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ImpldConsent
Under Siege
Premium
join:2001-03-04
Mcdonough, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·magicjack.com

Dryer - Smelling burning rubber - Danger!

Click for full size
Burnt new cable, burnt outlet
Click for full size
Burnt new cable, burnt outlet
Click for full size
Remnants of interior of the outlet
So, we dumped our old Maytag Neptue FL W&D (for those unfamiliar with "Neptune"... if they try to sell them to you, RUN!) and bought ourselves the new LG WT5101HW Washer and matching LG DLEX5101W Dryer. All was swell for about a week.
I started noticing a burning rubber smell everytime we ran the dryer. Great... the brand new dryer belt is burnin' up. Still under warranty, I called LG to get out there. It was gonna take a week. In the meantime, the wife continues to do laundry and the smell is getting stronger.
I pulled the dryer out to take a look. As I pushed it out, I didn't notice the smell so much from the dryer, but more from the electric cable and plug. I unplugged the unit and noticed things were not right. Attached is the result of my findings. Scary stuff!
I replaced the outlet, cleaned up the wiring and got a new dryer cable. X-ing fingers, we should be OK. If not, our friendly electrician's gonna make a mint.
--
That's Mr. Kafir to you.

gregz

join:2009-10-01

Supposed to be a four prong outlet and plug with that new dryer. How long was the outlet there? I would point the blame at a faulty/old outlet before laying blame in misfired plug. Then again who ever wired the plug to the dryer could of misfired that end. No way of telling, since you never posted shots of the wiring on the outlet, nor appliance. Btw, how many Mps is the breaker on that circuit?


guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:1
reply to ImpldConsent

Lose wire on the screw terminal on the outlet is a common cause of these failures. By the looks of the outlet, it was a DIY install



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to ImpldConsent

Well the Korean workers in the LG factory should really love you. I try to buy American made which washers and dryers are made in the U.S. I just think I should look out for my fellow citizens especially those in our declining manufacturing base. Price is not everything to consider. Then again that's just my belief.

You don't need a 4 prong plug since you likely have a three wire 240 circuit feeding it. There wound be nothing to connect to the 4th connection. The equipment bond is in the dryer from the cabinet to the neutral.

It looks like you had a loose connection in the dryer plug causing this. A properly operating plug assembly will withstand a melt-down of the device it's connected to without damage.

One thing that I think you should do is talk to your wife about continuing to use an high amperage electrical device that obviously had a serious defect. It could have caused a fire with catastrophic results. From your pictures you were extremely lucky.


gregz

join:2009-10-01

NEC now requires four wire plug and outlets on dryers. As for the fourth wire, it is the ground. On three wire, you ground the cabinet to a cold water, but the reality, cold is usually PEX or plastic after a stub of Copper.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

said by gregz:

NEC now requires four wire plug and outlets on dryers. As for the fourth wire, it is the ground. On three wire, you ground the cabinet to a cold water, but the reality, cold is usually PEX or plastic after a stub of Copper.
That's for new construction. It does not apply to existing wiring for the dryer. On older 3-wire dryer installations they were never actually grounded to a water line. There are millions of dryers in use now on 3-wire 240 circuits.


ImpldConsent
Under Siege
Premium
join:2001-03-04
Mcdonough, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·magicjack.com
reply to gregz

said by gregz:

Supposed to be a four prong outlet and plug with that new dryer. How long was the outlet there? I would point the blame at a faulty/old outlet before laying blame in misfired plug. Then again who ever wired the plug to the dryer could of misfired that end. No way of telling, since you never posted shots of the wiring on the outlet, nor appliance. Btw, how many Mps is the breaker on that circuit?
Well ... comon ...

* I moved in when they finished it in 1993 -- "A 4-wire connection is required for all mobile and manufactured home installations, as well as all new construction after January 1, 1996. A 4-wire connection must be used where local codes do not permit grounding through the neutral wire. Failure to do so can result in fire, explosion, or death.. This dryer allows for either 3 or 4 prong connection.

* I agree, it was an old faulty outlet. The pictures clearly show that.

* The dryer was wired correctly by the installer. It wasn't rocket science.

* The dryer has its own terminal block that is connected to a separate 240 VAC, 60 Hertz, single-phase circuit, fused at 30 amperes (twin poles).

I was just pointing out to be careful. The dryer outlet isn't something that I would have suspected being an issue.
--
That's Mr. Kafir to you.

gregz

join:2009-10-01
reply to Jack_in_VA

Show me the NEC wording that states exactly that.



