Wall Outlet Questions 110/120 to 220/240?

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  #1  
Old 04-07-16, 11:12 AM
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Wall Outlet Questions 110/120 to 220/240?

Hello there, I'm basically completely inexperienced with any DIY matters. I just need some help determining my best course of action to hook up my dryer in my laundry room. As you know, most clothes dryers require a 220/240v outlet, which is why I was dumbfounded when I realized the laundry room didn't have the proper outlet, I took the cover off the wall and took a picture for you guys.
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Is this a normal 110 outlet, or did they convert a 220 for some reason?
I took a cover off another outlet and found that it had one less wire, so...I'm confused.

If it is a 220 that they converted, what would be the steps to remedy this situation so I can once again dry clothes within a normal 21st century time frame? If it is just a weird 110, with the proper outlet installed, how unsafe would it be to plug a 220 dryer into it? If it just takes longer to dry my clothes, that would be an option worth considering. I have also been told step-up transformers are an option, but that seems like a fire hazard. Opinions?
Also, if you need more information, just ask, I really want to dry some clothes.
 
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Old 04-07-16, 11:20 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

We have 120volts and 240volts. 110 and 220 are no longer used as they are incorrect terms.

It looks like that receptacle is set up as a split receptacle for two circuits. That is an extremely common wiring method as one cable can supply two circuits..... one for the washer and one for the GAS dryer. You probably have gas there and want to install an electric dryer.

An electric dryer will require a new 30A 240v circuit as you only have 20A at that location.
 
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Old 04-07-16, 11:56 AM
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The most likely explanation is the one PJ provided. One other possibility is that half of that receptacle is controlled by a switch -- odd in a laundry room, but who knows? If you have a mystery switch nearby, this could be the explanation.
 
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Old 04-07-16, 09:24 PM
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I too suspect two 120 volt circuits on the receptacle.

An electric dryer would take forever to dry clothes at 120 volts, if you could even get it to run.
 
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Old 04-08-16, 04:53 AM
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I wish there were gas, but it's just electric. So, being that there are no unaccounted for switched sockets or anything, i should be able to put the proper plug in, and hopefully just lose a 120 somewhere else, right?
 
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Old 04-08-16, 07:53 AM
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I find it very strange you don't have a 30amp circuit in your laundry room.
Are you positive you don't have an electrical box somewhere in the room with a cable inside?

Even most stackable dryers or laundry centers require a 30amp circuit.

Can you post a picture showing all breakers in the main panel?
 
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Old 04-08-16, 07:58 AM
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The receptacle is different for 240 volts @ 30 amps, 240 volts at 20 amps, and 120 volts at 15 amps (latter may be fouind on 20 amp circuits). The slot arrangements are different.

The 12 gauge (14 gauge?) cable entering that outlet box cannot power a dryer requiring 30 amps.
 
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Old 04-08-16, 08:22 AM
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The laundry area requires at least one dedicated 20 amp 120 volt circuit to receptacle(s) within that area, a minimum of one round 20 amp single or one 15 amp duplex. If the circuit you have opened up is this circuit then it may not be repurposed as a 240 volt circuit.

For a multiwire branch circuit (typical red/white/black with 240 volts between red and black) only one half is needed to satisfy the dedicated laundry circuit requirement. The other half may have served other receptacles and lights as the circuit daisy chained through other rooms.

This paragraph was meant to replace the above double post except the double post woudn't let me edit it.
 
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Old 04-08-16, 08:44 AM
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Given that those wires are stabbed into the slots, it is probably only #14 meaning it's not even 20A. More like 15A. This circuit cannot power a standard electric dryer.

If you want an electric dryer, you'll need to pull a new circuit from the panel using a double-pole 30A breaker, #10-3/g NM-B cable, and a 14-30R dryer receptacle. The dryer will need a corresponding 14-30P cord set, and you'll need to remove or disconnect the bonding strap in the dryer wiring compartment per the manufacturer's instructions for four-wire circuits.
 
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Old 04-08-16, 12:25 PM
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Picture of the panel as requested.
 
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Old 04-08-16, 02:31 PM
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Make and model number of your panel please. Is that the main panel (first panel after the meter).
 
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Old 04-08-16, 03:14 PM
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I don't see any way possible there is no gas line in your laundry room. Looking at the electric, your laundry room was set up for gas, two each 20 amp circuits on a MWBC (shared neutral).
You only have 1 double pole 30 amp breaker and that is marked water heater.
The double pole 50 amp breaker is marked range/stove.

Be very careful working on or touching the receptacle you pulled away from the wall. Two breakers need to be shut off to work on the device (the black and red wires) and the breakers are not tied together as required or recommended.
 
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