Dryer with 3 wire feed and ground to water pipe

In my personal residence if have a dryer in the basement with a 3 wire feed. The neutral in bonded to the dryer frame as it should be under the code at the time. There is also a ground wire run from the back of the dryer to a nearby water pipe. I realized the other day that this puts the water pipe in parallel with the neutral in the feed. I pulled out my trusty clamp on ammeter and put it on the bond to the water pipe and measured 1.6 amps with the dryer running. This would likely be a portion of any unbalance on the two hot legs. So, all that said, is the bond to the water pipe a bad thing or a good thing? Or am I giving everyone a headache and I should go post this at Mike Holt? I realize that a 4 wire feed is what should be there. On my list for future improvements.


It is not good, you could have or develop a bad connection at another water pipe bond or something wrong with the neutral going to the dryer somewhere. I would upgrade the whole circuit for the dryer and make sure the water piping was bonded elsewhere as it should be.