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Electrical Wire and Cable

Dryer Cord and Electric Circuit Wiring

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Dryer Cord that is Too Short: I want to move my dryer to the other side of the laundry room but the cord isn’t long enough.

Extending a Dryer Cord

Electrical Question: I want to move my dryer to the other side of the laundry room but the cord isn’t long enough.

This electrical question came from: David, a Homeowner from Portland, Oregon.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question David.

Dryer Cord that is Too Short

Application: Wiring a Dryer Cord.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and connect the 240 volt dryer cord.
Precaution: Identify the dryer circuit at the electric panel, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the dryer cord wiring.
Notice: Wiring a dryer cord and making the electrical connections should be done according to local and national electrical codes and using approved materials.

Dryer Cord Length and Electrical Safety

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4 Responses to “Dryer Cord and Electric Circuit Wiring”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Greg,
    First – please verify that the dryer you have does not require a dedicated Neutral wire, and that the dryer is compatible with a 3-wire hook up, consisting of a 240 volt circuit and a ground wire.
    For a 3-wire hookup for an electric dryer a ground wire is required which is bonded to the ground system of the electrical circuit panel, then at the wall plug the ground wire is attached to the ground terminal which is for the angle shaped prong of the dryer cord.
    The 240 volt wires that are attached to the circuit breaker for the dryer should be verified and identified at the wall plug, where these wires are attached to the X and Y terminals of the wall plug receptacle.
    IMPORTANT: If a white wire is used as part of the 240 volt circuit power, then the white wire(s) must be colored at the circuit breaker and the wall plug locations with red or black electrical tape or a permanent marker.
    See my section about Wiring a Dryer for more information.
    I hope this helps,

  2. Greg Johnson says:

    I bought a used washer dryer with a three wire set up. The plug type is 3 wire with no ground. The breaker is wired with white and black to the 240 breaker and the solid wire to the grounding bar. The wall plug shows the white neutral goes to the L shape and other two the x and y. Should the solid copper wire be changed to the neutral bar in the panel and is that what should be connected to the L shaped connector?

  3. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Ernie,
    There is no set height requirement that I am aware of for the receptacle outlet for a dryer cord. Locating the outlet box higher will definitely make the plug more accessible. I like to locate the cords out of sight but high enough for easier access, however keep in mind the required space for the cord and receptacle after they are plugged in and how this may cause the dryer to not fit flush against the wall. A dryer that will be located flush against the wall will require a recessed dryer vent connection and the dryer outlet to be properly located with the design of the dryer connections identified.

  4. Ernie says:

    Does it matter if the plug from the dryer has the cord coming from the top or from the bottom when plugged in (mine has wire coming from top when plugged in). The wiring to the plug that I have is behind a finished wall and comes out 2 feet from the floor (foundation exposed there) and I curved it so I could attach the plug to the wainscoting wall, which seems to be the only way to install and secure the plug. There are cabinets above the dryer. I located the dryer plug high enough so I could reach and unplug without moving the machine. I don’t think it would be as easy to unplug and plug if the plug had the wire coming from the bottom. Also, the curve in the plug from the dryer to the plug seems much smoother than if i had to plug it in with the wire from the bottom, in this case the curve would be an ‘s’.