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I have a stackable washer dryer combo with one 240V plug. The dryer works on 240V and the washer works 120V, but they have 1 control panel. The dryer died and the room only has one 120v and one 240v plug socket. Can I switch out the 240v plug for a 120v plug and get the washer to work? or are my only options either get a new 120v washer and a 240v dryer or add another 240v plug to the wall with a 30amp breaker?

Is this as simple as:

getting a 3 wire 120 cord-set of at least 14 gauge. connect neutral to neutral terminal black to black terminal ground to ground terminal

I have experience with 120v power and I'd like to do this myself if its easy.

  • What's the model number of the unit? If it only have 1 plug, it's unlikely switching that to 120V would do anything – mmathis Sep 26 '17 at 20:16
  • Take a picture of the existing outlet. It might be possible. – Chris Cudmore Sep 26 '17 at 20:21
  • Possible duplicate of diy.stackexchange.com/questions/81628/… – Chris Cudmore Sep 26 '17 at 20:26
  • Tried it out and worked! For others reference: just wired the black (hot) from the 120V plug to one of the 240V hots and the 120V neutral (white) and ground (green) to the ground. – A Buhl Sep 26 '17 at 21:28
  • @ABuhl The fact that "it worked" does not mean it is safe. You still need to change the breaker. I leave the question for others to debate the implications of tying the neutral and ground together that way. – Upnorth Sep 27 '17 at 18:25
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If your outlet looks like this:

enter image description here

You can simply buy an adapter.

See: Can I take a 220 line and convert it to a regular house outlet what would be the damage?

  • That won't provide overcurrent protection though. – Harper Sep 26 '17 at 20:27
  • I suppose you could use a 15 amp power bar in between the adapter and the washer. – Chris Cudmore Sep 29 '17 at 12:02
  • definitely not, power bars are not valid overcurrent protection. – Harper Sep 29 '17 at 19:37
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It depends.

  • If it's a 4-prong outlet right now -> YES
  • If it's a 3-prong outlet:
    • 3-prong and you don't mind retrofitting a ground wire -> YES
    • 3-prong and neutral is a bare-wire shield and one of the hot wires is white -> YES

You will need to change the breaker to an appropriate size, 120V/15-20A, and GFCI if your jurisdiction requires this. You can use a GFCI+receptacle instead of a GFCI breaker.

For 3-prong, if you can retrofit a ground wire, go 10 AWG and then you will also be able to use it in the future for modern, safe NEMA 14 dryer outlets. If you cannot retrofit a ground wire, then you'd need to reclassify each conductor, making the bare-wire neutral into "Ground"... the white hot wire into "Neutral"... and the black/color ground wire into the solitary "hot".

You must provide correct circuit protection for the washer circuit. This must be a 20A circuit, so you must change the breaker to 20A. A side-rule requires that if it's not a duplex receptacle, then the single receptacle must be 20A (with the extra "T").

In the service panel, you cap off one of the hots and then land

  • the ground wire on the ground bus
  • the neutral wire on the neutral bus
  • the remaining-in-service hot wire on the 20A circuit breaker. Or if it's GFCI, the hot and neutral go to the breaker, and the neutral pigtail to the neutral bus.

Do not cut off excess wire, cap it and tuck it in the back of the box. That will allow you to easily retrofit back to 240V/30A if you ever get an electric dryer.

Some models of electric dryer have an electric port for a companion washer, so they are able to work together on a single 240V socket. This is done as a labor-saver in large developments (they also avoid a dryer vent by condensing, and avoid the hot water pipe by heating inside the washer.)

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