I'm replacing my dryer. Old one came with the house.

There is a NM 10/3 plus ground cable coming out of the floor of the laundry closet with about 4 feet loose in the closet, and attached to a 4-pin dryer socket in a metal box.

enter image description here

I was pleasantly surprised to find a 4-pin outlet, with ground wire, and it was properly wired inside the box with ground screwed to the box. But the box was just loose on the floor and is made of a too-shallow box with an extension.

I'd like to attach the cable to a wall with screw-on plastic cable clips and screw the box to the wall.

Is that ok? Is there any reason I should replace the box with a single deeper one rather than one with an extension? It seems inelegant but aside from that I see no reason to take it all apart just to put it in a one-piece box.

I know there shouldn't be exposed NM but there is. It's inside a closet behind the laundry machine. I could shove it into the floor into the basement ceiling joists but then the socket will remain at floor level, which really bothers me.

EDIT with more info

The question about the box extension has been answered but other concerns raised about routing and clamping of the cable so I'm adding some info here. First, a wider picture:

enter image description here

The area of the floor to the left of the red line is in an exterior overhanging bay structure. Getting underneath the floor there would be very very hard. However I may be able to reroute the cable by digging through the festival of foam and into the adjacent wall. I'll look into that. If too difficult I'll use surface raceway as suggested in the accepted answer.

I'm not too concerned about damage to the cable by the machine because the cable is protected by the PVC drain and some extra framing on that wall, put there to support the closet door. Still, raceway is easy and a good idea.

  • Any chance of running the cable between the wall and recessing the box?
    – JACK
    Sep 23, 2021 at 1:20
  • 1
    Any chance of a pic showing more of what's going on? You say the cable is coming out of the floor, but it looks like it's going into the side of the box, so where does it exit the floor? Also, it looks like the box was just slipped over the cable - that purpose is the box serving - is the receptacle attached to it, but you removed it for the pic? Extension rings are sold with UL stamps on them, so I doubt there's an issue with that. The original electrician probably only had a shallow box to hand, so made the additional Cu/In by adding a code-compliant ring.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 23, 2021 at 12:38
  • I'll add another photo and a little more context.
    – jay613
    Sep 23, 2021 at 13:48
  • 2
    "Festival of foam" LOL
    – FreeMan
    Sep 23, 2021 at 14:44
  • Also, just a thought: If the dryer slides into this alcove, a surface mounted 2x4, attached flat to the wall, would serve as protection for the plumbing when the dryer is pushed back. I know and you know that you're very careful when doing so - that's why it's called an "accident".
    – FreeMan
    Sep 23, 2021 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


It's not "OK" in that it's not a code compliant installation. Having a proper 4-wire connection is good, but other things are not.

It appears to be missing a clamp at the entrance to the box, as well as the exposed cable. Laundry closet should be an easy bit of drywall patching to put it in the wall (does not have to look great as no one will see it) or you could use surface mount raceway to conceal it, or conduit as a protective sleeve.

The box extension ring is fine.

Personally, I'd rip the drywall and move the cable into the wall (drilling a new hole into the basement. and setting the box into the wall with the receptacle flush to the wall) - it's the cleanest way to do the install, and if you lack drywall experience it's truly the best place in the house to start getting some.

  • I think I see the edge of a clamp inside the box, and the fit around the cable is too cozy for a bare knockout. Are you sure this isn't a "subject to damage" exception?
    – isherwood
    Sep 23, 2021 at 12:51
  • 1
    Can't tell for sure on the clamp, you might be right. The cable is considered to be "subject to damage" in that location. The washing machine could be rubbing up against it every time it spins until it wears through the insulation, for instance. Being out of sight behind the laundry machine you'd not know until it was too late.
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 23, 2021 at 13:03
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    There's a clamp, I removed it because in the course of inspecting the box for ground I found there was less than an inch of wire available. I'm not kidding, I couldn't even pry the cover off. So I removed the clamp and will be fixing that. My new machine might need two 120V 20A circuits, not sure yet so leaving it all in bits for now. Lucky I have some unused 20A breakers, if I do need those I can just move things around.
    – jay613
    Sep 23, 2021 at 13:39
  • 1
    It might be easy to put the box inside the wall. If not, I'll use raceway as suggested. Both good suggestions.
    – jay613
    Sep 23, 2021 at 14:30
  • 1
    Argh! As an annoying side note, my old stacked machine had one 240V 30A plug. My new one has two plugs, one for the dryer and a separate one for the washer and per this answer (thanks Harper) I must assume the dryer will use the entire 30A so I must find a new circuit for the washer. I may be doing more work inside the walls than I first bit off. :(....
    – jay613
    Sep 23, 2021 at 16:57

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