ImpldConsent
Under Siege
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join:2001-03-04
Mcdonough, GA
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·AT&T U-Verse
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reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

Well the Korean workers in the LG factory should really love you. I try to buy American made which washers and dryers are made in the U.S. I just think I should look out for my fellow citizens especially those in our declining manufacturing base. Price is not everything to consider. Then again that's just my belief.
Well, normally I'm with 'ya, but of the 3 made in the USA (Fisher & Paykel, Staber and Speed Queen) I could find none of those products that fit my requirements (capacity, EnergyStar, top-loader) nor my wifes requirements (cute, lights, buttons). This is probably a discussion for another thread though.
--
That's Mr. Kafir to you.


mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:10
reply to ImpldConsent

You don't by chance have aluminum wire feeding it do you? It's much more likely then copper to burn up like this.

/mackey



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

2 edits
reply to gregz

All new does require a 4-wire circuit but older installations do not have to meet the new code.

the NEC 2005 Article 250.140 only alows the 3 wire in EXISTING INSTALLATIONS, new installs have to have the 4 wire.

The NEC (National Electric Code, article 250.140) updates of 2005

quote:
brought numerous changes to fire codes and laws regarding home electrical outlets. Among the changes was the requirement for new homes to be installed with 4-prong electrical dryer outlets. The update to a 4-prong outlet was to separate the neutral wire from the grounding wire, creating an extra wire. If your dryer has an updated 4-prong cord, but your residence has a 3-prong outlet, you'll need to either change your cord or update your outlet. Changing your cord for compatibility is a good stop-gap solution, but your outlet should be updated as soon as possible.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to mackey

Improperly torqued connections with copper wire will do exactly this. I used to spend countless manhours having my electricians check for loose connections in our motor control centers and control panels. All were 100 percent copper and in spite of contacting Infrared thermal imaging on a routine schedule of our MCC's and panels we had failures of this type routinely.

When you have a 15KV feeder cable fail at a termination then you have a very expensive problem.



Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
reply to guppy_fish

said by guppy_fish:

By the looks of the outlet, it was a DIY install
How can you tell ?


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
reply to ImpldConsent

This wreaks of improperly terminated aluminum wire or, as mentioned, regular copper not being torqued properly.
--
Looks like Reverend Wright got his wish - God Damn America.



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6

said by nunya:

This wreaks of improperly terminated aluminum wire or, as mentioned, regular copper not being torqued properly.
Agreed.

It should be pointed out that "properly torqued" means torqued to the proper valve, neither too loose not too tight.

"Tighter" is not "better"...
--
Verbum sapienti: quo plus habent, eo plus cupiunt


chuckkk

join:2001-11-10
Warner Robins, GA
Reviews:
·Cox HSI

1 recommendation

Here is a supposition!
The old dryer cable connector pins were thicker than the new ones.
As a result, the connector springs did not make a good solid contact. They do tend to loosen a bit with age and use, so it's possible to have the same problem with a dryer that's worked OK for years.

Why do I think this?
The newer dryers tend to have lower wattage heaters and motors than the old ones.

As to 4 vs 3 wire - - - My house was built in 1967 or so. It has a 4 wire dryer connector and cable because we had to add the drop 25 years ago. The original owners dryer was a gas dryer.
The two ground wires go to the same ground buss in the breaker panel.

In this house, the "ordinary" 120v branch circuits are 3 wire, using an aluminum ground return wire, so the washing machine is also grounded via the copper water pipes. With age, the aluminum wire becomes very brittle, and will break at a receptacle when the receptacle is flexed by repeated plug insertion & removal.

If Aluminum wire is used to connect a dryer, the ends of the wire should be coated with "No-Ox", or a similar anti corrosion compound at each connector. Always use new connectors, since the old CU/AL rated connectors were more prone to problems than the newer ones.



AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to ImpldConsent

Who says gas installs are inherently unsafe?
--
standard disclaimers apply.



ImpldConsent
Under Siege
Premium
join:2001-03-04
Mcdonough, GA
Reviews:
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reply to Jack_in_VA

@guppy_fish - you're right, based on what my electrician buddy said. Loose connection; however, DIY. Nope, I bought this house brand new from a builder. -- it is a DIY REPAIR now

@gregz - (I didn't know that was aimed at me... heck, I was like "what does a electronics company have to do with this" ... ) ... I'm a home owner, I don't have access to that kind of information. What I quoted up there was copy-n-pasted from the LG Owner's manual where it says that no less than 6 times (in the English section, my guess is the same for the Spanish and French). Since this dryer was manufactured in 2010, the manual was printed in 2010 and LG does appliances, they just might have a clue as to whether they can get their product UL listed, comply by NEC and NFPA ... and a host of other 3/4 letter agencies.

