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Repairing an Electric Dryer, Wiring a 240 Volt Wall Heater, Installing a Dimmer Switch and Ground Rod Requirements

November 2, 2009

Question Walker asks:
I have a whirlpool heavy duty electric dryer. Every time I plug it in I hear a small noise like the dryer motor is kicking in, then the top of the casing heats up without me turning the dryer on. I’ve cleaned all lint from it, but it keeps doing the same thing so Ive unplugged it. Any ideas? The model number says wx82000 but i cant find it anywhere online.

I really couldn’t say. I play around with repairing dryers for my family and friends. However, I don’t do it that often. Since I am an electrician, I can usually troubleshoot, diagnose and repair problems with electric dryers but, I am no expert at dryer repair. I recommend Appliance Parts Pros – They offer live help, a repair forum, part photos, diagrams, same day shipping and you can return any part.


Gerard Edwards asks:
How do you hook up the 240v forced fan wall heaters? I have 2 wires coming in from the panel box and there are 3 wires on the heater. It has a built in thermostat. Would appreciate any help.

It is difficult to say. You really need to check with the manufacturer for instructions or determine where each of the 3 wires go. The third wire is probably for an increased / decreased wattage configuration. I really need more information before I can give you an accurate answer.

Typically, with 240 volt heaters, you connect one leg of the 240 to one side of the double pole thermostat and the other leg to the other side of the t-stat. You also need to have a ground wire from your breaker box and there should be a ground screw or lug to connect it to on the heater.

I recommend either contacting the manufacturer for wiring instructions and diagrams or hire a local licensed electrician.


Robert Hogan asks:
I replaced a 3 way light switch with a 3 way dimmer switch to a bank of 5 recessed lights…120 v and 15w. The dimmer would not dim the lights. I did notice that the common wire in one box is black whereas the common wire in the second box is white. How can that be?

There is probably a junction box somewhere. The wires were spliced in the junction box and a white wire was used on one end and black on the other. Did you really get a 15 watt dimmer switch? Is that just a typo and supposed to be 150 watts?


Scooter asks:
Is a ground rod required at the main panel for residential construction?

You are required to ground your electric service. This doesn’t have to be done with a ground rod. It can be done with a metallic water line which extends 10′ beyond the house underground, using a concrete encased electrode (ufer ground) or a ground plate. In some areas the soil is too rocky and a ground rod is a waste of time.

If you are going to use a ground rod for your residential electric service you are required to install one ground rod and test it. If the test results are more than 25 ohms, then you are required to install an additional ground rod six feet away from the first one. When connecting these use a #6 bare copper wire. Run the wire from the ground lug in your breaker box, through the first ground rod, through the second ground rod and back to the breaker box in one continuous run.


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