is there a safety problem using a 50 amp cord (labeled for range or dryer) for my dryer? The circuit breaker for my dryer is a 30 amp. My wall plug needs the configuration for the 50 amp, and my old dryer had the cord that fit into it. My new dryer has the wrong configuration for the wall plug. If I just go get a new cord that says "range or dryer) what would be the problem using it?

  • 4
    What does the documentation for the dryer say? You should not use a device that requires 50 amperes on a circuit protected by a 30 ampere breaker. If you or the installers installed the wrong cord on the dryer, simply replace it with the proper cord.
    – Tester101
    Feb 3, 2015 at 18:55

2 Answers 2


There should be either a NEMA 10-30R, or 14-30R receptacle where your dryer will plug in.

NEMA 10-30R
NEMA 10-30R

NEMA 14-30R
NEMA 14-30R

When you purchase an electric dryer, the store should also sell you a cord for the dryer. Most times they'll ask you which you need, or they'll just have both on hand if they're installing the dryer for you.

If the installers (or you) simply installed the wrong cord, you should just be able to replace the cord with the proper one. You'll need to install either a NEMA 10-30P 3-wire cord, or NEMA 14-30P 4-wire cord depending on which receptacle is in your home.

If for some reason the dryer requires 50 amperes, instead of 30. You'll have to replace the breaker, the wiring from the breaker to the receptacle, and the receptacle.

If there's a NEMA 10-50R, or 14-50R receptacle installed in the home on a 30 ampere circuit. You should replace the receptacle with the proper one. Receptacles and plugs are configured in different ways, to prevent things from being plugged into an undersized (incorrectly sized) circuit.


Using electrical hardware rated above the load is no problem at all. It appears your dryer area has a stove plug1 instead of a dryer plug2 , possibly the previous homeowner had one handy when they installed the dryer.

In the event you plug in a stove (or a 50-amp dryer), nothing will happen until Thanksgiving when you attempt to do the turkey - the 30-amp breaker will trip.

However, it's usually easier (and often cheaper) to change a wall plug than open up the new dryer. If the new dryer has a 30-amp plug on it already I would change the plug rather than the cord. Since we have to change one of them anyway lets change wrong to right rather than right to wrong x 2.

Don't forget to turn off the breaker.

  1. 3 flat pins plus one round one
  2. 2 flat pins, one L-shape, one round
  • I disagree. Changing the outlet and the cord would be 'righting the wrongs'; changing the outlet to a 50 amp outlet when the device only takes 30 amps and the breaker is only 30 amps is wrong. If you have a 50 amp receptacle anyone plugging something into it would expect 50 amps out of it.
    – DrewJordan
    May 26, 2015 at 21:07
  • What's with the low level of reading comprehension on this site? I clearly said that he should change the wall plug to match the new dryer 9and breaker rating. Also, you're 3 months late. it's likely done by now.
    – paul
    Jun 7, 2015 at 8:26

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