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Old 10-24-2011, 09:51 AM   #1
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Another Dryer Question 3 to 4 wire


I have two questions… 1) I just finished the rewire job on my older 40’s style home. I put in a 200 amp panel, ran all new 12/2 wire throughout the house. I have AFCI where needed, GFI breakers in the kitchen, bath has GFI recp and outside recp so the house will be up to the 2011 code and everything was working.

Last week I was doing a final check on my main panel and moved around a bunch of breakers to keep things a bit neater and I notice that I had one ground wire connect to the neutral bar so I moved it back to the ground side.

Long story short.. I had our clothes dryer hard wired for many years. Keep in mind that our clothes dryer was some 35 years old and starting to act up so we were going to buy a new washer and dryer once the new addition is done and move them upstairs to the new laundry room (Old Age)

Yep! You already know. The dryer stopped working. The motor would only hum. Thinking that this was 220 and not 220/115, I figured that I had one bad leg or the motor was going out. Being that the dryer was old, we decided to bring home the dryer from the cabin for now and hold off buying a new one until spring.

I also wired the cabin some 25 years ago so my guess is that the second dryer was wired to a three prong plug (two hots and a ground) that was bonded with the neutrals at the main. Last night I hardwired the second dryer to the same place the old dryer was and I noticed that the connection block showes L1 - N – L2 and Neutral connection has a green jumper going from the N to the back of the dryer. I now have 10/3 with ground so I connected the Red and Black to the proper connections. The white goes to the neutral and because there is no Ground connection to the dryer block, I connected the ground lead from the 10/3 to the back plate on the dryer. The dryer works like it should and seems to be grounded with jumpers. Do I remove the green jumper from the white connection block or leave that in place? Doesn’t this go back to the natural bar in the panel and defeat the purpose?

On a positive note. It’s a good thing the old dryer had a malfunction due to my actions. Inside the dryer was full of lint, the blower fan had several sheetrock screws in the housing and the motor was packed in lint. If people think all the lint gets caught in the clean out screen they better think twice. This was a dryer fire in the making for sure.

The other thing….. I read this from one of the members… <I have seen situations where silicone was used at the time of installation and it took many years for the silicone to eat through the insulation.>

While taking out my old electrical switched and recps., I noticed all sorts of dust and bugs inside the boxes. I could see where one good arc might start a fire. Being that the new boxes have punch out holes for the wires, can I seal the excess area of the holes in my boxes from dust, drafts and bug with a silicone – latex or the spray foam with a fire retardant ? I have always secured lose wires on the airplane to the frame with silicone for many years and now I read this.... ??? Does silicone eat through the insulation as stated? Maybe I used Butal Rubber in the past.

Maybe this is the Lyme fogging my brain again but I saw so many patch jobs in my home from people in the past, I just want to make sure this is right but most of all Safe… Just because it was ok to do it in the past, doesn’t mean its ok to do it now that we know better.

Thanks in Advance.






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Old 10-24-2011, 10:07 AM   #2
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Another Dryer Question 3 to 4 wire


So, what is your question again? I got lost reading through your thesis. If it is about the dryer, and currently it is 3-wire, check to make sure the wire is good, and put in a plug on the dryer and a outlet on the wire and be done. If you are able to pull the proper 4 wire #10, you can do that if you want.

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Old 10-24-2011, 10:32 AM   #3
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Another Dryer Question 3 to 4 wire


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
So, what is your question again? I got lost reading through your thesis. If it is about the dryer, and currently it is 3-wire, check to make sure the wire is good, and put in a plug on the dryer and a outlet on the wire and be done. If you are able to pull the proper 4 wire #10, you can do that if you want.
So, it was not just me.

Dryer, silicone, dust, and something about drywall screws?
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:13 AM   #4
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Another Dryer Question 3 to 4 wire


I still have mine hard wired on the 3-wire that was there when we moved in. I am too busy with other stuff to get to it, and besides it works, and is secured. I will probably get to it this Spring, since I have to finish the kitchen and do some other stuff.

I look at it this way, if a person does not do something properly, makes changes, things are not going to work properly.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by John3rd View Post
Last week I was doing a final check on my main panel and moved around a bunch of breakers to keep things a bit neater and I notice that I had one ground wire connect to the neutral bar so I moved it back to the ground side....

Yep! You already know. The dryer stopped working. The motor would only hum. Thinking that this was 220 and not 220/115, I figured that I had one bad leg or the motor was going out.

Moving the dryer's ground/neutral from the neutral bar to the ground bar should make no difference at all. In your main panel, the neutral and ground bar must be bonded together anyways, and they are completely interchangeable. Many electricians make no distinction and just land all the neutrals and grounds all mixed up with each other on the same bar, and that's fine. In a subpanel, the neutral and ground bars must be separated, but are still bonded back in the main panel so there would still be no reason for the dryer to stop working.

