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Thread: Dryer With Unreliable Neutral

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1

    Dryer With Unreliable Neutral

    Laundry arrangement:

    Full size closet with a 12/3 multiwire circuit leading to the washer outlet and the kitchen fridge, plus a 10/2 ungrounded dryer circuit. The dryer body is currently bonded to neutral, and I've updated the washer outlet to GFCI.

    Problem:

    The apartment is in a building with unusual neutral transients. Neutral to ground is sometimes close to 0 V, but it seems like depending on which appliances the neighbors have turned on, I sometimes measure upward of 15 VAC neutral to ground. I've confirmed this in the panelboard with all breakers turned off. The panelboard's neutral bar is not bonded to ground, which I believe is intentional. The panelboard is loaded to capacity and does not have room for GFCI.

    One result of all this is some noticeable arcing between the dryer body (neutral) and the washer body (grounded). Quite annoying and does not seem optimal.

    Ideas:

    For the moment, there is no opportunity to get a proper #10 grounding wire all the way to the panelboard, but that would be the best thing to do some day.

    What about removing the neutral grounding strap on the dryer, and then running a #10 wire to bond the dryer directly to the washer, without doing anything crazy to the receptacles? I realize this is not a "normal" set up, but logically it would seem safer than the unmitigated arcing.

    Any other smart ways to fix this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Durango, CO, 10 h 20 min without traffic from winged horses.
    Posts
    9,639
    Visible arcing is dangerous and needs the attention of a licensed electrician on site today, right now, not advice from an internet forum.

    I am closing this thread, in accordance with the Forum Rules.

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