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Old 12-04-2011, 10:10 AM   #1
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I am remodeling my in laws laundry room. I replace the subfloor and moved the water lines for the washer. I move the 240v outlet next to the washing machine. I wired the dryer outlet the same way it was originally wired. I have not put dry wall yet.

The problem is when I connect the dryer, and I touch the copper water lines I feel current. It is like licking a 9v battery. If I touch the washing machine or hold a scap piece of copper pipe I do not feel anything.

Am I feeling the current because the copper lines are not grounded? It's a very old house and not sure if there is grounding on the copper pipes.

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Old 12-04-2011, 10:25 AM   #2
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take a reading from the dryer to the copper water pipe.does the dryer have digital solid state when it is plugged in might power the controller within on 120V and grounding for a neutral to run....maybe the dryer needs a hard wire ground being 240Vs to the pipe as you getting that 9V tinkle simulating a ground and that you touched the washer and didn't get it that means the washer isn't grounded either

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Old 12-04-2011, 10:35 AM   #3
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villarroel.....have you ever licked a 9v batery? Is this a new dryer or an existng one? I would inspect both your wiring of the plug and the cord connection on the dryer. And if the copper wasn't grounded it would not complete the circuit. I suspect the equipment ground is the issue.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:02 AM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions. it is an existing dryer. I also feel the current when I touch the I brass fittings on the washer hoses. I will check the connection on the appliance cable. I do not feel anything if I touch other items. The washer is not even plugged in.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:30 AM   #5
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Tell us how you wired the dryer. Maybe it was wired wrong and you copied an error.
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:22 PM   #6
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DON'T Touch the pipe with one hand and the dryer with the other hand! That can cause your heart to "fibrillate"!

Rather use a multimeter.

Then the source of this electricity could be coming from the dryer OR it could be coming from the water pipes.

Find a good ground which would be two ground rods placed 6 ft. apart.

Run a long test wire to that ground.

Measure the AC voltage from the metal case of that dryer to your test wire/ground. Then measure the water pipe to the wire.

It could be that the dryer is properly grounded and something else is placing a voltage on the water pipes. Like the washing machine. Or another appliance like a water heater or furnace or refrigerator.

Sometimes new wiring is grounded, but not connected to ground at the main panel. So one malfunctioning appliance will place a hot on those "floating" (not grounded) ground wires. And one of those appliances may be in contact with a "floating" water line.

A water line can be not grounded because someone replaced the underground portion with plastic pipe and never bonded the remaining metal pipes to the main electrical system ground rods. Or may not have installed ground rods as they should have.

A good grounding system for your main electric panel is 2 ground rods placed 6 ft. apart. Then all metal water pipes bonded to the ground in that panel via a separate ground wire. And a jumper ground wire at the water heater from the metal hot water lines to the metal cold water lines.

And ground jumpers between sections of metal water pipes which are isolated by new plastic water pipes.

Assume that all water pipes are carrying electricity. I would suggest calling an electrician. This can be dangerous!
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:38 PM   #7
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okay. i am attaching the wiring from the dryer outlet. i also checked the wiring on the cable connection to the dryer.

the cable is 3 way dryer cable. should it be a four way? actually it is correct. it is 3 way dryer cable.

i think its wired wrong. if i have a three pong outlet, the middle one is suppose to be the netural, white cable from the dryer cord? it goes to one of the lines in the dryer outlet, it should go to the L shape one instead, correct?

and why is my ground in the dryer outlet connect to the red wire on the dryer connection cable?

the incoming electrical cable is only 10-2
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feel current.....-imag0706.jpg   feel current.....-imag0708.jpg  

Last edited by villarroel; 12-04-2011 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:11 PM   #8
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i found this picture. this is not how its wired right now. the ground goes to one of the lines and the white, the black (hot) goes to the L shape connection on the outlet. can it be wired wrong?

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Old 12-04-2011, 02:18 PM   #9
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STOP what your doing.... you need to start over.

The incoming cable from the panel breaker box is incorrect for the receptacle and a 120/240 volt electric dryer. That cable needs to be replaced with a 4 wire 10/3 with ground cable. The receptacle needs to be replaced with a 4 wire dryer receptacle (nema 14-30R) like this below not the 10-30R you have now.





