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How to Install a Dryer Receptacle

Electric dryers require both 240-volt and 120-volt circuits in order to work. The 240 volts are used to heat up the elements that ultimately dry your clothes and the 120-volt circuit is needed to deliver power to the timers, buzzer and controls. This does not mean that you have to run two independent circuits, however. All that is required is a dryer receptacle fed by a three-conductor wire or 10/3g wire. Here is how to wire a dryer receptacle.


  1. Run the wire from the electrical panel to the place where the dryer will be located. Check the links in Resources below for help on how to run wire through ceilings or below the floor if you need to.
  2. You do not need a junction box installed when wiring a dryer receptacle. The wire feeds directly into the outlet and the receptacle has a large backplate that gets secured to the wall, so all you need to do is pull the wire out of the wall through a small hole.
  3. Use the electrical wire stripper to cut the outer sheathing of the NM cable to a length of about 6 inches. Carefully cut away the outer sheath and paper insulator.
  4. Slide the wires through the electrical wire connector and secure the connector by tightening the clamp screws. Be sure that the connector's clamp tightens down over the sheathed section of the cable, not the exposed wires. Remove the lock nut from the connector.
  5. On the dryer receptacle housing, you will see a knockout. Remove the knockout and guide the wires through it. Secure the connector to the housing using the lock nut.
  6. Line up the housing against the wall, making sure to keep it level. With a pencil, mark the holes you will use to anchor the receptacle to the wall.
  7. Use the cordless drill and bit to drill small holes where you marked the wall. Insert the anchors and make sure they are flush with the wall. Line up the dryer receptacle housing over the anchors and secure the housing to the wall by driving screws into the anchors.
  8. Cut your wires so that there is enough available to connect to the receptacle's terminals. Use the wire strippers to remove about 3/4 inches of insulation from each wire.
  9. Connect the green or bare copper wire to the green grounding screw found on the receptacle's housing. Then, connect the white neutral wire to the terminal with the silver screw (this is usually the center terminal).
  10. The black and red wires get connected to the other two terminals and it doesn't matter which wire goes to which terminal, as they are interchangeable. Just be sure that their terminals have brass or darker-colored screws, NOT silver.
  11. With the wires connected, simply screw the cover plate onto the receptacle housing.
  12. Back at the electrical panel, install your 2-pole, 30-amp breaker in an available slot. Remember, the panel is LIVE, so be careful!! If you don't feel comfortable, by all means call a qualified electrician to handle this part of the job. If you choose to do it yourself, proceed with caution and be sure to leave the breaker OFF when installing it.
  13. Feed enough cable into the panel so you can easily reach the terminals on the breaker. Follow the same wire stripping instructions as provided in Step 3, with all of the outer sheath removed from the section of wire inside the panel. Use another electrical wire connector to secure the cable to the electrical panel by using one of the available knockouts.
  14. Strip 3/4 inches of insulation off of the wires and make your connections. Connect the green or bare copper wire to the panel's grounding bar and the white wire to the panel's neutral bar. The black and red wires get connected to the two available terminals on the breaker. Make sure that everything is tight and neat, then turn the breaker on.
  15. Back at the dryer receptacle, use your voltage tester to test for power. If you insert a probe into the outside two slots, you should get a reading of 240 volts. If you insert a probe into either one of the outside slots and the other probe into the center slot, you should read 120 volts. If you get those readings, your dryer receptacle is ready for use. Plug the dryer in and start drying clothes!
  16. Don't forget to add your new breaker information to your electric panel's charter.

Things You Will Need

  • Dryer receptacle
  • 2-pole, 30-amp breaker
  • 10/3g NM cable (enough to run from the electrical panel to the dryer location)
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wire strippers
  • Electrical wire connector
  • Electrical wire stripper
  • Pencil
  • Anchor kit
  • Cordless drill and bit
  • Voltage tester

Tips

  • Dryer receptacles can come in a variety of styles. Some DO require a junction box in which to be secured to. This guide provides connectivity instructions for the type that doesn't require a junction box.
  • If installed in a garage or basement on a masonry wall, the wire needs to be run to the receptacle through EMT conduit and the conduit must be attached to the wall using masonry screws and conduit straps.