Electrical Question: Clothes Drier

Page 1 of 2  
When we moved into our house (1982) there was a 240V line in the basement for a drier. The line connected to a metal box with two 30A fuses and a big on/off switch. But there were no circuit breakers for this line at the main breaker panel.
A few years ago when we had our service upgraded, two 30A breakers were provided in the new breaker panel for the drier, but the original wires were still routed to the old metal box with the 30A fuses. Now one of those fuses has blown, and part of the big on/off switch has broken.
As I see it, the fuses are no longer needed since we have breakers. What's the best way to eliminate the old box, and safely connect the 240V wires to the wires from the drier? Is there some sort of junction box that should be used? What exactly do I look for?
Thanks, Art Harris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's bad. That means there was no overcurrent protection for those wires.

That's good.

That's common -- no point in making the upgrade any more complicated than it needs to be. Nothing at all wrong with having both breakers and fuses, except that it gives you one more point to have to check if the appliance doesn't work.

That's bad.

That's correct.

I don't know of any reason why you couldn't use the old box as your junction box, as long as you remove or permanently immobilize all of the moving parts of the switch mechanism first. Of course, shut off power to the box before touching anything.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Overcurrent protection provided by something called "fuse". Young people don't know what those are.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Read again, kiddo, for comprehension this time. As the OP describes it, there was originally no overcurrent protection for the conductors between the service panel and the fused disconnect.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
From the pole to the buss bar in the circuit panel of a new house. I'm wondering if there is overcurrent protection, there.
Of course the OP didn't describe any protection between his meter and the dracula switch behind his dryer.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/30/2009 8:26 PM Stormin Mormon spake thus:

I think you meant to type "Frankenstein switch". Don't remember the Count messing with 'lectricity.
--
Save the Planet
Kill Yourself
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The cheapest, sanest way I can see would be to use a 60 (same as 30) amp fuseless pull-out disconnect box, like they use on A/C equiptment outside. That way you still use the lugs instead of wire nuts, you don't have to worry about any fuse blowing in which place confusion and you still have a disconnect within reach (much closer than the panel), not that you should ever need it, but I assume you are saying there is no plug on this unit?
I'm not an electrician though, and some may say you are now required to go with a 4-wire set-up back to the main panel anyway.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Only for new dryers. The old ones run fine on two wires plus ground.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 30 Apr 2009 12:25:06 -0700 (PDT), Art Harris

Will the cord from the dryer reach that box? If so just put the receptacle there. Otherwise you can use the box as a junction box, remove all the guts and just wirenut the two hot wires together. Leave the ground alone. It should already be on a bonded bus bar. The plug is your disconnect and your overcurrent protection is in the panel now.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Art Harris wrote:

How was it connected, then? (Not that it's of any real import now, but seems strange at best...)
...

No reason you can't just use the current box as a junction box w/o the fuses since they're no longer needed, anyway.
Other than that, if you would rather you could use a simple box or a disconnect if you would like, but there's no real need other than a very rare convenience, perhaps.
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Your situation is pretty common. I typically remove the fuse box and disconnect, install a dryer outlet on the feeder, and a cord set on the dryer
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The quick and easy answer, is to go buy a couple new 30 amp fuses, pop em in. Save the one that still works, just lay it inside the box, in the bottom. Leave all the wiring for later. Do all the upgrade when you buy your next dryer. This is the answer I'd reccomend.
One answer is to shut off the double 30 breaker. Open the big switch box, and remove the switch and fuses. Wirenut the wires together, appropriately, and close the box. Might need to drill off some rivets. You'll need some electrical know how.
A more modern answer would be to have an electrican run 10/3WG wire from the panel box, and put in a new four prong socket for the dryer. Wire the dryer to a four prong "whip". Then, you will be ready for the next dryer you'll buy, in a few years.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You really don't pay much attention to the posts you're responding to, do you?
What part of "the big on/off switch has broken" were you having trouble understanding?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
What part of "part of" did you miss? Doesn't have to be crippling. The OP didn't say the switch was broken beyond use.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

coming here asking what do to about it??
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Since you got a 30 amp breaker in line, buy 50 amp fuses, and you won't be troubled by them, again.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

over your head.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wow, thanks for all the replies!
After examining the broken switch, I realized I could force the non- tracking blade to engage. Went to Home Depot and picked up a few 30A TL fuses and I'm back in business!
I liked the suggestion of replacing the switch box with a 240V Outlet and installing a plug on the drier's wire. I may do that in the future.
What's the story with the 4-prong plugs? What is the purpose of the fourth prong?
Art Harris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Up until a few years ago dryers and ranges exploited an exception in the National Electrical Code, dating from WWII that allowed them to share neutral and ground on one wire, to save copper for the war effort. Phil Simmonds finally got a proposal through to remove that exception. He actually said "the war is over". You can still do it in a grandfathered installation but all new installations require 4 wires.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    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.