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Clothes Dryer Electrical Requirements: Detailed Guide

A Clothes dryer requires proper wiring and circuit setup for functioning properly. Not knowing the necessary electrical requirements for dryers runs the risk of accidents.

What are the clothes dryer electrical requirements?

The dryer must be properly grounded along with the wiring. Not doing so increases the chance of accidents significantly. Circuit breakers should be picked depending on the power consumption of the dryer. One can use adaptors if the plug of the dryer doesn’t fit in the outlet. It’s best to use cords provided by the manufacturers.

Is it still confusing? We got your back! Read this well-written article to learn about the necessary electrical requirements for clothes dryers. 

Let’s waste no more time and dive right into it!

Electric Requirements For A Clothes Dryer

When talking about the essential electric requirements for dryers, we need to consider a few factors. All of these factors should be equally prioritized as they are equally important.

All the essential electric requirements for a clothes dryer are explained in detail-

Grounding

Always make sure that the clothes dryer is properly grounded. Grounding provides a path offering the least resistance to the flow of electricity. This hugely reduces the risk of electric shock.

Most clothes dryers nowadays come with cords included with an equipment-grounding conductor and grounding plug. 

Besides the dryer itself, we must also ensure that the outlet is also well grounded. Don’t attempt to customize the dryer plug to fit the outlet. Change to an appropriate outlet for safer operation. Water leaking from the dryer can deal massive damage to the ungrounded dryer.

What if you need to permanently wire your clothes dryer?

Well, in that case, you need to permanently ground your dryer to the metal wiring system.

Electrical Connections

After you’re done taking all proper grounding measurements, it’s time to set up the electrical connection. We recommend setting up a separate circuit dedicated solely to the dryer. 

Before installing the dryer, one needs to determine a few aspects of the electrical connection. 

The ground connection varies from 3 wire electrical supply to 4 wire electrical supply connection.

The neutral ground conductor for the 3 wire connection is permanently connected to the neutral conductor. Whereas, the neutral ground should be removed from the external ground connector for 4 wire connections.

The removed neutral ground must be secured under the neutral terminal block. Doing so isolates the dryer cabinet from the neutral conductor.

Outlet

A major difference between a gas clothes dryer and an electric dryer is their electrical requirements. 

If you use a gas clothes dryer, you’ll only need 120-volt electricity flow to operate it. The gas dryer comes with a cord that you can plug into a 120-volt receptacle.

Electric clothes dryer, on the other hand, requires 240-volt electricity to run. To accommodate this much current, one needs a heavy-duty appliance cord added with quality plugs.

There are two available plug styles and outlets for connecting an electric dryer. One is a three-prong cord designed for outlets with three slots. The other is a 4-prong cord designed to fit outlets that are equally slotted.

Most electric dryers nowadays come with 4-prong plugs. So it’s best to have outlets with 4 slots as they are gaining popularity with time.

Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers shield the user from electric shock and reduce the risk of damage to equipment. The circuit breaker trips the circuit when more than recommended current passes through it. It works as a safety measure against potential electrical fires.

The size of the cables dictates the size of the breakers. For protecting each circuit, one needs the correct breakers of the correct sizes. An electric water heater breaker size will vary from dryer breaker size.

Let’s understand this better using examples-

A 10/3 type NM cable can be protected only with a 30-amp breaker. However, using a 30-amp breaker for 14/2 type NM cable is simply unsafe. The 10/3 wire is bigger than the 14/2 wire. Hence, it has a better chance of enduring a 30-amp current.

Using a 15 amp breaker with a 110V dryer wired with a 14/2 cable is relatively safe. You need to decide the size of the breaker based on power consumption and available circuit.

Dryer Outlet Adaptor

Your new dryer might not come with the proper outlet. So rather than customizing it or taking unnecessary risks, use an adaptor.

Trying to mess with an existing outlet can void your warranty and be a risky affair. To avoid this, you can use a 4-prong adaptor for your 3-prong dryer outlet. You can follow the same solution if you have a 4-prong outlet.

Simply plug your cord into the adaptor and plug the adaptor into the outlet. It’s as simple as that! Not only does it eliminate the risk of electrical shock, but also keeps the warranty intact.

Having a hard time finding good 3-slotted outlet adaptors? Check out these well-built outlet adaptors for 3-prong plugs that we have hand-picked for you-

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These adaptors are perfect for 3-prong plugs and keep your dryer safe from potential electrical damage. It will get rid of the problem of difficult electrical outlet plugging. 

Safe Usage And Application

The list of amperage and voltage a dryer uses is usually listed on the device. If there is no such information on the device, read the documents provided with the product. You can also look out for specific instructions online.

Use a multimeter to calculate the voltage and amperage used by the dryer. Avoid having a dryer outlet on the same circuit with other appliances, e.g, bedroom lights.

Be careful not to plug the dryer into an extension cord. A lot of electricity is drawn by the dryer. Having too long and a thin extension cord can overheat the cord. This can melt the plastic components of the extension cord.

We highly recommend you seek the help of a professional to set up your dryer connection. Only handle the components if you are experienced and comfortable enough to handle electrical components

FAQs

Question: Can I use a 10/3 wire for my dryer?

Answer: Yes you can. A 10/3 wire is typically used for 220v/ 30-amp clothes dryer circuits with the ground. The 10/3 comes with a ground wire alongside three insulated wires. An electric cloth dryer required a dedicated 220v electric circuit. So it needs a separate circuit.

Question: Can you plug a washer and dryer in the same outlet?

Answer: You can plug both a washer and gas dryer into the same outlet. However, for an electrical outlet, you suggest using a dedicated circuit. Electrical dryers consume a lot of power. So even if it’s possible, using it alongside a washer is not ideal.

Question: Is the 3-prong dryer outlet safe?

Answer: National Electric Code(NEC) requires all electric dryers to use a 4-prong outlet. Is it because a 4 prong outlet requires the dryer to be wired with a ground wire. A 3-prong outlet is more vulnerable to electric shock risk than a 4-prong outlet.

Conclusion

That was all we have on clothes dryer electrical requirements. Hope this article provided some value to your existing knowledge about electric clothes dryers.

Let us know in the comments if you have any more questions. Best of luck!