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Electrical Wiring Conversions for Clothes Dryers

How To Convert a Clothes Dryer Electrical Cord and Outlet – The 240 Volt and 250 Volt Dryer Outlets are actually one in the same, however the plug configurations may be different.

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Dryer Electrical Connection
[ad#block] Electrical Question: We removed an old electric clothes dryer from my parents 50+ year old home. The electrical outlet it was plugged into is 250volt 50 amp. I wish to purchase a replacement electric dryer but understand they are all 240volt. Can this be done? Can the 240volt plug be converted to use a 250volt 50amp plug? Is it safe? Or would it simply be easier to run a 240volt electrical cable from the electrical box?

Thank You.

Background: Joe, a Handyman from Crystal Lake, Illinois.
Additional Comments: Outstanding website!

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your Electrical Wiring Question Joe.

How To Convert a Clothes Dryer Electrical Cord and Outlet

Application: 240 Volt Dryer Electrical Connection
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced.
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 dryer electrical connections should be done according to local and national electrical codes and using approved materials.

3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Dryer Connections

The 240 Volt and 250 Volt Dryer Outlets are actually one in the same, however the plug configurations may be different.  Newer dryer cords and dryer outlets have the 4-wire configuration, however many older homes have  3-wire dryer outlets. Some electric dryers may be configured for one or the other wiring configuration, however the installation manual should be consulted for the manufacturers requirement.

For more information about Wiring a Dryer
Electric Dryer Hookup
Dryer Wiring
Electric Dryer Wiring
See an electric dryer electric dryer hookup 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.

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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

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Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
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Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Electrical Wiring Conversions for Clothes Dryers”
  1. Alicia says:

    Old Dryer Trips Circuit Breaker
    Can an old dryer keep tripping a fuse, or is there something wrong with the wiring?

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Alicia,
    If the electrical circuit wiring for the dryer is original and has not had any modifications then the dryer and cord should be checked for possible a fault.
    Thanks for sharing your electric dryer question with us.