Something funny with washer/dryer

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  #1  
Old 03-21-06, 06:37 AM
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Something funny with washer/dryer

Hello,

I moved my clothes washing machine and dryer to the new laundry room last night. I have a new GFCI outlet for the washer and a new dedicated circuit for the 220 dryer. I had to switch the cord on the back of my dryer.

Here is the interesting part. I had plugged everything in and all seemed to work. My wife was cleaning the washer and dryer with a damp rag and where there is some bare metal showing from paint scrapes on the two bottom from corners she got a tingle when the rag was touching both the dryer and the washer. I didn't believe her so I reached down and sure enough when you connect the washer and dryer with your fingers you get a good tingle. It doesn't trip the GFCI or the regular breakers.

What is the scoop here? I must have some sort of short but it doesn't make sense to me. I have shut off both breakers at the box for now until I have some trouble shooting ideas.

Thanks for the help!

Brad
 
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  #2  
Old 03-21-06, 06:52 AM
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Does your dryer have a four-prong plug? When you attached it, did you removing the bonding between the dryer neutral and its frame? I suspect maybe you did not properly attach the dryer cord.

Was either machine running when you got the tingle? Do you still get the tingle with the breakers turned off? Are both machines in good undamaged shape?
 
  #3  
Old 03-21-06, 06:56 AM
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Did you perhaps change your dryer from a three wire cord to a four wire cord? And when you did so did you follow the dryer manufacturer's directions? Those instructions include telling you to remove a jumper connecting the frame of the dryer to the neutral. If you forget to remove this jumper and you use a four wire cord, you connect the frame of the dryer and the ground wire of the dryer to the neutral. This would cause your problem.
 
  #4  
Old 03-21-06, 05:31 PM
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Further information

Thanks for the ideas...

I have checked the back of the dryer. There are three points of connection plus a ground. A black a red and a white. The white is pig tailed to the green ground screw connected to the frame. The current cord on the dryer is a three prong cord. I'm guessing after reading the two replies that I need to isolate that ground wire pig tail and not use it. If so, do I then just connect the three wires on the plug cable to the three terminals? Then how do I know what colors to match up? I don't have a manual for the dryer as it was purchased used.

Thanks again for the help!

Brad
 
  #5  
Old 03-21-06, 05:46 PM
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SHUT OFF BOTH CKTS! Now, Is the feed to the dryer(receptical) 3 wire or 4? Is the cord ON the dryer a 3 wire or 4? If both are 3 wire, we can work with that. If they are mixed we can correct that too. # wire rec. 2 outside terms are the hots, the middle one is your neutral(silver).

On the GFCI, Is that a dedicated ckt? Is the "polarity" correct? Black to bronze screw/ white to siver screw/ bare cop. to green screw?
 
  #6  
Old 03-21-06, 06:36 PM
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DO NOT USE THE DRYER UNTIL YOU HOOK IT UP PROPERLY.

You need to get the manual for the dryer and hook this up properly. Find the manual on line or call the manufacturer.

I am assuming that since this is a new laundry room that it is correctly wired. That means a FOUR fire receptacle for the dryer. That means you need to buy a four wire cord for the dryer and hook the cord up according to the directions that the manufacturer.

If for some reason this is just a new location for the dryer and the connection is an old three wire receptacle then you need a three wire cord and plug on the dryer.

Either way the connections where the cord and plug attach to the dryer need to be correct. Do not guess at this and do not ask your friends. Follow the manufacturers instructions.

In the mean time, DO NOT USE THE DRYER.
 
  #7  
Old 03-22-06, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by werneb01
The white is pig tailed to the green ground screw connected to the frame.
There's problem #1.

Green goes to green. White goes to white.

> The current cord on the dryer is a three prong cord.

There's problem #2.
That's illegal. You have a new installation.
You have to use four wires.
Otherwise you get shocked.

> I'm guessing after reading the two replies that I need to isolate that ground wire
> pigtail and not use it.

Wrong. It has to be grounded.
You must attach the green wire in the cord to it.

> If so, do I then just connect the three wires on the plug cable to the three terminals?

No. You have to attach all four wires to the wire of the same color.


> Then how do I know what colors to match up?

It's simple and obvious.
Green goes to green. White goes to white.
The remaining two go one each to the hot terminals.
 
  #8  
Old 03-22-06, 05:42 AM
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More information on dryer in laundry.

Sorry for the lack of information...it all seems clear to me when I stand in the room but then as you ask questions I realize of course you wouldn't know that.

All circuits involved are off and will remain off until I figure out what's up.

The 'new' laundry room is indeed that 'new.' My wife and I purchased the home this summer and the 'new' room was not completed - flooring and sheetrock mudding. The rest was all buttoned up...water, electrical, hanging sheetrock and so forth. This room is being redone, not completely new. So, I'm guessing the wall wiring and so forth was done previously.

The gfci outlet according to what has been said here and by checking online about gfic is wired properly. It works with the test function. The gfci outlet is the first outlet in a series of 4 outlets and the load and line are on the correct terminals.

