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Thread: Electrical Work, Dryer Outlet

  1. #1

    Default Electrical Work, Dryer Outlet

    I just bought a new home. I've done some electrical work but the dryer outlet scares me. It was supposed to be fixed during post inspection but come to find out they made it "Look" fixed.

    Either way, one of the leadwires is a little short coming from the wall, I've tried pulling it out of the wall but there is no give. The first time I noticed this, is when it burned the plastic surround and I saw smoke. I figured out what was causing it and sure enough it was the "short" wire not making a connection so it was getting hot. I've re-connected it a couple of times.

    I'm no master but have done a lot of remodeling. Would you recommend I get an electrician or is this something easy to fix?

    Can you add to the wire or do I have to redistribute/move the outlet itself to gain more room for proper connection? These are also all Bare wires... is that such a good thing to have?

  2. #2

    Default

    You can extend the wire using a pigtail with wires and nuts of the appropriate gauge. The problem is, all splices/connections/nuts are supposed to be inside a box. So, you can only do this if you have enough room to get a nut in there.

    If you are AT ALL nervous about electrical work then get an electrician to do it. It'll be an easy op.

    IMHO, electrical work is the one area that it's not wise to be too ambitious about. You mess up some plumbing - yeah, you're out some (maybe a lot) of) money, but it can be fixed. You mess up electrical...you know the end.
    (important note: I'm not a pro)

  3. #3
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Default

    Depending on which way nthe wire is running you can cut the drywall and if the wire is coming down the wall you can raise up the outlet which will give you more wire to connect to the outlet.

    Why don't you call the previous owner and make it their problem?

    Are you on a basement? If so you could put a junction box in the basement ceiling area and run a longer wie to the outlet.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    The only bare wire should be the ground wire. The others should have insulation on them right up to where they attach to the posts on the outlet. One way or another you have to gain some slack wire to work with. Personally, I hate adding a pigtail even when the connection is in a box as it tends to crowd the wires in the box when you push the outlet in. I'd sure look at moving the box up, down, or sideways a couple of inches as Cass suggests.

  5. #5
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Default shut the current first

    how many amperes in a dryer circuit?

    if you got sparks smoke and burned plastic, you have a real dangerous thing there. Take all precautions.

    David

  6. #6
    Software Engineer Gouranga's Avatar
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    As a non-pro, and slightly paranoid, yet ambitious civilian, I would say, there are few areas where I would not mess. A smoking electrical connection coming from a dryer is one of those things I would call an electrician on. You could make it the previous owners problem, there is a chance they actually think it was fixed and someone screwed them in which case you will likely get satisfaction quickly, however, you could also end up in a situation where you are suing them for the next 5 years.
    In general, if I am replacing an existing fixture, I will do that myself. If I am pulling wire, replacing faulty lines, modifying anything in the breaker box, I will have a pro do it OR do it myself and pay a pro to inspect my work. The risk of a faulty electrical job is just to high for me.

  7. #7
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    A dryer circuit is generally 30A. As Cass described, your simplest solution is to move the outlet (you'll probably have to buy a new, un-fried outlet) back along the supply cable until you've got enough slack to wire it properly. You won't be able to pull the wire thanks the the NEC's requirement to staple the wire down along its path. The hardest part of the whole job is repairing the drywall after the electrical work is done.

    Hey -- I just re-read your original post. This is a new home? There must be some sort of warranty period. The smoking outlet and the all-bare wires would certainly justify making this the builder's problem, particularly since it was recognized as faulty during an inspection. Raise hell. This is a serious problem.
    Last edited by Mikey; 07-03-2006 at 08:10 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Thanks

    Thank you to everyone that replied. I got some good advice. It's going to be my next project and I think I'm going to move it myself. I think moving it and covering the wires shouldn't be such a bad thing to do.

    By the way, the house is about 15 yrs old... I bought it from an owner.. this wasn't a building problem. I think the previous owners of the house knew Nothing about home improvement. I've been fixing their messes for three months now.

    Thank you again!

    T B B

  9. #9
    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP) Lakee911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toolbeltbabe
    I think the previous owners of the house knew Nothing about home improvement. I've been fixing their messes for three months now.
    I think that's the case with everyone's new house. Ha

    I'm not sure if I'm lucky or not because the PO didn't do ANYTHING for 7 years. Gutters falling off the house, no dryer vent, broken windows, no painting, etc. Actually, I'm not sure if they ever cleaned either!

    I did find some electrical devices w/ electrical boxes but I'm sure those are very old. IMO, the porches w/ no foundations are original to the house....or were, one is gone. One left to fix...

    Sometimes I wonder if someone is going to come along in 10-15 years and say about my work, "Wow! What was this @%^$ thinking?" I'd hope not, but I'm sure I've thought some bad ideas were pretty good before.

    Jason

    Jason

  10. #10

    Default

    THis kind of thing pisses me off about buying a house that was lived in before you. You can give them a list of things to fix, and they need to fix them. I made the mistake of not hiring an inspector to recheck the house I bought, and i found several problems that just werent fixed correctly. It's okay though, I got them back by not calling them when I mistakenly got their mail. I would just mark the mail, no one here by that name. It's technically the correct thing to do, but if the people didn't leave me a trashed house, I would have been sure to get their mail to their agent. Next time I buy a house, and it's not a brand new one, I'm making sure the sellers completely move out before I sign any papers.

  11. #11

    Default

    john

    you admit a downfall was not hiring an inspector

    dont be so sure that a new house doesnt have it's own set of issues

    ones that dont surface until your new home warranty is long gone

    anyone who is not a certified home inspector should be paying the few hundred bucks for an inspection regardless of age or condition of the home they're buying.

    i'm a home inspector in illinois.

    for example, I charged $225 recently for an inspection on a $75k house.

    due to my inspection, the seller paid to fix over $1000 worth of plumbing repairs

    time and hassle paid for itself ten fold.

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