@mackey - nope, it's all copper runs (I guess I should've taken a pic of the wiring as well).

@Jack_in_VA / John Galt -- wow, I'll double check the torque. I thought I read that it should be put on a torque wrench at no more than 25lbs. I short-cutted and guesstimated a 25lb twist.
--
That's Mr. Kafir to you.



AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1

No home warranty?



ImpldConsent
Under Siege
Premium
join:2001-03-04
Mcdonough, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·magicjack.com
reply to chuckkk

said by chuckkk:

Here is a supposition!
The old dryer cable connector pins were thicker than the new ones.
As a result, the connector springs did not make a good solid contact. They do tend to loosen a bit with age and use, so it's possible to have the same problem with a dryer that's worked OK for years.
You might be onto something here. After discussing this with my wife, she said that this is a similar smell she's had for over a year with the old dryer, but not as strong ... I didn't recognize it, heck I'd been overseas doin' our thing. I guess it took a little wiggling around to make it worse.
--
That's Mr. Kafir to you.

guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Hall

said by Hall:

said by guppy_fish:

By the looks of the outlet, it was a DIY install
How can you tell ?
New construction has flush outlets in stud mounted work boxes, the one shown would require conduit but most likely was just exposed romex and I've seen many weekend warrior installations using that outlet pictured.


whizkid3
Premium,MVM
join:2002-02-21
Queens, NY
kudos:9

1 recommendation

reply to ImpldConsent

A few things...

First off, the problem you had is most likely due to a loose wire termination in the receptacle. The old plug prong may have been making good contact, but when the old plug was pulled and the new one inserted, it may have disturbed the wiring and/or the prong connection. Loose wires = fires. I don't know if you have aluminum wiring, but if you did, the anti-oxidation compound may have dried up a long time ago. Even with copper, the connections should be treated with the proper anti-oxidation compound and torqued the proper amount.

Second. I personally hate those crappy Eagle surface mount receptacles. IMHO, they are poor and prone to loose connections and loose contact between the prongs and receptacle blades. Also, I believe the blades themselves only make proper contact with the screw terminal through the screw being tight enough. And they are often found not secured properly and flopping around on the wall. I prefer to use standard 'yoke' type receptacles, and mount them in a metal 4"x4" box for either surface or flush installations.

About the number of wires, 3-prong vs. 4-prong, and all the incorrect information that has been posted here about grounding. Most new electric dryers, if not all, require a 4-prong receptacle. 2 hots, 1 neutral and 1 ground (not 2 grounds). Lets make this clear up front - the ground/neutral has absolutely nothing to do with what happened here. Plain and simple.

Now for the discussion...Connecting any ground (much less a neutral) to the water pipe these days is foolish and most likely NOT code compliant. There are one or two rare exceptions regarding water pipe grounding that are very difficult to pull off and meet all of the code requirements.

Existing 3-prong installations can remain; new dryers can be added with a 3-prong cord; and the receptacle can be replaced. This is known, slangily, as grandfathering. This is only valid if the ground wire in the cable to the breaker panel is fully insulated. If the ground wire is not fully insulated, for example, 10-2 Romex is used, its not acceptable. The 3-wire combination ground & neutral must be fully insulated. And I would say 95% of 3-wire dryer installations do not have a fully insulated ground wire.

But why? For most people with dryers in the basement or garage, its an easy matter to replace the cable. There are really only two reasons not to: money (or sometimes cheapness), and laziness. In this case, the receptacle fried. The cable is very likely damaged. Replace it with the proper 3 wire plus ground cable and receptacle, and a 4-wire cord kit. And then don't forget to remove the neutral-ground bonding jumper within the dryer. Install it right and your new dryer will give you many years of pleasure.


Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
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·Embarq Now Centu..
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reply to guppy_fish

I just looked at a new home. Both the outlet for the range and the dryer were mounted on an outside wall and were the surface mounted type shown. The supply cable was installed so that it ran behind the drywall and came out through the drywall directly into the outlet. When I asked why the outlets were surface mounted I was advised that there was not enough depth behind the drywall to install flush mounted outlets and the builder did not want to impact the integrity of the block wall.

In the old days here in Florida, when the washer and dryer were installed in the garage, surface mounted outlets were normally used when they were attached to an outside wall.



