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Old 04-20-2010, 06:20 PM   #1
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Grounding Dryer Receptacle


I am changing over a dryer for a lady, and rewiring as necessary. The old dryer is hard wired with 10/3 (old wire, no ground), direct from breaker box to dryer. There is no receptacle. (Wire: Black, white, red).

The new dryer is set up with a 4-prong plug. I've already mounted a 4-sq. deep box and have the 4-prong receptacle. W/protective conduit in place. Since the current dryer wiring has no ground, is it ok to wire the 4-prong receptacle with the existing 10/3 wire; and run a separate ground wire from the receptacle to the copper water lines overhead?

If so, does the ground wire have to be 10 guage, or can it be grounded with 12 guage wire. I believe it can be 12 guage wire.

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Old 04-20-2010, 06:26 PM   #2
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Grounding Dryer Receptacle


No, ground must run back to the panel

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Old 04-20-2010, 06:41 PM   #3
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Grounding Dryer Receptacle


Any other options available as the panel is extremely hard to get to.

Is this an option: Putting in an older style 3-prong receptacle and replacing the 4-prong cord with a 3-prong. The existing dryer has only 3-wires and no ground.
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:50 PM   #4
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Grounding Dryer Receptacle


You can put in a 3 prong plug as long as Mfg instructions say it is OK
Existing wiring is grandfathered, not required to change it
But a good idea

There is a change you need to make on the wiring on the back of the dryer usually - Mfg instructions should outline this
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:55 PM   #5
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Grounding Dryer Receptacle


Thanks Scuba, the other reason for all the questios. We moved into our own home Aug 04 and purchased a new washer and dryer.

When the delivery men installed the dryer, they put on a 3-prong pigtail because the house had a 3-prong receptacle, and of course it works. But what I was questioning when I looked at the hookup. There is a separate "green" grounding wire that is running from bare copper water lines paralleling down the conduit and hanging beside the non-grounded outlet that is currently there. My mind is questioning why the separate green wire was there in the first place and that's why I asked if it was possible and ok to ground to the copper water lines when adapting back to a 4-prong plug.
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:05 PM   #6
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Grounding Dryer Receptacle


Hopefully they verified the wiring on the dryer for 3 prong connection
Very specific connections on the back for either a 3 or 4 wire connection

Not sure on the green wire
Possibly someone connected up a 4-wire with that ground & then removed it
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:25 PM   #7
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Grounding Dryer Receptacle


OK, another question. Can you "double-up" a ground wire connection. I just went over to the ladies house. There is an existing bare ground wire that appears to be running through a hole in the floor, just below the breaker box. At the ground clamp (connecting this bare ground) is is another ground running to the transformer, which I assume is for the furnace. Can I double up on that same ground with a separate wire ground from the 4-prong receptacle. Meaning, can both the dryer ground and the transformer ground be combined to the same ground running to the breaker box. Hope so, this would be a big time and cost saver for the lady.
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:32 PM   #8
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Grounding Dryer Receptacle


What size if the wire ? My boiler only has #12 wire
I'm not sure what size ground is in #10 wire...I'd think #10 ground is needed
But maybe not

I'm not sure on connecting to an existing ground wire instead of back to the panel
As I recall the code indicates the ground must be run back to the panel
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:41 PM   #9
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Grounding Dryer Receptacle


I obtained the lady's copy of the installation instructions. And the instructions allow for a 3-wire/3-prong installation; so if the grounding requirements are not negotiable, then she will have to buy both a pigtail and receptacle for 3-prong use.

I appreciate the help Scuba Dave
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:41 PM   #10
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Grounding Dryer Receptacle


It would not meet the code to ground to a nearby metallic water or waste line. Metallic piping cannot be used as an electrode.
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:43 PM   #11
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Grounding Dryer Receptacle


I would say you need to run a separate ground wire to match (#10 for the dryer) all the way to the panel or clamp the end to to the #6 or so ground wire already running between the panel and the grounding electrode (latter may be the cold water pipe as it enters the house).

I would say doubling up on the ground would be okay if all the things sharing a section of ground wire were on the same branch circuit.

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