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
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
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
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.....
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... :)
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.
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