New dryer/range wiring

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  #1  
Old 10-13-06, 05:52 PM
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New dryer/range wiring

Alright. I bought my first washer and dryer, but now I can't plug it in! The outlet is for a range. It says it is "50 amp/250 volt." Well, the dryer requires 30 amps, and all I can find is 40 amps that will plug into that plug.

I saw discussion of "breakers" at another website, but I'm totally clueless. What do I need to do? The hardware store guy said to just plug it in, but that's against code, right? Can you give me some advice?

Thanks,
Kate
 

Last edited by oakland_kate; 10-13-06 at 06:09 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-13-06, 07:31 PM
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Kate,you need to find out exactly what ampacity and voltage that the washer and dryer require. If the existing installation is of a greater ampacity the change is fairly easy. If not it gets a little more complicated.

Is this a stacked unit or 2 seperate units? When you said a range outlet, is this in a kitchen?
 
  #3  
Old 10-14-06, 02:00 AM
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I'm no electrician, just a DIYer with some experience with home electrical work, so keep this in mind. Maybe I can help you get to the solution.

I understand that your problem is that the plug on your new dryer won't fit into the the existing outlet. I once had a similar problem and had to replace the dryer's outlet. Hopefully, that's all you'll have to do.

I get the picture that you are trying to plug a dryer into a stove outlet. Is that correct? If so, what about the stove. Do you have one, or do you plan to get one in the future (you'll need this outlet for it).

Assuming you don't have a stove, don't plan on getting one, and just want to use the stoves circuit for your dryer, I would think you can do it. Reason is because the stoves wires are bigger than a dryers because a stove has to carry a lot more power (like when all four burners are on) that a dryer.

"the dryer requires 30 amps, and all I can find is 40 amps that will plug into that plug." Don't understand the part about 40 amps; but, if you mean that the only outlet you can find that will fit the dryer's plug is rated 40amps, then you don't have a problem. As long as the outlet's amps is rated higher than the dryer requires, you're okay.

Good luck, and please post after you resolve this as I'm interested to see how this turns out.
 
  #4  
Old 10-14-06, 05:35 AM
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If I am reading this correctly the wall outlet for the range is 50 amp but you can find a 40 amp range cord that will fit into it. That would be technicallly ok if you were installing a 40 amp range.

The dryer cords will not fit because they are 30 amps.
You can use the existing wire from the panel to the kitchen and put a 30 amp breaker in the panel to replace the existing breaker, and then install a 30 amp recepticle in the kitchen that matches the dryer.

We need to know if there are three wires from the panel to the kitchen or four. Basicly if the recepticle has three prongs or four. Then we can guild you through the proper way to install your new recepticle.
 
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Old 10-14-06, 07:32 AM
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Thanks so much for the replies!

The outlet is rated 50 amps, and is three pronged. It is in the laundry room, and the range is gas, so this outlet is just for the dryer.

The dryer requires 30 amps. I can get a cord that fits my outlet that carries 40 amps, but not one that carries 30 amps.

Does that make more sense?
 
  #6  
Old 10-14-06, 08:38 AM
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You need to change the breaker to 30 amp. Change the recepticle to 30 amp and the cord to 30 amp.
 
  #7  
Old 10-14-06, 09:10 AM
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jwhite:

I'm trying to understand your advise and learn more about home electrical circuits, and hope you don't mind sharing your knowledge:

"You need to change the breaker to 30 amp": Is this because the dryer is 30 amp and if you use the existing 50 amp breaker you'll have a fire hazzard, i.e., the dryer could possibly draw more than 30 amps, which would either burn it up, or trip the breaker, but if the breaker is 50 amps, the dryer will burn up?

"Change the recepticle to 30 amp and the cord to 30 amp." Is this for the same reason, i.e., if the dryer should suddenly pull more than 30 amps, the first line of defense is the breaker, which should trip. If it doesn't, the next line of defense is the recepticle which I guess would burn up. And if it doesn't then I guess the wire would. Meaning, the dryer is protected by 3 other things before it will burn up. {Sorry for the long question}
 
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Old 10-14-06, 09:33 AM
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But dryers now should be four wire. It's grandfathered to three wires as long as you don't alter the circuit but if you change breaker and receptacle you will probably have to bring it up to current code which is four wire. How hard would it be to run a new cable?
 
  #9  
Old 10-14-06, 09:47 AM
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Yes with regards to the dryer being only rated 30 amps. If the breaker were a larger size, a fault could cause the circuit to draw over 30 amps but under the amps that would trip the 50 amp breaker, long enough to cause a fire.

If you are asking why it would be unsafe to change the breaker to 30 amps and use your existing 40 amp recepticle and cord, then I must admit that I do not think that this would be unsafe.

However it is a code violation. table 210.21 (B) (3) and table 210.24 both say that you need to use a 30 amp recepticle on a 30 amp circuit.

Edit to add that the recepticle becomming a line of defence is not what we are trying to do. That is what we are trying to prevent.
 
  #10  
Old 10-14-06, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047
But dryers now should be four wire. It's grandfathered to three wires as long as you don't alter the circuit but if you change breaker and receptacle you will probably have to bring it up to current code which is four wire. How hard would it be to run a new cable?

Ray, You are probably right. Just how far the grandfather clause goes is a matter for the local building inspector. I know I am splitting hairs when I say that if new cable is not run, then he is not installing a new circuit, but changing the breaker and recepticle is probably way over the top for leaning on the grandfather clause the way I just did.
 
  #11  
Old 10-14-06, 10:01 AM
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I want to add a point.

If someone gets a new appliance and the cord from that appliance fits into the recepticle they will assume that all is well. If that appliance draws 40 amps and the breaker is 30 amps the breaker will trip. Since the cord fit well that same person is likely to keep reseting the breaker a few times while trying to figure out what is wrong.

Repeatedly causing a breaker to trip on short or overload is causing some damage to the wires breaker outlets etc. It is not a good thing for the system to have this keep happening alot. If the recepticles and cords are all of a different design, it is much harder to plug the wrong rating appliance into the wrong recepticle.
 
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