Wiring a dryer

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by WanderingOak, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    Should the ground be insulated when wiring a dryer outlet? I made the mistake of hiring somebody to wire and plumb the washing machine and dryer hookups because I was laid up from knee surgery and couldn't get into the crawl-space. Anyhow, I was replacing the dryer outlet (contractors used 4 prong outlet, dryer only has three) when I noticed that the wiring that was used was only three strand (for a four prong outlet?!?!?), and that the ground wasn't insulated. Just black, white and bare copper, rather than black, white, and red. After doing a bit of research, it looks like the bare copper should go where the white wire would normally go.

    Of course, I discovered this after the walls have been finished, so it is going to be a PITA to fix this if it wasn't done right. Is this going to be a problem, or is this going to work and be safe as it is? I have looked this circuit up in two seperate books, and both say that I should use four strand insulated.
     
  2. idahodave

    idahodave Well-Known Member

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    New wire should have been 4 conductor.

    Existing wiring would be permitted to use the neutral as a ground (if certain conditions are met) for the dryer. That's what the 3 pin plugs did.
     

  3. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    This is a house and not a mobile? If it is a house then I would revert to the 3 wire setup of old and replace the 4 wire female receptacle with a 3 and use the old 3 wire pigtail to the dryer. On a mobile home you need 4 wires.
     
  4. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    I could do that. My only concern would be the un-insulated ground/neautral. The wires are the proper gauge at least.
     
  5. morrowsmowers

    morrowsmowers Well-Known Member

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    How did your contractors connect a four wire outlet with only 3 conductors. For a four wire outlet you should have the 2 legs of the 240v circuit, a connection to the neutral bus on the panel, and a connection to the ground bus on the panel. Most dryers can be wired to either so you could have left the outlet and just changed the pigtail. However, if the outlet is wired incorrectly then you have to repair that first. My dryer is on a four wire circuit and all 4 are insulated. The wiring diagram from the dryer shows the 2 legs of the 240v circuit, a chassis ground, and a ground from the electrical parts of the machine. I understand that with four wire systems it is much safer should something break inside the machine -- you are apparantly safer that relying on just the old 3 wire design.

    Ken in Glassboro, NJ
     
  6. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    The goofballs only wired three of the sockets.
     
  7. Stillponds

    Stillponds Active Member

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    It was common practice and code for many years to use the ground as neutral for larger appliance loads such as dryers and ranges. All new circuits should be three conductors with ground, that is code now. The ground does not need to be insulated. You can install your three prong recepticle and be as safe as the millions of older dryer circuits still being used today are.
     
  8. mohillbilly

    mohillbilly Well-Known Member

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    exactly...............