Washer dryer outlet replacement

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  #1  
Old 08-01-05, 11:45 AM
KK45
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Washer dryer outlet replacement

We inherited a Fridgidaire washer dryer combo stacked unit, with a 3-prong w/d plug & receptacle from previous tenants. The Leviton receptacle was wired so that one hot lead attached to the hot 220, the neutral to the neutral 220 line, and the left hand side lead attached to the circuit box! I guess they thought it was a ground? Or were the old ones wired this way all the time?

There are only two wires in the incoming bx and outgoing greenfield. When I went to replace the receptacle with a newer, but same configuration 3-hole receptacle, here's what happened: connect either of the non-neutral leads to the hot line, and either the washer or dryer will run, but not both. However, the dryer lets off a buzzing noise when you use it (but it's not the buzzer itself, that's even louder). Connect both hot leads to the hot line, and the whole w/d unit can light up a current tester from six inches away. Configure it the way the previous one was figured and blow a fuse.

What do I do now???? I'm guessing the last receptacle was somehow configured to let the juice flow to both washer and dryer, without use of the left hand connection, since we never had a problem with the w/d until my husband pulled the plug in order to move the w/d, and the receptacle came out with it and blew a fuse.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-01-05, 12:44 PM
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Previous tenant? Are you renting? If so, you shouldn't be doing this at all. It's illegal. Call your landlord.

The 'left hand' connection as you describe it is the ground - or at least is supposed to be. You may have come very close to killing yourself. And you may have already damaged the unit.

If it is a 240V circuit, then there is no neutral wire from what you describe. Use colors to describe the wiring coming from the breaker panel/fuse box to the receptacle, including the connections in the junction box.

When I went to replace the receptacle with a newer, but same configuration 3-hole receptacle...
What are the numbers on the receptacle? What are the numbers on the plug? How is the plug wired into the appliance? Wire colors, please...
 
  #3  
Old 08-01-05, 01:40 PM
KK45
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thanks

I followed the Leviton instructions to install-- there is no ground wire connection, and no ground prong on the plug; there are two hots and a neutral (according to the receptacle instructions). The neutral (white) wire from the source and the hot (red) wire from the source were already pigtailed to one hot receptacle and the neutral as I described below. If the left hand prong were a ground, then why would the dryer not start when I wired it as a ground the first time? And why did the dryer operate properly when I wired it (as per the receptacle instructions) as a hot?

The original wiring, as I said, was treating that left hand connection as a ground, but as I said, the box (dryer outlet from Home Depot) clearly states that that connection is one of two possible hots.

Don't worry about the legalities, I don't want to go into the whole deal, but we're legally allowed to do our upgrades as long as they're inspected before the C of O is issued. Obviously the last person who lived here never got that far.
 

Last edited by KK45; 08-01-05 at 02:06 PM.
  #4  
Old 08-01-05, 01:42 PM
KK45
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Oh, sorry I missed the rest of your reply: 30 amp plug and receptacle, 125/250 VAC, 3 pole, 3 wire.
 
  #5  
Old 08-01-05, 02:45 PM
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Your plug/receptacle sounds like a 10-30P/R. Yes, these are meant to be used in a non-grounded circuit. Typically, the appliance cabinet/chassis is bonded to the neutral conductor.

If this is a 240V circuit and you only have two wires, you do not have a neutral conductor. Or if you have a neutral conductor, you don't have 240V. The red and white colors are a little odd. Are you sure there's not also a black one somewhere - maybe burned off?

What color is the wire that is connected to the junction box itself? You are positive it was connected to a leg of the receptacle? If so, this sounds like an illegal, improper and extremely dangerous installation to start with.

Sounds like you need another wire and I'm thinking it's the neutral. How is this disaster waiting to happen wired into the fuse panel? Or is it a circuit breaker panel?
 
  #6  
Old 08-01-05, 03:11 PM
KK45
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Good questions, all.

