Just fixed a good friends electric dryer. installed new element
Its a 3 wire plug 240 volts.
She has a 2 year old. The dryer is old.
Would it be a good idea to add a ground wire from the case to a good
house ground just to be on the safe side?
the area the dryer is in has a water problem. that makes me more
concerned. the washer and dryer sit on a pedastal, like a skid made of
outdoor wood. very well built, makes working on appliances hard. floor
is frequently wet.
I poped of the floor drain in my basement because i started getting
water in the basement a few days ago. It appears that water came up
from there......i found what appeard to be toilet paper that had come
up through the drain not to mention some other weird stuff i couldnt
Would the city doing maintenence or somthing...cause this? I havent had
this happen in the 3 years ive been living here. IM not sure what to
do. I have tried to contact the city but havent gotten a response to my
it is making a damn mess to say the least. It appears to be clean
water......not black or anything. I tried flushing and turning all all
the water to the faucets everywhere and it didnt make anything come up
throught he drain........
Not sure where to start. If it was tree roots a clogged drain i would
notice water come up it when i did the aboved mentioned things but i
dont see the little bit of water i see down the drain rising at all
during any of this.
It has me more than concerned......
I should point out that using a cold water pipe is not a good idea
because it may not be a good ground due to a number of reasons like maybe
someone using a length of plastic pipe or some other reason and then if you
have an fault in the dryer, it may make you kitchen sink hot. Very bad
idea. I also believe it is against modern codes.
The code for Dryers and Ranges was changed during WWII to allow 3 wire
instead of 4 wires to save copper for the war effort. Within recent
years it has changed back because people were getting shocks from
The problem with the 3 wire system is that the neutral (which is a
current carrying conductor in a dryer) is also being used as a safety
ground. Most dryer motors run on 120 V. even though the heating
elements are 240 V. I believe the dryer light also runs on 120 V.
In an ideal world, the neutral is supposed to be at ground potential,
but there are all sorts of reasons why this may not be true. You can
have bad connections, or the overall ground system of the house may be
To fix this properly, you would need to run a new line with two hots,
an isolated neutral, and a ground and install a four wire receptacle
for the dryer.
Dryer cords come in 3 wire and 4 wire models and the code has
"grandfathered" existing 3-wire installations.
Since you are one of the ones actually getting shocked by your
installation, it may be a good idea to do the full fix.
It sounds like the dryer is grounded properly. And when spraying, the can
touched a live wire or the spray sprayed into a live wire and the electrical
path went from the can through your hand/arm and then through your other
arm/hand to the frame of the dryer.
Were both arms tingling?
Also a better test to see if the spray conducts electricity is to use 240
volts for the test. I know some ohm meters are not capable of testing some
electronic components because the voltage in them is not high enough.
Perhaps this spray will conduct electricity if the voltage is high enough?
Warning! This would be a very dangerous test, so don't try this at home.
Also one time a distributor on a car was wet inside (water) and car would
not run. Spraying wd-40 on the inside contacts made the car run again.
"Robert11" wrote in message
The 'WD' in WD-40 stands for 'Water Displacement', so by spraying the
(water) wet contacts, you sprayed the water away from the contacts and
left behind WD-40.
I have used WD-40 in the past to dislodge dead fire ants from the
contactor in an A/C unit. I have to admit I cut all the power to the
unit before removing the cover (I only LOOK stupid!). Never had any
problems with electrical shorts or anything of that type after
restoring the power, so I would say that at consumer-type voltages you
are pretty safe that WD-40 is not going to conduct.
For more interesting history on WD-40, see their Web site:
Well, if you actually got a shock, then yes, it was voltage between the
neutral and the ground. Your neutral and ground are the same, and the frame
is attached to it. So if the neutral is floating, then there could be
voltage between the frame and ground.
However, the dryer wouldn't work in that condition; there would be no 120v
circuit for the control; so it is unlikely.
I think you misunderstood what happened; either you didn't get a shock, or
you got it off a hot.
That would be a code violation. If your neutral is sound, the separate
ground isn't needed. If your neutral is floating, you have created a
dangerous ground loop. So don't do it. (I suppose it would be relatively
safe to unbond the ground and then ground the frame, but it is neither
necessary nor legal)
The matter certainly requires more investigation, but a water pipe is not
you have an excessive amount of faith in the rules.
if everything is wired per code for a 3 prong 220 V outlet..., and then
there should happen to be an OPEN circuit failure in the neutral
circuit anywhere in the system leading to the dryer or in the dryer
itself, the dryer case will become energized with 120 V through the 120
V clock circuit in the dryer.
The day I realized this, I lost my faith in the "code" and I added an
external ground wire to ground the case of the dryer to the washer
right next to it which has a 3 prong 120 V plug.
So your saying if my dryer case happens to touch the washer case right
next to it .....that is a code violation?
Yes, that is what I said. But I also said that the dryer wouldn't be
working because the 120v clock circuit would be open (except perhaps through
If your dryer isn't working, unplug it before working on it. There, your
No, of course not; the circuit between the machines has many times the
resistance of the neutral, so it effectively doesn't exist.
Yeah, it is too bad. You think they write the code for fun, or to employ
more electricians? It is your house; if you want to ignore code I wish you
the best of luck.
no I don't want to ignore code, almost always the code makes sense....
in this particular case it doesn't. In fact they no longer allow 3
prong 220V outlets in new construction for this very reason....
I want to use my brain and I want my house to be safe, and if that
means I need to run a ground wire between the dryer and washer, so be
That hokey "at least" is a code violation. The only point where
ground and neutral are allowed to be connected are in your main
service panel. The "ground" is never supposed to carry continuous
current, only fault current.
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