I have a question on the 220V dryer outlet I have.
The outlet is a three prong outlet. The middle top one is straight slot,
the other two at the bottom are angled. My older dryer plug matches that.
My new dryer also has a 3 prone plug, but the top prone is a little "L
shaped" prong. Is this unusual does it mean I need a new outlet or some
Thanks in advance,
My range plug is three straight blades, but they are all oriented
"north-south". The three straight blades on my dryer plug is not all in the
same direction. The top middle one is oriented "north-south" but the other
two are angled.
The new plug has the same two bottom blades, just the top middle one is "L"
It's not whether it's range or dryer, it's the amp-rating of the plug
that's the difference.
The straight-blade is 50A, the one w/ the L is 30A.
Assuming the new implies new manufactured not just new to you and so the
30A plug is OEM and the existing wall circuit is wired properly for 30A
or greater, then you can correctly do either--change the outlet or
change the plug.
The requirement is that the plug be rated for at least the amperage of
the appliance/load and the circuit must, of course, be capable of that
load. 50A would have been a little unusual for a normal dryer hookup
but using the higher-rated plug is ok.
If the old dryer plug is of the detachable kind rather than molded in,
you could just swap it to the new dryer; if they're both molded probably
just as well to change out the wall plug to match the new dryer.
I intended to add "ok" in the sense the plug is conservative for the
circuit if it were actually 30A wiring; it's probably a Code violation
as it would allow an appliance of over the circuit rating to be plugged
in w/o somebody knowing.
So, on retrospect when I actually write the above, I'd recommend the new
30A plug rather than the swap out and munging up a preformed plug
(assuming it came w/ it molded).
My older dryer no longer works, and it has the molded outlet plug. I have a
new dryer laying around in the new (being remodeled house) so I figure I
will move that here but the plug does not work.
I did not check to see if the outlet is working, in other words, it may be
broken so that's why the old dryer does not start. I am trying to figure
out how I can determine if that outlet has current. The only thing that
plugs into it is my dryer and it won't start. I am not sure which circuit
it is (some of mine are not labeled).
I have a multimeter that can check voltage on a regular outlet (120v) but I
plugged that into the dryer outlet and get nothing.but I am not sure the
pins are sticking all the way in correctly.
So I think I need to determine if my dryer outlet is working or not, and I
don't know how to do that with the older dryer not working and the new dryer
not pluggable. If I can test that then I can check with breaker and that
would tell me the amp for that circuit. I think it's 30amp.
It sounds like you may not have 240 volt at the outlet. Use your tester
between the ground/neutral and each of the hot legs. You should get 120
volts. If you don't get 120 volts from each hot leg to ground, you won't get
any reading when you test between the two hot legs. This would likely be the
reason that the existing dryer isn't working
As RBM says, assuming this multimeter is an actual meter, there's no
fundamental difference between checking an outlet regardless of the
voltage--set the meter on the proper AC Volt scale and probe between the
two hots (the angled) and between each of them and the ground--there
should be 120 to ground and 240 between. If your not sure you're
reaching the plug contacts w/ the test leads, plug the old dryer in
leaving just a smidge of the blades exposed and probe there. Be careful
to not drop lead across and short, etc., etc., ... :) Or, pull the rear
cover and test at the point where the pigtail is attached is pretty simple.
This new info raises the question of "was it working" and when did it
quit working and what were symptoms, etc.?
As for finding out which circuit, I'd start by going to the breaker box
and look at each 240V breaker to see if any happened to be tripped--if
it was working but now isn't, possibly tripped a breaker (say if a
heater element happened to short).
Obviously there will be a range and perhaps water heater, etc., you
should be able to find them by trial and error and isolate which one
must be the dryer circuit.
OK I just did a complete trial and error on my entire house circuit, and
base on process of elimination, I have determined that my dryer circuit is a
double breaker, each labeled "30" taking up slots 7 and 9. The range is
also a double breaker labeled "50", and the central AC unit takes up 4 slots
labeled "60". There is a window unit in the garage also taking up two slots
labeled "30", water heater two slots "30", all the rest are 20 and 15
So if it's using two 30A breakers, it's 30A right?
I then used my multimeter to test a normal 120V outlet, put the two pins in
and it says 124.
Knowing my range works, I pulled out my range, put the two pins into the
slot and reading is zero. But as RBM says it may be not long enough to
engage so I plugged the range back in but did not push the plug all the way
in, and still left a little of the prone exposed, the range is on. I
touched the multimeter pins on two of the three legs exposed metal, and
reading is 0.
Both plugs are molded so I don't think I can change the plugs between old
and new dryers.
Is there something I can buy at say a HD that can test to make sure the
outlet works? I know they sell those 120V test plugs that lights up are
there ones for 240V?
OK I just repeated the test on the dryer. I plugged the dryer plug in 3/4
way and left the metal blade about 1/4" exposed. I turned the multimeter on
and set to test AC voltage.
Let's label the bottom legs "L" and "R" for left and right legs, the the top
center one "T".
If I touch L and T, reading is 123, if I touch T and R, reading is 123, if I
touch L and R, reading is 245.
So it means the outlet and circuit is working, right?
Yes, how about just taking the plate off/out of the box and doing the
testing -direct- on the wiring in the wall..
Theres the possibility that one of the screw/terminals is loose or
incorrectly hooked up in there.
By taking the probes of a meter and holding only the plastic parts and
sticking them into every combination of two of the holes in the
Outlets have voltage, not current unless something is plugged into
them and turned on.
Put your meter on the AC voltage setting, and if your meter doesn't
have autoranging, and most don't, put it on a setting that goes to 240
volts or higher.
You own, iirc a pretty expensive house and you do repairs all the
time. It's time for you to by a volt-ohmmeter. (OH, below I see that
you do.) Often called multimeter. You can get by with a 15 or 20
dollar digital meter from Radio Shack with auto polarity, or from
Harbor Frieght for 4 or 5 dollars. Home Depot has something for 15
dollrs too. Come to think, the Harbor Freight meter only goes up to
200 AC. You won't burn it out with 240 I think, but you won't get a
good reading either.
For this you can use a neon test light, with two leads attached. If
it lights up, it's over 50 volts AC and a dryer receptacle will either
be good or zero, not likely anything in between. Stray voltages as
have been discussd here are not enough to light a neon light.
Are all your breakers ON. If it's 240 and it is, it will have 2
breakers harnessed together. Or it will be twice as wide as most of
the other breakers, same thign.
What scale is your meter on. Has to be over the voltage of the
receptacle. Though if you had a needle meter, yuu could watch the
needle fly over all the way to the right. It probably woudn't break
the meter if it was set on 200 and was actually 220.
Does this possibly broken dryer have a mechanical timer? Does it
move? Can you put your ear to the thing and hear the clock running.
If digital, it's probalby rather new and rather expensive. Is there a
circuit drawn on the back or inside and does it list a fuse.
Use a neon test light, from radio shack and almost certainly in the
electric tool part of Home Depot. Harbor Freight has a set of three
of them or something, all diffferent, that I bought but haven't used
yet. One has a sharp point for piercing wire insulation.
If the one that's there now is broken and unreparable, rather than
just take the plug you could take the whole cord. Probably easy to
Yeah, save the old receptacle in case your next dryer after this one
requires that, or in case you sell your house and your next house
requires it, or so you can leave it behind for the next owner, in case
the dryer he brings with him requires the old receptacle.
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