Yes you can but they are not legal on a new installation, only for
As Phil Simmonds said on the NEC proposal that eliminated the
exception of using the neutral for a gr5ound, "the war is over"
(it was a WWII era exception to save copper)
BTW it was NEVER legal to run a dryer on 10/2. The third wire needs to
be insulated since it is technically the neutral. That is why, in most
cases a bare ground will be available in the cable, even if you have
the 3 prong plug. Most 10/3 romex still had a ground.
Typically the bare wire was terminated in the box and the white went
to the "L" shaped prong. Both landed on the neutral/ground bus in the
panel. This arrangement was NOT allowed on a sub panel. If this is a
sub, you needed to run 4 wires, even if Glen Miller was playing on the
That is a frequent violation that catches people when they do a power
upgrade and use the old panel as s sub off the new panel.
On Tuesday, September 8, 2015 at 4:40:58 PM UTC-4, email@example.com wrote:
Some people might take that to mean the installation of a new dryer.
Just to clarify, that's a new *circuit* installation. It's still
code compliant to use a brand new dryer with a 3 wire cord on
an existing 3 wire circuit and there are loads of them out there.
For driers code is 10/3 with a 4 wire plug because many driers run
only the element on 220, with the motor and controls on 120 - which
now requires a neutral. Used to be you could use the ground as a
neutral and get away with it. Not any more.
They were just trying to make the code more consistent. The only
exceptions to the rule were dryers and ranges and since you were going
to be using 10/3 Romex anyway, why not use the ground wire that was in
As I said before there were other restrictions on this.
On Tue, 08 Sep 2015 21:58:13 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I have seen stuff wired with lamp cord but that didn't make it legal.
The fact remains that the exception allowed the neutral to also be
used for the ground and the neutral has always been required to be a
white insulated conductor.
The only time any of that would be legal these days is if it was truly
a 240 only piece of equipment and you would use a 6-30r or 6-50r
Of course if nobody is ever going to inspect it, this is just between
you and your insurance company.
On Tue, 08 Sep 2015 22:39:18 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
Old kitchen ranges had no electronic controls and no 115 volt lights
- basically nothing that ran on 120 volts so no neutral was required.
I'm talking 60-80 years back. when even a safety ground was almost
unheard of. The first electric drier I ever saw was a 220 volt unit -
including the motor. Not sure, it may have actually been a european
unit - it was part of a set with a front load washer back in the mid
'50s, and it was at a friend's farm (They were neighbours back in
On Tue, 08 Sep 2015 23:27:08 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Virtually all dryers have 120v timers and motors. I am not sure why
since they are purpose built units but I assume it is just
easier/cheaper for the timer to switch one ungrounded leg.
A european unit will not have that issue since the 220v is line to
neutral so they still only have to switch one leg.
They would not be legal in the US for that reason.
I agree there were a lot of ranges that were 240v only in the olden
days but by the 50s, convenience outlets, lights and clocks were
common. They were/are 120v.
These days, it is only cook tops that are 240 only.
On 09/08/2015 9:39 PM, email@example.com wrote:
No, that's not entirely so. Service cable with bare ground was allowed
for the run from service equipment to the receptacle allowing the
uninsulated ground to serve as the neutral providing it (the ground) was
also #10 or larger for ranges and dryers.
But from a branch circuit the insulated ground/shared neutral was
required to be insulated, yes. But normally 10/3 w/oG was run, not 4-wire.
The height of absurdity in Code (or misinterpretation, I'm not sure,
I've not researched to see for certain) was illustrated last summer here
when the well pump dropped owing to a failure in a plastic joint
(discovered it had been cross-threaded on installation as root cause)
and fishing it out ended up ruining existing down-hole wire. They ran
4-wire cable claiming it was required by Code down the hole to a 240V
pump with no connection or use whatever for the neutral. Stupid is as
stupid does... :(
There are different rules for service conductors because they are on
the line side of the grounding electrode.
I agree there was an exception for SE cable for a dryer but that came
with it's own set of rules.
We were talking about 10/2 romex
I have not seen much w/o ground wire. It has been in the listing
standard since the 60s.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.