I just bought my home and upon installing my new electric dryer I realize the plug is for a range (4 prong, 50A). I walked outside and I see its 60 amps on the breaker after testing my other appliances. I have read a lot of conflicting information as to whether I can or cant use the range plug since it is more amps than the dryer requires.

Any advice or insight? It's a fully renovated home, not sure why they put that plug on the utility room. My only theory is it got converted from a shotgun home where the kitchen was previously in the back. thanks for all your help.

  • What make and model is your breaker panel? Also, is that 60A breaker just for this range receptacle, or does it turn off other things too? Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 4:40
  • How did you install it if the 30A plug did not fit? Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 6:30
  • @threephaseeel it is dedicated exclusively to this range. How can I look for the make and model of the breaker panel? It is all brand new as the house was renovated but I am not sure and can check
    – Neval V
    Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 10:15
  • Well I installed that as in I brought it into the house after buying it but failed to plug it in lol
    – Neval V
    Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 10:16
  • @NevalV -- if you're not sure of the make and model, post photos of the panel (including the labeling on the inside of the breaker panel door) here, and we can help you Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 12:36

2 Answers 2


OK, so you have 4-prong wires in your walls that go from the service panel to where you want your dryer. Currently it has a 60A(?? surely 50 or 40A??) breaker on one end, and a NEMA 14-50 range receptacle at the other end. You want to make good use of those wires.

Is the 60A breaker not for a subpanel?

First, do an exhaustive search for a subpanel somewhere. 60A is a highly bizarre breaker to use on a range circuit. However it's probably the most popular breaker for use on a subpanel. Further, a subpanel is likely if your main panel is "full", or far from the kitchen.

OK, then we need to change the ends

The receptacle needs to be changed to a NEMA 14-30 type. Do not under any circumstances even think about using a 3-prong NEMA 10-30 type; I mention this because if you walk into any random ACE or Home Depot and ask for a dryer socket, this is the one they will press into your hand. It's universal, obsolete, dangerous, and a Code violation in all but a few installations.

Because the receptacle has been changed to a 30A, the breaker needs to be changed to a 30A also. Generally breakers must match sockets (exception for 40A circuits since 40A sockets are not made; they use 50A sockets).

Connecting a presumably 6 AWG wire to a NEMA 14-30 recep may be a challenge. If it's designed using the same internal hardware as the NEMA 14-50, it'll fit fine. Otherwise, you would need to pigtail the 6 AWG wire using 8 or 10 AWG pigtails. (and if the cable is 4 AWG aluminum, you'll definitely have to, unless the receptacle is rated CO-ALR).


Your dryer installation instructions, which are part of the UL listing, will tell you the plug/receptacles/breaker you are allowed to use. Normally NEMA 10-30 or NEMA 14-30 are the 30A receptacles allowed, which both are limited by the NEC Table 210.21(B)(3) to a maximum 30A breaker.

  • 3
    Aside from the straight forward code requirement a thermal magnetic breaker can carry around double the amps for up to 2 minutes, so a short developing 5x the dryer rated current could take that long to trip. I wouldn't be comfortable with that in my house. Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 3:30

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