11:10PM | 07/22/04
Member Since: 07/22/04
5 lifetime posts
I live in an older home that has a 3 prong dryer outlet (220). While examining my circuit breakers for other reasons, an electrician noted that the dryer circuit had been wired with a 4 wire cord (2 hot, 1 neutral, and a ground), but that the ground was not connected in the breaker box and had been cut. Without checking first he assumed correctly that the outlet was 3 prong. I was told that cutting the ground wire wasn't unusual some years ago if it didn't match the outlet, which was designed for 3 wires. I don't know about this sort of thing and wonder if this makes any sense to anyone. Would there be any reason to cut the ground wire instead of just connecting it anyway, despite the 3 prong outlet? Would there be any harm in connecting it? My dryer was found to be giving off voltage and had to be grounded after all. Thanks for any light anyone can shed on this. I'm perplexed!


04:42AM | 07/23/04
Member Since: 01/18/99
47 lifetime posts
The 220 volt. old three prong putlet, must be gtounded per the NEC code. The three wires are usually 2 hots and one ground. The ground wire is usually copper/or green. By code no other color can be used. If the neutral wire is used for the ground, it must be painted or tape with green tape at both ends.

Tom O

04:47PM | 07/23/04
Member Since: 09/17/02
477 lifetime posts
In those good old days, the typical dryer installation was 10-3 with no equipment ground, this would be 2 hots & a white wire. This was one of the very few times that the neutral was allowed to be the equipment grounding conductor.

Another popular installation that was code compliant was using SE (service entrance) cable, the bare strands serving as both the neutral and the equipment ground.

When installed as above, the neutral could remain as a white wire, or, if SE cable was used, could be bare. No further marking with green tape was required in this type of installation.

In your installation, no one knew what to do with the bare conductor, so they cut it off. It could not be used as a current carrying conductor since it was bare and part of a cable that required the use of an insulated neutral.

Do not connect theis conductor at both ends, you will end up with a bare conductor carrying current & since the cable in question is not SE cable, this would not be allowed.

I don't know what you mean by your dryer having to be grounded. Perhaps the bonding strap inside the dryer was never connected.

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