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Wiring For Clothes Dryers – Don’t Do This


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Wire a Dryer Cord and Plug: Find out how it s it possible to rewire most dryers so that it can use a 3 wire plug.

Wiring 3Wire and 4Wire Dryer Plugs

Electrical Question: I have a four wire plug on my dryer.

This electrical question came from: Bob, a Homeowner from Kalispell, Montana.

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

Electrical Wiring for a Dryer Plug

How to Wire a Dryer Plug and Cord

Application: Wiring a Dryer Plug
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 number of outlets that will be replaced.
Precaution: Identify the electric dryer circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.

Bob, follow the links below and you will see how to make the connection using a 3 wire plug.

Electric dryer plug
clothes-dryer-wiring

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Learn How to Wire it Right with my
Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring
Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Includes:
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electrical Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
Electrical Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

» Click here to learn more about Home Electrical Wiring «
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MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC: 220 Volt Wiring, Dryer Wiring, Electrical Wiring





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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

11 Responses to “Wiring For Clothes Dryers – Don’t Do This”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    I Barry,
    The ground wire of the circuit should be connected to the ground wire terminal of the receptacle. It would be best to look at the installation manual of the dryer to see if a 3wire cord is listed as an approved method of connection. If a 3wire cord is not an alternative and the new dryer manual specifically states that a 4wire circuit with a dedicated neutral wire is required then a 4wire dryer circuit should be installed.
    I hope this helps,
    Dave

  2. barry says:

    I installed a new 4 plug receptacle for a newer dryer. The old wiring in the house is one hot black, one hot white and one bare copper (non insulated common). I had no wire to connect to ground in the new receptacle. I wanted to know if this is safe. I do not wish to be surprised by a shock some day when I touch the dryer. The dryer works great. I am just not sure about the ground. The existing wiring is from a sub panel with 30 amp connected breakers. The old dryer worked fine with the old three wire receptacle and pigtail.

  3. Jaye says:

    Thank you Dave for responding to my question. And yes it did help!

  4. Dave Rongey says:

    GFCI Breaker for a Dryer
    Hi Jaye,
    GFCI circuit breakers are available in a wide variety of amperage, therefor a GFCI circuit breaker could be installed to provide ground fault protection if it was necessary. At this time the electrical code does not require a 240 volt dryer outlet to have GFCI protection, refer to NEC Article 250.142(b). Please note that it is best to have all electrical work inspected by the local building department.
    I hope this helps,
    Dave

  5. Jaye says:

    I’m replacing a utility sink in the laundry room. The water source and drain are located 16 inches above the sink. The electrician put the electrical outlets directly under the housing for the water and drain leaving only 8 in from sink. One is a 110volt GFCI, the other is 240 for dryer. Sink has a pull out faucet which is inches from outlets. He said it was code. I can’t find anything to tell me where a dryer outlet should be placed. They don’t require GFCI for those giant outlets?

  6. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    Because you are renting it would be best to ask the owner of the property or the apartment manager about having an electric dryer outlet installed. Adding any additional utilities should be done with approval from the management, and they may install the dryer circuit for you or give you the permission to have one installed. Either way, a 220 volt electric dryer requires a dedicated 30 amp circuit to be installed and the process will depend on the structure. The dryer circuit should be installed with a permit and all work should be inspected.
    Dave

  7. stephanie says:

    Hi there,
    I want to put a dryer in my apartment on the first floor and there is no dryer plug right now, what can I do?

  8. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Michele,
    If your electric dryer specifically states that it is for Canada only then the electrical components are for 50hz only, therefore because the USA has a 60hz system I would not take the risk of damaging the dryer. You may want to contact the technical support for the manufacturer of the dryer and get more information. The difference is not a wiring configuration or wiring adjustment but rather the type of electrical power that is provided in Canada 50hz, and the USA 60hz.
    Dave

  9. Michelle says:

    Dave,

    My new dryer is a Kenmore electric or gas dryer, however, it says for the electric it is for Canada only! My question is can it be wired to work here in the United States? Thank you.

    michelle

  10. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Delanna – It sounds like the dryer will be using a 50 amp range circuit at the apartment. If this is true then the circuit should be converted to a 30 amp circuit as this is what the dryer is designed for. This will ensure that the internal wiring and the components of the dryer (which are designed for 30 amps) will be protected by a 30 amp circuit. The conversion will require installing the following 30 Amp, 240 Volt Parts: Circuit Breaker, Outlet and Dryer Cord. This can be done easily by a qualified electrician.
    Delanna, make sure the dryer is well vented too.

  11. Delanna Reed says:

    Dear Dave,

    I live in an older apartment. I just bought a new dryer and discovered that the outlet is for a range. Apparently, someone put a range cord on the old dryer to make it fit. Is this dangerous? Is it illegal? I am trying to convince the landlord he needs to install a dryer outlet so that the new dryer can be safely plugged in. I don’t want to buy a range cord and attach it to my dryer. But, is is safe to do so?

    Thanks,
    Delanna Reed