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I have a washer/dryer closet with a SINGLE 220V outlet serving a SINGLE laundry-center type machine. I need to make another 110V outlet available in this closet space so I can upgrade to a SEPARATE washer and dryer unit, where my dryer will connect to the existing 220V outlet, while the washer will need to connect to the new 110v outlet. I do not have any other open outlets. The only other electrical outlet I notice is a closed plate in the roof of the closet, which seems to carry a 220V line (measured using a non contact voltage tester) and is likely serving the existing 220V outlet in the closet. Is this solvable? The circuit breakers are in a different room and there is no other outlets near this closet. I reached out to electricians near my home - some say it is possible to do it, splice a 110 off the 220 and it should be good. While others say it is not possible to do it and advise against any splicing. Help?

[edit]This is in California, USA. existing receptacle supports a 4 prong 30A cord.

[edit] - bringing in a new 20 A 120 V circuit for the washer has different challenges in my scenario and I would like to solve this without going that way.

[edit] - I came across this, NEMA 14-30P 4-Prong Dryer Plug to (4) Household Outlets with 20 Amp Breaker, and I wonder if I can use this in some way to solve my problem. Either by creating another 220v outlet from the wiring I mentioned in the roof, or by using a "Parkworld 886603 NEMA 14-30 Splitter, Dryer 14-30P Male Plug to (2) 14-30R Female Receptacle, Dryer 4-Prong 30 AMP 14-30 Y Adapter Cord (3 feet)" in the existing outlet.

  • What country is this in? – Jim Stewart May 23 at 2:30
  • this is in California, USA. I will update the original question. Thank you. – Ram May 23 at 2:36
  • What is the breaker for the existing circuit? Usually washers require a dedicated 120 V circuit with a 20 A single pole breaker, whereas a separate dryer will require a 4-wire 240 V circuit supplied through a 30 A, 2-pole breaker. I don't see how these can be powered on a single circuit. The only solution would seem to be to bring in a new 20 A 120 V circuit for a separate washer. – Jim Stewart May 23 at 2:44
  • Is the existing receptacle for a 4-wire cord? – Jim Stewart May 23 at 2:51
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    If you look at apartment-sized (stackable) washers/dryers, many of them are set up so that the washer can be wired into a junction box on the back of the dryer... – ThreePhaseEel May 23 at 3:57
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What to watch for in replacing washer/dryers in developments

The typical home washer-dryer set needs SEVEN utilities plumbed to it: 120VAC, 240/120VAC (both dedicated circuits), cold water, hot water, dryer vent, sanitary sewer, and gas line. Needless to say, in large multi-unit installations, the builders commit some brain cells to reducing that number to three: 240V power, cold water and sewer. How do they do this?

  • They eliminate gas by requiring electric dryers.
  • They eliminate dryer vent by using condensing dryers.
  • They eliminate hot water by using washing machines that heat their own water.
  • They eliminate 120V one of two ways:
    • They use a single-unit "combo" appliance that figures out internally how not to overload the circuit.
    • They use separates (because buyers like the sight of separates), but the dryer is extremely special, and provides a 120V outlet for the washer, and somehow has internal controls e.g. that draw less current from the washer's leg, to assure no breaker trips.

You have to be an educated buyer

Here's where such apartment dwellers get into trouble: They prance over to the appliance store and decide "I can get anything I want!" and just go "One of those, and one of those, whee!"

And of course they get them home and discover no hot water, no dryer vent and/or no 120V. Whoopsadaisy!

So you will need to start this enterprise by either consulting with management or doing a careful survey of exactly which utilities you do have. And then you will need to make a decision as to whether to ante up the hi-3/low-4 digit cost of getting those utilities plumbed in (dryer vent, expect a whole lot more; gas ain't gonna happen) ... or to go back to the appliance store with a list of the utilities you do have, and narrow the list of options accordingly.

I suspect there'll be a few local appliance stores who are very familiar with your particular development and know exactly what you need.

Hork-a-dork adapters aren't going to cut it

Right off the bat, they'll trip your breaker when you try to run both appliances at once. Further, the choice of adapters is a lot more limited than you realize, as I'll discuss below. And lastly, it's good money thrown after bad - you're spending fine hard-earned coin so you can force a bad choice of cheaper unit into a place it simply doesn't belong. You could be $300 down the "cheap splitter" rabbit hole before you find stuff that actually works for you, and even then, your performance will be degraded. You'd have been wiser to put the $300 toward provisioning a proper circuit or buying the correct appliances.

There's also a huge supply problem with those cheaters.

And by the way, the dual 240V splitter is not necessary; it is already legal to fit 2 proper NEMA 14-30 receps on the same circuit permanently installed in or on the wall. An electrician can do that easily. Might not like the idea too much, but is legally able.

