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Discussion Starter #1
Our house was built in the early 1960's and the 30 amp circuit for the electric dryer consists of the old cloth covered wiring connected to a 3-prong surface mount receptacle. I am replacing the old dryer and for the time being I am going to keep the 3-prong setup for the new installation. Down the road I will go ahead and update the circuit from the panel and convert to the 4-prong, but that is not in the cards for right now since the new dryer is being delivered tomorrow.

Here is my issue. To accomodate the larger size of the new dryer I will need to move the receptacle about 10 inches up the wall from its current location. And for asthetic reasons I plan to replace the surface mount receptacle with a flush mount. To get a better idea of what lies behind the drywall before I do any work, I removed the surface mount receptacle last night in order to check the wiring, connections, etc.

After removing the receptacle from the panel I noticed there was no junction box of any kind. The cloth insulated cable consisted of two hots (red and black) and a neutral, and no ground. The cable was dropped behind the drywall, routed thru a hole cut into the drywall, and then wired directly to the surface mount receptacle.

Is this considered normal, based upon previous standards? I was expecting to find at least a junction box of some kind for protection of the wiring, particularly a metal box with ground attached somewhere. Discovering instead that the 3-wire cable is simply run thru a hole in the drywall, with no grounding noticeable anywhere, caught me off guard.

Its been this way probably for the last 30 years with no issues whatsover, so my plan at the moment is just to install a new flush mount receptacle and wire it up just as it is now. The only change is that I will be adding a plastic remodel junction box to protect the wiring so the installation looks at least minimally professional.

Any comments/suggestions/concerns from someone who may have run into this situation before? Tks.
 

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Very Stable Genius
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Junction boxes contains only conductors. What you seem to be referring to
is a device box.
Regardless, perhaps you can post pics?
 

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Typically if you use a surface mount receptacle a box is not required. If your going to install a flush mount receptacle you will need a box.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for everyone's quick replies. Oldmaster's response clarifies everything for me. I never thought about surface mount receptacles not needing an outlet box behind the wall since essentially it serves as its own box for the connections. Duh! And I will definitely install one for the new flush mount. Tks all.
 
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