Hooking up a dryer

edmanOctober 28, 2007

I recently bought a 220v washing machine, so I needed a two-outlet box so that both the washer and dryer could be plugged in. I needed to replace the 3-pin plug with a 4-pin plug so that the dryer could be plugged into the box. But even though the box is rated at 30w, it keeps tripping when I run the dryer. I have tried the dryer on both outlets, and it still trips. (The washing machine works fine.) I will admit deviating from the instructions on one matter: The instructions said that the ground wire connected to to the metal case of the outlet box must be grounded to a spike that is within five feet of the front door! Instead of this, I connected it to the ground socket in a redundant 125v outlet behind the washer. Is it tripping because of my wilful defiance, or is there some other explanation?

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"The instructions said that the ground wire connected to to the metal case of the outlet box must be grounded to a spike that is within five feet of the front door!"

WHAT??? Are these instructions from Mars?

FIrst describe exactly what you did. How did you hook two receptacles to this circuit?

You need to run a separate circuit to the washer. No question about it.
What size circuit does the washer require?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 9:27PM
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And where are you located?? That may explain some of this.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 9:20AM
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There are so many problems with terminology in your post that it's hard to know where to begin. I'm not just picking nits--honest! We really do need to make sure we're talking about the same things.

A plug is the thingie at the end of an appliance cord with prongs to plug into something.

A receptacle is the fitting mounted in a box that receives the plug. It is also sometimes referred to as an "outlet" (although that's a somewhat broader term).

"30w" would imply a rating in watts and 30 watts is not enough to light up a puny 60-watt lightbulb, much less power a washer and a dryer. So that detail is of dubious accuracy or value. You may mean that the box is served by a circuit capable of delivering 30 amps at 240 volts (~7200 watts), but that cannot be determined from your description.

Ground socket. I have no idea what a "ground socket" is, but whatever it is, taking your ground from a "redundant" 120v outlet is not the proper bonding method in this case.

In order to shoot this problem correctly, here's what we need to know:

1. What is the face plate power rating for the dryer? This will be expressed in watts (something like 5000 to 5500 for a typical residential clothes dryer--perhaps more for a very large one).

2. What is the "face plate" power rating (either watts or amps & volts) for the washing machine? Also, since this is new, you probably still have the installation instructions. If so, what are the power requirements as given in the instructions?

3. What wires enter the "box" in which you are installing these receptacles? Please be as precise as possible. Are there, for example, three #10AWG wires (black, red and white) plus a bare ground wire? Or, alternatively, is there only a black, red and bare ground? Or, is the box connected to more than one incoming cable (i.e., set of wires)?

4. At the load center (e.g., panel or subpanel) controlling the circuit(s), what is the number and size of the circuit breakers (or fuses) as installed?

I have a strong suspicion (agreeing with Petey) that you are attempting to put two 240V appliances on the same circuit when that circuit is only designed to service one such appliance. If so, you will likely have to install a second 120v/240v circuit to meet code and safety requirements. You can't just add another receptacle to a 240v appliance circuit as you might in the case of 120v wall outlets.

More facts will help find the best solution.

As for the "ground spike" within 5' of the front door, fuggedaboutit. What's important is that your circuit(s) be properly connected to your house's equipment ground system. (Getting the exact quote on that "requirement" from the installation instructions may prove amusing, however. Please include!)

The questions above regarding where you are located aren't altogether facetious. Is this in the U.S.? Canada?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 1:20PM
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Contrary to popular belief, breakers trip when the circuit is overloaded. The circuit is tripping because you can't just add whatever you want to a circuit without first determining if the circuit has the capacity.

In addition, your setup sounds dubious at best. And the terminology you use makes me think that you don't really have to proper knowledge to be working on electrical in a safe manner. Do you know what size wire is supplying the circuit? Do you know how much current that wire can safely supply? Do you know how much current each appliance draws? If not, have a licensed electrician set it up properly

Why can't people just stick with US spec. appliances... UL listed, waranteed, with parts and service locally and inexpensively available.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 6:54PM
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