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Thread: ROMEX® to dryer outlet - insulated ground?

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    Default ROMEX® to dryer outlet - insulated ground?

    I'm relocating my dryer outlet (3-prong), and am replacing the ROMEX® with a longer run (need about 3 more feet). Need to buy the right ROMEX®.

    The existing ROMEX® is 10/2 with insulated ground. Is having an insulated ground important? Seems that the 10/2 w/ground I saw at the store had a bare ground wire, but I could be mistaken. Just want to buy the right stuff. Thanks.
    Last edited by Terry; 12-07-2011 at 10:05 AM.

  2. #2
    Code Enforcement codeone's Avatar
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    In your other post you accepted the GFCI from the 2008 Nec. Something else that change is the range and dryer circuits. They now have to be 4 wire instead of 3 wire.
    See Article 250.140 below

    Frames of Ranges and Clothes Dryers. Frames of electric ranges, wall-mounted ovens, counter mounted cooking units, clothes dryers, and outlet or junction boxes that are part of the circuit for these appliances shall be connected to the equipment grounding conductor in the manner specified by 250.134 or 250.138.

    Exception: For existing branch circuit installations only where and equipment grounding conductor ia not present in the outlet or junction box, the frames of wall-mounted ovens, countermounted cooking units, clothes dryers, and outlet or junction boxes that are part of the circuit for these appliances shall be permitted to be connected to the grounded circuit conductor if all the following conditions are met.
    (1) The supply circuit is 120/240-volt, single-phase,
    3-wire; or 208Y/120-volt derived from a 3-phase,
    4-wire, wye-connected system.
    (2) The grounded conductor is not smaller than 10 AWG
    copper or 8 AWG aluminum.
    (3) The grounded conductor is insulated, or the grounded
    conductor is uninsulated and part of a Type SE service entrance
    cable and the branch circuit originates at the
    service equipment.

    (4) Grounding contacts of receptacles furnished as part of
    the equipment are bonded to the equipment.

    So if you are replacing the circuit, most jurisdictions would require you to run 10/3 with a ground to your dryer, and make sure you separated the bonding strap from the grounded conductor in the dryer.

    10/3 with a ground gives you 2 hots a grounded conductor ( neutral) and an uninsulated grounding conductor.
    This makes a much safer installation.
    Last edited by Terry; 12-07-2011 at 10:05 AM.

  3. #3

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    Thanks. Yes, I want to do this in compliance with code, and if I read what you provided correctly, I think it says that if wiring to the junction box does not include a separate ground (true) that I can stay with 10/2 w/insulated ground if all those conditions apply (which I believe they do). Thanks again.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Moving it generally means bring it up to code, so no, you can't just add some wire...you need to rerun it with new so it has the proper ground and neutral, i.e, change the plug to 4-wire and a new run.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plumbob View Post
    Thanks. Yes, I want to do this in compliance with code, and if I read what you provided correctly, I think it says that if wiring to the junction box does not include a separate ground (true) that I can stay with 10/2 w/insulated ground if all those conditions apply (which I believe they do). Thanks again.
    Nope. He went over your head. Over my head to explain how, probably.

    I think you misunderstood which junction box the code's talking about. Some driers (the ones in laudromats for example), instead of a plug & a receptacle, they're wired straight into a junction box.



    The basic logic goes:

    The wire from the current location, to the new location, is new work.

    New work has to be to current code. 12/3 + ground, 2 hots connected to opposite phases, a neutral connected to the bus bar, a ground connected to the ground bar.

    That can't be done, junctionning off the old feed, you'd be short a wire. So you have to run a new feed.

    The old wire/location, could be re-used for a single-voltage circuit. Something strictly 220 (hottub?), or strictly 110 (junction for some extra receptacles somewhere?).
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  6. #6

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    I think I understand now. BTW, the "junction box" is a small metal work-box attached to a beam in my utility room. All that's inside it is a splice (3 wire nuts) connecting two runs of 10/3. I'm not even sure why its there. Maybe the dryer was relocated years ago before I owned the house.

    I can't justify busting up walls in my finished basement to install a new line back to the panel, just to move the dryer outlet a couple feet, so I'll live it as-is. The dryer cord reaches it, but I was just going to move it a bit closer.

    Final question, I haven't installed a new dryer, its the same one I've had for years (with a 3-prong plug). But if I did buy a new dryer would I have to install a new outlet and wire run back to the panel, or would I just buy a cord/plug to attach to the dryer, and plug it in? I assume dryers don't come with cords, as this one didn't 20 years ago when I bought it.

  7. #7
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plumbob View Post
    I think I understand now. BTW, the "junction box" is a small metal work-box attached to a beam in my utility room. All that's inside it is a splice (3 wire nuts) connecting two runs of 10/3. I'm not even sure why its there. Maybe the dryer was relocated years ago before I owned the house.

    I can't justify busting up walls in my finished basement to install a new line back to the panel, just to move the dryer outlet a couple feet, so I'll live it as-is. The dryer cord reaches it, but I was just going to move it a bit closer.

    Final question, I haven't installed a new dryer, its the same one I've had for years (with a 3-prong plug). But if I did buy a new dryer would I have to install a new outlet and wire run back to the panel, or would I just buy a cord/plug to attach to the dryer, and plug it in? I assume dryers don't come with cords, as this one didn't 20 years ago when I bought it.
    With over 42 years of experience making electrical installations and 10 years of talking on a daily basis on current flow I have but one suggestion.

    If you have a dryer or range that is wired with a three wire receptacle no matter the cost have it changed to a four wire receptacle supplied with a three wire with ground circuit as soon as possible.

    With a three wire receptacle the case (anything metal) is energized to the same level as the voltage supplying one half of the appliance. In the event of unintentional contact with a different potential severe damage or even death can occur to the human body.

    Not long ago I was involved in a case where the house wife was using her husband’s finder cover on the dryer door so she wouldn’t be shocked while putting wet cloths from the washer to the dryer. The dryer had a three wire receptacle where the bare neutral from the SE cable was loose and while the light in the dryer was on the case of the dryer was energized to a level of 120 volts. When she reached into the washer while touching the dryer she received a shock.

    Replacing the receptacle and branch circuit supplying the dryer to a 3 wire with ground cured the problem.

  8. #8

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    The existing ROMEX® is 10/2 with insulated ground. Is having an insulated ground important? Seems that the 10/2 w/ground I saw at the store had a bare ground wire, but I could be mistaken
    The insulated ground isn't the real issue.

    Combing the ground and neutral on the same wire is the real issue.



    NEC says:

    New circuits must be 3 wire with ground.

    Existing circuits can still use the 2 wire with ground setup (SE cable).





    Relocating an existing 2 wire circuit isn't addressed in the NEC and is a gray area in most locations. I have never seen or heard of it being disallowed here.

    I strongly suggest a new circuit but..............

    If you choose to extend the original 2 wire circuit, make 100 percent sure that the bare wire connection is absolutely tight/secure/bulletproof. If this connection fails, someone is very likely to get killed from the 120V motor current flowing thru the dryer frame, looking for a path to ground.
    Last edited by Terry; 12-07-2011 at 10:06 AM.

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    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
    ......................., looking for a path to ground.
    Come on. You know better than that.
    Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC. If you're on the '14 already I feel sorry for you.

  10. #10

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    Although it may be technically incorrect, it is the best way to explain it.

    The electrons push their way into the load and back to the source, which is grounded.

    These electrons want to go to ground and will take the easiest path.

    If the designed path is not available for them due to a broken wire/open connection, they look for another way out, like someone touching the washer and dryer at the same time and they will take that path at the speed of light.

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