bonding neutral&ground together

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Old 01-27-08, 10:11 AM
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Question bonding neutral&ground together

I have replaced an old 30amp dryer with a new dryer that has a 4 prong cord. The electrician replaced the old 3 prong receptacle with a 4 prong receptacle and ran a short piece of wire from the neutral to the ground on this receptacle thus bonding them together so the machine will be grounded. The neutral and ground wires are on the same bar in the service panel. This panel was probably installed in the 70's. The electrician says he also does thiswith older homes on the duplex receptacles to allow removal of the old 2 wire receptacles. Does this have hazard issues in some situations?
 
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Old 01-27-08, 10:56 AM
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what he did was wrong and illegal.

Not sure why he bothered to change the recep at all. it is not required.

the alterations to allow a 3 or 4 wire cord and circuit are done within the appliance. There is a bonding strap or wire that bonds the neutral and ground within the appliance that allows the neutral to also be used as the grounding conductor.

You do not need to install a 4 wire recep if there is a 3 wire currently there as long as you do not alter the circuit in any way.

as well, tying the ground and the neut together in a receptacle like he does with standard duplex receps can actually cause a possibly lethal situation as anything that is connected to that ground now is actually connected to the neutral, which is not as neutral as the name implies. If the neutral going back to the panel were to become open for some reason, that neutral is now as hot as any hot wire so anything the neutral/ground is connected to is now energized. Not a good thing.

tell that guy he is not an electrician and is going to get somebody hurt doing what he is doing.
 
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Old 01-27-08, 11:52 AM
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I hope you did not have an electrician do this. I hope it was just some handyman or something.

I would never have let this be done. Get him or her back to do the work properly. Threaten to report him for illegal and dangerous work if he or she balks.

There were two choices that would have been legal:

Install and use a three wire cord and plug on the dryer.

Install a new four wire circuit and receptacle. This would mean four wires all the way back to the panel.
 
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Old 01-27-08, 12:23 PM
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duplex receptacle

Yes an electrician did this and the open neutral is a possible in this old apartment building so I will have gfi receptacles installed in place of the standard receptacles. What I have a difficulty understanding is what is different in bonding the neutral and ground together inside the dryer versus bonding them inside the 4 prong receptacle. Also THANKS for the reply
 
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Old 01-27-08, 12:33 PM
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in that one specific situation, there is very little difference other that the method and legality of it.
 
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Old 01-27-08, 01:51 PM
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bonding

That is what I thought. If an investigation of an electrical fire, not caused by this improper bonding, could still create liability and insurance reimbursement problems means I will get the job done right. Thanks for the response to my questions.
 
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Old 01-28-08, 09:49 AM
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The bootleg ground at the dryer is less of an issue than when done at the receptacles, but both are still illegal installations. Dryers at least are designed to operate under those conditions, but other appliances are not. Plugging a metal-framed appliance into one of these bootleg grounded receptacles could produce an electrocution hazard.
 
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