The only way that landing the dryer's neutral/grounding conductor on the panel's ground bar instead of the neutral bar could cause a problem is if there is no neutral/ground bond. And that would be a pretty dangerous condition. Are you sure this panel is set up properly?
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:30 PM   #6
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Another Dryer Question 3 to 4 wire


Mpoulton: Thank you for the fast and honest reply. This is why I asked the question of grounding the dryer to the Neutral with the wire in back. My main panel is grounded back to the pole and to the underground well pipe but along the line I removed the ground strap from the Neutral bar to the box in the panel when I was doing the change over last year.

I used the new main as a sub panel for the longest time. I guess I was under the impression that the Neutral Bar(s) should not be grounded in the main panel. I had a bad case of Lyme and seemed to forget a few things for now. That’s why I started to question myself when the old dryer started to act up on the 115v side. (It’s funny how my three prong tester shows that everything is correct)

From what you are saying is I should ground the neutral bar to the box and then run a jumper from the one neutral bar to the other Neutral bar (in the Main) so it is properly grounded in the panel. More or less, like we did in the past??

Why is it that only a few members on this forum will answer questions without being sarcastic while others are fast to post a response with nothing but their smart remarks. Last week I asked a question Jim was kind enough to answered my question with a fast reply.

Being that I am much older than most I have to ask myself, could it be that age, experience and maturity has something to do with a proper posting by some? When I see some of the sarcastic remarks, I’d like to send a copy to the sponsors of this forum because in reality they are the ones paying the bills. I guess I for one would be careful who I bash for one never knows who is paying the bills.

What started my questions was a remark made by one of your members about silicone eating through insulation and possibly causing shorts in the wires. I also wanted to know if the green ground wire should be connected to the neutral wire on the connecting block on the back of dryer as they once were when a three wire was in use.

As far as my questions in the first post. Read this and maybe you can follow the first posting as some of the more experienced people did.

I wrote….

Last night I hardwired the second dryer to the same place the old dryer was and I noticed that the connection block showes L1 - N – L2 and Neutral connection has a green jumper going from the N to the back of the dryer. I now have 10/3 with ground so I connected the Red and Black to the proper connections. The white goes to the neutral and because there is no Ground connection at the dryer block, I connected the ground lead from the 10/3 to the back plate on the dryer. The dryer works like it should and seems to be grounded with jumpers. Do I remove the green jumper from the white connection block or leave that in place?

Doesn’t this ground feed back to the natural bar in the panel and defeat the purpose?

Being from the medical field in the past, I guess I like most thing with 220v to be hardwired and not some funky cord and plug made in China by some little kid where most of the strands in the cord are missing.

The other thing….. I read this from one of the members who wrote“I have seen situations where silicone was used at the time of installation and it took many years for the silicone to eat through the insulation.”

Question # 2) Does silicone eat through the insulation as stated? What type of silicone and what type of insulation?

Being that the new boxes have punch out holes for the wires, can I seal the excess area of the holes in my boxes from dust, drafts and bugs with a silicone – latex or the spray foam with a fire retardant ?

My reason for asking was several wires in my Airplane have silicone attached to the wires and the frame.

Mpoulton, Thanks again for the fast and a mature reply to my questions. I’m sure my neutral bars are not grounded in the main panel.
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Old 10-24-2011, 03:45 PM   #7
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Another Dryer Question 3 to 4 wire


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I still have mine hard wired on the 3-wire that was there when we moved in. I am too busy with other stuff to get to it, and besides it works, and is secured. I will probably get to it this Spring, since I have to finish the kitchen and do some other stuff.

I look at it this way, if a person does not do something properly, makes changes, things are not going to work properly.





Not to throw stones but if I may be so bold as to ask.. What does your last reply have to do with answering my questions??? I don’t recall asking you if your dryer is still connected to three wires; and I really don’t care what you do to your kitchen. Like you, I am also redoing my kitchen but unlike you, I don’t spend 85 % of my time on this forum telling others how great I am.

In the past, I always thought you had some very good information and some of it was passed on but lately you have some sort of a hang-up. Maybe you should do a little sole searching. Why is it that Jim and or mpoulton seem to be willing to help or in some cases suggest that a person contacts a electrician and a few other members have to be so belligerent? What did you prove by your first two replies to me?

You now wrote… I look at it this way, if a person does not do something properly, makes changes, things are not going to work properly.

For your information I watched an old friend of my who had 37 years experience catch an arc from 880 to his watch and his shirt dried in seconds. Fast thinking on my part saved his life. I also watched a young kid (new worker) get shocked while charging a line of car batteries. In both cases I was smart enough to jump at them and knock them away. I also watched a line man change a fuse on a transformer pole in the middle of the night and the transformer exploded with a flash of hot oil. In all cases everything was working properly but Things Happen..

I’ll do you a big favor. Read these words. True experience in life comes with maturity. A mature person knows when to speak and when to listen. In your first two post to me, you put your mouth in gear and your brain was still in natural. Unlike you, I will not come back with some sarcastic reply to your next reply but you will because you always have to have the last word. Like I said, In the past you have had some good information but lately you are very little help to anyone let alone yourself.

Mpoulton realized that by me moving the ground wire in my panel from my neutral bar to the ground now caused a malfunction in my old dryer because the neutrals were not grounded properly and the 115 side of the dryer would not function.

Evidently you read my first post but you did not take the time to comprehend because you were to busy trying to think of some smart remark.

HINT.. I notice that I had one ground wire connect to the neutral bar so I moved it back to the ground side. Yep! You already know. The dryer stopped working. The motor would only hum. Thinking that this was 220 and not 220/115, I figured that I had one bad leg or the motor was going out.I connected the ground lead from the 10/3 to the back plate on the dryer.

Your first reply was… If it is about the dryer, and currently it is 3-wire, check to make sure the wire is good, and put in a plug on the dryer and a outlet on the wire and be done. If you are able to pull the proper 4 wire #10, you can do that if you want.

I already had 10/3 w/ground to the dryer. The old dryer worked until I moved over the ground in the main panel. In doing so the dryer motor could not work because the circuit was not complete. The answer is. The neutral side was going through the old ground wire on a 3 wire system and once I moved the ground wire the circuit was open. Mpoulton was right.. I thought as much when I first posted this.. I knew it when the motor would not run. I did not want to buy a 3 prong recp when the new dryer will be upstairs in a few months on a 4 prong so I hard wired the second dryer for now.

So my friend… With all due respect, You failed!! You did not take the time to read my posting. If this was a written test or you were going to be working for me, Guess what... you’d be as home working on your kitchen.

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Old 10-24-2011, 04:03 PM   #8
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Another Dryer Question 3 to 4 wire


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Originally Posted by John3rd View Post
Not to throw stones but if I may be so bold as to ask.. What does your last reply have to do with answering my questions??? I don’t recall asking you if your dryer is still connected to three wires; and I really don’t care what you do to your kitchen. Like you, I am also redoing my kitchen but unlike you, I don’t spend 85 % of my time on this forum telling others how great I am.
Wow. Pretty arrogant words from someone so new here, and looking for help.
This and the fact that you type WAY too much are the reasons I have stayed away from your questions.
Details are great. Lack of them is annoying, but over abundance of them is also annoying. You're some kind of engineer, aren't you?

You also throw the words mature and maturity around a lot. I hate to inform you but age and experience do NOT equate to maturity. So don't flatter yourself.

Oh yeah, I also spend a lot of time on forums like this, and I am great. just thought I'd tell you that.

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Old 10-24-2011, 05:54 PM   #9
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I guess I was under the impression that the Neutral Bar(s) should not be grounded in the main panel....

From what you are saying is I should ground the neutral bar to the box and then run a jumper from the one neutral bar to the other Neutral bar (in the Main) so it is properly grounded in the panel. More or less, like we did in the past??

Yes, the neutral and ground bars MUST be connected in the main panel. Your present installation is quite dangerous, especially with the dryer's neutral landed on an un-bonded ground bus. Every time you try to run the dryer, all of the grounded metal in the house is electrified somewhat since the grounding system is connected directly to the AC line through the motor in the dryer. Also, if your grounding system is ever called upon to serve its intended purpose by clearing a ground fault somewhere in your house, it will not work. Instead, it will serve only to electrify all of the "grounded" metal in your house. Not good at all. The grounding bus MUST be bonded to the system neutral in the main panel.

What started my questions was a remark made by one of your members about silicone eating through insulation and possibly causing shorts in the wires. I also wanted to know if the green ground wire should be connected to the neutral wire on the connecting block on the back of dryer as they once were when a three wire was in use.

There are multiple types of silicone. Most hardware store silicones are acid-curing, meaning the chemical reaction that hardens the silicone produces acetic acid (vinegar) as a byproduct. This can cause corrosion of electronics over time. I doubt it would do anything to wire insulation though, just to metal. There are non-corrosive silicones that are alcohol-curing. They are used for delicate electronics applications.

If your dryer is connected with a 4-wire cord, then you need to remove the bonding jumper inside the dryer so the neutral and ground connections are separated.
Comments in red above.

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