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How to Wire a Dryer

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4.4/5 - (23 votes)

How to wire a dryer

Well, the first question asked is always what size wire.? How many amps ?. Well, that is going to depend on your dryer. Look on the back panel. But most if not all dryers made today are looking for a 30 amp circuit with 10/3 #10 AWG wire.

The breakdown

A 30 amp circuit means just that and nothing more or less. Why? Well, the wire the breaker the dryer plug the outlet are designed to carry a max of 30 amps. And more importantly, the breaker is designed to trip if more than that. For instance, if your dryer is pulling more than 30 amps and you have a 50 amp breaker on the other end, well let’s just say you will big issues melted everything including a melted house. So stick with what you should have and not what someone gave you…

The Dryer Plug.

Sure you can do something really dumb and hard wire the wire directly into the dryer. But remember that 30 amp wire can be used to pull your car out of a ditch. So when and if that dryer goes on fire try to pull the dryer out of the house with that wire connected. Or servicing it and turning off the wrong breaker. Ok enough with that.

It’s a simple understanding. Newer dryers need 4 wires. A ground, two hots and a NEUTRAL. green, black, red and white. The ground wire (bare copper) is never counted.

dryer plug 432412704Pin

Now the backside of the outlet.

Connect each wire to the outlet as shown for your outlet. Tighten each screw nice and tight.

The Wire

You will need a 10/3 wire. This should have four wires and will have an orange cover like in the picture below.

10 3 wire 862646855Pin

The Breaker.

Although your panel may look different rest assure the way it gets wired in will be the same. First off and most important turn the main breaker off. The two hots and it does not matter which ones go where on the TWO POLE 30 AMP BREAKER. Your ground will go to the grounding bar and the neutral will go to the neutral bar. As shown in the picture below.

30 amp breaker 626274576Pin

The Neutral Wire.

The neutral wire is very important on newer dryers. With computers doing everything from putting the clothes in the dryer. These computers, lights and whatever it has uses 110 volts. One of the reasons you need that neutral wire. It’s also the return path of the unbalanced.

The Hotwires.

Now it doesn’t matter what color these wires are, they can both be black. but you’ll see that you’ll have a red and black. These go to the breaker as shown.

The Ground Wire.

Yup very important and if you don’t know why you should use a ground you really shouldn’t be reading this. Just use it, Ok. without a ground chances are the breaker won’t trip if and when needed.

Neutral wire 303846171Pin
30 amp ground 103312333Pin

Please keep in mind a dryer can be wired either like what is shown on this page (4 wire ) or 2 wire with a ground.

See my video and page on how to wire a 220-volt outlet if you need info on that type (three prongs)

Now go help your wife dry those clothes

Comments ( 25 )

  1. I’m buying a new oven, but on the specifications for the oven it says 40 amps and 240 Volts. My outlet is a 220V , 40 amps, would that work for the new oven even thou the spec says it requires a 240V to run the oven? FYI; i’m buying the oven from homedepot.
    Model # JB250DFWW
    Internet # 204370951
    Store SO SKU # 1000017087

  2. I’ve been to three diffrent store’s and was unable to get a clear answer to any of my question .Once I looked on line I found you guys that give me the answers I needed..Thanks

  3. Im moving my elertic dryer I cant pull wire out of wall so can I put juntion box in line and go on to new location of deyer.

  4. I came here to get what sized wire to buy for the dryer circuit. The previous owner used questionable wire and when I plugged my dryer in, it lit up the light in the dryer but then died. So on your site I finally got the information needed. Thank You.

    I have another electrical question. since it is very dark here at night, for safety I want to install flood lights(without motion detectors) We need to install 6 light fixtures each has 2 bulbs, and the 2 “3-way” and the 4 “4-way” light switches… The question is if this is okay for a single 20 amp circuit.

    This is so anyone thinks there is a need to turn them on, they can do so from the room they are in.

    Again Thank You !
    4way (4) switches so each room has a switch to turn them on.

  5. can you wire a 30 gal. hot water heater to a drier 220v outlet

    • Depends on what amperage the water heater is calling for. A dyer should be 30 amps. Most bigger hot water heaters, 40 and 50 gallons is 40 amp. So check how many amps your hearer is rated for.

  6. I have a double 40A breaker on a dedicated circuit for electric clothes dryer. I don’t know gauge size wire going from there to the dryer receptacle. I do know receptacle needs to be replaced because it arced last year when plugging the dryer back in thanks to a loose nail in the receptacle; I intend to use a GFCI there, (not a GFC breaker). Outlet hasn’t been used since then. This is wiring from 1976, fortunately not copper to aluminum. The new dryer will be a standard household unit that does not require 40A double breaker. What sizes of all these should be used as replacements for the 1976 stuff? I haven’t bought a replacement dryer yet so I don’t have the mfr specs. I can swap out MOST replacements beyond the breaker box, but an electrician will have to do anything inside the breaker box.

  7. Can I hook up another 220dryer outlet to the same breaker

  8. Thanks for the info very helpful

  9. Hooking up a new dryer. I have one main panel in the house. Should I wire the neutral and ground wire together on the same bar in the panel box? Thanks

  10. The wire you are using is called 10/3 wire. Like you said it has a black, a red, a white and a bare ground. So there are 4 wires in it, but is it NOT called 10/4. 10/4 wire would have 5 five conductors because the ground is not counted. The correct wire is 10/3 which has 3 conductors + ground. This will probably cause some confusion for your readers since if they go to a supplier and ask for 10/4 that you specify, they will get the wrong wire for this application. It’s probably best to use the correct trade terms and add clarification for your readers.

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