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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Maytag Stacked Washer Dryer Pair: LSE7804ACE

Power hookup was via the old 3 wire setup (Hot / Neutral / Hot) where the body of the machine was "grounded" to neutral. As most will know, this arrangement carries the danger that if the neutral connection is ever lost for some reason, the various components that run on 120V from hot to neutral will put the body of the machine at 120V. Which is why the newer system provides for an actual ground (4 wire).

While doing some work on this machine recently I decided to give it a real ground. I have not yet obtained a 4 wire cord and outlet so I disconnected the neutral to body "ground" strap and ran a separate grounding wire from a ground screw on the back of the dryer to the outlet. Outlet (installed by me decades ago) is connected via 3 wire BX (armored cable with a thin bare grounding wire to supplement the armor). I've got the ground (green insulated wire) entering the body of the surface-mount outlet (with strain relief), going around a nut & screw on the outlet as well as connected to the ground wire. At the dryer end, I made sure to grind off the finish around the ground screw to make sure of good bonding.

I decided that a simple continuity test was not an adequate so I tested using a device of reasonably substantial load and momentarily connected it between the hot of an unrelated outlet and first, the ground wire connected to the outlet but not yet to the dryer, and, after connecting it, the body of the dryer. I also tested with the body of the washer to verify that the latter is grounded through its umbilical cable connection. All good.

But this is just temporary. Here is my question. The power connection is H N H and the strap to the body of the machine goes upward from the neutral to a small hex screw directly above it. This is is now disconnected. The small hex screw does not seem suitable for connecting the ground from a new 4 wire cord. The ground screw previously described is on the other side of the machine...about 2 feet to the right. Should I run a wire from that side over to the connecting block and connect to the new cord or find some other (closer) body screw I can tie it to, perhaps drilling a hole and adding a new one?



Or maybe I should just leave it as it now is. I am confident it's now well grounded. But I don't know about code compliance. Not sure what they had in mind when they designed this as there is a sticker mentioning the neutral grounding and how it might need to be changed to meet local codes. So they were aware that proper grounding might be needed. How do people do that with the official ground is so far away?

I was actually surprised that the connection block was not H H N G with a strap across the last two and providing an easy way to switch to 4 wire.
 

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flipping slumlord
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Maytag Stacked Washer Dryer Pair: LSE7804ACE
Power hookup was via the old 3 wire setup (Hot / Neutral / Hot)
Because the room was set up with a 3wire receptacle?

I have not yet obtained a 4 wire cord and outlet...
Until you change the wiring from the panel it won't matter.
Best to just leave it be. Or put it back the way it was.

Read the manual to see exactly how.
 

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Remodel and New Build GC
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I'm not an electrician....but I'm sure one of our really knowledgeable men will be around soon.

I can't quote it , let alone find it, but I believe there is some code reference as to grounding ungrounded circuits without the ground wire within the circuit sheath.

I think it was designed probably for 120 old ungrounded systems....have no idea if it addresses 3-4 wire 240 circuits.

I've never used the provision...just sorta remember that it exists.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Because the room was set up with a 3wire receptacle?

Well...let's see. 30 or so years ago when the laundry was moved to the present location from the kitchen, it was a separate washer and dryer. Dryer had a 3 wire cord. So I installed the matching outlet. Also a 120V outlet for the washer. When my folks -- this was originally their house -- bought the stacked pair it came with a 3 wire cord which plugged right in.

Until you change the wiring from the panel it won't matter.

I don't know if there is a need to change the wiring from the panel. It's only a few feet away so would not be arduous to do so if needed. But kind of beside the point. With or without that change I would be changing the outlet to four pole. The question is how to hook up the ground from a new 4 wire power cord when the official appliance ground is about 2 feet away from from where the power connection (hot, neutral, hot) is made. As I stated the screw into the machine body where the neutral to ground strap was is not one I'd want to try to connect the cord's ground wire to.

Or put it back the way it was.

Back to where a broken neutral could make the entire appliance body hot? I'm gonna say no to that.
 

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Your cable is rated for use as an equipment grounding conductor if it uses proper fitting made up tight and the supplemental ground wire (bonding strip) included in it is connected to the ground screw of the j-box. You can now use the 4-cond. cord and receptacle and remove the jumper in the equipment. I'd use the screw provided by the manufacturer for the ground wire to land on since any modifications aren't free from reproach.

It's safer new and will pass inspection. Should have been wired that way from day one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
And how exactly would I connect the new 4 wire cord since the official ground screw is all the way on the other side from where the power connections are (under a small access plate)?

Pre-made dryer cords typically have connecting lugs already applied. I could:

1) Remove the lug off the cord's ground wire and use a suitable crimp splice to add wire to run across the back of the dryer (perhaps with a couple of adhesive supports) over to the official ground screw.

2) If the new cord is of the flat style, cut the sheath between the wires so that the two hots and the neutral can go to the power connection under the access panel on the left end while the ground can go to the ground screw way over on the right end.

3) Buy a longer cord, maybe the 6 ft instead of the 4 ft, cut sheath between conductors and shorten the two hots and neutral at a suitable shorter length while leaving the ground wire long. Apply new lugs to the hots and neutral and connect them to the connecting point under the access panel while the ground wire can emerge the same way the cord goes in, then run across the back over to the far off official ground screw.

This is basically the same as option 1 except it avoids the splice in the ground wire.

4) Akin to option 3 except cut and extract only the ground wire a couple feet back from the end and apply a new termination. The cord coming from the outlet would go near the ground screw where the shortened ground wire is connected while the remainder with the two hots and neutral continue across the back of the dryer to the connection points.

None of these options is particularly elegant. If using the original ground, far from the power connections is important then I'd lean to option 1.

One could also add a new ground screw into the machine body near the power terminals, attach the new cord's ground termination there but also use it as a connecting point for a ground wire which would run across the back of the machine to the official ground thus "respecting" it. Hmm...this actually sounds pretty good.
 

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I think I'd put where they had the bonding jumper screwed to the cabinet. If it was good enough for them and approved there, I'd make it work.

I never have liked the too small terminal strips they provide on dryers but they never asked me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Where the bonding strap goes to above the connecting block doesn't seem suitable for a connection. Alas, I didn't take a photo before buttoning it up or I'd show. I'll find a place to add a screw then run a wire with suitable terminals over to the official ground. Not expecting an inspector but I think that would satisfy them if it ever came up. Not sure how they'd feel about my current setup but at least *I* know it's well-grounded for the first time in its history. Thank you everyone.
 
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