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Old 07.03.2012, 22:46
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Four wire electric connection for tumble dryer

When I went to wire up my English tumble dryer, I noticed that the existing miele one, was hard wired (no plug) and had 4 wires connected directly into a junction box, not three (Live, Neutral & earth) like my english appliance.

Does anyone know what the 4 wires are for, and which I should connect my three wire English appliance to. ?

Any insight greatly appreciated.
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Old 07.03.2012, 22:47
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Re: Four wire electric connection for tumble dryer

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When I went to wire up my English tumble dryer, I noticed that the existing miele one, was hard wired (no plug) and had 4 wires connected directly into a junction box, not three (Live, Neutral & earth) like my english appliance.

Does anyone know what the 4 wires are for, and which I should connect my three wire English appliance to. ?

Any insight greatly appreciated.
3p + N (no ground)

What is the draw of yours (Amps or Watts)?

Tom
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Old 07.03.2012, 23:43
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Re: Four wire electric connection for tumble dryer

We had the same problem - the existing washing machine in the flat was running on 3-phase AC, and the tumble dryer on 2-phase AC. A Swiss thing I suppose.

Call an electrician and have him rewire the thing correctly for your UK machine (which is almost certainly 1-phase AC, as are about 99% of German-bought washing machines like my Miele). It's the one thing in our flat I refused to do myself.
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Old 08.03.2012, 05:59
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Re: Four wire electric connection for tumble dryer

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Call an electrician
Yes, I'm pretty sure that in a hard wired situation you have to go through a pro.

Just to satisfy your curiosity though- you can take any one of the 3 hot leads + neutral as long as the power needs of the machine don't exceed 10 amps (likely 10 amps, might be higher). It was explained to me once though that the old installations with 4 wire 3 phase were the three legs plus ground, no neutral, since it's not needed in the 3 phase circuit.

Last edited by Mud; 08.03.2012 at 06:14.
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Old 08.03.2012, 09:43
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Re: Four wire electric connection for tumble dryer

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Yes, I'm pretty sure that in a hard wired situation you have to go through a pro.

Just to satisfy your curiosity though- you can take any one of the 3 hot leads + neutral as long as the power needs of the machine don't exceed 10 amps (likely 10 amps, might be higher). It was explained to me once though that the old installations with 4 wire 3 phase were the three legs plus ground, no neutral, since it's not needed in the 3 phase circuit.
Depends how you are using the phases.

Delta, you don't need the N, Y config you do.

A 3p motor will normally work in a delta configuration, but a dryer may use 1p for motor, and one or 2p for the heater, in either configuration, but not both, it'd be wired for one or the other, as would a stove.

The only place I've ever seen a 4-pin 3p socket was at my mother in laws in Gentilino, for the stove, and I recall it being 3p+N, but it may well have been 3p+G (the wiring is from the '60s).

So, if you've got 3p+G, you won't be able to wire it for 1p unless there is a unused N wire behind the socket.

Tom
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Old 08.03.2012, 10:56
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Re: Four wire electric connection for tumble dryer

i was also surprised to find one in my new flat. from what i remember it was a 5 pin socket, normal 3 pins plus 2 extra added on.
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Old 08.03.2012, 11:06
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Re: Four wire electric connection for tumble dryer

It's quite common here for big appliances, like washing machines, to be connected in a three phase configuration.

Don't even think of messing around with the wires depending on where and you touch them you can be up to a 380 Volts shock...
Call an electrician, it should cost around 200 chf.
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Old 08.03.2012, 11:32
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Re: Four wire electric connection for tumble dryer

Most places each phase is fused at 10A here in Switzerland, which is why most high power devices (washing machines, dryers) are designed as 3-phase appliances. Connecting a 16A appliance to a single-phase installation is likely to trip the fuse.
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Old 08.03.2012, 12:01
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Re: Four wire electric connection for tumble dryer

Usually, the connection diagram is printed on a label that is attached close to the terminal box on the appliance, and also in the installaton manual. The connection can be configured in a multitude of ways, usually by changing some links in the terminal box. The exact configuration depends on what supply is available (single phase, three phase, with or without neutral)

Also bear in mind that these relatively high-power circuits are NOT protected by an RCD!! Therefore if you make a mistake and the exposed metallic parts of the equipment are rendered live, you will have NO protection at all against accidental electric shock!

I would highly suggest to get an electrician to do this. Otherwise, the equipment may not operate as intended, or - worse - may be left in an invisible, dangerous condition.

Cheers,
Chris
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