need some help proving a code violation


Old 03-20-07, 02:13 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 433
need some help proving a code violation

Someone has advised to use the neutral on his three wire dryer recepltacle as the ground on a 3 wire 240 volt machine. The machine has 2 hots and one ground. the receptalce has two hots and a neutral. Telling him this is a blantant code violation wasn't enough for him. What are the dangers of such a setup? Is there no danger? He is set on it and i know it is wrong .
Sponsored Links
Old 03-20-07, 02:28 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: North of Boston, MA.
Posts: 2,113
If this is existing. No violation.
Safety- Now you have a GROUNDED conductor, wich carries current, and no equipment ground for referance of a fault.

They did it this way for years. now they don't, so there must be something to it. Tell him that.
Old 03-20-07, 02:31 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Assuming that this is a dedicated circuit for just this one outlet, there's no real danger except the danger of confusion. Nevertheless, it is probably a code violation (not enough details here to know for sure). See 2005 NEC, 250.119. You'll win the argument about the code violation, but he's going to do it anyway, so there's nothing to be gained.

lectriclee, I think you misread the post.
Old 03-20-07, 02:32 PM
nap's Avatar
nap is offline
New Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: north
Posts: 4,163
well, depending on where this is makes a difference.

If this recep goes directly to the service equipment, a ground and a neut at that point could be used interchangably. It needs to be marked as a ground and you have to use the correct receptacle. I would suggest landing the wire on the ground strip if there are seperate terminal strips in the panel.

So, it may be as simple as changing a recep and putting some green tape on the new ground wire.

If this goes to a sub panel, add "changing the neutral to a ground by landing it on the correct terminal strip in the panel " to the list and all is well.

Now all this is presuming the circuit is large enough for the machine. If not, all bets are off.
Old 03-20-07, 02:32 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You don't need help proving a code violation. We can't help you there except to perhaps provide a code reference. It would be up to you to show him the code.

His setup will obviously work electrically. The ground in a circuit is not used except in the event of a fault or problem and the electrons don't know or care if the ground wire has green, white or no insulation.

The code is based on safety. If nobody sees the cable at all in the future, nobody will know or be able to tell there is a code violation. The problem comes in that if someone in the future examines the receptacle or the wiring at the breaker panel they may incorrectly think there is a neutral in place, not a ground. I suppose someone might try to tap this for a 120 volt circuit, although I doubt it.

I do not think you will be successful.
Old 03-20-07, 02:34 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 433
It's an exisiting 3 wire setup for a dryer. It's old. He cut the end off a three wire dryer plu that fit and hooked the two hot phases to the two hots for the welder and the ground for the welder to the neutral on the dryer cord.
I suppose theres no real danger ..
Old 03-20-07, 03:29 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: North of Boston, MA.
Posts: 2,113

Now it's a welder? In your defence and ours, you did not mention the equipment. You led us to beleive it was a dryer.

Start with the whole story next time.

The welder only needs two hots and a ground. The neutral in the cable is not a neutral untill it needs a neutral.

My only worry now would be the amperage needeed for the welder and if that cable is large enough. Connected correctly .

Did he hard wire the welder? did he just cut off the plug end and wirenut it?
Either way he is nuts for trying that.

Tell him to go and spend the $30 bucks and do it right.

For his safety and the equipment.
Old 03-20-07, 04:02 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NA
Posts: 1,065
Might as well give my 2 cents. yes there are code violations in what he did. Ones that will cite what he did is dangerous and will pose a hazard to safety will be hard to find.
However for starters he has an equipment ground wire in a cord connected to a neutral wire for a dryer. There can not be a connection of a equipment ground wire with a grounded conductor on the load side of any main disconnect for service equipment. This is not a jumper like the dryer uses on a 3 wire hook-up. This would be permitted for an existing dryer 3 wire circuit.
However what your friend did is a violation of 2005 NEC 250.24 (A)(5). NEC 250.142 specifically details where you can make connections to a grounded conductor (neutral) for grounding equipment. It also violates a couple sections in NEC article 110 dealing with the use of equipment that is listed for the application. A 10-30p (dryer plug) is not a listed plug for a welder circuit. Its terminal is listed for a neutral connection (W) not a equipment grounding connection (G). though this works as Bob and John have stated. The whole thing shows a disregard for safety and workmanship. It is also possible that the dryer circuit does not satisfy the load of the welder or the manufacturers specifications as NAP mentioned.


Last edited by Roger; 03-20-07 at 04:17 PM.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes