Updating Electric Wiring to Dryer & Range Questions

georgectFebruary 27, 2011

Thanks for taking the time to read my post...

While looking at clothes dryers/washers (future purchase), I noticed that Miele dryers come only with a 4 prong (four wire) plug already connected to the dryer itself and there is no way to alter this setup for safety reasons of course.

I guess safety codes have changed and a 4 wire system is now the new standard for all dryer manufactures.

Currently I have a Whirlpool dryer that is hard wired (direct connect) and it uses only 3 wires.

Question one...Should I have an electrician update the line from the service panel to the dryer using the new 4 wire system and have him install a 4 prong plug outlet?

Question two...Since he's there, should I have him update the electric range power supply (panel to range) also and install the new 4 prong plug outlet? Currently it's a direct connect (hard wired) 3 wire system.

Question three...Approximately how much will this cost and is it really all that necessary or am I thinking too much?

The house is a Cape Cod style home with service panel in the basement. Washer/dryer are located in the basement so electrical runs are not that long but on the other side of the basement.

I updated my service panel to 200 amps a few years ago so that should be all up to code.

Thanks in advance to any advice you can throw at me.

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Ron Natalie

First off, check to see if a proper ground isn't in fact present. In that case it's just a matter of placing a 4 conductor receptacle. Otherwise, you'll have to pull a new cable.

You'll have to see whether you want to do the range. Not particularly any reason to do so though.

Cost is highly variable. Best bet is to get estimates and references.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 4:37PM
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Are you sure the dryer does not allow you to remove the cord and replace it?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 5:18PM
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"I guess safety codes have changed and a 4 wire system is now the new standard for all dryer manufactures."

No, most dryers stil lcome wihtout qa cord and have instructions for eoither 3-wire or 4-wire installation.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 6:36PM
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ronnatalie...I don't think there is a ground (or ground wire) in the 3 wire run from panel to dryer. It's the old flexible metal type of casing around the 3 wires (2 lines, one neutral). The block on the dryer electrical connection is grounded to the dryer cabinet.

weedmeister...I'm very sure Miele is already wired with a 4 wire cord and you can't make any modifications. I e-mailed them and they got back to me within hours (great service).
They said and I quote:
"Thank you for your interest in Miele products.
It is NOT recommended that the appliance be hard wired and that the plug provided be altered or changed in any way.
Please follow the electrical specifications that state the following:
This appliance must be grounded. In the event of malfunction or breakdown, grounding will reduce
the risk of electric shock by providing a path of least resistance for electric current. This appliance is
equipped with a cord having an equipment grounding conductor and a grounding plug. Only insert the plug in an appropriate
outlet that is properly installed and grounded in accordance with all local codes and ordinances.

WARNING- Improper connection of the equipment grounding conductor can result in a risk of electric shock.
Check with a qualified electrician, service representative or personnel if you are in doubt as to whether the appliance is properly grounded.
Do not modify the plug provided with the appliance. If it will not fit the outlet, have a proper outlet installed by a qualified electrician.
The dryer is supplied with a 5 ft. (1.5 m) 4x10 AWG cord and a NEMA 14-30 P plug, ready for connection to a
120/240 (208) V, 60 Hz, 30 A AC power supply.
Plug the appliance into a proper outlet. If the plug does not fit, have a proper outlet installed by a qualified electrician.
For more detailed information please visit our web site at www.mieleusa.com or
to speak with one of our representatives call 800-843-7231.
Thank you"

brickeyee...you're right (quickly checking out Electrolux & Whirlpool's web site instalation instruction manuals) they still provide 3 wire, hard wired applications.

So I guess I really don't have to worry about updating the line unless I decide on purchasing the Miele dryer or I just want to update to current code.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 11:40PM
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Ron Natalie

If Miele says it nees a 14-30R, you need a 14-30R. It's not up for negotiation. Have an electrician pull the proper wiring.

Frankly, since it doesn't look all that involved, and I suspect that as time goes on you're going to find more units like the Miele with that restriction, I'd go ahead and fix it. If you want the Miele drier, get the Miele drier. Love the Miele coffee station I have and my next dishwasher will be a Miele, my neighbor has one and it is the quietest thing I've ever seen.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 6:37AM
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