What to do with old (ungrounded) dryer circuit

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  #1  
Old 10-27-05, 12:00 PM
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What to do with old (ungrounded) dryer circuit

Just finished replacing my old dryer feed with a new 10-3wg after doing a remodel.

Now I'm left with the old circuit. It's vintage 1975 10-3 romex with NO ground wire, and I'm trying to determine what to do with it.


I asked the local inspector some time back if I could reidentify the white wire as a green (giving me black, red, green) and use this for a grounded 220 circuit (no neutral). He said I could just strip off the insulation so it would be bare. The more I read, and spend time on this site, the more I do NOT think this would be code compliant. Does code allow such reidentification? (BTW: This circuit would be relocated to the garage where it would probably feed a welder if I did this.) I've gotten the impression that our inspector allows things he shouldn't, and I don't want to do something against code, even if he's OK with it.


If this is not allowed by code, is there ANY code compliant use for an ungrounded circuit such as this?


If nothing else can be done with it, I suppose I'll just pull it up into the attic and terminate it in a junction box. At the main panel, should I just leave it connected to the breaker, disconnect it and put wire nuts on the wires, or actually remove the cable completely from the panel box? (BTW: The new circuit is fed from a new subpanel that was part of the remodel, so I don't need the breaker for it.)
 
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  #2  
Old 10-27-05, 12:08 PM
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Don't use it all. Completely remove the wire, or if that is not possible then cut it as far as you can reach it (where it enters the wall or whatever) and leave it abandoned.

Run a new circuit for the welder or anything you need a circuit for.
 
  #3  
Old 10-27-05, 12:13 PM
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Disconnect it from the breaker too, cut it off, and push or pull it outside the panel. Remove as much of it as you can to help ensure it will never be used again.

You can leave the breaker there, since it will serve to fill up the openings in the panel cover.
 
  #4  
Old 10-27-05, 12:20 PM
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I did mean to remove it from both ends, but thanks for making that clear John.
 
  #5  
Old 10-27-05, 01:19 PM
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I believe that your inspector is on an old code book.

There are some bits of code that permit things in one 'occupancy' but not in other. In industrial facilities where only professional electricians are allowed to touch the wiring, you are allowed to 'recode' a wire to ground by stripping it bare where exposed. I _believe_ that you used to be able to do this in any occupancy. But it is not currently allowed for residential wiring in the 2005 code.

Now, it may be the case that your locality is still on a previous version of the code where this sort of use is permitted. As I mentioned, this is not a particularly unsafe practise, which I believe was previously permitted, and since code is not legal until some government body 'adopts' it, it may still be permitted where you live.

Remember that the electrons don't care about the color of the insulation on the wires. But proper color coding is part of the electrical code because when someone goes to work on this circuit in the future, you want them to understand what is going on. Some of the things that the code mandates may seem overly restrictive, and sometimes they really are BS...but often they develop because the collective experience of the code making body has determined that practices previously considered 'safe enough' really are not.

So you have a situation where you want to do something that is _not_ permitted by the 2005 code, which _may_ be permitted by the version of the code adopted in your area. The local electrical inspector has told you is okay, which could either be correct based upon the code that he is enforcing, or which could be an error on his part.

Personally: if this were a difficult run, I'd go with the inspector's permission and use the wire. But it sounds like an easy run, since you've just pulled a new cable for the dryer. In this case, I'd replace the wire, and sell the old wire for scrap.

-Jon
 
  #6  
Old 10-27-05, 01:29 PM
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That's what I figured. I did think of one use for it...Anyone need hundreds of 10 guage pigtails? Got 'em in black, white, and red. Sorry, no green.

I can pull in into the attic. I should be able to pull it out of the panel box, but I don't think I can get it out completely as it is bound to be stapled in the wall going up into the attic.

Thanks guys.
 
  #7  
Old 10-27-05, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by winnie
Personally: if this were a difficult run, I'd go with the inspector's permission and use the wire. But it sounds like an easy run, since you've just pulled a new cable for the dryer. In this case, I'd replace the wire, and sell the old wire for scrap.

-Jon

It would be a difficult run to the main panel, which is why I added a subpanel in the area I'm remodeling.

I can easily enough run a circuit for a welder from the new panel. I just don't like seeing good cable go to waste. I also like the idea of keeping larger loads in the main panel...of course the welder circuit will be the least frequently used circuit in the house, so who cares.


I wonder what the scrap value of 70' of old 10-3 would be?
 
  #8  
Old 10-27-05, 01:48 PM
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Actually, depending upon the gage of the wire feeding the subpanel, you might find that the welder is happier connected to the subpanel. On the other hand, it is quite possible that any lights connected to that subpanel would flicker every time you used the welder

-Jon
 
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