If you’re a homeowner or electrician, you know that a few key pieces of equipment are essential for everyday life.
One of these is the dryer- without it, clothes would take forever to air dry! So if you’re looking to install or upgrade your current dryer, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is what size breaker do I need for a dryer?
We’ll help break down the basics of what size breaker you should use for a dryer. So you can make an informed decision to purchase one.
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What are the Proper Sizes of Breaker for Dryer?
When looking at what size breaker do I need for a dryer, there are two different numbers that you may run into. For 240v electric dryers, the first number is usually a 20.
The second number will either be a 15 or a 10- this is what determines how much electricity your dryer can pull.
Ideally, you should have a dedicated circuit for your dryer to ensure that it never overwhelms the wiring in the home and causes problems. If you have a large dryer and a little breaker, you may have issues- so make sure you know what size breaker do I need for a dryer!
Note- You should use a suitable size breaker for your dryer, so it is protected at all times.
If you’re looking for an example of what size breaker I need for a dryer, why not check out the Kenmore 29″ Front Load Electric Dryer.
240V Dryers: 20-30 AMPS
If you’re looking for a 240v dryer, some general rules apply as to how much electricity it will require. Most standard dryers (i.e., not commercial units) will use 20 amps at 240 volts.
This is enough power to accommodate most household needs and should be more than adequate for any common dryer.
220V Dryers: 10-30 AMPS
On the other side, you’ll want to consider how many amps your 220v dryer will need.
This is a standard voltage for European homes and some older buildings in America as well. Going by old wiring may not be safe as there could be problems with wiring that cause it to overheat or corrode- if this is the case, it’s time to get a new breaker.
120V Dryers: 7.5-15 AMPS
If you have a 120v dryer or plan to get one for your home, ensure that the circuit can accommodate this.
These units require up to 7.5 to 15 amps for a dedicated circuit.
If you’re not sure what size breaker do I need for a dryer, it’s best to call an electrician and have them run a professional assessment on your home’s electrical system.
What happens if I install a circuit breaker that is too low?
If you install a breaker too low for your dryer, it could be hazardous. Your dryer will try to pull more power than what the circuit can handle to get started.
The motor in the dryer will get overloaded and overheat. This may cause it to catch fire or even explode if there’s enough heat buildup.
Once you install a new breaker, make sure that your dryer is up to code and will support the home’s requirements.
What happens if I install a circuit breaker that is too high?
If you install a breaker that is too high for your dryer, it won’t work. As a result, the electricity will not make it to the appliance and cause a complete power outage in the home.
There are cases where trying to support two dryers on one circuit can lead to this problem. For example, having a larger unit and a smaller unit on one breaker can cause the smaller unit to overheat and shut down entirely.
If you’re having trouble with your circuit breaker for a dryer, call an electrician to come out and assess the situation.
Can I use a 50 amp breaker for a 30 amp dryer?
No, this isn’t safe, and it could lead to some serious problems. A 50 amp breaker is designed for industrial use and can easily overpower a 30 amp dryer.
Since the dryer will try to pull more power than what the circuit can handle, it may catch on fire or even burst into flames if there’s enough heat.
Can I use a 40 amp breaker for a 30 amp dryer?
Technically, this is a safe option. However, it might not be the best choice for you and your home’s safety.
A 30 amp dryer can pull around 72 amps on a 240v circuit at peak usage. The 40 amp breaker should support that, but it could get overloaded and trip during peak usage. If that happens, the dryer won’t work.
A 30 amp dryer will still pull way more than what a 20 amp circuit breaker can support, which is why it’s not recommended to use a higher amp breaker unless you’re installing a whole new circuit for your dryer.
Knowing what size circuit breaker to use for your dryer is extremely important. Using the incorrect amp rating could lead to serious safety problems for you and your family.
Don’t worry, and this guide will help you understand how much electricity your home needs and which options are safe.
If you’re looking for a new dryer or want to install one in your home, it’s best to speak directly with an electrician to be sure that it will work properly.
I’m Bobby Taylor, a tech lover, writer, and editor for Smart Home Protector. I am also a customer relationship officer of a well established electronics manufacturer company in the United States.