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DRYER SAFETY NOTE: when sparks fly you could have died


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14 replies to this topic

#1 curjones

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 05:49 AM

This post is a safety reminder and a near miss report as well.  Hook up the grounds.

 

Was checking out a Maytag dryer in the shop,  I connected a three prong cord, to terminal lug.

 

I did not bother to hook up that small green ground wire, to the cabinet.

 

I started trouble shooting unit, had to replace a fuse, I had to lift the lid several times.

 

I had to clean out the vents, and fan housing after I heard coins bouncing around in the unit, I had the Lid up.

 

Just shut unit off, cord was still plugged in.  I cleaned out the blower, put it back together and start to lowerer the lid.

 

That is when the sparks start flying.

 

 

 

When I went to lower the lid, unit was still plugged in. The loose ground wire went to a hot wire, L-1, sparks were flying and I was lucky that I did not get electricuted, fried holding that lid in my hand.

 

There was a lot of burning at hinges and luckly there was more potential diffrence there and I was not the best ground. I'll post a picture later. The circuit breaker did not trip either. It just burned the ground wire and the unit still works

 

I have worked in maintenance for 18 years in manufacturing, I even mentioned in several post here the Importance of the ground wire, and i did not take my own advice, or do what I preach, or teach.  Lucky this time because when the sparks fly you can die.  Hook up all ground wires before you work on unit.  This was a loose wire.



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#2 olyteddy

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 10:26 AM

I also use a GFI when working on Microwaves, Fridges, Washers, Dishwashers etc. I have one mounted as an extension cord. It has tripped a couple times from pinched wires and wet connections.



#3 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 01:59 PM

I don't need a GFI for protection because my hands are faster than electricity.  8f0d7d16_zpsb0513a0e.gif



#4 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 04:13 PM

"GFI's ?"

"We don't need no stinkin' GFI's"

indiaroutedcalls.jpg


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#5 Scottthewolf

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 06:39 PM

I make sure to never work on appliances while they are plugged in. 


Scott Wolf

#6 applianceman97

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 06:53 PM

I always work on them plugged in. It's like a game! Lol

#7 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 07:32 PM

17054519.jpg



#8 applianceman97

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 08:07 PM

Hahahaha! Yes!!!

#9 curjones

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 02:09 PM

Walk in to shop, going to work on dryer, plug already installed, STOP, check the connections.

Plug in the dryer, push button, no work. STOP unplug dryer. Before opening panels, make repair, want to watch belts in dryer, stop check to make sure all tools are rmoved, and no wires are bare or can get moved, or have moved. The stop, pause and evaluate occurs several times.

Sometimes we have to run with power to test, but when you go to repair, stop unplug.. I missed it one time and like I said sparks will fly. 220 volt, do they have ground faults for them?

#10 olyteddy

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 11:00 PM

Walk in to shop, going to work on dryer, plug already installed, STOP, check the connections.

Plug in the dryer, push button, no work. STOP unplug dryer. Before opening panels, make repair, want to watch belts in dryer, stop check to make sure all tools are rmoved, and no wires are bare or can get moved, or have moved. The stop, pause and evaluate occurs several times.

Sometimes we have to run with power to test, but when you go to repair, stop unplug.. I missed it one time and like I said sparks will fly. 220 volt, do they have ground faults for them?

Apparently: http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/B000VYHU44 Theyre often used for Hot Tub heaters.



#11 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 11:38 PM

For a "test" extension cord, you could use (1) 120v GFI in each hot leg of the extension cord,

BUT REMEMBER, they only protect shocks from each Line to chassis / ground,

NOT from Line to Neutral

NOR Line to Line


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#12 curjones

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 12:12 AM

Ground fault circuit breakers, designed to save a life, but after they trip several times, possiblly saving a life, they fail, and quit working.

 

As I looked at the picture of the ground fault in the circuit breaker, I thought now who would spend the extra money to install this more expensive device. On a dryer circuit.

