How to Add a 220 Volt Line for an Electric Clothes Dryer

Only one appliance can safely run on a 220/240-volt circuit, but fortunately adding a new heavy-duty circuit--whether it is a 240-volt or 220-volt circuit depends on the age of your home--for a new appliance is a simple process. Before beginning, however, make sure there is room in your service panel for an additional circuit. You will need two adjacent empty slots for a heavy-duty circuit.

Adding Receptacle

Step 1

Decide where you will be mounting the receptacle as its location determines how it will be mounted.  Heavy-duty receptacles come in two varieties--wall and floor mounts.

If you are installing the receptacle in an unfinished basement and will be attaching it to concrete, skip to Step 3. 

Step 2

Cut a hole for the receptacle.  Wall receptacle boxes do not need to be attached to studs, and can be affixed with screws or nails.

Floor-mounted receptacles do not require boxes.  Skip to the next section to complete the wiring.

Step 3

Attach metal conduit to the concrete wall.  The conduit is a hollow tube that protects the wires running inside it.

You will thread the cable through the conduit and attach the receptacle to the conduit.  The conduit is only necessary where the wire touches the concrete.

Wiring the Circuit

Step 1

Run non-metallic cable from the receptacle or its box to the service panel using fish tape.  Push the semi-rigid tape along the path beginning at the receptacle.

Once it reaches the service panel, attach the electrical cable to the fish tape and pull it back through.  Leave at least 8 inches of exposed wire at each end.

If you are running cable in an unfinished basement, simply string the wires along the ceiling joists.  Thread the cable through the conduit.

Attach the ends of the wire to the receptacle’s terminals. 

Step 2

Turn off the power to the circuit breaker box. 

Step 3

Remove the pieces of metal covering the slots for the new breaker with a screwdriver. 

Step 4

Connect the black and red wires from the circuit to the two-pole breaker, then connect the neutral line to the neutral bus bar.  Snap the breaker into place in the empty space in the panel.

Step 5

Restore power to the service panel. 

Things You Will Need

  • Utility knife or keyhole saw
  • Screwdriver
  • Non-metallic cable
  • Wire cutters
  • Receptacle
  • Receptacle box (optional)
  • Drill and masonry bit (optional)
  • Hacksaw (optional)
  • Electrical conduit (optional)
  • Fasteners
  • Fish tape
  • 220/240-volt circuit breaker

About the Author

Mark C. Gribben is a writer living near Columbus, Ohio who is a nationally recognized crime historian. Gribben earned his Master's degree in public administration from Michigan State University in 1998.

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