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How to Wire a Dryer

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. im moving to a new apt i have an older dryer with 3 prong 220 plug. the new apartment have 4 prong outlet for the dryer.can i just change the dryer wire to 4wire.thanks

    • Can u help me? I had a guy to run a 2 20 for my dryer but he never put in da outlet box.. so I did,it only had 3 wires.. A neutral a ground and a hot…but my dryer plug has 4 prongs.. what I did was cut a small piece and ran it from both side of the hot and then connected my hot wire to dryer comes on for minute and then cut off… can u tell me what I’m doing wrong..Please

      • There is a lot of unanswered questions here. What size wire did he install ?. And why only a 2 wire. I would check that wire in the panel. The white wire should be connected to the breaker as well as the black wire. Besides the wire from the dryer. How is that connected to the dryer. If your dryer needs a neutral than you”ll have to replace the wire.

    • Yes, you just need the to have the two hots and the ground.

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