 

Also if you have ever been in a manufactures class, or read the fine print on circuit breakers, it says this device is designed to be replace, should be replace after it has tripped,  I worked with some big breakers on three phase motors.  What they were saying is that each time that breaker trips under a load, there was a arc flash bettween the internal contacts, and that these contacs now may,,be damaged based on how big the surge was.  Hence after it trips, we dont know or cant guarantee it will work as designed, so you need to replace it.  AND yes all of us in the room just laughed at that comment..

 

Is it worth the extra safety cost, if it will cost me 100.00 more.

 

I read several articles out of a publication, believe it was called EMC, on safety incidents where a lack of a proper ground, killed a three year old.  One article said a five year old was watching mommy washing her car, and the power washer she was using, shorted out, her standing in water, and the child saw mommy die.  Grounds, and ground fault circuit breakes, being used while operating things on extension cord in the home will save a life.

 

We in the plant were all suppose to use the newly issued extension cord add on with a ground fault circuit breaker, did we use them, no.. who wants to go back to the shop and get it..  They also failed after a trip, and getting a new one was going to cost the company money, or cost me the time of going to borrow one.  Who wants to do that.

 

There are many new safety, electrical safety standard  (nafp) ( nationa association  fire protection  something like that(I dont have it right here) changes on what you should be wearing as you test live voltage above I believe 30 vac.  No contact with 120 vac is what it says.  Duh who wants to contact 120 vac, with higer current.  But when testing voltages above 250 vac ( not exact) you must put on electrical gloves, face shield, and be wearing flame retartant clothing.  Most laughed at this idea too.  If you ever see a person who got hit by an arc blast, you wont laugh no more, youll put on a face shield.  Cheap meters.. oh what an issue, should be at least a cat 3 device for 220 vac.

 

I got in a hurry.??? how much can that cost you??



#13 curjones

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 12:30 AM

Review, of concept  questioning not telling.  Line to netural should trip the breaker when it senses something wrong, has to exceed rated amps of CB.

 

on GFI's It only takes a few milli amps of current sensed on the ground line, to trip the line, power voltage being supplied to the unit.  If the gound wire coming from the device is not connected to the cabinet, through the plug then its no good either.

 

You would have to use a four wire connector, be sure to fasten the green ground to the cabinet, chassie, and then run the single ground to each of the grounds to the single , line gfis.. 

 

Lots of houses still dont have a ground wire even running into the box of a three wire plug connector.

 

The ground wire is a safety path.. it gives the  electricity (current/voltage) a path to travel (least restiant) than you.  If it does not have that path availiable, not connected, it may chose you if you happen to be holding the lid, standing in water, have wet hands, or drop the blow dryer in the sink.  ect


Edited by curjones, 23 November 2013 - 12:30 AM.


#14 curjones

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 12:57 AM

In my incident, what saved my butt.  Was the lid was connected to the base, by a green ground wire. (path)  Between the lid and the base there was thoes hinges, and they were less resistant than I was, they were doing all the sparking and arcing.  The wire green that made contact with the line (hot) came up to the lid and was connected to lid chassie, the other end ( the one that touched the line side as the lid was lowered) was suppose to be connected to the base chassie.

 

I may be gettin a bit long winded here but I need to think about how I have set up my test plug in shop.  First I only have three wires coming in (so cord) . two hots and a netual.  If there is not a fourth conductor, green wire in the feed line, then we are still just depending on the breaker and netural line to save us and trip the breaker.  The added ground in the new four wire plugs just give us an added saftey path , and faster path to get from any ground, back to the breaker and netural.

 

Having to review the basics again, never hurts.  The reason dryers have a netural is to operate the 110 components, one line L-1 and netural .

For, the 220 components (heat element)  one is acting as a hot the other is acting like a netural.  (they can do this because of the phase diffrence)



#15 Scottthewolf

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 01:36 AM

Underwriter's Labatories and CSA get carried away sometimes. It was their idea to to make 4 wire dryer and range cords for all new construction as well as have a shut off solenoid to shut the gas off to the top surface units on gas ranges and cooktops if the power goes out.


Scott Wolf




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