Modification of Old Electrical Work
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Washing Machines & Dryers

Can you run a new 30A dryer on a 50A receptacle and breaker by using the old 50A dryer's cord?

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Answered 2016-06-24 06:13:52

A home circuit for a clothes dryer is 30 amps. This means that the breaker feeding the circuit must be rated at 30 amps. A # 10 copper conductor with an insulation factor of 90 degrees C is rated at 30 amps.

So to answer the first part of your question about the breaker the answer is no, the breaker must be changed to a 30 amp breaker.

The receptacle configuration of the 50 amp receptacle will not fit the four pin cord that comes complete with a new dryer. So the 50 amp receptacle can not be used.

If the 50 amp circuit is in a older home then the feeder cable might not have enough conductors in it. New dryer cable requires three current carrying conductors with a ground conductor also in the cable set. If the existing cable has three current carrying conductors and a ground then it can be used. The cable could be a # 6 depending on what was plugged into the old 50 amp receptacle.

Older set ups grounded the neutral conductor of the cable set to the frame of the dryer there by using the neutral return conductor as a ground conductor.

The electrical code has changed and this is not allowed any more and states that the ground wire has to be a separate conductor and it connects the frame of the dryer directly to the ground bus on the electrical distribution panelboard. Hence the new four pin plug that comes with every new dryer and the need of a new four pin wall receptacle.

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