Dryer plug will not fit wall outlet.

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  #1  
Old 11-02-05, 07:06 AM
reiukitsune
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Unhappy Dryer plug will not fit wall outlet.

I have a Kenmore Laundry Center w/ Gas Dryer model 417.99195120 which is approximately 15 years old with a funny looking 3 prong plug. The plugs looks like a normal 3 prong plug w/ the exeption of of being Flat (Left) I moved into a new home and found that I'm not able to plug it in the 3 prong wall outlet because on of the prongs is flat (horizontal on left). It looks like this - | but keep in mind it has a grounding pin underneath in the center which i cannot illustrate.

I went to Osh hardware, and they directed me to sears as no such adapters or wall outlet exist in their inventory. I wen't to Sears and the sales man said to go to Home depot. So I can't plug it into an electrical outlet to find out if it even works.

Any suggestions would surely be appreciated. I just can't afford a new dryer as I was ripped off by a seller. They told me it was a 4 year old unit. To my surprise, the labels in the rear says it's manufactured in 1989?

The things I do to save a few $'s.

Thank you.

Monica
 

Last edited by reiukitsune; 11-02-05 at 07:08 AM. Reason: Edited for clarity...lol
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  #2  
Old 11-02-05, 07:22 AM
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reiukitsune, Welcome to the DIY Forums.
I moved your post in order to get a more efficient answer. Even though it is a Gas appliance, your question is electrical. By the way, I have seen the outlets that your dryer plugs into but do not remember the reasoning. I am sure one of our Pros will. Good luck.
 
  #3  
Old 11-02-05, 08:11 AM
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Sorry to be the bearer of bad news:

First, you MAY NOT under any circumstance "adapt" one shape of plug to fit into a different outlet.

Each shape/blade arrangement is specific to a voltage AND current rating.

Now, if you hold the plug in your hand ( with the ground pin BELOW the blades) and look at the blades:if the horizontal blade is on the LEFT it is a 240 volt/20 amp device. If the horizontal blade is on the RIGHT, then it is a 120 volt/20 amp device.

In any case, this appliance cannot be plugged into a standard 120V/15A outlet.
 
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Old 11-02-05, 08:22 AM
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Sounds like you have a 120 volt 20 amp plug, which means that you need a dedicated 120 volt 20 amp receptacle.

Current code in the US requires that laundry areas have a dedicated 20 amp circuit.

if you have a dedicated 20 amp circuit in place then you can safely change the receptacle to be a 20 amp receptacle. However, if you don't have a dedicated 20 amp circuit, then you will have to install one.
 
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Old 11-02-05, 08:39 AM
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Find both your receptacle and your plug on this chart. Then post back and tell us the numbers underneath the picture.
 
  #6  
Old 11-02-05, 11:40 AM
reiukitsune
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Well it appears a local hardware store advised my husband to change the receptacle, as he just bought one that fits the plug.

I'm really nervous now.

I wonder how this project will turn out. To add insult to injury, I just saw a listing for a stackable unit for $200.00 a few miles away ...

Thanks all, I really appreciate it. I'm going to forward this to him.


Monica
 
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Old 11-02-05, 11:41 AM
reiukitsune
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John Nelson,

It's the 5-20P.
 
  #8  
Old 11-02-05, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by reiukitsune
It's the 5-20P.
You are allowed to replace a 15A receptacle (5-15) with a 5-20 if and only if the circuit is wired with 12 gauge wire and has a 20A breaker. If you cannot verify both of these facts, DO NOT change the receptacle.

Also, DO NOT just increase the breaker from 15A to 20A.

If you have 14 gauge wire on the circuit, you must run a new 20A circuit with 12 gauge wire to safely power this dryer. You may need to do this anyway depending on what else is on your existing dryer circuit.
 
  #9  
Old 11-02-05, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by reiukitsune
Well it appears a local hardware store advised my husband to change the receptacle, as he just bought one that fits the plug.

I'm really nervous now.
You should be nervous. You should also talk to the management at this hardware store. They handed out advice that could burn your house down.

If the wiring on this circuit (ALL of it) is 12 gage and if the breaker is 20 amp then it is okay to install the receptacle. However, if the wiring is only 14 gage and/or the breaker is only 15 amp then you have created a fire hazard. In this case the only safe solution is to run a new circuit 20 amp for this unit.

Please don't use this unit you either verify the wiring (ALL of the wiring) and the circuit breaker, or until a new circuit is run.
 
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Old 11-02-05, 12:33 PM
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You should be very nervous. You identified the plug on your washing machine as a 5-20P. Now please use the same chart to identify the receptacle (the old one that the plug would not fit).

Also, make sure that you can tell the difference between the 5-20P and the 6-20P.
 
  #11  
Old 11-02-05, 04:58 PM
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It is very important that you be sure if you are looking at a 5-20 or 6-20. Remember that in the chart, suffix R is the receptacle and suffix P is the plug ( they are mirror images of each other)
 
  #12  
Old 11-02-05, 09:09 PM
reiukitsune
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My receptacle is a 5-15R in my new home. My plug for my 15 year old kenmore laundry center is 5-20P. I currently have existing water spigots for the washing machine, natural gas line valve , moisture exhaust venting and waste water plumbing. I'm hoping the wiring is up to code, as the house was inspected prior to purchase by a home inspector.

I'm going to try call an electrician tomorrow...before my husband comes home to attempt to install this. Thanks for highlighthing the safety issue.

Thank you for all your replys. I really appreciate it, especially during a stressful time like this.

Monica
 

Last edited by reiukitsune; 11-03-05 at 07:40 AM. Reason: for clarity..lol
  #13  
Old 11-02-05, 09:13 PM
reiukitsune
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How exactly do I verify 12 gauge wiring and 20amp circuit?
 
  #14  
Old 11-03-05, 05:23 AM
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To verify a 20 amp circuit breaker, look at the breaker itself. It will say 15 or 20.

To verify the cable, you will have to look at it. If any is exposed in the basement near the panel then you can look there. You can (and should also) also look at the wires connected to each device, although at the devices you may not be able to see the cable, and will have to go by wire thickness.
 
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Old 11-04-05, 08:41 AM
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I'm hoping the wiring is up to code, as the house was inspected prior to purchase by a home inspector.
In my experience, having a home inspection has little or nothing to do with ensuring code compliance. Any good inspector will likely find the really obvious violations but they'll be the first to tell you they aren't code experts.
 
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