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I have a electric 220 dryer hook up in my kitchen now I want to convert it over to use for a higher grade power supply for my microwave blender and toaster without converting Any wires or touching the fuse box, is this possible ?

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    Is the dryer receptacle 3 prong or 4?
    – Tester101
    Jan 8, 2016 at 14:22
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    Is this in a rental?
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 8, 2016 at 14:41
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    Keep in mind that 110V will usually give you a good shock if you make a mistake. A mistake with 220V will kill you or burn your house down. Use a licensed electrician for this type of work.
    – user47509
    Jan 8, 2016 at 16:59
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    @user47509: Most of Europe is still standing, despite using 230 Volt. Throwing the circuit breaker and then checking the socket is no longer active is a basic safety measure, almost anyone can learn that.
    – MSalters
    Jan 8, 2016 at 22:26
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    @user47509: not that I'm advocating working on a live wire; but, having grown up in a country with lots of poor wiring and 220v, I have received my fair amount of shocks and I survived, and houses don't regularly burn down. Jan 9, 2016 at 11:49

6 Answers 6

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If it's a 4-prong receptacle, then you could do it. Though you'll have to swap out a breaker in the panel. This will leave you with a 20 ampere multi-wire branch circuit (MWBC), which can be used to supply countertop receptacles.

If it's a 3-prong receptacle, there's likely not a grounding conductor. So it's not going to be a good idea, though there are ways to do it.

As it sounds like you don't want to modify the existing wiring, this probably isn't a project you want to tackle. A local licensed Electrician should be able to do it for you.


Multiwire circuit

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  • Kitchens require GFCIs by code in many places; how is this going to work with a GFCI? The current on the neutral and the hot is going to almost always be different. Jan 8, 2016 at 18:13
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    @EricLippert You could either install a double pole GFCI breaker, or wire two GFCI receptacles properly.
    – Tester101
    Jan 8, 2016 at 18:21
  • @EricLippert -- heck, with today's wiring, you can put your stove on a GFCI breaker. Jan 9, 2016 at 1:59
  • Most dryers are 30 amp and the breaker would need to be changed to a 20 amp, but other than that I agree.
    – Ed Beal
    Oct 18, 2018 at 13:16
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IF you have a "4-Prong" (Hot, Hot, Neutral, Ground) dryer outlet you could make (or perhaps "have made" would be safer depending on your skill level) a "plug-in sub-panel" that would take the (probably 30amp) 240V via a dryer plug, and divide it into two or four 15 or 20A GFCI-protected (GFCI and 20A is required for kitchen outlets) 120V outlets.

This becomes unwise if the dryer is a "3-Prong" device (no ground.)

Not using a sub-panel is unwise because the dryer circuit is almost always of a higher amperage than a normal receptacle, so excessive current would flow in the case of a fault.

Or, if you like, buy a device (portable power distribution unit) made for the job and ETL Listed as a unit:

http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Cable-Portable-Temporary-Distribution/dp/B003RRWWAY

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  • A "plug-in sub-panel" sounds like a terrible idea. I'm envisioning a big grey box, with a couple breakers, and a bunch of receptacles in it, with a big cord plugged into the dryer receptacle. Maybe you had something else in mind, but what I'm thinking of, seems terrifying.
    – Tester101
    Jan 8, 2016 at 18:17
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    @Tester101 I'm unclear as to why you would find a properly wired, safe, correctly implemented panel (however packaged) "terrifying", but paint it light blue, pink or white if it makes you feel better. It's the ONLY safe, correct method to do what the questioner wants, "without touching the fuse box or wiring." Please don't put a tiny little cord on it to make you feel less terrified of it - that would be incorrect and not safe...
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 8, 2016 at 19:19
  • Something about a cord and plug attached panel gives me the heebie jeebies, no matter what color it is.
    – Tester101
    Jan 8, 2016 at 19:23
  • @Tester101 - c'est la vie - doesn't bother me any more than the dryer which uses the same exact plug.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 8, 2016 at 19:26
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    I think @Tester101 is assuming that the dryer goes through all that testing with the plug, as a whole system. I doubt this is actually true, since IIRC you have to wire the plug yourself for a dryer depending on whether it's a three-prong or four-prong outlet.
    – Random832
    Jan 8, 2016 at 19:46
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Short answer: No

At minimum you will have to open the fuse box to move one of the wires from a circuit breaker to the neutral bar. And then replace the circuit breaker with a 20 amp single pole breaker for your small appliance branch circuit.

