Dryer Voltage Explained [6 Ways To Check Voltage + Safety Tips]

To help ensure safety and effectiveness, it’s critical to have an understanding of dryer voltage and power consumption. Get key details below and see 6 ways to check your dryer voltage.

It’s extremely important to have an understanding of dryer voltage. Without this you may create a fire hazard, risk electric shock and not have any dry clothes (tragic!).

This article will explain key considerations and electric dryer voltage requirements to help ensure safety, achieve standards and ensure your dryer runs effectively.

Spoilers:

  • Dryers are typically 240V, but can be 120V.
  • It’s not safe to run a 240V dryer on a 120V circuit.
  • You can run a 120V dryer from a standard household outlet.

Continue reading to see 6 ways to check your dryer voltage, and more.

Dryer voltage image of hand adding clothes into a dryer

Dryer voltage

Dryers use either 120V or 240V, but 240V is by far the most common.

There are also other voltages listed for dryers, but they fall into the 120V or 240V voltage level categories.

Specifically, 110V and 115V dryers fall into the 120V voltage level category, while 220V and 230V dryer voltages fall into the 240V voltage level category

Electric clothes dryers use a considerable amount of electricity. As a result, most dryers fall into the 240V voltage level category.

US homes have a mains supply voltage of 120V (nominally), and a 3-wire, split-phase 240V supply for larger appliances, such as 240V dryers. 

The standard household outlet is 120V – this is where you plug in your TV for example. 240V outlets are not as commonplace in a home, and are usually 3 or 4 prong.

120V dryers, often referred to as portable dryers, are not as common on the market as 240V dryers. 120V dryers are less powerful, and as a result, can safely run off of a standard household circuit.

120V dryers are usually considerably smaller than the standard 240V dryers, so are a good option for smaller homes and apartments. They’re also a good option for homes that don’t have a dedicated 240V dryer circuit already installed.

Typically, 120V dryers use 15 amps or less, while 240V dryers use 30 amps. However, there are cases where 240V dryers use as little as 10.5 amps. I go into more detail about dryer amps and breakers, here.

As dryers have different voltage requirements, installation requirements are different.

Electric dryer voltage requirements

The National Electrical Code (NEC) standards require that 240V dryers have a dedicated 4-wire circuit (10-3 type NM cable with ground) protected by a 30 amp breaker.

8 gauge aluminum is also suitable for delivering the voltage and the 30 amps usually required for 240V dryers.

It’s common to see 240V dryer circuits with a 3 prong outlet, where ground and neutral are connected together. It’s quite simple to convert a 3 or 4 prong outlet to suit a 3 or 4 prong Dryer plug, however, there is risk of electric shock.

See the “Dryer plug adapter” section below, to see how you can make the conversion while avoiding the risk of electric shock and the need for an electrician.

While the standards note a 30 amp breaker, smaller breakers can provide better protection if the amount of amps that a dryer uses is considerably less than 30 amps.

The breaker rating should be slightly higher than the amp draw. If you get too close to the amount of amps drawn then nuisance tripping can occur.

You should not, however, use a breaker with a rating higher than 30 amps. This is because the dryer breaker is protecting the circuit and preventing the cables from overheating.

Dryer circuits are usually wired with 10-3 copper cable, which should be protected by a 30 amp breaker. A breaker higher than 30 amps will create a fire risk.

Similarly, you should not use cabling that is too small to carry the load.

It’s best to contact a local qualified electrician to assess your requirements.

The electric dryer voltage requirements for 110V dryers are a lot less complicated.

110V dryers are usually built to run using the standard household outlet. Do verify this with the manufacturer or retailer as 110V dryers can consume a significant amount of amps, particularly at max settings when the motor starts up .

Usually, 110V dryers use between 7.5 and 15 amps.

Typical household circuits are wired in 14 AWG / 14-2 type NM cable and are protected by 15 amp breakers.

