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I have a stackable washer dryer combo. The dryer works on 240V and the washer works 120V, but they have 1 control panel. I don't have 240V in my new apartment, and am hoping to have the power cord switched to a 120V. I have read that this process involves:

  • getting a 3 wire 120 cord-set of at least 14 gauge and a 14 gauge jumper wire.
  • connect neutral to neutral terminal
  • black to black terminal
  • ground to ground terminal
  • and jumper wire from neutral to red

I have no experience with electronics and don`t plan on doing this myself, I had an electrician come look at it for me but he has never done it before, my question is:

Does this look correct, can he or (most likely another electrician) do this? I know it won't be code, I just need to know if it's possible.

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    How are the tenants in your building expected to do laundry? Does your building have shared laundry facilities? Does everyone else head over to a Laundromat? Are there clotheslines strung about? Do other tenants have 208 or 230VAC service to their apartments? – ThreePhaseEel Dec 10 '14 at 2:18
  • The heating element will barely glow, unless your dryer actually is dual voltage with a split element and jumpers for the voltage switch. Half the voltage, twice the current then. – Fiasco Labs Jul 23 '15 at 6:30
  • Get a gas dryer and be through with it already and vent it in the correct manner before you end up asphyxiating yourself or you neighbors.. – user46284 Dec 5 '15 at 20:00
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Switching out the cord is easy, but that does not make it a 110V dryer. It's probably not possible to convert to 110V, although you'd have to find a user manual or contact the manufacturer to confirm. And even if you could, it would probably draw more power than a standard residential 110V outlet could supply.

The only way to do this is to run a 220V outlet for the dryer. Do you rent or own this apartment? What country are you in? Most US service is 220V, even if all of the outlets are 110V.

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  1. Some dryers do have the ability to run on either 110v or 220v. Bear in mind that 110v gives it roughly the same power as a hair dryer, so even if this were possible, I wouldn't recommend it, as it can take 2 hours for the clothes to dry.

  2. Assuming that your apartment has 220v service at the panel, if you can find two outlets on opposite legs (i.e. 180 degrees out of phase) there is a commercial product that will give you a 220v outlet, which you could plug your dryer into. YMMV.

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    +1. Often the motor and controls run on 110V anyway (just one leg); the heater/blower is what needs 220V to evaporate all that water in a reasonable time. If this is your only option, you might do better with a clothesline. (Even in winter; the clothes will freeze, but the ice will then sublimate.) – keshlam Dec 9 '14 at 3:51
  • Most apartments don't have access to outdoor space :( – gbronner Dec 9 '14 at 4:15
  • I've seen clotheslines strung in bathrooms... but yeah, apartment does impose limitations. On the other hand, I haven't seen most people try to run a drier in an apartment that doesn't have a hookup for it either. A stackable MIGHT be small enough to run on 110VAC; check the manufacturer's documentation. – keshlam Dec 9 '14 at 5:43
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    Those "240v" adapters are a joke. They are also not "commercially" available. Someone makes them and sell them on eBay and shady web sites. This does not mean they are listed, correct or safe to use. Two separate 20A-120V circuits will NEVER give you 120/240V-30A. – Speedy Petey Dec 9 '14 at 12:35
  • There are a few dryers that use 20 amp 220v sockets, AND my laundry room happened to have 12/3 wire servicing two outlets in the laundry room and they were on two separate legs. I was sorely tempted to move remove both breakers and replace with a 20A dual pole breaker, and remove both outlets and replace with a 30A outlet, but I ran a new circuit instead. – gbronner Dec 10 '14 at 1:54
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This is a fairly complex hack. The dryer needs to work on 1/4 the available power. It was designed for a 240x30 = 7200W supply, and you need it to run on 120x15=1800W supply. So you're asking a lot.

You will need to get the schematics and reverse-engineer the washer-dryer. Chances are the "washer" part is easy, as they probably use a commercial-off-the-shelf design made to run on 120V.

For the dryer, you'll need to carefully go through each internal circuit and figure out how to make it accept 120V. The heating element is the easiest; simply connect the endpoints to 120V instead of 240V. This will mean the element will see half the voltage, and (thanks to Ohm's Law) 1/4 the power.

If you have a small load that insists on being 240V, then you need to use some electronic skill to deal with that.

You will also need to make sure all the loads together don't exceed the circuit capacity (15A if you are attaching to a common household outlet with 14AWG wire). Watch out that the dryer motor + heater don't exceed that. You might be able to stay under circuit capacity with an interlock to prevent washer and dryer from running simultaneously.

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and jumper wire from neutral to red

This will give you an appliance with one dead side. Assuming the motor and electronics are on the black phase, your dryer will run at one-half of the stated power - essentially on 'low' all the time.

The good news is while it will take twice as long, it's only using half the power to the total cost to dry your stuff is the same.

Do you have an exhaust vent for the dryer? Washers can go in any closet with water and drain, dryers need a vent to the outside. No, another room or the hallway won't work. Yes, a connection to the bathroom vent will work IF other units have one-way valves in the vents. Otherwise you will pump your (slightly) warm, moist air into their space.

And of course something that blows air out must have a way to draw air in.

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    You CANNOT connect a dryer vent to a bath fan vent, even with "a one-way valve". No, no, no! – Speedy Petey Dec 9 '14 at 12:30
  • Remember his dryer is running at half power. It's certainly not ideal but better than the attic. – paul Dec 9 '14 at 13:13
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    It's also a code violation and NOT safe. It's not better than anything. I love how people try to justify things by saying something is better than a similarly poor alternative. – Speedy Petey Dec 9 '14 at 14:43
  • Given that a) it won't burn the place down; b) lots of people will do it the cheapest, easiest way possible; c) those same people often don't care in the slightest about building codes; the bathroom vent does seem to be a better choice than the attic. – paul Dec 10 '14 at 0:38
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    Whatever, you do what you want. It is just very irresponsible to even suggest such a thing in a public forum, regardless of how you try to justify it. – Speedy Petey Dec 10 '14 at 1:06
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You can buy a converter/ transformer online for under $100 can find for 5-10 $but I'd stick with good quality so don't blow up the house

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    You CANNOT get a "transformer" for this for that kind of money. Are you aware of the wattage of the typical electric dryer? Are you aware that voltage converters and transformers are rated in wattage? This is not one of those little converters you use for a lamp or clock radio. – Speedy Petey Jul 23 '15 at 11:19

protected by Community Dec 16 '15 at 13:14

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