I have a dryer plugged into a (seemingly modified) 10-30 nema outlet.

Instead of the ends of the prongs having a short 45 degree angle before the end of the prong, the dryer prongs seem to have been shaved down so that the width of the end of the prong is a centimeter short than the base of the prong.

When I try to plug a new 10-30 nema plug into this outlet, it stops half way.

Is there a name for this type of plug? Can I get an adapter for my new plug? Would I risk breaking anything (or burning my house) if I shaved down the ends of the new plug to match the dryer plug so that it fits?

  • Can you look in the outlet and see if some debris got shoved in causing the intrference? I have seen on some really old outlets the wire in the box causing interference with the ground on the bent style. I would want to check these before modifying anything.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 0:32
  • Can you post photos of the situation? Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 0:36
  • Also, can you post photos of the inside of the receptacle box? Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 0:37
  • Modified 10-30 Plug imgur.com/gallery/hZv9M
    – Dagrooms
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 0:48
  • @EdBeal It looks like there is a small bar installed across the top of the L-shaped hole to block standard 10-30 from being completely inserted
    – Dagrooms
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 3:04

2 Answers 2


Not to be a kill joy but this plug and receptacle is the old style that no longer meets code for a residential clothes dryer connection. It does not provide independent means for ground. I don't recommend cutting anything to 'make it work'. Consider a new four wire circuit cable with new approved matching plug and receptacle.

  • 1
    Sweet, so I might be able to get the landlord to fix it for free to bring it up to code
    – Dagrooms
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 5:08

In a pinch, you can buy an old style dryer outlet just like the one in the picture and just replace it. You would have to go to some second hand shop to find it. If you are doing this for someone else's house, you would be risking a law suit for doing so. By using the old 3-wire hookup, you are relying on the grounded connection to carry the neutral current along with any ground fault current that might occur on the safety ground wire. Electrical codes no longer allow this and it is a safety hazard for you and anyone who works on your electrical system, even though it was used like that for multiple decades. Codes get changed when people get killed, so there is good reason for upgrading the circuit and the outlet, as was recommended in Paul's answer. If your dryer is old and wired for 3-wire, then the new set-up would be defeated and you would have to rearrange the dryer wiring so that the "equipment grounding" wire of a new 4-wire cord is only connected to the ground connection at the dryer, and the neutral wire of the cord is connected to the neutral wire of the dryer.

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