This means that it is safe to run 110V portable dryers from standard outlets.

To get a better sense of electric dryer voltage requirements, I’ve listed the voltage and amperage of some of the most popular dryers on the market below.

Dryer voltage and amperage list

The tables below show the voltage and amperage of 34 of the most popular dryers on the market.

Dryers that use 240 volts

To help give you more context into the voltage and amperage requirements for 240V electric dryers, here are the power consumption details for some of the most popular dryers. Links to The Home Depot are also included in case you’d like more details on each appliance.

DryerVoltage (V)Amps (A)The Home Depot Link
Bosch 800 Series 4 cu. ft. 240-Volt Home Connect White Stackable Electric Ventless Compact Dryer, ENERGY STAR240V10.5Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Bosch-800-Series-4-cu-ft-240-Volt-Home-Connect-White-Stackable-Electric-Ventless-Compact-Dryer-ENERGY-STAR-WTG865H4UC/315280947
Samsung 7.5 cu. ft. 240-Volt Brushed Black Electric Dryer with Smart Dial and Super Speed Dry, ENERGY STAR240V22.5Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Samsung-7-5-cu-ft-240-Volt-Brushed-Black-Electric-Dryer-with-Smart-Dial-and-Super-Speed-Dry-ENERGY-STAR-DVE50A8600V/316130426
Frigidaire 6.7 cu. ft. White Free Standing Electric Dryer240V24Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Frigidaire-6-7-cu-ft-White-Free-Standing-Electric-Dryer-FFRE4120SW/307250096
GE 6.2 cu. ft. 240 Volt White Electric Vented Dryer240V24Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-6-2-cu-ft-240-Volt-White-Electric-Vented-Dryer-GTX33EASKWW/206824738
Electrolux 8.0 cu. ft. Front Load Perfect Steam Electric Dryer in White240V24Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Electrolux-8-0-cu-ft-Front-Load-Perfect-Steam-Electric-Dryer-in-White-EFME427UIW/304700461
GE 7.8 cu. ft. Smart 240 Volt White Stackable Electric Vented Dryer with Long Vent and Sanitize Cycle, ENERGY STAR240V24Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-7-8-cu-ft-Smart-240-Volt-White-Stackable-Electric-Vented-Dryer-with-Long-Vent-and-Sanitize-Cycle-ENERGY-STAR-GFV55ESSNWW/312980603
Electrolux 8.0 cu. ft. White Electric Dryer with Steam, Predictive Dry, ENERGY STAR240V25Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Electrolux-8-0-cu-ft-White-Electric-Dryer-with-Steam-Predictive-Dry-ENERGY-STAR-EFME627UIW/304700069
Electrolux 8.0 cu. ft. Electric Dryer in White, ENERGY STAR240V25Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Electrolux-8-0-cu-ft-Electric-Dryer-in-White-ENERGY-STAR-EFDE317TIW/301611943
Electrolux 8.0 cu. ft. Front Load Perfect Steam Electric Dryer with LuxCare Dry and Instant Refresh in Titanium240V25Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Electrolux-8-0-cu-ft-Front-Load-Perfect-Steam-Electric-Dryer-with-LuxCare-Dry-and-Instant-Refresh-in-Titanium-EFME527UTT/304715832
Whirlpool 7.4 cu. ft. 240-Volt Chrome Shadow Smart Electric Vented Dryer with AccuDry System240V30Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpool-7-4-cu-ft-240-Volt-Chrome-Shadow-Smart-Electric-Vented-Dryer-with-AccuDry-System-WED6120HC/312460543
Whirlpool 6.7 cu. ft. 120 Volt White Commercial Electric Vented Dryer Coin Operated240V30Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpool-6-7-cu-ft-120-Volt-White-Commercial-Electric-Vented-Dryer-Coin-Operated-CED9150GW/302702074
Whirlpool 8.8 cu. ft. 240-Volt Smart White Electric Dryer with Steam and Advanced Moisture Sensing Technology, ENERGY STAR240V30Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpool-8-8-cu-ft-240-Volt-Smart-White-Electric-Dryer-with-Steam-and-Advanced-Moisture-Sensing-Technology-ENERGY-STAR-WED8120HW/312470883
