electric dryer question

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A good friend needs a new electric dryer. I looked at the old dryer its ancient and not worth fixing.
The existing dryer s a 3 prong unit
Will the dryer outlet need upgraded to 4 prong when the new dryer gets installed?
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No, the new dryer will have instructions for installing on a 3 prong outlet. (keep it to yourself Doug...)
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lacking a ground is it safe?
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good

They made them like that for decades and there are no piles of electrocuted bodies. Retrofitting to a 4 wire feed can be difficult to impossible in some places.
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could i run a ground line from the new dryer, attached to dryer case, to say a convenient electyric outlet box for safety?
theres a 3 year old wouldnt want anything bad to happen to him
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" snipped-for-privacy@aol.com" wrote:

The outlet already has a ground. The three wires to it are hot, hot and ground. The three wire outlets do not have a neutral.
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It is a neutral. The motor runs on 120 volts

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RBM wrote:

No, it is a *ground*. The old code allowed the ground to be used as a neutral for small loads, the new code does not.
Pete C.

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Section 250.140 of 1999 NEC: states frames of ranges and clothes dryers shall be permitted to be grounded to the "grounded" circuit conductor. FYI a grounded circuit conductor is the neutral, a grounding conductor is the ground

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RBM wrote:

I'm afraid I only have the 2002 NEC.
Pete C.
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That is false. The three wires to it are hot, hot, and uninsulated neutral -- which carries the return current from the 120V motor and timer.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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No, the existing line has an adequate sized neutral/ ground conductor and the neutral and ground connections on the dryer are bonded together. Installing supplemental conductors could cause a new and possibly dangerous path for the current to take. Use it as the NEC allows, or change the entire line to four wire

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

...
He/she/it made it to 3, why would something be different now?
Do as the instructions for using w/ existing three-wire outlet say.
--
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good

Agreed, but it is probably worth removing the outlet cover for a look. Maybe this is a newer house that somebody retrofitted an old-style outlet to, to use an existing dryer pigtail. Not common, but it happens. If this a basement or first-floor laundry, with an open or drop-panel ceiling in basement, and basement service panel, I'd be inclined to replace the run. If the service is out in the garage or something, well.....
aem sends...
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" snipped-for-privacy@aol.com" wrote:

A three wire dryer outlet has a ground, it does not have a neutral. It is perfectly safe.
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Pete C. wrote:

No, that _is_ a neutral for the 120V motor circuit...
--
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I would just upgrade to 4 wire but its not my home and need to keep low profile on this.
Not a matter of cost or work just avoid irritating people:(
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I'm of the camp there's no real reason for changing the service "just because" for existing work. Electric driers have not been shown to be unduly hazardous in practice for over fifty years. If you're doing something for a friend or neighbor and want to go the extra mile, fine; but I wouldn't have any concern over going back in as it presently exists. If they want to make a fuss over it, they're off my list... :)
--


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dpb wrote:

That's why there are no requirements to replace the old three wire dryer circuits with four wire ones. New installations (i.e. home construction, not a new dryer) are required to be four wire circuits. If there was the slightest safety hazard with the old three wire drops, you can be sure that the overbearing homeowners insurance companies would be insisting on replacement of the millions of existing three wire drops.
Pete C.
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dpb wrote:

No, it is a *ground*. The old code allowed the ground to be used as a neutral for small loads, the new code does not.
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