Knowing which type of extension cord to use with a dryer has become the most common question among homeowners. It is a critical issue for people who face problems with the short dryer cords. These extension cords seem to be the only appealing solution in such a case. Today, we will discuss everything about the dryer extension cord.

So, let us discuss the types of dryer extension cords, how they benefit you, their uses, and installation methods.

What are they?

Dryer Extension cord
Dryer Extension Cord

Extension Cords Explanation: Extension cords are flexible cables that connect electrical appliances to a power socket. These extension cords provide fast, reliable, and high-voltage electric power.

So, let us dive into the details of the extension cord, its types, and uses in this section;

Extension Cord Types

Three-Prong Cords: This extension cord type is a grounded cord that contains three wires: two hot wires (black and red) and one neutral wire (white). The three-prong extension cord is suitable for dryers with old models that don’t have a grounding wire.

Four-Prong Cords: The four-prong cord, as the name suggests, contains four wires: hot wires (black and red), neutral wire (white), and grounding wire (green or bare copper). The advanced dryers with devoted ground wire are perfect for this extension cord.

Choosing the Right Dryer Extension Cord

Dryer Extension Cord
Dryer Extension Cord

When you use the dryer extension cord, you have to keep the following points in mind. It is mandatory for your safety and the dryer’s performance. 

The cord you choose should handle heavy electrical flow. Therefore, it is mandatory to use a heavy-duty dryer extension cord. As you know, you are using an extension cord to replace the short ones, so it is beneficial to use a heavy-duty extension cord for safety and efficient electrical flow.

Moreover, it is vital to choose the cord that meets the requirements of your dryer. Therefore, choose the extension cord with the proper volt rating, AMP, and wattage for your dryer. Additionally, the electric dryers require a lot of power to function. So, connect them to a 240V electrical socket. The higher power ensures the smooth functioning of the device. That is when an ordinary extension cord fails to support the device. Then, dryer extension cords become necessary. They are best at handling high electricity flow and preventing potential hazards. 

At the same time, don’t use a lower-power electrical socket for the dryer extension cord. Likewise, plug only one device at a time to avoid malfunctioning and other potential fire hazards. On top of all, use only a four-prong extension cord for your dryer. It is vital as the grounding saves you from uninvited mishaps. Besides, you may require an amperage rating of 30 amps to 40 amps. So, while choosing the dryer extension cord, read the amperage ratings too.

So, you can use an extension cord as it serves many purposes. They can professionally handle high power and maximum load. You can safely plug the dryer into the socket using an extension cord. Be careful while using them, as your carelessness can lead to potential hazards.

Dryer Extension Cord and Outlet Types: The outlet type you require for your dryer also varies depending on your region. Every area has its specific codes in place. However, in the United States, you may have two most common types, which we will present in the table below;

Outlet Types and Specifications

  NEMA 10-30 Outlet:

  • This one is compatible with three-prong cords.
  • Best for 240 volts.
  • Best for dryers with a 30-amp amperage requirement.

  NEMA 14-30 Outlet

  • Best for four-prong cords. 
  • Best for 240 volts.
  • Ideal for both 30-amp and 40-amp amperage requirements.

The Perfect Dryer Extension Cord: The dryer cord should be compatible with your device. However, there are certain factors to consider while choosing your next dryer extension cord;

Length and Gauge of the Extension Cord: The cord length for your dryer depends on your personal needs and preferences. However, they should be long enough to reach the power outlet. More specifically, if the extension cord gets to the outlet with no strain, that is your perfect length. 

The gauge, on the other hand, tells how thick the cable is. The thicker wires have better capacity/electrical power/amps, which means they can carry power without resistance or loss. So, it is necessary to consider these factors because too long a cable also means voltage loss. Secondly, for dryers, a gauge of 8 or 10 is ideal. We suggest you consult your nearest technician to determine the length and gauge for your dryer’s cord.

Three-Prong versus Four-Prong Cords: The type of cords you choose depends on your home electrical system. However, it is also essential to buy a cord type that is compatible with your device.

Compatibility: For the extension dryer cord, the cord should meet the requirements of your specific model and must be compatible to complement it. However, the new models support both three-prong and four-prong extension cords. As a result, you get versatility in selecting the dryer cord. It is also necessary for efficient performance of the device. 

When you choose your next extension cord, don’t forget the essential considerations, such as cord type, gauge, device compatibility, and length. 

Installing the New Dryer Extension Cord

Consider the following points if you start changing/installing your dryer cord. It is necessary for your safety and your device. For houses built after 1996, you may use a four-prong electrical extension cord for your dryer. Here is how you can change your dryer cord. Ensure to have mandatory tools such as Screwdriver, Socket wrench, and Pliers with the 30-amp and four-prong extension cord. You are good to go now;

  1. You are now ready to remove the cover plate. Ensure unplugging the dryer from the power socket to avoid potential injuries or incidents.
  2. With the help of a screwdriver, you may now detach the plate housing the electrical wires.
  3. Afterward, remove the strain relief screws as they secure the power cord to the dryer. You may now disconnect the power cord.
  4. Once you remove the cord, it is about time you remove the neutral wire from the ground screw. 
  5. Now, you can insert the new 4-prong cord into the strain relief. Make sure you connect the grounded wire to the grounded port. Then, attach the hooked end of the white wire to the device port beneath the center screw of the terminal block. Connect the hooked ends of the two wires under the outer terminal block screws. Ensure you squeeze and tighten them well.
  6. Finally, reattach the cover plate and secure it with screws. You may now plug the power cord into the 4-prong outlet.

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How to Verify Your Connection

Now that you have installed the cord, you may verify that you have a proper connection. To verify, you may follow these steps;

  • First, turn on the circuit breaker power.
  • Ensure plugging in the dryer to the electrical outlet securely.
  • Switch the dryer on and see if it works smoothly. 
  • If you hear some unusual noise or witness a spark, etc., it indicates an improper connection. But, if everything seems fine and works properly, you have installed the electrical cord correctly on the dryer.

Safety Precautions

When you work with electrical devices, ensure your safety first because your carelessness can lead to dangerous injuries or other potential fire hazards. You may follow these points for your home’s safety like a responsible homeowner;

  1. Ensure you turn the power off to prevent potential injuries and other mishaps.
  2. Unplug the old cord from the power outlet and detach it from the dryer.
  3. When you work with any electrical device, maintain your safety first. Wear safety gear like glasses and gloves. These gears are best in protecting you in the event of danger. 
  4. Once you follow all the precautions for your safety, start your dryer.

Final Remarks

With this article, you should now be able to change or install your dryer extension cord. This article is also helpful in explaining how to the select an extension dryer Thus, you can carelessly make your next purchase for your dryer.

Ensure the compatibility of the extension cord you choose for your specific dryer model. Please research the ground system in your home. Once you know more about this, you will be able to better determine if you need a 3 prong cord or a 4 prong cord.

For any repairs, installations, builds, or questions; We recommend you to hire a professional. Find A Pro Near You Here!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What should be the length of a dryer extension cord?

Ensure you buy an extension cord with an adequate length to reach the power outlet. For the dryer, an extension length of six feet would be more than enough.

Is an outlet necessary for the dryer?

Yes, you will need specific kinds of outlet as the dryer runs on a 240-volt current.

Are electric dryers better than gas dryers?

The selection of the dryer is a personal choice. However, electric dryers usually take more time to heat up. Gas dryers heat up right away. So, using electrical dryers means longer drying time, which results in high energy bills.