Electric clothes dryers require special outlets, designed to provide a 220-volt
AC current to the machine. If you have a dryer outlet that is cracked or otherwise damaged, it's important to install a new one to prevent sparking or other safety problems. You can accomplish this task with a screwdriver quickly and easily -- but be sure to follow simple safety precautions.
Things You'll Need
Turn off the power to the dryer circuit at the circuit breaker box panel.
Loosen the screws on the cover surrounding the existing dryer outlet. Put the screws aside, pull off the cover and place the cover aside.
Loosen the screws holding the outlet in place. Depending on the existing outlet design, you will find two or three screws on the perimeter of the outlet. Pull the outlet out of the wall box after you've removed the outlet and loosen the screw terminals on the rear holding the outlet wiring to the outlet. Remove and discard the old outlet.
Insert the dryer circuit wires into the new outlet. As you look at the rear of the outlet, place the black with in the far left terminal, the white wire in the lower center terminal, the red wire in the far right terminal, and the green or bare wire in the upper center terminal. Tighten the screws as you place the wires.
Put the outlet into the box and secure with screws around the terminal. Replace the cover and turn the power back on.
Tips & Warnings
- If you're installing an outlet into a box with no previously installed outlet, you may skip the preliminary steps of removing the old outlet.
- Never attempt to work on a live electrical circuit.
- "Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual: Completely Revised and Updated"; Editors of The Family Handyman; 2005
- "Wiring 1-2-3"; The Home Depot; 2005
- Ask the Electrician: Wiring a Clothes Dryer and Power Cord
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
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