Maytag 7.3 cu. ft. 240-Volt White Stackable Electric Vented Dryer with Quick Dry Cycle, ENERGY STAR240V30Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Maytag-7-3-cu-ft-240-Volt-White-Stackable-Electric-Vented-Dryer-with-Quick-Dry-Cycle-ENERGY-STAR-MED5630HW/308241660
Whirlpool 5.9 cu. ft. 240-Volt White Electric Vented Dryer with AccuDry240V30Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpool-5-9-cu-ft-240-Volt-White-Electric-Vented-Dryer-with-AccuDry-WED4985EW/206855036
Whirlpool 7.4 cu. ft. 240-Volt Chrome Shadow Stackable Electric Dryer with Steam and Intuitive Touch Controls, ENERGY STAR240V30Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpool-7-4-cu-ft-240-Volt-Chrome-Shadow-Stackable-Electric-Dryer-with-Steam-and-Intuitive-Touch-Controls-ENERGY-STAR-WED8620HC/308184617?ITC=AUC-94585-23-12070
LG Electronics 4.2 cu. ft. White Compact Stackable Front Load Electric Ventless Dryer with Sensor Dry240V30Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/LG-Electronics-4-2-cu-ft-White-Compact-Stackable-Front-Load-Electric-Ventless-Dryer-with-Sensor-Dry-DLEC888W/207102720
Samsung 7.4 cu. ft. Smart Champagne Electric Dryer with Steam Sanitize240V30Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Samsung-7-4-cu-ft-Smart-Champagne-Electric-Dryer-with-Steam-Sanitize-DVE52A5500C/317651467
Whirlpool 7.4 cu. ft. Chrome Shadow Front Load Electric Dryer with AccuDry System240V30Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpool-7-4-cu-ft-Chrome-Shadow-Front-Load-Electric-Dryer-with-AccuDry-System-WED5100HC/312459745
Samsung 4.0 cu. ft. Capacity White 24 Stackable Electric Ventless Heat Pump Dryer ENERGY STAR Certified240V30Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Samsung-4-0-cu-ft-Capacity-White-24-Stackable-Electric-Ventless-Heat-Pump-Dryer-ENERGY-STAR-Certified-DV22N6800HW/307685530
Whirlpool 7.0 cu. ft. 240-Volt White Electric Vented Dryer with Wrinkle Shield Plus240V30Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpool-7-0-cu-ft-240-Volt-White-Electric-Vented-Dryer-with-Wrinkle-Shield-Plus-WED5000DW/205541551
Maytag 7.4 cu. ft. 240-Volt Metallic Slate Smart Capable Electric Dryer with Hamper Door and Advanced Moisture Sensing240V30Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Maytag-7-4-cu-ft-240-Volt-Metallic-Slate-Smart-Capable-Electric-Dryer-with-Hamper-Door-and-Advanced-Moisture-Sensing-MED6230HC/312156226
Whirlpool 7.4 cu. ft. 240-Volt Stackable Chrome Shadow Electric Ventless Dryer with Intuitive Touch Controls, ENERGY STAR240V30Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpool-7-4-cu-ft-240-Volt-Stackable-Chrome-Shadow-Electric-Ventless-Dryer-with-Intuitive-Touch-Controls-ENERGY-STAR-WHD862CHC/308241998
GE 4.1 cu. ft. 240-Volt White Electric Ventless Dryer, ENERGY STAR240V30Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-4-1-cu-ft-240-Volt-White-Electric-Ventless-Dryer-ENERGY-STAR-GFT14ESSMWW/307760461
Haier 4.3 cu. ft. Smart 240 Volt White Stackable Electric Vented Dryer, ENERGY STAR240V30Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Haier-4-3-cu-ft-Smart-240-Volt-White-Stackable-Electric-Vented-Dryer-ENERGY-STAR-QFD15ESSNWW/311102573
Maytag 8.8 cu. ft. 240-Volt Smart Capable Metallic Slate Electric Vented Dryer with Steam, ENERGY STAR240V30Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Maytag-8-8-cu-ft-240-Volt-Smart-Capable-Metallic-Slate-Electric-Vented-Dryer-with-Steam-ENERGY-STAR-MED8230HC/312406270
Whirlpool 7.4 cu. ft. 240-Volt Chrome Shadow Stackable Electric Dryer with Steam and Wrinkle Shield Plus Option, ENERGY STAR240V30Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpool-7-4-cu-ft-240-Volt-Chrome-Shadow-Stackable-Electric-Dryer-with-Steam-and-Wrinkle-Shield-Plus-Option-ENERGY-STAR-WED6620HC/308184390?ITC=AUC-94585-23-12070

