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Electrical Wire and Cable

Can A Dryer Be Connected to a Generator?

Generator Power for an Electric Dryer: 3-Wire and 4-Wire Connections for a Dryer to a Generator.

Connections for a Dryer to a Generator
Electrical Question: I would like to connect a dryer with a 3-prong connection to a generator with a 4-prong connection.

This electrical question came from: Dave, a Homeowner from Kansas City, MO.

Thanks for your electrical question Dave.

Electrical Answer:

3-Wire and 4-Wire Connections for a Dryer to a Generator

Application: Generator Cord Connections.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Not recommended for Homeowners, best installed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Electricians pouch of hand tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on the type and size of the generator output, the specific receptacle, and the available access to the project area.
Note: Generator power should always be wired through an approved transfer switch or circuit interlock device. Any part of the home electrical system must NEVER be back-fed using a cheater cord. Back-feeding is extremely hazardous for the home, the occupants and the electric utility company repairmen.
Important: Installing a generator and transfer switch must be well thought out and performed with a permit with all work being inspected.

Generator Power for an Electric Dryer

Selecting a Generator

More resources to assist you with this question are found using the following links including wiring diagrams.

More about Home Generators
Home generators
Home Generators
This series covers a wide variety of topics all about home generators including sizing, selecting, connecting and safely operating this all important addition to your home.

The Importance of a Generator Transfer Switch

Electrical wire
Electrical Wire for the Home
Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.

Wiring a dryer
Wiring a Dryer
See an electric dryer installation with a typical 220 Volt electric power cord wiring system. You may find yourself with either a 3-wire or 4-wire electric dryer, or a 3-wire or 4-wire outlet. Lets look a how the electric dryer is wired and what to do if your cord does not match the plug.

For more information about 220 Volt Wiring Diagram
220 Volt Wiring Diagram
220 Volt Wiring Diagram
Wiring 220 Volt Electrical Outlet
Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how electrical outlets for the home are wired.

« Installing 220 Volt Electric Appliances Wiring a Combo Switch Outlet »

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Can A Dryer Be Connected to a Generator?”
  1. Matt says:

    Connecting a Dryer to a Generator

    I buy used clothes dryers and sometimes they are not hooked up or nowhere near a 220 volt outlet. I know there are generators that can power a dryer but I cannot find any generator to dryer cable adapters. Do I need to make an adapter? I an looking for a “generator outlet to female 3-prong dryer plug” and “generator outlet to female 4-prong dryer plug” to test various dryers. Hope you can offer some information! Thanks.

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Generator Dryer Outlet Setup

      Hi Matt,
      Consider making a small 30amp 240 volt 4 circuit panel, that plugs into the generator. From the panel wire out two circuits, one could be for a 3wire 240volt dryer outlet, and the other a 4wire 240volt dryer outlet. This setup could be mounted onto a piece of plywood which could be mounted near the generator.

      Alternatively, if you will always be testing only one dryer, then you may consider a setup with the cord and plug for the generator connected to two outlet boxes, one 3wire 240volt dryer outlet, and the other 4wire 240volt dryer outlet. You could use two 4 square deep metal boxes that are connected together, side by side, and install metal industrial covers onto each outlet.
      I hope this helps,


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