Can I use dryer plug for my steam generator?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by mtls, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. mtls

    mtls New Member

    Messages:
    3
    I bought a steam shower generator with electrical requirement of 120V, 30amp. It has 3 wirings labeled as L, N and Gnd. Can I use the dryer plug(14-30R) using a 14-30P plug? If yes how do I wire it? Is the receptacle 220V or 120V? Do I need a transformer?
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    The 14-30R is a 3 pole 4 wire grounding receptacle, listed as 125/250 volts, 30 amps. It is intended for machines like dryers which have 120 volt components, like motors and controls, and 240 volt components, like the heating element. You would measure 120 volts to neutral from each of the hot plugs, and 240 volts across the 2 hot legs.

    I will will wait for bobnh to let us know if you can legally connect a machine like that steam generator to this receptacle, using only 3 of the 4 wires.
  3. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    No



    .
  4. BrianJohn

    BrianJohn DIY Senior Member

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    I do not see where the OP mentioned if this is 3-wire or 4-wire. If it is 3-wire absolutely NOOOOOOO, (well he can reconfigur boths ends). If it is 4-wire it can be reconfigured for 120 VAC use, but I would not do it.
    But how do you plan to dry clothes?
  5. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    The dryer is 240V and uses a 2 pole 30A breaker, the steam generator uses 120V and will use a single pole 30A breaker. This info is based on the info you provided.

    Based on the questions you asked, I suggest you call a licenced electrician to change this circuit over for you.
  6. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

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    I said in my initial reply: "Is it to code? I don't think so." I haven't been able to find a citation in the NEC. The applicability of the code usually ends at the receptacle, while utilization equipment is covered by UL.

    One issue would be how to terminate the unused conductor of the 3-wire + ground cord that probably comes from a dryer cord. That would not be a problem if a 2-wire + ground cord is properly attached to a 14-30P plug.

    The 2-pole breaker will trip if either pole exceeds the trip load so that aspect of it is safe.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    plug

    If you have to ask these questions you should not be doing it. Why do you wish to use the dryer cord? Is it because you want to use an existing dryer receptacle? If so, the safer method would be to replace the receptacle and wire it properly.
  8. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    Location:
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    Thanks, bobnh. Your intial post fed in while I was typing my post. I had not seen your reply yet.

    For brian, the OP mentioned he was talking about NEMA type 14, which by definition is 3-pole, 4-wire, 125/250 grounding type. GOOD POINT about how will he now dry his clothes!!
  9. get a 220V one. They come in both voltages.

    Read the instructions. Call their customer support line.

    Then, with more reasonable questions, you can come to a group like this. Share what make, what web site, what you were told, what the instructions say, etc.


    Connecting a 110V device to a 220V circuit without the right plug and without any input from the manufacturer is dangerous/risky even when done by a highly experienced person on a temporary basis, like for a matter of seconds. You, on the other hand, ask dumb questions. You don't give any information. "Golly, I got this steam thing, and like ummm can I plug it in anywhere?"




    Describing how to jerryrig to this newly signed in member whose skill level is low, is not wise. There is so much about this question that is dumb. If the plug doesn't fit the socket, there are good reasons behind that!

    But, deleting the thread is also not good.



    I think it is also not good to answer with one-word answers. Doesn't turn people around.



    Newbies need interaction. They come wanting to discuss how to plug something in, but they really appreciate getting better answers, that give them some reasoning behind the apparent situation.




    So, instead of "answering the question", talk to low-skill newbies about their knowledge of risk.

    That is my take on what is appropriate. What Cass and HJ said fit the "requirements" good for a newbie. A bit of talk.


    David
  10. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

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    I was always under the understanding that all these different receptacles were not made equal so that the proper mate to that recepticle would be the only one that would fit. Making both halves a matched pair. If you start making use of these receptacles as something they were not intended to be used for and someone comes along after the fact and plugs the intended appliance into your jerry rigged receptacle, bad things could happen. So my answer is also NO. And I'm not even an electrician.

    bob...
  11. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
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    Location:
    North Carolina
    Is this steam generator an appliance? Yes

    Unless this steam generator is installed in a fashion that will allow for a quick removal, and this would be a violation of the plumbing code, then cord and plug would not be allowed unless the unit comes from the factory with a cord installed.

    The installation of cord and plug would be a violation of the NEC and to use one outside of the parameters of the listed use of the receptacle would also be a violation of 110.3(B).

    One of the biggest problems with a DIY web site is there are a lot of unqualified people giving less qualified people noncompliant advice.

    In short, the answer to the original question is NO!
  12. that was good. Good talk, real learning that I'll read a few times. The summary in that last line was clear too.

    david
  13. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

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    Maybe mtls got to read my reply before it was deleted.
  14. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    I think you're wrong on that detail, Mike. The steam generator at the Island house is on a cord, and plumbed in with compression unions. It's so that it can be dismounted and brought in every winter (it's an outdoor unit).

    I tried to attach the instructions for the unit, but the file's too big. You'll have to take my word for it that they specifically mention "if receptacle is desired, mount the box for the receptacle near the location of the Steam Generator".

    "SM-46 & SM-79" on this page:

    http://www.steamist.com/steambath-res-downloads.htm


    I agree with your overall point, though: the OP is messing with things they don't know enough about to do safely.
  15. arfeller

    arfeller New Member

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    Port Angeles, WA
    Odd response for a DIY electrical forum... :confused:
  16. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    But we're not here to help people hurt themselves, either. Sometimes the question itself, belies such a lack of familiarity with the basic issues, that the best advice is "you shouldn't DIY that particular project".

    You have to know your limits.

    Example: I can spec out the beams for this renovation I'm planning, as far as the dead & live loads go. But as far as figuring out the shear loads, and designing the moment frame connections to handle it, I'm much better off just calling an engineer.

    The poster's asking about plugging a 110 appliance into a 220 receptacle... best answer is: "you shouldn't be messing with electricity". Anything else would be irresponsible on our part.
  17. ditto. Let's keep this as a reminder.
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