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Can I Hook Up an Electric Dryer

can_i_hook_up_an_electric_dryerBasic Installation for Electric Dryers

Installing an electric dryer is a project that most do-it-yourselfers are capable of handling. Although not as simple as just plugging in the machine, the steps to hook up an electric dryer are straight forward and easy to follow. With a few precautions, that new dryer should be producing warm, fluffy clothes in no time.

Proper Wiring and Safe Handling for New Electric Dryers

The most important thing to know about installing an electric dryer is how many volts the dryer requires to operate. Most newer dryers use 220 volts, but some older, smaller models only use 110 volts. If your home was built in the last few decades, odds are it is wired for 220 volts. A 220 volt outlet is distinctive with three holes, two of which are slanted at an angle. A 110 volt outlet is the standard outlet found throughout a house. If the available outlet doesn't match the voltage of the dryer, call a professional electrician to wire the correct outlet.

Before installing an electric dryer, gather the necessary materials. You will need:

  • A broom
  • A dryer hose (a flexible metal duct will last longer than a plastic or vinyl hose)
  • Hose clamps
  • Screwdrivers

Step by Step Instructions for Installing an Electric Dryer

  1. Turn off the breakers that serve the dryer outlet. 220 volt dryers will have two breaker switches, a 110 volt outlet will only have one. Sweep the floor where the unit will be installed and make sure all surfaces are dry.
  2. Fasten the dryer hose to the duct that vents outside with a hose clamp, available at most home improvement stores. Keep the dryer hose as short as possible. This will decrease drying time and reduce chances of the hose getting damaged or kinked.
  3. Position the dryer into the space it will occupy. Make sure there are at least two inches of space around all sides of the unit. This is also a good time to put the owner's manual in a plastic bag and tape it to the back of the dryer.
  4. Attach the other end of the dryer hose to the unit using another hose clamp.
  5. Plug in the dryer and make sure that the hose is not crimped or crushed against the wall.
  6. Turn the breakers back on and start the dryer to make sure it's working properly. Place some wet clothes in the dryer and run a full cycle to make sure everything is in order.

Electric Dryer Maintenance Tips

  • Clean the lint trap after every load, and wash it with dish soap, hot water and a scrub brush every 3 months.
  • Clean the dryer vent from the outside of the house every six months. You can purchase a special brush for the job at home improvement stores.
  • Once a year, remove the hose from the back of the dryer and clean out any excess lint.
  • Avoid using fabric softening sheets if possible. Residue from the sheets can clog up the lint trap. This buildup often isn't visible but can cause serious strain to your dryer's motor and heating elements.