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reverendalc 07-12-2013 09:43 PM

relocating washer and dryer, bringing up to code cheaply?
i'm fixing to relocate my washer and dryer. it's currently about 20' of 10/2 away from the breaker box, with (obviously) a three prong outlet.

I plan to upgrade the circuit to a 4wire setup per NEC, but I already happen to own about 125' of 10/2. can I use two runs of the 10/2 instead of one run of 10/3, just capping the unused wire and leaving the ground alone?

I've searched the web and this forum, but I cannot think of particular enough verbage to yield appropriate results. I have read of people using 10/3 in place of 10/2 and just capping the unused wire, so I can only imagine it's legit, but if anybody has any suggestions aside from me shelling out money for 10/3 romex i'm all ears.

if this plan flies, would I treat line 1 black/white as black/white, and line 2 black as red keeping them on alternate phase, with white capped? would it matter which line's ground I use?

additionally, could that excess white wire serve in any expansion capacity, or is it simply wasted?

thanks for your input.


Jim Port 07-12-2013 10:05 PM

The #10 is too small to meet the paralleling rules of the National Electrical Code. You need to use 10-3 for the dryer and install a 4 prong receptacle.

reverendalc 07-12-2013 10:52 PM

I certainly understand that code requires 10/3 for the circuit. I also believe that 10/3 is a superior circuit plan. thirdly, I know that 10/2 works just fine and was standard for nearly thirty years?

you say the #10 is too small? are the wires in 10/2 and 10/3 different?

I understand that if using the wiring is against code, that it's against code, but I can't seem to wrap my head around why it wouldn't work.

I would rather perpetuate a dated wiring schematic than do something that is flat out wrong.

but again perhaps i'll see if I can score some 10/3 on the cheap.

I appreciate your inputs! thanks for making logical and factual statements, rather than reciting codes.

k_buz 07-12-2013 11:43 PM


Originally Posted by gregzoll (Post 1215193)
Easy is always better reverendalc.

Great advice in the electrical forum...:whistling2:

frenchelectrican 07-12-2013 11:56 PM

The simple issue with 10-2 is the bare conductor is never being used for current carry conductor at all. that is used for fault condtions so it will force the breaker to trip or fuse to blow out.

I know alot of peoples ran 10-2 NM for a quite while when they don't really understand the gravaity of situation when the fault actually occurs and it can do hovac on ground system.

So just do it right from start and not to worry about anything at all. the super short run you have there that should not cost very much on 10-3 NM cable for a spool of 25 feet 10-3 should be about 20 to 35 Euros depending on where ya get it. and get proper 4 wire cord et receptales.


reverendalc 07-13-2013 12:12 AM

hmmm. i'm perplexed by "easier is better" as a reply. is that genuine or facetious?

it seems to me, that easiest would involve turning the existing outlet box into a junction, and running a new length of 10/2 from there to the new location, considering a straight line from the breaker box thru the current location to the new location.

has anybody out there done any electrical work of this nature, outside of the scope of the NEC?

reverendalc 07-13-2013 12:15 AM

just to clarify, the new run will be approximately 75 feet.

and I understand the fundamental difference between using 10/2 and 10/3, and which wire carry what... I recently purchased a brand new washer/dryer set, but my last set was old and came with the house. the dryer had tripped the breaker at least twice, without wreaking any havoc. or hovac (-;

gregzoll 07-13-2013 12:24 AM

Do it what you think is best and easier for you. How far are you relocating the dryer from the current location that it is at now? As for the whole three wire vs. four wire argument, it was done, because NFPA stated that three wire was unsafe, and four wire was safer.

Same goes with why AFCI's are being pushed farther down everyone's throats under the 2014 code cycle, that all outlets in the structure have to be protected either by afci breakers or afci outlets.

I still have 10/2 on my dryer, which the run is probably 30 years old now. Just got around going from a hard wired dryer to actually installing the outlet and plug on that circuit. No fires yet, no shocks or magic smoke.

But yes, under current rules, if you relocate or have to pull a new circuit for a dryer, due to the wire becomes cut or insulation is breaking down, when tested with a MegaOhm tester, you are supposed to replace the run with 10/3.