This will change the voltage from 240 to 120 volts.

If you are a complete novice at electrical work this is not a good place to start. Call a local experienced electrician to make this change for you.

Happy Friday!

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  • also it would need to be gfci protected for kitchen countertops NEC 210.8
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 8, 2016 at 14:07
  • A dryer circuit will likely be a 30 ampere 120/240V circuit, and will include two "hot", one "neutral", and possibly a grounding conductor.
    – Tester101
    Jan 8, 2016 at 14:26
  • If it's a 4-prong receptacle, swapping the breaker for a double pole 20 ampere breaker is all that's required. That would give you a 20 amp MWBC. I'm not sure why you'd be moving wires to the neutral bar. Nor am I sure which ones you'd move, as the "hot" wires should be black and red (which can't be "neutral" wires).
    – Tester101
    Jan 8, 2016 at 14:38
  • @Tester101 I believe he is converting the circuit back down to 120V without sharing the neutral. Going from a 2 pole circuit back down to just a single circuit. This is a workable option, but it would waste having that second hot wire running to the box. The solution would be to use a MWBC.
    – TFK
    Jan 8, 2016 at 15:07
  • @TFK If the OP is looking for a single circuit, one of the "hot" conductors would simply be removed, not moved to the "neutral" bar. I'm guessing that ArchonOSX is incorrectly assuming (as lots do), that the circuit is made up of two "hot" and a grounding conductor (straight 240V). Under that assumption, recommending to move one of the "hots" to "neutral" makes sense (even though it's wrong).
    – Tester101
    Jan 8, 2016 at 15:11
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Here's hoping you have an 14-50 (4 prong outlet) and not a 3 prong. Buy one of these:

enter image description here

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    Does that contain any fusing or other overcurrent protection? It doesn't look like it to me! An adaptor from a 50A plug to 15A/20A sockets without any overcurrent protection seems like a horrible idea to me. Jan 8, 2016 at 18:10
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    Dryers are usually on 30 ampere circuits, not 50. I agree with Peter, this product seems like a bad idea. Could you provide a link to one, I'd like to check the UL listing on it.
    – Tester101
    Jan 8, 2016 at 18:20
  • @Tester101 This page seems to be talking about the same product and says "While it is UL-listed, it is UL listed as an RV adapter cord only. It doesn't say whether it's fused or not (Conntek's site gives a 404 for the spec sheet) and that would present a safety hazard if some load went wonky."
    – Random832
    Jan 8, 2016 at 19:53
  • @Tester101 (and @Random832), Here is a product page for that splitter. It apparently has no overcurrent protection. Jan 8, 2016 at 19:57
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    Yeah it doesn't look like something like that would qualify under the tap rules. 😞
    – ArchonOSX
    Jan 9, 2016 at 20:46
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If it was me...

If the 220v Dryer hookup box/connection only has 3 wires, I'd leave it alone and if I needed to have it changed, I'd call an electrician.

If the box/connection has 4 wires, I'd make the changes in the circuit breaker box necessary to remove the 220v breaker and replace it with two 120v single pole breakers. The work necessary for this is really fairly minimal. I would be comfortable doing this myself, but you may not.

Then the box could safely be rewired for one 2 outlet receptacle on each of the two 120v circuits, providing four 120v outlets. And I'd be sure to use either GFCI protected breakers, or GFCI protected receptacles.

But to answer your question, to do this without touching the breakers or the wiring, here is a device that would provide one 120v outlet. There may be similar devices available that provide more outlets:

Gas Range Adaptor
Mfg: Woods
Model: 548301

It doesn't appear to be UL Listed, but specifications indicate it has a built-in 15 Amp fuse, and it is CSA (Canada) Certified.

The important thing is that it is protected from overload by a fuse.

Woods Model: 548301, 220-Volt to 110-Volt converter

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Thinking all out of the box: Are these existing appliances, or ones you are still planning to buy? Large parts of the world use 230V/240V appliances, and adapters and distributors should exist (you would need some 13A or 16A fusing, since that is what single-phase 230V/240V appliances expect)....

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