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Old 04-10-2008, 02:03 PM   #1
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Problems with new fuse box for a dryer.


Recently my old fuse box (working for 8 years) started blowing fuses every 3 weeks, and finally began sparking occasionally behind one of the fuses. The fuse socket is burnt, smells burnt, so I replaced it yesterday.


Old fuse box pic:




-----------------------------------------------------------


I wired a new fuse box yesterday, and I've ran into problems.

New fuse box pic:




I've labeled the pic so it's not so difficult to describe. I probably have it connected incorrectly, but I wired it in the same manner I did the previous one (and 2 others in the basement) 8 years ago. I'm getting basically no voltage out of the box below the fuse sockets. I've tried 3 sets of fuses, and still get no voltage past that. I have 3 wires coming into the box, and 3 running to the dryer outlet. The new box doesn't have the terminals (bottom left of old pic) that connected the plain copper cable coming in, to the white one going to the dryer. I've read that's wrong, so I've tried leaving the white cable to the dryer disconnected, same trouble.


Is the plain copper cable supposed to be connected the the gold screw (sort of hidden) at the bottom? The white one as well? Is anything supposed to be connected to either terminal near the middle marked "LOAD"? I'm not really sure where I've gone wrong...I just don't want to be laying on the floor in pain.


The old box still works, as does the dryer connected to it. I'm just wondering if my wiring is totally wrong, or there's something wrong with the new fuse box. Thanks for any assistance on this.

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Old 04-10-2008, 02:42 PM   #2
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Problems with new fuse box for a dryer.


You are suppose to put the load on the terminals that say "load".

It looks like this box is being fed with incorrect wiring. It looks like you have a black and white both being used for hots and a bare being used as a neutral. It should be fed with a 4 wire containing a red(hot), black (hot), white(neutral) and bare wire (ground). The same type of 4 wire should go to the dryer. The neutral and grounds should not be bonded to each other in the box. And the bares should not be used as neutrals

It's very dangerous right now.


Last edited by jogr; 04-10-2008 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 04-10-2008, 02:47 PM   #3
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Problems with new fuse box for a dryer.


Looking at the photo it looks like there is a missing connection to the load side to feed the dryer.

Does the blk/red go to the dryer or is it from the panel?
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Old 04-10-2008, 03:22 PM   #4
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Problems with new fuse box for a dryer.


It's a house built in the 50's, so it has old wiring still throughout much of it. We had electricians rewire some of the house (including the wiring to the dryer fuse box) about 10 years ago, and it's always been that way as long as I've lived here. The red, black, and white wires at the bottom are going to the dryer. And the top cable running from the service panel only has white, black, and the bare copper cable.

When I replaced the fuse box 8+ years ago...I just rewired it exactly as I found it not knowing any different.
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:17 PM   #5
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Problems with new fuse box for a dryer.


Well, you've already got the 4 wire going from the box to the dryer outlet. Do you feel comfortable replacing the wire from the main panel to the box with 4 wire? If not call a different electrician than the ones 10 years ago. In fact you might want to have them check out the rest of your wiring.

Do you know what gauge your wiring is? What amp fuses are you using?

Did you understand that your red and black wires going to the dryer need to go where it says "load" and the white neutral wire needs to go on one of the lugs where you had put the red and black outgoing wires?

Do this after you replace the incoming wire and then you'll have a proper "incoming" white neutral wire that goes on the second lug where you had put the red and black outgoing wires. After rewiring with the proper wire, the bare ground wires can be joined with a wire nut with an additional pigtail that goes to the gold grounding screw in the box.

But you have to replace the panel to box wire before you do any of this or you could end up frying something or someone.

And how is your outlet wired? You need to make sure that is right too.
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:38 PM   #6
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Problems with new fuse box for a dryer.


What your wiring is a not a fuse box it is a fused disconnect for the dryer.

Not to be condescending but you have that disconnect wired about as wrong as it can be. And it shows a total lack of understanding about the electrical system for your home. I would suggest that you get an electrician.

