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40 Amp Dryer To 30 Amp socket?

Hi everyone! I was given a dryer with a 40 amp plug, but the apartments I live in have a 30 amp socket on them. Can I simply replace the plug on the dryer and be good to go? 

Thanks in advance!
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Posted 2018-03-10T16:53:31+0000  by BryantM BryantM
Hi BryantM,

No, changing the cord is not necessarily the solution. That 40 amp plug is there because the dryer requires a 40 amp service. Check the specification plate on the dryer to verify the required amperage.

If it is 40 amps then you will need an electrician to upgrade the circuit to a 40 amp circuit and change the cord before you can use the dryer.

Posted 2018-03-12T18:04:53+0000  by Mike_HD_OC
Hello BryantM.  Welcome to the Community!

Whenever we try to advise customers about electrical issues, a certain amount of caution is needed.  Electrical issues are easily misunderstood and are often more complex and potentially dangerous than most DIY projects.  Mike is carefully correct in asking you to check the dryer for load requirements.  This is important for electric ranges, which can need either 40 or 50 amp service.  What I can say is that there is a NEMA standard for dryer outlets, and they ALL run off 30 amp circuits.  Prior to 1996 3 prong plugs and outlets, (NEMA 10-30), were used, as the chassis ground was tied into the circuit neutral.  After 1996 and for all new electrical work, a 4 prong system, (NEMA 14-30), has been required.  This isolated the appliance ground to its own wire which is a much better and safer method.

Why do I bring this up?  Because unlike most appliances we buy, electric ranges and dryers do NOT come with the electrical cord attached.  The manufacturer does not know whether your home has a 3 prong or 4 prong outlet and the cords are too expensive to just throw both in with the appliance.  As such the installer chooses and purchases the power cord.  Not all these installs are done by licensed electricians.

Since you have a "hand-me-down" dryer, it came with the cord that was used in its previous home.  It appears that the previous home had an incorrectly installed range outlet on the dryer circuit, which forced the installation of a range cord in order to hook up the dryer.  Obviously this should never had been done, but at least you don't have to worry about the electrical gremlins in that home. 

Yes, you will need a 3 prong, NEMA 10-30P dryer cord in order to hook up your dryer.

Go online and search for the make and model of your dryer and print out the pages of the installation manual so you have a reference on how to attach the cord wires to the back of the appliance.  It will have instructions for both 3 and 4 prong installs, so make sure you follow the 3 prong installation instructions.  Be especially careful about the grounding procedure.  If in doubt have a professional installer or an electrician do this for you.



Posted 2018-03-13T15:14:29+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
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