after my best interests.
Once again, read the posts.
I changed the cord!!!! Now get over it!
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Old 12-22-2008, 06:54 PM   #13
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Hi Speedy

Actually I think that is what he has decided to do. I engaged him in discussion as to why what he originally proposed is incorrect.
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Old 12-22-2008, 06:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STEVE IN OC View Post
Wow it sure is nice having so many primadonnas looking after my best interests.
Once again, read the posts.
I changed the cord!!!! Now get over it!
Not primadonna's, just good advice from some of the most knowledgeable posters on this board. Glad to know you are doing it the correct way.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:07 PM   #15
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Another dryer/plug question


Another satisfied customer.....

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