As for whats wrong you have the hot wires going to the dryer connected to the neutral block of the disconnect causing a phase to phase short if they had power on them which they never will connected like that. The load lugs are unoccupied so it is obvious that your dryer will not work. I can't tell if the incoming neutral bare is connected to the big ground screw or if you have it in the wirenut with the neutral wire to the dryer. Or if the neutral is just capped.

At any rate you should not be wiring this disconnect get an electrician to do it for you.

Last edited by Stubbie; 04-10-2008 at 05:01 PM. Reason: changed ground to neutral
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:54 PM   #7
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Problems with new fuse box for a dryer.


I did not notice jogr's post he has pretty much summed it up. I still think you should get an electrician. What you did with that disconnect is scaring the ' be jesus' out of me.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:07 PM   #8
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Problems with new fuse box for a dryer.


I keep seeing things the more I look. You do not have a ground in the cable going to the dryer. That is just nm cable 3 wire no ground. The incoming appears to be nm cable 2 wire with a bare ground. Both cables need to be changed.
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Old 04-10-2008, 07:07 PM   #9
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Problems with new fuse box for a dryer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
I keep seeing things the more I look. You do not have a ground in the cable going to the dryer. That is just nm cable 3 wire no ground. The incoming appears to be nm cable 2 wire with a bare ground. Both cables need to be changed.
What about 250.140(Exc.) 2005?
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Old 04-10-2008, 07:25 PM   #10
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Problems with new fuse box for a dryer.


If the neutral is bare it must be an SE cable for the incoming power from the service equipment...no subpanels. A cable that has a black, white and bare is not an se cable, like his incoming power cable. The cable to the range is acceptable in that it has a insulated neutral. However to change one requires the entire circuit to be 4 wire.
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Old 04-10-2008, 07:39 PM   #11
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Problems with new fuse box for a dryer.


I'm wondering, why is this box there in the first place? If it is protected by a breaker at panel, what is it's purpose? I wouldn't think a disconnect would be required if the dryer is connected via cord and plug.
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:14 PM   #12
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Problems with new fuse box for a dryer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by junkcollector View Post
I'm wondering, why is this box there in the first place? If it is protected by a breaker at panel, what is it's purpose? I wouldn't think a disconnect would be required if the dryer is connected via cord and plug.

Who knows...the entire house was wired horribly. You wouldn't believe all the stuff that was done wrong when my grandfather built this house...the poor wiring is just the tip of the iceberg.

------------------------------------------------------


Well, it's working now after switching the cables around. I feel pretty dumb now...next time I'll use better lighting when working in the basement with poor lighting. It's probably still wrong, but it works again. I have the bare copper cable connected to one of the bottom connections...along with the white cable going to the dryer. It's worked that way for many years now, even though it's wrong.


As far as other questions:

Quote:
Do you know what gauge your wiring is?
No clue.


Quote:
What amp fuses are you using?
(2) 30 Amp

Quote:
Did you understand that your red and black wires going to the dryer need to go where it says "load" and the white neutral wire needs to go on one of the lugs where you had put the red and black outgoing wires?
Yes. But, I stupidly connected them in the same way my last box was installed without looking at the new one more carefully to see that it needs to be connected differently.




Thanks again for the help and suggestions.
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:20 AM   #13
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Problems with new fuse box for a dryer.


Be aware that the bare wire is carrying current and if touching the metal of the disconnect can be a shock hazzard. Metal enclosures should be bonded to the equipment ground of the dryer branch circuit, which you do not have.... and need to have for your safety. If a hot wire comes in contact with that metal box of the disconnect it will bring the metal to line voltage and will be an electrocution hazzard. You need to fix this....

As junkcollector stated the fused disconnect is not required assuming you don't have a tap going on at the breaker panel which would be another issue. Run a new 4 wire cable... you have a very serious life threat with the way that disconnect is wired using a 3 wire cable.

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