As mentioned, and demonstrated above, the most common amount of amps that dryers use is 30 amps.

However, 240V dryer amp usage ranges between 10.5 amps to 30 amps.

Related: see how much electricity dryers use, here, and how much it costs to run a dryer, here.

Next, let’s take a look at 120V dryers.

Dryers that use 120 volts

Again, to give more context into the voltage and amperage requirements, the table below lists the power consumption details for some of the most popular 110V dryers. Links are also included to The Home Depot in case you’d like more details on any device.

DryerVoltage (V)Amps (A)The Home Depot Link
RCA 13 lb. Compact Clothes Dryer110V7.5Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/RCA-13-lb-Compact-Clothes-Dryer-RDR323/315293067
Panda 1.50 cu. ft. White and Black Electric Compact Portable Laundry Dryer110V7.73Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Panda-1-50-cu-ft-White-and-Black-Electric-Compact-Portable-Laundry-Dryer-PAN725SF/308705002
Magic Chef 2.6 cu. ft. White Compact Electric Dryer120V11.7Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Magic-Chef-2-6-cu-ft-White-Compact-Electric-Dryer-MCSDRY1S/204984491
Samsung AirDresser with Steam and Sanitize Cycle, Wi-Fi Enabled, Deodorizing Filter in Dark Black120V12Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/Samsung-AirDresser-with-Steam-and-Sanitize-Cycle-Wi-Fi-Enabled-Deodorizing-Filter-in-Dark-Black-DF60R8200DG/313984044
LG Electronics Styler Steam Closet Smart Clothing Care System with Asthma & Allergy Friendly Sanitizer in White120V12.5Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/LG-Electronics-Styler-Steam-Closet-Smart-Clothing-Care-System-with-Asthma-Allergy-Friendly-Sanitizer-in-White-S3WFBN/307473339
LG STUDIO 23.5 in. 7.4 cu. ft. Clothes Styler Built-In Steam Clothing Care System120V12.5Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/LG-STUDIO-23-5-in-7-4-cu-ft-Clothes-Styler-Built-In-Steam-Clothing-Care-System-S5MSB/314441559
BLACK+DECKER 3.5 cu. ft. Capacity White Electric Dryer120V13Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/BLACK-DECKER-3-5-cu-ft-Capacity-White-Electric-Dryer-BCED37/313784115
GE 3.6 cu. ft. 120-Volt White Stackable Electric Vented Portable Compact Dryer120V15Ahttps://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-3-6-cu-ft-120-Volt-White-Stackable-Electric-Vented-Portable-Compact-Dryer-DSKP333ECWW/100091470

This list is shorter than the list of 240V dryers, which reflects availability on the market.

110V dryers are included as they fall into the 120V voltage level category.

As you can see, 120V dryers use between 7.5 and 15 amps.

These lists demonstrate the voltage and amperage requirements for electric clothes dryers. But next, let’s look at some common questions about dryer voltages.

