electrican,Meyer Electrical Services Inc.
Written by Walt Meyer

Upgrading Your Laundry Room Electrically

The laundry room of modern homes usually has three different circuits for power.

1) A 30-amp dedicated circuit for powering an electric dryer.
2) A 20-amp circuit to provide the 120-volt electricity for the washing machine.
3) A 15-amp circuit that provides electricity to light fixtures.

If you are considering remodeling your laundry area or upgrading its machines, the following will discuss several standard electrical requirements to meet code.
Work with a reputable, experienced, and licensed electrician in your area to get the best results.

Electric Dryer Receptacle

Electric dryers function with 240-volt and 120-volt power. 240V supplies the heating element. 120V powers the buzzer, clock, timer and other features. A gas dryer will not require a 240V receptacle.

New electric dryers require a special appliance cord with a 4-prong plug, which must use a 120/240V receptacle supplied by a 10-gauge, 3-wire cable featuring a ground wire, neutral wire, and two hot wires.

In the past, dryers were equipped with 3-prong cords fitting only 3-slot receptacles. Installation of these receptacles for older dryers is no longer permitted by the NEC (National Electrical Code).

Washing Machine Receptacle

A 120-volt, 20-amp circuit provides electricity to a receptacle for the washer. Wiring is comprised of 12-gauge, 2-wire cable that contains a ground wire, hot wire, and a neutral wire.

The 20-amp GFCI receptacle is a designated circuit, which is not like a dedicated circuit. A dedicated circuit powers just one appliance, while a designated circuit is for a specific usage. In this case, the specific usage is for the laundry room, and both the washing machine, and a gas dryer, if present, can be plugged into the same receptacle.

Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Protection

According to the NEC, GFCI protection must be provided for the 20-amp designated receptacle for the washing machine, a gas dryer, if applicable, and standard receptacles. A 30-amp electric dryer receptacle will not require GFCI protection.

Electrical Services You Can Trust

Founded in 1991 and serving Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services you can trust, including:

• Standby Generator Installation
• Panel Upgrades (Heavy-Ups)
• Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations
• Structured Cabling
• Circuit Breaker Replacement

Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.