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Are Most Dryers 220?

Steve Smith

If you install dryers or work with home appliances you know that your dryer is a higher voltage than a lamp or any electronic device run from a typical outlet. If you have no experience with appliances, you at least know that your outlet in your laundry room is different from the other outlets. This is because the dryer runs on a higher voltage.

Dryers are 220 Volts

The dryer runs on a different voltage than other appliances.

Most dryers are 220 volt appliances, which means they run on a power current of 220 volts. In contrast, your home outlets are 110 volts, a lower power rating. This is ideal for lamps, toasters and your television because they don't use as much power. For the dryer, however, 110 volts isn't enough. They need to create heat, run a large fan and operate the tumble feature of the device. This all requires more power.


If you notice that the outlet near the dryer is bigger and shaped differently than others, you probably have wondered why. The reason is to allow a large cord to be plugged into the outlet, one designed for the 220 volt connection. It also prevents other smaller appliances from being plugged into this outlet. This outlet is standard in shape and size, so any 220 volt dryer plugs right in. The home owner does not have to change outlets if they change dryers.

Power Ratings

The rating of power on your dryer is written in a form like this 220/240 volts. That means it is designed to run on power in that range. Most dryers are referred to as running on this type of power since it is the standard for dryers in the United States. You will not find any dryers running on lower voltages, because they require too much power. You may find dryers capable of handling higher voltages, but they still use the same power rated cord and plug as the 220/240 dryer. This is to make installation easier and to make the machine compatible with existing plugs.

European Dryers

European dryers, and all other appliances including small TVs, run on 220 volts since Europeans use a 220 volt power system. This means anyone traveling to Europe must buy an adapter to convert the incoming power to 110 volts to use American appliances in this country. In addition, you need an adapter to plug the cord into the European-style outlet. This means the dryers in Europe are rated for 220 volts. But since the European power system is different, dryers in Europe require different types of cords.