Just say no

Finally, don't let anything touch mains AC wires that doesn't have a UL listing. That's a UL in circle. You may also substitute any of the NRTLs: CSA and ETL are the ones you're likely to encounter. Here is what is not an NRTL: CE (China Export really), CCC (China's attempt to locally sanction a fake mark), RoHS (lead-free solder etc.), and FCC (won't jam out radio stations).

  • Note that your Parkworld cable does NOT have a UL listing. They say a lot of lies about how they use UL parts (not good enough) and built it to UL spec (where's the stamp then?) but no. The fact that they would deceive about this is even more horrifying. This is why they're selling on Amazon's junk shop, even Home Depot wouldn't let this in the store!
  • Generally buying mains electrical parts on Amazon is a terrible idea. Avoid! Even if you sidestep the Amazon Marketplace flea market, you're running the risk of getting counterfeits due to "Commingling".

The Home Depot splitter you found is less alarming because Home Depot generally insists on UL-approved items - they're a retailer not a "platform", so they do have liability for what they sell.

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  • How would two NEMA 14-30R be used? Would one get a 240 V washing machine? – Jim Stewart May 23 at 16:31
  • @JimStewart -- there are a few washers that run on 208-240V 60Hz, yes – ThreePhaseEel May 23 at 17:53
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    Note that if you hate traditional condensing dryers, there's a new kid on the ventless dryer block: heat pump dryers don't require a vent, either, and can deliver improved drying performance than a condensing dryer while using significantly less energy than either condensing or vented dryers. (Miele makes a heat pump dryer that plugs into a 120V outlet!) – ThreePhaseEel May 23 at 17:54
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    @Ram -- if you brought up to the HOA that the current configuration of your (and likely other) units does not comply with NEC 210.11(C)(2) and 210.52(F), what do you think their reaction would be? (it seems like that unless these units were rather old and thus grandfathered in, and I suspect the laundry receptacle provisions have been Code for a while now, that something fell through the cracks unless the AHJ somehow waived those provisions?) – ThreePhaseEel May 26 at 4:17
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    @Ram as a litigator I'd expect they'd say exactly that, it's a total denial/push-off to intimidate you, and it's balderdash. A decent lawyer could tear them a new one. They can't with one hand micromanage what you do with utilities whole on the other hand denying all liability for codevio's. On the bus or off the bus. – Harper - Reinstate Monica May 27 at 0:49
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For those having similar scenario as mine, and attempting a DIY project, and new to the world of electrical wiring and standards - here is a compilation of things to consider, options and facts.

Things to consider first:

1.Check your breaker box. The load you can draw is limited by the max current the breaker would allow to your outlet. Credits to @Harper for confirming this. In my case, I had a 30A breaker, so I cannot add a load more than 30A.

2. Distance to outlet from breaker box. Say if you have a 30A breaker, it is possible to upgrade to 50A IF the pre-existing wiring between the breaker and the outlet can support the increased ampere. For example, there is a sweet spot of 4-10ft wiring distance, that uses the same 10g copper wire, which so happens to support both 30A and 50A. If this is the case, then you're in luck. But at this point, this is no longer a DIY. You need to be sure of the distance, wiring material and the existing wire gauge or risk melting of the wire which is more complicated. So recommend a certified professional.

Options:

Once you have considered the breaker/wiring limitations mentioned above, you can decide which options to go for based on the flexibility. If you are a new buyer, I recommend reading @Harper's response above to see what kind of appliances you can actually work with as there are other things to consider outside the electrical outlet.

Upgrading to 50A

If you can migrate to a 50A breaker, then you can convert the existing outlet and set up local breakers for the washer and dryer separately, and create a separate outlet for each. As mentioned above, this is no longer a DIY.

Working with existing 30A circuit

  1. Settle down with existing laundry center type appliances.
  2. Consider washer/dryer combo - more features, less performance. Humidity issues.
  3. Consider 120V dryers. Credit to @threePhaseEel, there are dryer options recommended above like Miele that will ensure overall load is still under 30A. You can get converters with in built breakers that will support 120V washer and dryer at the same time. Credits to @Harper to ensure getting good quality, UL listed adapters.
  4. Choose to operate washer and dryer alternately instead of simultaneously. This kills the purpose, but you can still run them separately. Need to get the right adapter with breaker to support the washer. UL listed products as @Harper suggested.

Introduce a new dedicated circuit

If possible, introduce a new wiring for a dedicated outlet and circuit to support the washer. Credits to @Jim as he first suggested it. This gives the best flexibility for any future appliance upgrade.

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