Changing from 50AMP to 30AMP Breaker


  #1  
Old 10-10-13, 06:15 AM
O
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Changing from 50AMP to 30AMP Breaker

I am trying to change my breaker from 50AMP (double) to 30AMP ( double) - I know the type of breaker - have already purchased from HD. I need to change the laundry socket from 50A to 30A - not sure why it is 50, but I am installing a separate dryer and washing machine...and for the dryer, the manufacturer says to use a 30AMP. My washer will go into a separate socket for 20AMP - which is on a separate breaker.

Question 1
I understand that it is okay to 'downgrade' from a 50AMP to 30 AMP but not necessarily the other way, but I wanted to be sure. Please advise.

Question 2
I also cannot seem to identify the wire gauge ( no identification that I can see), so I was hoping that someone might be able to identify from the pics and let me know if it is okay to swap the 50 to the 30A at the breaker box, without causing fire potential because of the wiring.

Question 3
I also understand that since I have a 3pin plug - that this was code before...but since it is already there - that I can leave it installed this way without having to change to 4 wire. Is that right.

Can anybody help me and let me know of any other issues that I might need to be aware of.

Thanks in advance for your help
 
Attached Images      
  #2  
Old 10-10-13, 07:52 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 29,711
Upvotes: 0
Received 15 Upvotes on 13 Posts
okay to 'downgrade' from a 50AMP to 30 AMP
Yes it is fine and in fact should be done.

I also cannot seem to identify the wire gauge
Definitely larger then #10 so wire size is okay.

Best practice would be to run a new #10 4-wire (10-3) cable.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-10-13 at 10:05 AM. Reason: Remove eronish information.
  #3  
Old 10-10-13, 08:06 AM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 9,880
Received 188 Upvotes on 168 Posts
I need to change the laundry socket from 50A to 30A - not sure why it is 50,
The existing surface receptacle looks like a 30 amp device to me and I believe the wire is #8. You do need to, however, install a NM cable connector (romex connector) at the receptacle.
 
  #4  
Old 10-10-13, 08:17 AM
O
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Thanks...I think what you mean by a NM Cable connector is something that connects and ensures that the wire do not fray and get cut right? Something like this ( see pic)

How to tell if the receptable is 30 or 50...since now I have two posts with difference amps. I am not at location now...but what I can see from metal scribing on receptable is says
"replace only with AL-CU 25 C Receptacle" - not sure if that is any hint as to AMP

I was hoping to just change the breaker and NM cable connector ( now that you mentioned it).
 
Attached Images  
  #5  
Old 10-10-13, 08:20 AM
O
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Not really possible to run 4 wires (I am trying to contain costs...and to rerun I would image would cost me $$)

Since I am not redoing the wiring...is it legal for me to leave the 3 wire there - do you know?


Any way to idenify if it is 50 or 30amp receptable - since I have got two different answers now. Are there supposed to be markings anywhere.


Thanks
 
  #6  
Old 10-10-13, 08:49 AM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 9,880
Received 188 Upvotes on 168 Posts
Since I am not redoing the wiring...is it legal for me to leave the 3 wire there - do you know?
It's existing wiring. Most AHJs would grandfather the existing wiring as long as you don't extend or otherwise alter the circuit.

Any way to idenify if it is 50 or 30amp receptable - since I have got two different answers now. Are there supposed to be markings anywhere.
There should be markings somewhere inside the receptacle, but I was just looking at the L-Shaped configuration of the neutral slot in your last picture. With a 50 amp receptacle, all three slots are straight.

Thanks...I think what you mean by a NM Cable connector is something that connects and ensures that the wire do not fray and get cut right? Something like this ( see pic)
Yep, I'd use a metal one and not the plastic. Will probably need a 3/4" connector.
 
  #7  
Old 10-10-13, 08:57 AM
O
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Thanks CasualJoe....
1. I will not be extending or otherwise altering the circuit...unless you consider changing to 30AMP as a alteration. Don't think I will in fact be calling an inspector in for this .
2. You mentioned that 50AMp receptable has a straight-slot...so this looks like to be a 30AMP - which is good news for me...since I would not have to change the receptable. Infact...the worrying thing is that the prior owner had a 30AMP receptable on a 50AMP breaker - which is no no right.
3. Okay - will also get metal
 
  #8  
Old 10-10-13, 10:02 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 29,711
Upvotes: 0
Received 15 Upvotes on 13 Posts
OOPs I didn't see the hook. Please go by what Joe wrote. I have removed incorrect info from my post.
 
  #9  
Old 10-10-13, 11:04 AM
F
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 16,321
Received 39 Upvotes on 31 Posts
Look closely at the first picture. It appears that you already have a four-conductor cable but the bare equipment grounding conductor is cut off where the outer sheath ends. Look in the circuit breaker panel where this cable enters and see if you can see the bare wire and if it is long enough to splice on another length of green or bare wire to reach the equipment grounding bus, which is probably also the neutral bus.

You will then need to change the receptacle to a four-wire model and move it up the wall to get sufficient bare wire to connect to the equipment grounding lug in the new receptacle. Change out the dryer cord for a four-wire model, properly connecting the neutral and equipment grounds in the dryer and you are all set.
 
  #10  
Old 10-10-13, 03:25 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 9,880
Received 188 Upvotes on 168 Posts
Look closely at the first picture. It appears that you already have a four-conductor cable but the bare equipment grounding conductor is cut off where the outer sheath ends.
Well, I'll be dipped! I think Furd is right. I guess what you have is 8-3 W/G NM cable (romex). Since there is a ground wire and assuming you can salvage it at the panel, I'd defintely change to a 4-wire receptacle and dryer cord in addition to changing to the 30 amp 2 pole breaker. It's all about safety.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: