How to Install Wiring for a Stack Washer and Dryer

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Guidelines to Provide Power for a Stack Washer and Dryer: Many stack washer dryer units are actually two separate units, each having its own specific electrical circuit requirement depending on the exact models that are purchased.

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Guide to Wiring a Stack Washer and Dryer

Electrical Question #1: I have a GE stackable washer dryer combination machine (model #WSM2420TAAWW) that I would like to use in an apartment wired for 120v current.

  • The 120/240v, 21A 60mHz machine has a three-pronged 240v plug, but I don’t have any outlets for it.
  • I’ve been searching all over the metro area, but no one seems to stock a converter that I might use, apparently I’m looking in the wrong places.
  • Could you recommend a suitable step up/down converter that includes adapters? Or is there another solution I should consider? I’m on a very strict budget, so my options are few.

Thank you for your help!

This electrical wiring question came from: Wesley, from Denver, Colorado.

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

Guidelines to Provide Power for a Stack Washer and Dryer

Application: Installing a Stack Washer Circuit
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, electric drill,  auger bits and extension cord.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and install electrical circuit wiring.
Notice: Installing additional outlet wiring should be done with a permit and be inspected.

  • Voltage Converters and Adapters
    I do not recommend using a voltage adapter for a stack washer and dryer, and using a voltage adapter my void the manufacturers warranty.
  • Required Circuit Power
    As described in this question, the required 21 amps of the stack washer and dryer exceeds the standard 15 or 20 amp 120 volt outlet circuit of an apartment or home, so a converter will not be available because converters cannot create amperage, only convert voltage within the amperage rating of the existing circuit. The specified circuit will need to be installed as described in the installation manual.
  • Stack Washer Dryer Unit
    Many stack washer dryer units are actually two separate units, each having its own specific electrical circuit requirement depending on the exact models that are purchased.
  • Clothes Dryer Power
    Keep in mind that clothes dryers may be electrically heated or gas heated, so the electrical circuit for the motor might be able to be shared with the washing machine unit, as specified by the owners manual or installation manual.

More about Stack Washers and Dryers

Electrical Question #2:
I purchased a stacking kit for my washer/dryer set. By moving the dryer it will be farther from the 220/230 outlet.

  • I don’t want to purchase an extension cord, they run over $100 everywhere I’ve looked. I’m wondering if I can easily combine 2 dryer cords, which would be about 10 feet each, and cost between $10-$15. Much cheaper, but I still get the length I need.
  • How can I do this without losing power or creating an unsafe connection in the middle of my laundry room (I’m assuming wire nuts are not the way to go to connect the two cords)

This home electrical repairs question came from: Ben, from Orem, Utah.
Dave’s Reply:
Extension cords are not recommended from major appliances including stack washers and dryers.  It may be best to extend the electrical circuit closer so that the cord will reach.

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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.

FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

6 Responses to “How to Install Wiring for a Stack Washer and Dryer”
  1. tim says:

    How do I wire a stack washer dryer into two different outlets one being 220volt 4prong and the other 3prong 20amp?

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Tim,
      From the information you have provided, the stack washer dryer unit that you are referring to requires two separate dedicated circuits. The exact specifications for these two circuits will need be identified including the Voltage and Amperage for each circuit. Once the complete specifications have been clarified then the circuit configurations may be made. The voltage and amperage is vital to size each circuit for the correct wire size, box enclosure, receptacle outlet and the circuit breaker. The type of wire or cable that may be used, and the methods for the installation will depend on your specific location, the applicable electrical codes, the type home construction, and the available access needed to install the circuits to the location of the stack washer and dryer unit.

      If the location already has two circuits, then you still need to identify the specific electrical circuit requirements for the stack washer and dryer, then compare this information to the existing circuits and see if they have the same specifications which will allow you to make use of one of the existing circuits.

      I hope this helps,

  2. sasha DePaepe says:

    Can you switch a 120volt to a 240volt circuit for a stackable washer and dryer. If you can how can you.

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Converting a Circuit for a 240volt Dryer
      Hi Sasha,
      A basic guide to convert a 120volt circuit to be used as a 240volt circuit is as follows:
      The circuit must be dedicated and not shared with any other device or equipment.
      The circuit wire amperage rating must comply with the equipment manufacturers specifications.
      The circuit wiring must be clearly identified and marked at the circuit panel and the equipment receptacle outlet locations.
      The circuit breaker must be changed out, and replaced for the new voltage designation and clearly identified in the panel.
      The receptacle outlet for the equipment must be changed and wired for the new voltage as specified and clearly identified.
      The process of changing the circuit voltage should conform to all applicable electrical codes and be inspected.
      Thank you for sharing your stackable washer and dryer question,

      • sasha DePaepe says:

        Stackable Washer Dryer Power Cord
        How can you switch the power cord that the stackable washer dryer comes with to a 240 power cord?

        • Dave Rongey says:

          Cord for a Stack Washer and Dryer
          The power cord that comes with the stackable washer and dryer should not be changed unless it is allowed by the manufacturer and a wiring diagram is provided with instructions for an alternative wiring configuration.
          Thank you for sharing your electrical wiring question,


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