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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? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 3 at 4:40
  • How did you install it if the 30A plug did not fit? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 3 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 Jan 3 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 Jan 3 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 – ThreePhaseEel Jan 3 at 12:36
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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.

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    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. – NoSparksPlease Jan 3 at 3:30
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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).

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