This is definitely a 30 amp fuse, 240 line with a hot and a neutral (white) wire. The main line from the circuit breaker to the receptacle is #8 stranded wire, and there's #10 stranded wire going in and out of the receptacle. I'll have to double check the connection to the circuit breaker but as I recall it's installed properly, since I had an electrician look the circuit breaker over when we moved in. He replaced a couple of circuit breakers at the time to code.

I had our stove (another line) wired by a licensed electrician and he wired it one hot, one neutral, one ground on a 220 line (I set up and did all the pulling through the conduit so I know for sure what's in there).
 
  #7  
Old 08-01-05, 04:33 PM
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I'm confused.... First it's a fuse then a breaker.... Hopefully a mis-typed thought along the way. Anyway I'm trying to be of help here, but I still believe you do not have a neutral - even though there is a white wire. White does not mean neutral in many 240V circuits and even some 120V circuits!

If you pulled 3 wires for your range it's likely you pulled 2 hots and a neutral, not a hot, a neutral and a ground... What color were those wires?

You need two hot wires for 240V. They can be any color except green. Mostly they are black, red or white. Although white wires should be marked black with tape or permanent marker, they are frequently not marked. Technically you do not need a neutral or a ground just to derive the 240V, but 240V circuits also include one or both of these for various reasons, the most notable being legal and safety reasons. BUT you do need a neutral for the appliance to derive 120V which is probably what the motor in the dryer and the whole washer half of your appliance needs as well as timers, indicators etc. So you would need at least 3 wires to the washer/dryer - 2 hots and a neutral. Based on your descriptions, I believe you do not have a neutral.

I really think you are trying to make a dangerous installation work and that you should get that electrician back to lay his eyes on it before you try anything else....
 
  #8  
Old 08-01-05, 08:02 PM
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KK45-

what country are you from? What you keep describing doesn't compare to U.S. 120/240 volt 3-wire service.

Just wondering.
 
  #9  
Old 08-03-05, 06:09 PM
KK45
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Lol

Nope, I'm in the US. It's just an old building that a bunch of artists took over in the 70s to make into live/work spaces. So it's a bit jimmy-rigged. We're trying to get ahold of the guy who put in our stove and let him figure this out. Sorry about the terminology, "fuse" is just a bad habit of speech. It's a circuit breaker. If I ran a new 3 wire 120/240 line, how would I install the receptacle? I can run conduit or greenfield from the panel and install a new box; I have space on the panel for another breaker. The box the outlet came in indicates you install the hot lead in either one of the 2 receptacle connections at about 3 and 9 o'clock, and the neutral goes to the connection at 12 o'clock. Does that make sense?
 
  #10  
Old 08-03-05, 07:18 PM
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Your new line needs to be FOUR wire. Three current carrying wires (two hots and a neutral) and one ground.
 
  #11  
Old 08-03-05, 08:28 PM
KK45
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which means

I have to replace the w/d plug, too, right?! *sigh*
 
  #12  
Old 08-03-05, 08:34 PM
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Yes. (This added to satisfy the reader.)
 
  #13  
Old 08-03-05, 08:37 PM
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KK yes you need to replace the cord on the dryer/washer if it is a three prong. Look here for guidance....http://www.american-appliance.com/se...dryer_cord.htm
The key is the ground on the center terminal of ther dryer needs to be removed and capped off. The new 4 prong cord will attach just like the three prong did only the green ground wire in the cord will connect to the frame as shown on the link I provided. All wires that are on the dryer stay where they are except the ground metal strap or green wire. Remove it from the center terminal. Look here for your receptacle and plug you need #3864 or #3884.
http://www.pdqsupplyinc.com/electric...eceptacles.htm scroll down a little to the dryer receptacles.
 
  #14  
Old 08-03-05, 08:53 PM
KK45
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thanks, good description

I'm familiar with the process. I just never thought about the W/D till the receptacle came out with the plug! And was kind of hoping for an easy fix....
 
  #15  
Old 08-03-05, 08:58 PM
KK45
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Thanks everyone

I really appreciate all the help and advice. I think I'm just going to run my own, nice new 4 wire line and have the electrician bless it and hook it to the breaker. Until then, you can find me at the Wash N Fold....
 
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