Dryer 220 wire

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Jesseburke88

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so long story short my dryer stopped heating... I replaced everything inside thinking that was the issue. After that failed “shame on me for thinking it would be a simple fix” I realized the three prong outlet was only getting 110 on one side. Went to the breaker box and noticed it was one of the last breakers I didn’t replace. (The breakers when I moved in had rust on the screws holding in the wires so I’ve been changing them) Changed it out for a new 30 amp and followed the line. Found a junction box and opened it up to find everything fried. All the wires were melted. Turns out the 8 gauge is aluminum wire that goes to 10/3 copper. It’s connected with wire nuts then goes to a 3 prong outlet. So I switched it to a four prong plug and new 10/3 wire up until the box. My question now is if I use the old 8/3 aluminum wire how to I connect it to the 10/3?. The dryer and box are about 70ft apart. If it’s safe to connect the two why would the original installer put the ground and neutral wire to the same bar in the circuit box? Shouldn’t the ground be on the ground bar and the neutral on the neutral?. Any help at all would be appreciated. After I found the wires melted in the box I’m now deathly scared of a fire. Thank you for any help!
 

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Jesseburke88

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Thank you guys for your help! Last question if I keep the aluminum wire should I move the ground to the (ground bar) I don’t know the correct name and the neutral to the other bar? Or keep it has it was? It has worked for three years but I just don’t ever want an issue like this again.
 

kok328

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Thank you guys for your help! Last question if I keep the aluminum wire should I move the ground to the (ground bar) I don’t know the correct name and the neutral to the other bar? Or keep it has it was? It has worked for three years but I just don’t ever want an issue like this again.
If the power source is inside a sub-panel then the ground and natural wires should land on the appropriate bars.

If the power source is inside a main panel, you'll find that the neutral and ground bars are tied together so it doesn't matter.
 

BuzzLOL

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Buy or get a free $7 VOM so that you can diagnose electrical problems instead of just throwing money at them...
Rusty screws on circuit breakers sounds like a water/moisture problem at some time...
 

Hamberg

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... like a water/moisture problem at some time...
Agree with @BuzzLOL, there is absolutely NO reason anything in the service panel should have rust.

Corrosion, of any type, causes resistance, resistance causes heat - heat is bad. Best case you keep popping breakers, worse case is not good!
 

BuzzLOL

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Actually, the screws should be solid brass and not rusting!
Basements can tend to be humid and rust low quality screws...
Worst case is breakers, being mechanical devices and not as reliable or sealed as fuses, may corrode and not trip at all...
 

afjes_2016

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You can keep the 10/3 you have already. Remove the existing metal box. Cut your existing 10/3 conductors back far enough from the burnt parts. Install a new junction box with the existing 10/3 moving the box closer in the direction of where the 10/3 is coming from to give you that extra slack in the box since you cut the burnt ends of the conductors/wires. Install a new metal box. 4x4 - 2 1/2" deep. Put a box extender on the metal box. Don't use the aluminum wire. Replace that section of aluminum with new 10/3. Make your connections in the new metal box (junction box). Be sure you ground the metal box and tie your grounds together in the box. Replace the two pole 30amp breaker if it seems faulty etc as you have been doing with the other breakers.

As already mentioned if the dryer is being fed from the main panel then ground and neutrals are bonded together in the panel so ground and neutral can go on the same bar if necessary. If the panel is a sub then the ground and neutrals go to their respective bars. If you are in doubt as to if it is a main or sub you can take pics and post here..

Now that you have 10/3 going to the outlet (receptacle) replace the existing 3 prong receptacle with a 4 prong (NEMA 14-30R). The dryer should also have a matching NEMA 14-30P harness.. You can get this at a home depot or lowes etc. Check to see how the wires are connected to the dryer from the wire harness. Since it was a 3 wire harness there should be a jumper wire on the wiring block of the dryer going from where the neutral would connect to the ground. It is usually a metal strip or you will see a green wire jumper attached to the neutral. Remove this strap so the neutral and ground are separate. You do this whether you are connecting this dryer to the main panel or sub panel but the instructions for connecting the neutral and ground to the panel still hold tru a I mentioned above.

Be sure you use proper size wire nuts in the junction box and make sure your connections are tight in the wire nuts. With the 4x4 metal box and the box extender you should have plenty of room in the metal junction box to put your conductors in there without any problem and without overloading the box. Place a metal cover on the box.

.
 

kok328

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You can keep the 10/3 you have already. Remove the existing metal box. Cut your existing 10/3 conductors back far enough from the burnt parts. Install a new junction box with the existing 10/3 moving the box closer in the direction of where the 10/3 is coming from to give you that extra slack in the box since you cut the burnt ends of the conductors/wires. Install a new metal box. 4x4 - 2 1/2" deep. Put a box extender on the metal box. Don't use the aluminum wire. Replace that section of aluminum with new 10/3. Make your connections in the new metal box (junction box). Be sure you ground the metal box and tie your grounds together in the box. Replace the two pole 30amp breaker if it seems faulty etc as you have been doing with the other breakers.

As already mentioned if the dryer is being fed from the main panel then ground and neutrals are bonded together in the panel so ground and neutral can go on the same bar if necessary. If the panel is a sub then the ground and neutrals go to their respective bars. If you are in doubt as to if it is a main or sub you can take pics and post here..

Now that you have 10/3 going to the outlet (receptacle) replace the existing 3 prong receptacle with a 4 prong (NEMA 14-30R). The dryer should also have a matching NEMA 14-30P harness.. You can get this at a home depot or lowes etc. Check to see how the wires are connected to the dryer from the wire harness. Since it was a 3 wire harness there should be a jumper wire on the wiring block of the dryer going from where the neutral would connect to the ground. It is usually a metal strip or you will see a green wire jumper attached to the neutral. Remove this strap so the neutral and ground are separate. You do this whether you are connecting this dryer to the main panel or sub panel but the instructions for connecting the neutral and ground to the panel still hold tru a I mentioned above.

Be sure you use proper size wire nuts in the junction box and make sure your connections are tight in the wire nuts. With the 4x4 metal box and the box extender you should have plenty of room in the metal junction box to put your conductors in there without any problem and without overloading the box. Place a metal cover on the box.

.
If your going to create a connection in the J-box, then the box itself has to be grounded with the ground wire via a pigtail. Otherwise, replace the entire run with just one length of wire (preferred method).
 

MrMiz

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Nolox all your aluminum connections especially if you can see any of the aluminum "exposed". I had an electrician recommend this to me because I was running long runs of aluminum to gates and outbuildings. I did the long runs in Aluminum and then copper inside everything at the ends. I did have to use the connectors that somebody already posted too so the Nolox is more for Aluminum in general if your going to stick with it rather than replace it. I haven't had any of the typical "white" corrosion that shows up on exposed aluminum. You basically work it into anything exposed with emery cloth and then stick it in and tighten it down.

 

bud16415

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For me a 100' roll of copper 10-3/G is about 215 bucks and I would get rid of that aluminum wire for good. :coffee:
 
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