The dryer outlet is three wire...two slanted and one 'L' connectiongs. It appears to be wired properly at that point, ground to the 'L' and the other two legs to the remaining sides. At the circuit box the ground goes to the ground bar in the box and the white and black go to either side of the breaker.

My dryer had a four wire cord on it as the house we lived in before had a four wire hook up. I got a three wire 4' dryer cord from Menard's. The dumb thing is grey from end to end. It is flat though and by checking continuity I can tell which wire at the end goes with which blade on the plug. On the terminal block on the dryer there are three lugs as you know. Looking at the back of the dryer from left to right they are black, white, red. Then, right after the white leaves the center lug there is a FACTORY splice to a green wire that runs to the green ground screw on the frame.

I will find the number for Kenmore tonight when I get home and see if I can get ahold of them. I hope I've cleared up some confusion. I'm also hoping I can leave the three wire intact as it was there when I arrived??? Or do I need to try and pull new four wire? I hope not.

Thank you once again!

Brad
 
  #9  
Old 03-22-06, 06:07 AM
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If this was a new room added or seriously remodeled, then it should have been added or remodeled up to code. This would dictate a new four wire installation for the dryer cord. However, I can certainly understand a lay person wanting to reuse an existing cable and receptacle.

I would investigate the existing cable. There may very well be a fourth wire inside the receptacle that is presently not connected. You can investigate this at either end, the receptacle end or the panel end.

If there are four wires, then go out and buy a four wire receptacle and install and use it.

If there are three wires then you have a decision to make. Clearly, the safest thing would be to redo the installation to make it four wire.

However, a three wire installation (properly done of course) is not far behind in safety.

Whichever decision you make, please make sure that you follow the manufacturers directions and connect the dryer properly. For a three wire installation that bonding jumper to the frame will remain intact. For a four wire installation it will be removed. The manual for your dryer is available on-line. There is no need for you to call Kenmore. You can download and print the manual.
 
  #10  
Old 03-22-06, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by werneb01
I'm guessing the wall wiring and so forth was done previously.
If you get shocked by it, that indicates that the wiring is not what you desire.

> The dryer outlet is three wire...

An obvious potential source of the problem you experienced.

> white and black go to either side of the breaker.

I supposed this is a bare copper wire.
So again, you have the wrong cable and hence an illegal installation.


> My dryer had a four wire cord on it as the house we lived in before had a four wire hook up.

But neutral bonded to ground? That is not right.


> by checking continuity I can tell which wire at the end goes with which blade on the plug.

That's not the only way. But it doesn't matter as you will be putting the old cord back on.


> Looking at the back of the dryer from left to right they are black, white, red.
> Then, right after the white leaves the center lug there is a FACTORY splice to
> a green wire that runs to the green ground screw on the frame.

That is wrong for a four-wire installation.

> I'm also hoping I can leave the three wire intact as it was there when I arrived???

It was wrong when you arrived.


> Or do I need to try and pull new four wire?

Yes. Or you can live with the tingle knowing that the installation is not up to Code and the white wire is ungrounded from the panel to the receptacle.
 
  #11  
Old 03-22-06, 08:40 AM
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Was either machine running when you got the tingle?
 
  #12  
Old 03-22-06, 09:47 AM
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I have searched on the internet for the manual and I think I have the three wire cord hooked up properly on the back of the dryer. As John Nelson asked about running...I do believe that the washer was running when the tingle happened as we ran an empty cycle to clean out the machine. So, this could maybe mean that the washer is suspect and not the dryer? Both machines were operating fine in the basement room prior to being moved upstairs and no tingles or other problems.



Bolide-

I'm not sure that I follow what you are saying below. In the circuit box is a double breaker, one screw with the white and one screw with the black wire and the bare copper is connected where all the other bare ground wires are connected.

For three wire 220 how would the white wire recieve ground? Doesn't the white become the other leg to make 220 from 110?

> white and black go to either side of the breaker.

I supposed this is a bare copper wire.
So again, you have the wrong cable and hence an illegal installation.


Thank you all for your help. I appreciate all the suggestions.


Brad
 
  #13  
Old 03-22-06, 09:57 AM
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For a 240V installation you need two current carrying conductors, one to each of two breaker legs. For a 120V installation, you need two current carrying conductors, one to a breaker and one to the neutral bar. Problem is that dryers are 120/240V devices, needing both 120V and 240V. This requires _three_ current carrying conductors. So your circuit requires _three_ insulated conductors plus an equipment grounding conductor.

In previous versions of the code, the _insulated_ neutral conductor was permitted to serve dual duty as the equipment grounding conductor, so you would have _three_ insulated conductors and nothing else. Sometimes people would install two conductor plus ground NM cable, and use the _bare_ wire as the combination neutral and egc. This was a code violation at the time of installation, and is a code violation now. This is the point that bolide was making re: the use of the bare wire.

-Jon
 
  #14  
Old 03-22-06, 10:00 AM
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Oh, it sounds like your dryer is correctly connected for a _three_ prong plug. The reason that there was confusion is that at first we thought that you had a _four_ prong plug, in which case your dryer is _not_ correctly wired. You stated that you previously had a four prong plug, so if you didn't change the jumper when you replaced the cord, then your dryer _used_ to be incorrectly grounded.