ImpldConsent
Under Siege
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join:2001-03-04
Mcdonough, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
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reply to whizkid3

said by whizkid3:

But why? For most people with dryers in the basement or garage, its an easy matter to replace the cable. There are really only two reasons not to: money (or sometimes cheapness), and laziness. In this case, the receptacle fried. The cable is very likely damaged. Replace it with the proper 3 wire plus ground cable and receptacle, and a 4-wire cord kit. And then don't forget to remove the neutral-ground bonding jumper within the dryer. Install it right and your new dryer will give you many years of pleasure.
Great info! You quoted nearly exactly what my electrician buddy said (although he used more colorful language towards the builder). He's coming over during the weekend to look at it with his crew. My guess is that he wants to replace the run (maybe 30ft +/-) with the up to code. I did describe what the cable and wires looked like to him and he thought the cable/wires were just fine. Clip the ends back before any brittle insulation, strip to (forgot length), plug in and secure.
You're exactly right, it's a wire coming in through a hole in the drywall. Nothing securing it other than the box.
--
That's Mr. Kafir to you.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to AVD

said by AVD:

Who says gas installs are inherently unsafe?
I love our gas dryer. It uses "unsafe" propane to boot!

07056601

join:2010-11-06

Even old style electric space heaters are not "inherently" unsafe.

Personally, I like electric clothes dryers better, even though they are more expensive to operate.



brian
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Lake Forest, CA
reply to fifty nine

said by fifty nine:

said by AVD:

Who says gas installs are inherently unsafe?
I love our gas dryer. It uses "unsafe" propane to boot!
I love our gas dryer too. dries clothes faster than the electric ones we've had in the past.
--
flickr gallery | photo blog (rarely updated) | play mafia!


rogunit
Uhhh, Sir?
Premium
join:1999-09-18
Phoenix, AZ
reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

Well the Korean workers in the LG factory should really love you. I try to buy American made which washers and dryers are made in the U.S. I just think I should look out for my fellow citizens especially those in our declining manufacturing base.
Which is precisely why I bought a new Maytag Neptune MAH4000AWW washer and gas dryer. Except the washer needed multiple warranty repairs. Then more repairs after the warranty ran out. Thousands of my fellow citizens having this happen to them with their new washers. Maytag refusing to admit to widespread problems or help in any way. Thousands of screwed-over Americans getting together to file a class-action lawsuit to get Maytag to fix the known problems. Burnt control boards. Bad door lock motors. Bad door seals. The stench of mold from a poorly designed door drain. Those bored and lonley Maytag Repairmen had to be dragged kicking and screaming to replace the bad parts and repair the defects. It's still running now, with the quality replacement parts. The stench is still there though. They never could get that completely stopped. It's better than it was (it was nasty). Our declining manufacturing base better work on their declining quality and service standards if they want their base to stop declining. Maytag? Dependable? Negatory there, rubber duck. Breaker, breaker


Anorexorcist
Premium
join:2005-08-21
Stamford, CT
reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

Well the Korean workers in the LG factory should really love you. I try to buy American made which washers and dryers are made in the U.S. I just think I should look out for my fellow citizens especially those in our declining manufacturing base. Price is not everything to consider. Then again that's just my belief.
Boo hoo, give the guy a break for buying a quality product instead of garbage that many American companies put out in the market. This isn't the area where American companies excel. American companies excel in IP. The US is great at design, software, fashion, design, entertainment, media and the like. Building reliable appliances or electronics....not so much.

You're right, price isn't everything, quality and performance are paramount. My dollar is worth the same whether I buy something made in America or something made in Asia. When American companies/workers start pumping out quality products like our Korean and Japanese counterparts typically do, then millions of people, may actively consider purchasing American made goods again.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

2 edits

1 recommendation

reply to rogunit

I hope you realize it's your family members, neighbors, friends that are working in these factories. Maybe they have the same opinion on your performance?

Also do a little research on the prospect of our ever recovering economically with the excessive loss of manufacturing jobs. Soon it will directly effect every other field in the country. 9.6 percent unemployment is nothing compared to what it's going to be and the drop in wages and benefits for everyone will be a jolt that the foreign goods buyers won't be able to rationalize on a forum.

I've been buying Whirlpool products, washers, dryers, stoves and dishwashers for over 40 years and never have had one service call on any of them. My present Whirlpool duet front loader washer and dryer was purchased in 2003 to replace units that were ruined by Hurricane Isabel flooding and are both still working perfectly.

I'll get down from my patriotic platform now.