Safe to Remove Dryer Lockout?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by BigSkeet, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. BigSkeet

    BigSkeet New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    We just bought a house that previously had a gas dryer installed. It's been removed, the gas line capped, and we're ready to hook up our electric dryer. The circuit breaker has a lockout installed over the dryer breakers (see attachment).

    My thinking - since the previous owner had gas (haha), an electrician put the lockout in place since the dryer outlet wasn't needed. I'd like to pop it off and start drying clothes again, but obviously have safety in mind first.

    Any thoughts on removing it, or a quick test to determine safety?

    Thanks,
    BigSkeet

    Attached Files:

  2. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    991
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    That is NOT a lockout. It is a handle tie on a quad breaker. Just push it to the ON position and you'll have power.
  3. BigSkeet

    BigSkeet New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Thanks for the quick response. UNfortunately it (or something) is preventing it from being pushed into the on position. I can push it there, but it won't hold, just pops back to the middle position each time.
  4. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,531
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Then you have a problem. Something is tripping the breaker. Unplug your dryer and try it again and let us know what happens
  5. BigSkeet

    BigSkeet New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I popped off the handle tie and was able to move them both back to on position, but no juice. I cut them back off. Then again...

    File this under "things that would be helpful for you to know upfront": I had to remove the dryer's existing 4 prong connection and replace it with a 3 prong dryer connection. No big deal...done it before. To make sure I had the right fit, I plugged in the 3 prong before wiring it up to the dryer. Not wise. Because the contacts on the other end of the plug were touching one another , I got a nice little spark. I'm thinking I've fried the socket itself, and that's the cause of the inability to restore power.
  6. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    Wow... You should probably take a lot more care in any electrical you mess with.
  7. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,244
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    I believe a proper 4- wire circuit is a code requirement when installing a new drier.
    I know that IS true when installing a stove.
  8. jbfan74

    jbfan74 Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    Well, you have just created more problems for yourself!
  9. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    It is OK to connect a dryer to an existing 3 prong outlet. BUT, you must carefully read the installation instruction that come with the dryer...it will be necessary to change the arrangement of the ground connection inside the dryer.

    The clip on the breaker is to make it a double pole...if one trips it takes the other one with it. DO NOT remove the clip.
  10. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    991
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    YES, big deal! Put the four prong receptacle back in and get you a four wire dryer cord. THIS is the code legal and safe thing to do.

    Wow.
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,892
    Location:
    New England
    Someone has written what looks like "Stove" between the dryer. Could they have put in an electric stove or oven and used those leads for that? If so, adding the dryer back into the circuit would overload it when both are on. I'm somewhat concerned that the two breakers don't move freely enough to turn them on - will one trip the other if required?
  12. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    991
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    That is a quad breaker. Two 240v circuits in the place of two full size breakers.
    The "stove" is the inner 30A/240v circuit on that breaker. The dryer is the outer circuit.
  13. jbfan74

    jbfan74 Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    I have seen them in homes, but mostly inside mobile homes
  14. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    991
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Yup. 200A 20/40 space panels right. Don't you love them. :p
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