To not cause further argument on this subject, which one person who I have blocked and is posting in reply to my comments, sell the 10/2 and go get 10/3, so you have no issues and as I stated before, easier is better, because then later on when you go to sell the place, and if the inspector sees a date stamp on that wire, or you have to get a CoA in your area, you the seller do not have to go through the hassle of pulling a whole new run of 10/3, because you used 10/2 for that dryer, to replace the old run.

To let you know, there are still hundreds if not thousands of dryers that are still on circuits using 10/2, and they are operating just fine, with no problems and no danger to life or property. Same goes for those stoves that are still using 10/2 or 8/2 for powering them. It is just that there are some out there that feel that you have to upgrade or update everything electric when the code changes, even though you can in some areas fall under "grandfathered" rules.

k_buz 07-13-2013 12:25 AM

As The French Guy said, you cannot use a bare conductor as a neutral on a branch circuit. Extending this circuit with 10/2 would be against the NEC and a safety hazard. I would hope nobody here would advise you to do what you want to do.

gregzoll 07-13-2013 12:29 AM


Originally Posted by reverendalc (Post 1215209)
just to clarify, the new run will be approximately 75 feet.

and I understand the fundamental difference between using 10/2 and 10/3, and which wire carry what... I recently purchased a brand new washer/dryer set, but my last set was old and came with the house. the dryer had tripped the breaker at least twice, without wreaking any havoc. or hovac (-;

If the old dryer tripped the breaker, that means that either the heater or motor windings, or it was overheating the plug and outlet, due to loose connections either at the outlet, or on the board in the back of the dryer where the plug connected inside.

Just be glad the breaker tripped, and did not stay closed, causing a fire when this stuff happened with the old dryer.

When you pull that new run, pull 12/2 for the washer at the same time, if there is not already a dedicated circuit for the wash machine where you are placing it.

75 feet is a bit of work, but also relocating a dryer and washer along with the plumbing and vent for the dryer is a lot of work at the same time.

So make a plan, get at least 100' of both 10/3 & 12/2, just throw the 10/2 on a shelf for some other job you may need it for, take the old 10/2 and the old washer & dryer to the local metal scrap yard for getting some money back, to pay for the new materials.

reverendalc 07-13-2013 12:42 AM

yes, I have oodles of 12/2 and 10/2. I am certainly prepared for the plumbing aspect of this job, it's just the electrical which seems to not be what I want it to be.

as far as the old dryer, not sure what the problem was. the outlet and power cable were never warm though. when I was running a new circuit to my kitchen for the microwave, I was in the crawlspace and took that opportunity to inspect the wiring for the dryer. it seemed fine.

at any rate, it's looking like i'll see if I can manage to score some 10/3 for cheap, otherwise the alternative. i'm entirely confident with the 10/2 setup, and I've never owned 4 prong dryer/receptacle before. haven't had a problem ever either.

yawn. perhaps i'll sleep on it.

thanks again for the different perspectives

gregzoll 07-13-2013 12:47 AM

Only difference between a 3-wire and 4-wire dryer, is that the ground to chassis is not bonded to the Neutral on a 4-wire. Depending on the manufacturer, most dryers come setup for 3-wire, so you have to change the chassis ground bond to the proper lug or connection point, when you hook up the cord.

Also while you are at it, for the wash machine, put in a relay that shuts the water off to the washer when not in use. Majority of floods in laundry rooms, happen by the hoses coming loose off the fitting, or leaks at the nut for the valve, where the handle is.

Now the other thing is, how far of a run are we talking for the dryer vent, from point A to point B.

k_buz 07-13-2013 12:50 AM

The dude is cheaping out on the correct way to run the electrical and you want him to wire in a relay to shut the water off? I want some of what you smoke.

beenthere 07-13-2013 06:39 AM

Often, a person will ask about doing something that is not code compliant. Usually they will get atleast one answer saying its ok to do it if they aren't getting it inspected. cause thousands and thousands of times its been done like that in the past.

This site does NOT support that type of bad advise. We advise all members to conform to code, weather an inspection is going to take place or not.

usair 07-13-2013 08:16 AM

All conductors need to be enclosed in the same cable to be code compliant. You need 10-3 w/g ran from the panel to the dryer outlet which will need to accept a four prong cord which you will also need. Although their may be many ways to do this their is only one right way.

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