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How to Wire a Dryer Outlet

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

220 Volt Electric Dryer Outlets and How to Fix Them: Problems with dryer outlets, Dryer does not Work, Wiring a Dryer Outlet and Dryer Circuit Wires.

Problems with 220 Volt Electric Dryer Outlets and How to Fix Them

The wire on my dryer started burning next to the box on the electrical outlet.

  • 220 Volt Dryer Outlet
    I changed the wire on the dryer and the 220 outlet on the wall.
  • Dryer Did Not Work
    I plugged it in and the dryer didn’t work. I bought a circuit tester and the tester proved that there was electricity coming from the 220 volt outlet. So I bought a new dryer and when I plugged it up, the new dryer didn’t work.
  • New Replacement Dryer Did Not Work
    I made the company send me out a new dryer, when it arrived, I plugged it in and that didn’t work either.
  • Replaced the Dryer Circuit Breaker
    I went and bought a new circuit breaker, and that didn’t work still.
  • Dryer Outlet Wiring
    Should I cross the wires up on the 220 volt outlet, but I’m afraid that if I do so, that I could start a fire from that or I could burn or blow up the dryer in some sort of way. What could be possibly wrong. I’m lost with this one.

Please guide me or help me with this matter.
Thanks in advance.
This home electrical repairs question came from: Tyrone, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical troubleshooting question Tyrone and Wayne.

Application: 220Volt Dryer Cord and Outlet Wiring.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the available access to the dryer cord electrical connection box.
Precaution: Identify the dryer circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the dryer cord wiring.

Wiring Connections for a 220 Volt Dryer Outlet

  • Verify the Wiring Connections to the Dryer Outlet
    It is very possible that when the dryer receptacle was rewired that the wiring assignments are not correct. This should be corrected using a voltage tester to positively identify each wire if they are not already clearly marked or indicated. Once the wires are identified then the assignments to the receptacle must be checked to make sure the receptacle is wired correctly.

The dryer circuit should be turned OFF and the dryer should NOT be plugged in until the wiring has been corrected because incorrect wiring of a 220 volt dryer outlet may result in a Electrical Shock Hazard.

  • 220 Volt Dryer Circuit
    Electric dryers that are 220 volts typically require a dedicated 30 amp circuit containing a 4-wire circuit for new installations, and older homes may have a 3-wire circuit.

    • The 3-wire 240 volt circuit has one ground wire and two power wires, Line 1 and Line 2,  of 120 volts each when testing the Line to ground, and 240 volts when tested Line 1 to Line 2.
    • The 4-wire 240 volt circuit is the same as the 3-wire circuit except that it has a separate Neutral wire, which makes this a 4-wire circuit. 4-Wire circuits are required for most new electric dryers, however they may be adapted for use with some older 3-wire dryers.
  • Wiring a 240 Volt Dryer Receptacle
    On each of these 30 amp 240 volt dryer receptacle outlets there will be indications for the terminals where the circuit wires are to be located:

    • The Line 1 wire is attached to the terminal with the X designation.
    • The Line 2 wire is attached to the terminal with the Y designation.
      • NOTE: Some brands of 240 volt outlets may specify Line 1 and Line 2.
    • The ground wire is attached to the terminal with the GREEN, Vert or the Ground Symbol
    • The Neutral wire is attached to the terminal designated as  White or Blanc.

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