-Jon
 
  #15  
Old 03-22-06, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by werneb01
In the circuit box is a double breaker, one screw with the white and one screw with the black wire
This is wrong.

> and the bare copper is connected where all the other bare ground wires are connected.

This is okay in general.


> For three-wire 240V how would the white wire receive ground?
> Doesn't the white become the other leg to make 240 from 120?

No. White is always neutral.
(It could be remarked as red. But for a dryer, you need red for red.)
White is needed as the "neutral" for the 120V loads in the dryer.

The problem with you installation is that you don't have a white neutral wire to haul the neutral current from the motor, etc., that are 120V.

A dryer is not a pure 240V load and cannot run on just two wires.
 
  #16  
Old 03-22-06, 12:13 PM
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Please correct me if wrong but I think I will do the following to rectify the problem.

Get some new wire...3 conductors and a bare ground.
Get a new four wire plug.

Replace existing 2 conductor plus ground with 3 conductor plus ground.
Install new plug.
Put old four wire cord back on dryer.
Eliminate the pigtail from the center neutral to the dryer frame.

When wiring into the circuit box, I believe currently on is supposed to have one side of the box be for ground and one side for neutral. However, I have both white and bare ground wires on both sides of circuit box. So, do I put the black and red to the breaker and then the white and bare ground to the side where other white/ground combinations are?

What gage wire should I purchase with the three conductor plus ground?

Thank you for all your help...hopefully I'll get to Menard's tonight to get the supplies.
 
  #17  
Old 03-22-06, 12:41 PM
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Get some new wire...3 conductors and a bare ground.
Get a new four wire plug.
Yes to both... you need a Dryer receptacle Nema 14-30 P. Here is a good description....

http://www.cornerhardware.com/howto/ht052.html

http://www.repairclinic.com/0081.asp?RccPartID=12861


Put old four wire cord back on dryer.
Eliminate the pigtail from the center neutral to the dryer frame
Yes something like this .....the instructions should describe what you need to do for your dryer
http://fixitnow.com/appliantology/dryercords.htm

http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/switc...yershowall.htm

When wiring into the circuit box, I believe currently on is supposed to have one side of the box be for ground and one side for neutral. However, I have both white and bare ground wires on both sides of circuit box. So, do I put the black and red to the breaker and then the white and bare ground to the side where other white/ground combinations are?
You will connect the Black and red to the breaker terminals. The white and bare in the main panel can go to the same bus in your situation. Make sure you only use one hole for the white (neutral)wire and no other wires with it. The grounds can usually double up if they are the same size. If you have plenty of holes available then give them both their own holes on the neutral/ground bus.
What gage wire should I purchase with the three conductor plus ground?
NM-B 10-3 G probably a roundish orange colored cable at the home centers.
 

Last edited by Roger; 03-22-06 at 12:54 PM.
  #18  
Old 03-22-06, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by werneb01
Get some new cable...3 conductors and a bare ground.
Correct (ground can be green or bare).

> Get a new four wire plug.
> Replace existing 2 conductor plus ground with 3 conductor plus ground.
> Install new plug.
> Put old four wire cord back on dryer.
> Eliminate the pigtail from the center neutral to the dryer frame.

All correct.

> When wiring into the circuit box, I believe currently on is supposed to have
> one side of the box be for ground and one side for neutral.
Probably not.
Your panel probably doesn't have any ground bars.


> However, I have both white and bare ground wires on both sides of circuit box.
Correct.

> So, do I put the black and red to the breaker and
Correct.

> then the white and bare ground to the side where other
> white/ground combinations are?
Yes, either side.

> What gage wire should I purchase with the three conductor plus ground?

10 AWG minimum.

If you rip out the old cable first, you can get a length measurement.
Don't shortchange yourself.

Assuming that NM cable is permitted in your two-story, single-family dwelling, the cable Roger suggested is fine.
 
  #19  
Old 03-22-06, 01:01 PM
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I strongly suggest that you slow down a bit. I know that you want to fix this problem, however a proper electrical installation has lots of details, all of which must be correct. It is your responsibility to concern yourself both with the issues that you know you need to ask about, and with the issues that you don't even know to ask about.

For example, NM cable ('Romex') is usually permitted for residential use, but not in all cases (for example in the Chicago area). In your main service disconnect panel, there is no distinction between the ground and neutral bus, and in _most_ homes the main panel is also the main service disconnect. If Romex is permitted and the panel that you describe is your main panel, then you are good to go. But it doesn't sound like you've currently understand how to recognize a subpanel, and it is possible that the previous people who worked on your home electrical didn't know either.

I strongly urge you to buy and read a book or two on electrical wiring, just to catch yourself up on details that might have been missed. Do this _before_ you do this project. Water and electricity are a dangerous combination, you _don't_ want to get things wrong wiring your dryer.

On the individual points of your plan, I agree with the previous posters, they look correct. I am concerned about the points that were not written down.

-Jon
 
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