Repair burned dryer wiring.

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Old 09-16-13, 10:47 AM
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Repair burned dryer wiring.

The other day I went to clean lint out of my dryer because it was smelling burnt every time we used it, and I found that I couldn't pull the plug out of the receptacle. So I switched the breaker off (it wasn't tripped) and used a screw driver to pry the plug off to find that the plug and the receptacle had melted together. After removing the receptacle I found that the wire was burned for about 3 inches or so. I plan to pull a new wire in using fish tape, but I wanted to get the opinion of the forums before going this far. I have posted a picture to my google+ account at https://plus.google.com/109300386271...ts/9nDi396WMCq

Thanks,

Tom
 
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Old 09-16-13, 11:17 AM
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The wiring does not meet code, even old code. Assuming the dryer is 30 amps you need to run 10-3 cable from a 30 amp breaker. You will need the change the cord on the dryer to four wire and un-bond the ground from the neutral at the dryer cord terminal block. Replace the existing box with a 4x4 metal box. Use a NEMA 14-30 receptacle.

Issues: There is no neutral. Best guess the bare wire was being used as a neutral/ground. A neutral/ground must be insulated. The wire looks larger than #10, is it. What size is the breaker?

Terminology:
I plan to pull a new wire in using fish tape
A wire is a single conductor. A cable is two or more wires in a metallic or nonmetallic sheath. You need a three conductor cable plus ground (four wires). If you use conduit you would (best practice) use individual wires not cable.
 
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Old 09-16-13, 11:48 AM
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Okay I didn't see that response coming, but I am glad that I checked. My home was built in 2003, but somehow they managed to get around wiring it to code. It concerns me what else could be wrong.

I bought the dryer new from Sears in 2009 and had it professionally installed. Then moved to my current house in 2010.

I did a bit of reading on wiring a 4-wire dryer receptacle and I see that they wire the ground to the box. Is this sufficient grounding if the box is only attached to a stud or do I need to ground it differently?

I don't know what the breaker and wire sizes are. I will check them when I get home from work. The breaker has two switches. Should they be 15 amps each for a total of 30 or 30 amps each?

Thanks for your help!
 
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Old 09-16-13, 12:44 PM
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I see that they wire the ground to the box. Is this sufficient grounding if the box is only attached to a stud or do I need to ground it differently?
That is not even close to correct. As I said you use 10-3 cable. That contains a white, red, black, and bare ground wire. The ground wire is pigtailed to both the ground screw on the receptacle and a ground screw in the box.

I see that they wire the ground to the box. Is this sufficient grounding if the box is only attached to a stud or do I need to ground it differently?
No a 30 amp 240 breaker is two poles each protected by a 30 amp breaker.
 
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Old 09-16-13, 02:45 PM
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Got home and checked my breakers and it is a 30 amp. The original wire is in fact a very large gauge, but the wire I bought at Lowe's the other day was 10-2 so I will go exchange it for 10-3, and I will exchange my 3 prong receptacle and dryer wire for a 4 prong receptacle and dryer wire and buy a 4x4 metal box.

Hopefully I can successfully pull the new 10-3 wire through without too much trouble. The dryer is on the same wall as the breaker box. I will pigtail the ground with the new metal box and attach it and the white neutral wire onto the ground bar in the breaker panel. I will attach the red and black (hot) wires to the receptacle and the breaker panel. Is that correct?

Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 09-16-13, 03:49 PM
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will pigtail the ground with the new metal box and attach it and the white neutral wire onto the ground bar in the breaker panel. I will attach the red and black (hot) wires to the receptacle and the breaker panel. Is that correct?
Yes, unless the panel is a subpanel. If it is the only panel you have and there is no disconnect between it and the meter than it is not a subpanel and that is correct. Clarification the Red and Black wires are connected to the breaker in the panel not "to the panel".

Remember when you put the new cord on the dryer if there is a ground strap going to the neutral terminal it must be removed from the neutral terminal and the cord's ground goes to the metal chassis where that wire or strap connected.

 

Last edited by ray2047; 09-16-13 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 09-16-13, 04:58 PM
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There was a loose connection in the dryer power plug or in the receptacle or both. This is unrelated to the lint accumulation in the dryer.

This caused the plug or the receptacle to overheat and transmit excessive heat to the other.
 
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Old 09-16-13, 06:20 PM
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There was a loose connection in the dryer power plug or in the receptacle or both. This is unrelated to the lint accumulation in the dryer.
Yes, and yet another reason for new receptacle and cord set. Thanks for adding that. I forgot to mention it.
 
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Old 09-16-13, 07:52 PM
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Instead of a 4x4 box you can install a surface mount receptacle also. If you stay with the 4x4 box, get a deep one and a 2 gang plaster ring.

Looks like you had 10-2 NM cable for the old wiring. It was not legal to use the bare as a neutral with that type of cable.
 
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Old 09-17-13, 05:18 AM
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Last night I disconnected old cable from the breaker and the ground post (they had the ground screwed in so tight that I had to cut the wire) and I pulled it out of the old box. I found it was clamped in below the box and breaker box so I solved that, but I still cannot for the life of me pull the cable through the three studs it runs through (can't even get it to budge). I even cut access holes on each side of the set of three (I can't go between because there is a large cupboard there). Is there a trick to get it to move? Or would it be a problem to cut and terminate the old cable at the studs and leave it behind the wall; then run new cable down through the crawl space?

Thanks.
 
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Old 09-17-13, 05:37 AM
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but I still cannot for the life of me pull the cable through the three studs it runs through (can't even get it to budge). I even cut access holes on each side of the set of three
You never try to remove the old cable. It is invariably stapled You just abandon it in place. Is the breaker box surface mounted? Is the basement finished. You need to remove the old box and use the hole to fish a new cable or come up through the floor for a surface mounted receptacle.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]17909[/ATTACH]
 
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Old 09-17-13, 07:05 AM
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The breaker box is mounted into the wall, the crawl space is unfinished, and the box is also mounted into the wall.
 
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Old 09-17-13, 09:17 AM
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The dryer is on the same wall as the breaker box.
Is the breaker box in the house? Opposite side of the kitchen wall or is it in the kitchen. Regardless just drop the cable to the crawl space and bring it up into the wall space behind the drye..

If need be cut a space for a single gang old work low voltage box below the panel. Use a jab saw not electric and be sure there are no cables in the area. The low voltage box has no back and is just to hold a blank cover plate when you finish so you don't have to patch. The cable goes behind not through the box. Or just make a hole, feed the wire and patch afterward. Instead of a 4x4 box for the receptacle you could just remove the old receptacle box, bring the cable up into the opening and cover the opening with a surface mount box such as PCBoss suggested.

Plan B mount the surface mount receptacle to the base board against the floor (cut away any shoe molding) and bring the cable up through the floor into the surface mount box.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]17909[/ATTACH]
 
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Old 09-18-13, 05:32 AM
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Wink

Got it done. The dryer works wonderfully again. Thanks for all your help!
 
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Old 09-18-13, 05:44 AM
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Excellent! Thanks for letting us know the outcome.
 
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