Can a 240V dryer run on 120V

You should not run a 240V dryer on a 120V circuit. 

Running a 240V dryer from a 120V outlet is not safe (fire and electric shock hazard), will be ineffective and may damage the dryer. 

Running a 240V dryer from a 120V outlet will first trip the breaker as the power consumption will be too high. The breaker will trip to protect the cables from overheating as they’re too small to carry the load.

If the breaker doesn’t trip then a fire could occur somewhere along the circuit. In the meantime, the 240V dryer will try to start and run on a circuit designed for loads that are (at max) half of what the dryer will try to draw.

If you try running a 240V dryer on a 120V circuit, the best case scenario is that the breaker will trip, preventing any damage or danger from arising.

However, a step up voltage transformer may provide a possible solution – example of a 5,000W transformer on Amazon (note even a 5,000W transformer may be too small for more powerful dryers – 8,000W may be necessary in some cases, although some manufacturers recommend 3-4 times the voltage). 

And you’ll still need to consider the amperage!

Transformers can be an expensive option, but it is one that I’d steer clear of – I’d prefer to keep things simple and not introduce another component into the mix.

I’d strongly advise not trying to run a 240V dryer on a 120V circuit.

Will a 240V dryer work on 220V

Yes, in the US. 240V dryers can work on 220V circuits and vice versa.

210V, 220V and 230V are at the same voltage level as 240V.

Utility providers deliver a 120V/240V supply to US homes. This was different in the past and is different to other countries. As a result, people tend to use various figures for mains voltage.

To add to the confusion, manufacturers do the same. They may state that appliances are 220V and are manufactured for use in the US.

But, ultimately, if the dryer is being sold in a country by a reputable retailer, you can expect the device to work in your home.

How to check dryer voltage

It’s not always clear what voltage a dryer uses. But there are several ways that you can check.

6 ways to check your dryer voltage:

  1. Look on the back of the dryer for a label – voltage, amps and other details are usually written on electrical appliances.
  2. Search online for the specific model.
  3. Check the dryer outlet – if it’s a 3 or 4 prong outlet (i.e. not the standard household outlet) then chances are the voltage is 240V.
  4. Check the breaker size – if it’s a 30A breaker then chances are the dryer is 240V.
  5. Check the cable size (see 3 Ways To Gauge Wire on WikiHow) – if it is 10-3 copper / 8 aluminum then you likely have a 240V dryer.
  6. Use a multimeter – see the video below for more details.

Testing 240 volts with multimeter

You’ll be dealing with live cables so please be careful if you use this method to check your dryer voltage.

Dryer plug adapter

Dryer plug adapters offer a safe and easy way to convert 3 prong to 4 prong outlets, and vice versa.

It’s common to need to change a dryer outlet to match the dryer plug – people move homes and buy new appliances so it’s a regular requirement.

However, you can ensure you avoid electric shock and avoid the need for an electrician by simply using a relevant adaptor. 

If you have a 240V dryer circuit but don’t have the appropriate outlet for the dryer consider picking up one of these:

These adaptors are a simple, quick and safe option to make your dryer work on both 3 and 4 prong outlets.

If you decide to convert the outlet yourself, please be careful and make sure you switch the breaker off at the fuse board first, and double check that the cables aren’t live before you start working on them.

Final thoughts

My usual disclaimer: I am an electrician, but as every installation is different I cannot give specific advice. For safety purposes, I’d encourage you to contact a local electrician to get any electrical work done.

But if you are to attempt any electrical work yourself, please be safe. Turn off the power at the consumer unit before doing any work.

Dryer voltage is a very important consideration. If you’re replacing a dryer, it’s easier to stick to a similar voltage and amperage levels – this will mean that you won’t have to worry about breaker size, wiring upgrades or anything like that.

As a result, you can rest assured that your installation is safe.

I wrote another post about dryers that you might be interested in: How Many Amps Does A Dryer Use [Breaker Size & Adapters].

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