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Re: 3 wire for new construction? #59666 12/12/05 11:08 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 74
jkraft Offline
My understanding is that dryers, ranges, and ovens need 3 wires plus a ground. A/C, well pumps, and cook tops can use 2 wires plus a ground.

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Re: 3 wire for new construction? #59667 12/13/05 01:45 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,526
gfretwell Offline
That "the war is over" thing was 3 cycles ago. They decided in 96 we didn't need to save the EGC copper on dryers and ranges anymore. (It started in WWII)

Greg Fretwell
Re: 3 wire for new construction? #59668 12/13/05 09:43 AM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 456
classicsat Offline
I have heard of cooktops needing a neutral.

Re: 3 wire for new construction? #59669 12/13/05 11:19 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
This does underscore the need to be specific..."3 wire" is sort of vague. For example, 12/3 NM and 12/3 MC do not have the same numberof wires! One does not 'count' the ground.

Re: 3 wire for new construction? #59670 12/13/05 12:52 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 717
macmikeman Offline
Not to be a pain in the neck, but out of curiosity, has any of our members ever come across any real deadly situations where the older ranges or dryers using 3 wire hookups were a problem vs if they had of been 4 wire instead? I am actually for this code change, but was wondering if there was any reality based substantiation for the change, or was the change based on apprehension, foresight, or were we aligning ourselves with Canada's code as I have heard it rumored.

Re: 3 wire for new construction? #59671 12/13/05 05:10 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 79
Steve McKinney Offline

I had heard somewhere that originally "Code" required 4 wire before WWII and the ground/neutral was combined to save copper. Is that true and is that what you were referring too?

On another note, I have never seen a real problem w/3 wires in my years.


Re: 3 wire for new construction? #59672 12/13/05 06:22 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 8
whatevva Offline
Junior Member
I once went for a short ride when I stood at a sink and touched a range case that had a loose aluminum ground in the panel. NOT FUN! I always recommend updating when I see 3 prong ranges and dryers.

Re: 3 wire for new construction? #59673 12/13/05 06:28 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 25
Joe of NJ Offline
Ground wires should not carry current under normal circumstances. The ground system, including its wires, is (first of all) a safety system.

Bonding neutral to ground in the appliance, or in the receptacle (even having neutral and ground conductors, or using the ground wire as neutral-ground) will cause current circulation through the ground wire and could become a real hazard if the neutral-grounding circuit is interrupted (the chassis of the appliance could be “hot” now).


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