The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!


2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

Recent Posts
Forum Software Upgrade coming soon...
by Webmaster
Today at 12:03 AM
Re: Fabricating Guards out of Lexan?
by frank
Yesterday at 04:11 PM
Would ELV branch circuits be a good idea?
by gfretwell
Yesterday at 01:26 PM
Why cables look like they do
by Texas_Ranger
Yesterday at 12:33 PM
100% breakers?
by Texas_Ranger
01/16/17 06:13 AM
New in the Gallery:
Desk-mounted "power-board"
Top Posters (30 Days)
Webmaster 20
HotLine1 19
gfretwell 13
Trumpy 12
ghost307 12
Who's Online
1 registered (Webmaster), 0 Guests and 213 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#89947 - 10/24/04 09:42 PM 4 Wire Dryer and Range Outlets a Good Idea?
Norstarr Offline

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 89
Loc: Wi
Question that bothers me. After 50 years of allowing the neutral feeding a dryer and range receptacle to serve as the ground also is now required to be independent. As we change the cords on existing units we separate the ground from the neutral and install the cord to be used with a 4 wire receptacle. Problem? I am betting that as these units get older and folks start to sell them the people that pick them up will live in older properties with 3 wire receptacles. Their answer to problem? Take the 3 wire cord from their appliance and install it in place of the 4 wire cord on the used appliance w/o knowing the situation they are creating. Within 10 years we have loads of dryers and ranges not grounded and the potential for lethal shock. Am I missing something or did the code panel miss something that should have been left in place, expecially with todays copper prices? I have already come across this situation where the girls father thought he was doing her a favor and left the unit ungrounded.Just a thought.

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
#89948 - 10/25/04 04:59 AM Re: 4 Wire Dryer and Range Outlets a Good Idea?
George Little Offline

Registered: 01/18/04
Posts: 1492
Loc: Michigan USA
I agree with your analogy and it's going to happen. But we have this going on daily when people move into a home with the old 2 wire system and they need to plug in an appliance and the cap has a two wire with ground. Simple solution- just use one of those 2 wire to three wire adaptors you can buy at any hardware store. No one ever pursues the connection of the equipment grounding conductor. Boils down to the saying " You can protect the fool but you can't protect the damn fool."

[This message has been edited by George Little (edited 10-25-2004).]
George Little

#89949 - 10/25/04 09:34 AM Re: 4 Wire Dryer and Range Outlets a Good Idea?
gfretwell Offline


Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9062
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I never understood why a dryer had a 120v load in the first place. The motors are special items that only work in dryers anyway, to say this is all over light bulbs is ridiculous. Those bulbs are not usually standard "appliance bulbs" either.
Greg Fretwell

#89950 - 10/25/04 06:30 PM Re: 4 Wire Dryer and Range Outlets a Good Idea?
John Steinke Offline

Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 509
Loc: Reno,Nv., USA
My pet peeve is that the 4-wire receptacles will not fit into a single gang mud ring- which makes a changeover problematic.
What I'd love to see is a combo "super size" box that would hold a duplex dryer receptacle- one 3-wire, one 4.

#89951 - 10/25/04 06:44 PM Re: 4 Wire Dryer and Range Outlets a Good Idea?
NORCAL Offline

Registered: 09/25/02
Posts: 807
A Cooper/Eagle will fit in a single gang box.

#89952 - 10/25/04 10:26 PM Re: 4 Wire Dryer and Range Outlets a Good Idea?
Big Jim Offline

Registered: 07/18/03
Posts: 377
Loc: Denver, CO USA
The American housewife would not put up with not having a light in her dryer and 240 bulbs are not a practical solution in a world where every other bulb is 120. Also, in the era before electronic controls, 120 volt timer motors were much more available and cheaper. Given that residential wiring is set up that way, 120 loads acually make sense.

#89953 - 10/25/04 11:10 PM Re: 4 Wire Dryer and Range Outlets a Good Idea?
gfretwell Offline


Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9062
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
If you are whirlpool or maytag making 100,000 dryers a year the manufacturer will make you whatever timer you spec and the price wouldn't be any different. They used those little Synchron motors in computers all those years and they were 240. U/L could have made this stick 50 years ago and there would be also 240v appliance bulbs at the grocery store for stoves and dryers.
We simply lived with the exception too long and nobody was willing to do anything about it.
Greg Fretwell

#89954 - 10/26/04 04:04 AM Re: 4 Wire Dryer and Range Outlets a Good Idea?
CharlieE Offline

Registered: 04/23/04
Posts: 204
Loc: Indianapolis
Sounds like going to metric doesn't it?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Charlie Eldridge, Indianapolis, Utility Power Guy
Charlie Eldridge, Indianapolis Utility Power Guy

#89955 - 10/26/04 05:22 AM Re: 4 Wire Dryer and Range Outlets a Good Idea?
Reel-Break Offline

Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 179
Loc: nc
Hey John I actually did that. PLaced a double gang box in a apartment for a guy.That way he can wire to what ever style dryer comes in. I also always install dryer and range repts in a double gang box just for convience saves install time and much easier.

#89956 - 10/26/04 12:02 PM Re: 4 Wire Dryer and Range Outlets a Good Idea?
tdhorne Offline

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 344
Loc: Maryland, USA
The basic principle of safety engineering is that is should take two failures to cause a danger to humans. The three wire dryer and range circuits violate that principle. Any failure of the neutral of the three wire dryer and range circuits causes the 120 volt control and motor voltage to appear on the shell of the appliance. With a four wire circuit if the neutral goes open the appliance stops working. In order for the shell to become energized in that event the neutral has to fault to ground and the Equipment Grounding Conductor has to go open. The change to separate EGCs on these circuits is just sound practice. The minor increase in cost does not justify continuing the dangerous practice of the past.
Tom H
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous for general use" Thomas Alva Edison

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals