What kind of socket is this?

Hi -
Just moved in. The house has a gas dryer hookup. We of course have an electric dryer.
I did notice a heavy duty socket on the wall. It looks a lot like a NEMA TT30 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NEMA_connector#NEMA_TT.E2.80.9330) but with vertical slots instead of the 45 degree angled slots. The house was build in the early 80's. Any ideas at all on what this could be? Any chance of hooking a dryer to it?
Not too hopeful. But I thought it's worth asking. Short of using that outlet, what should I expect to pay a contractor to run a proper 250V socket? The garage is finished.
Thanks! Brian
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genkuro wrote:

You might want to think about getting a gas dryer due to energy costs. Worth checking out for your area. If you have an electric dryer you could sell it.
Lou
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It may be an obsolete plug. Back in the 60's I remember an electric dryer that had an oversized version of a standard three prong 120 volt power cord.
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re: The garage is finished
What's this got to do with your situation?
re: what should I expect to pay a contractor to run a proper 250V socket?
Any where from "pretty reasonable" to "go buy a gas dryer, it'll be a lot cheaper"
We don't know where you live so how could we quote labor/parts costs? We don't know the condition/size of your service, so how could we tell you if it could handle a 250 appliance without an upgrade? There's far too many variables for anyone to give you an estimate that would be meaningful.
The only thing I will suggest is that after you get a estimate from a local contractor, get a price for a gas dryer and see how much you can get for your electric one. You might find that it's a lot more cost effective in the long run to sell and switch, unless you're on some sort of cheap "village electric".
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Gas as fuel must then be greatly cheaper than electrcity???? Just estimating based on the average residential cost of electrcity here of 10 cents Canadian per kilowatt hour. One dryer load every day of the week for one hour and with dryer heater elements of say 4500 watts (assume heaters are on 80% of drying time). Kilowatts (per month) = 30 x 4.5 x 0.8 = 108 Kw. At ten cents that's $10.80 per month? Or around $130 per year. If it costs say $300 to scrap the electric dryer and buy and install, for the first time in that house, a gas dryer (presuming gas is available? It's not available here! We tend to be all hydro generated electric for everything!) that's approx equivalent to two years of operation using existing dryer. The OP's post conveys IMO not a great knowledge of electrical matters; therefore concur with idea of getting an electrician to check that existing circuit and if possible convert it to suitable 230 volts for existing dryer. Our dryer is wired with 3 wire 10 AWG (30 amps at 230 = 6900 watts) from a dedicated double pole breaker using the now standard dryer 4 pin socket. If electricity in OPs area costs, say twice as much (maybe 20c kwhr?) the argument may be different and payback for use of a gas dryer quicker? As mentioned gas (except bottled propane) not available here and electrcity is anyway viewed as much safer.
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I have had both gas and electricity in every house I've lived in for over half a century and in three different cities. Never (ever!) have I heard that <quote> electrcity is anyway viewed as much safer <unquote>. *Who* views it as much safer?
BTW...If you read the OP's post close enough to determine his electrical skills, then you should have seen the part where he said "The house has a gas dryer hookup".
If I read your post correctly, then you are saying that switching to a gas dryer would pay for itself in less than 2 years - less if he can sell his electric dryer for just about anything.
Since a gas dryer can last many, many years more than "2", it seems to be the cost effective way to go - especially if he has to call in an electrician to - at a minimum - replace his existing receptacle.
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As long as you have at least 10 guage wire on that circuit, all you have to do is change the outlet , and change the breaker to 30A, if it does not already have one. If your existing dryer plug just has 3 prongs on it, chances are you have an older dryer with no ground, so you would just need a 30 A 3 prong dryer outlet.
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genkuro wrote:

Use a voltmeter to make sure there's 230 volts between the two vertical slots.
If there is 230 volts there, then go to your breaker panel and figure out which breaker controls the power to that outlet and see what its rating is. If it's 30 amps then you could be good to go just by changing the outlet to a three slot one which matches your dryer plug.
If your dryer has a four prong plug then you're going to have to change it to a three prong plug/cord and learn something about proper appliance grounding.
Some of what I'm suggesting might just run you into code violations, so it might be best to get a licensed electrician to look things over and advise you.
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
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You can check if the existing wire has a ground (EG 10-3 with ground). If it does, then you can put a 4 prong outlet. Just make sure it is wired right at the panel.
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Mike rock wrote:

Agreed. I made the assumption that if the OP's luck was anything like mine that socket would have been wired with 10-3 sans ground and the "cold" third wire was connected to neutral/ground at the breaker box.
Jeff
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wrote:

Is this it?
http://www.levitonproducts.com/catalog/model_931.htm?sid C9A70AB204EA717FFC47E9542E3E77&pid08
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genkuro wrote: ...

Maybe; is it in the right location for a dryer or is it in the washer's spot? If it's in the right spot chances are it was there for a dryer.
Way to tell is, of course, measure the voltage across the two slots to see. 120V across each to ground/neutral; 240V between the two hots (assumes USA, of course).

...
Look at the chart here -- surely it will match one of these...
<http://www.generatorjoe.net/html/web/outlet/quailplug.html
You could, as mentioned, change out the socket assuming it is wired for 30A/240V, or alternatively, replace the cordset on the dryer w/ one for the socket (subject to same caveats somebody else noted about breaking Code going back to the 3-wire connection instead of 4 if that's what your dryer has)...
--
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dpb wrote:

Wow that is some chart:-))
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$300 was the estimate I got for the same about 20 years ago. I bought a gas dryer and sold the electric for $75.
Jimmie
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JIMMIE wrote:

You just confirmed the suggestion I made earlier:-))
Lou
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This is not necessarily as simple as replacing the outlet with a dryer outlet, even if the cable is #10 copper. Assuming it's a 3 wire feed cable, since the outlet you reference is 3 wire: In order to use it to connect to a 3 wire dryer outlet, it must have an insulated neutral, or be type "SE" cable, and originate in the main service panel. I suggest you contact a local electrician to have a look
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buy a gas dryer operating costs will be far lower
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