A 10/3 with ground cable from the breaker box will have 4 wires red(hot), black(hot), white(neutral) and bare copper ground. In the diagram (above) X and Y are hots (it doesn't matter which hot wire red or black connects to them), W is white neutral and bare is your ground.


The dryer power cord needs to be replaced with a 4 wire dryer cord.





The dryer needs to be converted from 3 wire connection to a four wire connection. We can tell you how if you can't figure that out. It involves removing the green and yellow wire you see attached to the dryer frame in your picture and capping it off. Then attaching the green wire of the new power cord in it's place. An example ...



On the dryer terminal block (above) the center terminal (silver) is white neutral the other two on each side are the hots (black and red of the new power cord). The green of the power cord connects to the dryer frame in the same location as the green and yellow striped bonding wire you presently are showing in your picture.


Ask more questions if needed.

You should be advised doing electrical work and making or not recognizing the errors shown in your photos suggests you consider hiring an electrician especially since this is not your property.

EDIT: Almost forgot you have current on your water pipe. Touching the water pipe until you find the cause is not good. Use a testing device or get an electrician. You also need to understand the connections in the breaker panel if not get an electrician
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:51 PM   #10
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Here is the thing. A license electrican did it 20 years ago. I am just moving what was already installed. I am sure that I copied what was there before. Using a new 10-2 cable and copying the existing dryer outlet from the original location.
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:25 PM   #11
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I would be getting out a multimeter and figuring out where the voltage is coming from
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villarroel View Post
Here is the thing. A license electrican did it 20 years ago. I am just moving what was already installed. I am sure that I copied what was there before. Using a new 10-2 cable and copying the existing dryer outlet from the original location.
You're not allowed to do that anymore. 20 years ago a 3-wire installation with the proper type of cable was legal, but as of about 15 years ago it is not. The use of 10-2 cable with a bare ground was never legal. Your new receptacle MUST be a 4-wire, run with 10-3 cable. Please do it right! The code change was to prevent shock hazards like the one you're dealing with right now.

With that said, it appears that your installation is NOT an exact copy of the original, or the wiring in the dryer is wrong. You seem to have electrified the case by connecting the chassis ground to a hot wire. This is extremely dangerous, and you were VERY lucky your hands were completely dry when you touched both the plumbing and the dryer at once. Doing that could easily be fatal if you're unlucky. The difference between a minor tingle and a muscle-locking heart-stopping shock is the difference between sweaty palms or dry ones. Do not plug the dryer back in until this is resolved.

Measure the voltage between the two straight slots in the receptacle. It should be 240. Tell us what it is.

Measure voltage between each of the straight slots and the L-slot in the receptacle. It should be 120 for each. Tell us those measurements.

Measure resistance between the metal case of the dryer and the L-shaped prong on the plug. It should be zero or close to it. Tell us what that is.

Measure resistance between each of the straight prongs on the plug and the metal case of the dryer. It might be a variety of things depending on the circumstances, but tell us those measurements too.

From that information we can tell you exactly what's wrong and how to fix it. DO NOT PLUG IN THE DRYER UNTIL THIS IS FIXED!

Last edited by mpoulton; 12-05-2011 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:48 AM   #13
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I can't tell for sure form the blurry picture, but it appears that you have hot (black) and ground (bare) reversed on the receptacle. This explains the shock - the dryer chassis is electrified. Please verify that this is the problem, and correct it. You still should make this a proper installation using 4-wire cable and a 4-prong receptacle.
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpoulton View Post
I can't tell for sure form the blurry picture, but it appears that you have hot (black) and ground (bare) reversed on the receptacle. This explains the shock - the dryer chassis is electrified. Please verify that this is the problem, and correct it. You still should make this a proper installation using 4-wire cable and a 4-prong receptacle.
I hadn't noticed before. I just glanced at the pic and didn't see which way was up. Looks like your right
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villarroel View Post
Here is the thing. A license electrican did it 20 years ago. I am just moving what was already installed. I am sure that I copied what was there before. Using a new 10-2 cable and copying the existing dryer outlet from the original location.
He may very well have wired it with 10/2 G but it was never acceptable. Any three wire cable used had to be either seu type two hots and bare neutral or the cable had to have an insulated neutral. Your cable appears to be NM-b 10/2 G which is not allowed. The bare in that cable is for equipment grounding not for a current carrying neutral wire. The neutral must be insulated.

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