How a Residential Electrician Can Make an Electrical Hookup for Your New Dryer

If you're planning to buy a new dryer, you might need to hire a residential electrician to install a new outlet for it. If your house is fairly new and it was built with a laundry room, you might have an available outlet. If your house is a few decades old and this is the first new dryer to be installed in it, a new outlet may be needed to meet electrical codes. Here's a look at what's needed to hook up a new, modern dryer that has a 4-prong plug.

New Dryers Often Need A 240-Volt Outlet

Older electric dryers had 3-prong plugs, but when electrical codes were upgraded to make dryers safer to use, the cords were changed to 4 prongs, and the outlet required was changed to 240 volts. When you buy a new dryer, be sure to check the cord. Some dryers don't come with a cord so you can choose a 3-prong cord if you already have a 3-prong outlet.

However, if a residential electrician installs a new outlet for a new dryer, they need to install a 240v outlet with 4 prongs. Having an upgraded outlet improves the safety of using the appliance, and that's a good thing for your family.

The Electrician Chooses The Right Location

A good place for the dryer to be installed is against an exterior wall so the vent can go directly outside. That's also good for an electrician, since they may find wiring behind the wall that they can use for the new outlet.

Even if no existing wiring is present, the electrician can run wiring from the electrical panel behind the wall to the new outlet. A dryer outlet is often installed a few feet off of the ground and above the dryer so the dryer won't smash up against the outlet and so the outlet is easy to reach.

The Electrician May Need To Install A Subpanel

If your older home has an older electrical panel, there might not be enough space to hook up another outlet. A dryer needs a dedicated outlet, so the circuit can't be shared with anything else. If your electrical panel doesn't have room, the electrician might need to install a subpanel in the laundry room.

A subpanel is like a small electrical panel that connects to the main panel. It provides the extra circuit needed to support a new 240v outlet. It also makes resetting the circuit breaker an easy job when the subpanel is in the same room as the new dryer and outlet.