What Size Breaker For Dryer? [Answered!]

Electric dryers were formerly powered by a dedicated circuit with three conductors: two hot wires and a third wire that served as both a ground wire and a neutral wire.

This was the case until 1996.

A dedicated ground slot was not provided on the receptacle (outlet), and there was no ground wire or ground prong on the dryer cables.

This arrangement worked quite well (and is still in use in many houses today), but it has a higher risk of causing an electrical shock since the ground and neutral wires are joined in this configuration. 

When the National Electrical Code (NEC) was revised in 1996, it mandated that four-conductor outlets have a separate ground to prevent the risk of a current flowing back to the machine and causing shock or even fire.

To be code-compliant, all newly installed dryer outlets must be compatible with 4-prong, grounded dryer cables, which are available from the manufacturer. ​​

Receptacle with a 4-prong secured to the wall
What Size Breaker For Dryer

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My dryer isn’t working properly!

My Dryer Is Not Working!
My dryer isn’t working properly!

Whenever your dryer does not heat up at all, it becomes a frustrating situation.

There is absolutely no need to be concerned or to sweat!

There are a variety of factors that may contribute to this, and understanding them is critical in order to make adjustments.

The Electrical Connection That is Not Working Properly

It is possible that there is an issue with the wiring that is linked to the dryer.

Make an effort to locate any exposed or severed cables.

Just be sure you switch off the main power grid to avoid any injury from coming into contact with the power lines.

If you’ve ever wired a 4-way switch or a 3-way switch, you should be able to do it yourself since the procedure is identical to that of wiring a 4-way switch or a 3-way switch.

However, if you are unfamiliar with this, it is recommended that you consult with a specialist instead. ​

The Circuit Breaker has Failed

As soon as your breaker is tripped, you may anticipate your dryer to stop working completely.

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Consider this a true emergency because if you don’t take action, a fire may erupt.

Immediately contact your local electrician so that he or she can install a new circuit breaker and prevent any potential electrical fires from occurring.

Inadequate Breaker to Dryer Dimensions

Faulty Electrical Connection
Inadequate Breaker to Dryer Dimensions

The most frequent scenario in this situation is that the dryer’s current levels do not match those of your circuit breaker.

It is possible to verify that the current level on your dryer’s proprietary label matches the current level on your breaker.

The current drawn by the dryer should be equal to or slightly less than the current drawn by the circuit breaker.

If your breaker is set too low, your dryer will continue to trip the electricity and will not function.

However, if your breaker is set too high, you run the risk of damaging your dryer and possibly causing a fire to erupt.

Wiring a 4-Prong Dryer Receptacle with a Grounding Bar

A dryer outlet with four prongs is wired as a 120/240-volt circuit.

The dryer’s timers, sensors, and other electrical components are powered by the 120-volt service, while the 240-volt service powers the dryer’s heating elements and other components.

The National Electrical Code (NEC) mandates that dryers be connected to a dedicated circuit with a minimum of 30 amps.

In order to do this, a 30-amp, double-pole breaker with wire gauge 10 AWG is required.

What You’ll Need to Get Started

  • Equipment / Instruments
  • Wire strippers are used to removing wires from a wire loom.
  • Pliers with a needle-nose tip
  • Screwdriver
  • Flashlight
  • A voltage tester is a device that measures voltage.


  • dryer outlet with four slots
  • Electrical box with dimensions of 4×4 inches
  • Breaker with two poles rated at 30 amps (must be compatible with your service panel)
  • 10-3 NM-B cable (with ground) or EMT conduit, as well as 10-gauge greenfield wire are all recommended.

The Operation of a Circuit Breaker

A circuit breaker is a device that keeps track of the flow of electricity on a specific circuit.

If the current running through that circuit reaches an unsafe level, the circuit breaker “trips,” and the power to the circuit is shut off completely.

Consequently, when a circuit breaker trips, it is preventing the circuit from overheating and perhaps creating an electrical fire.

Consider a circuit breaker to be similar to a traffic signal that regulates the flow of traffic on a certain route.

If there is a constant and safe number of vehicles on the road, the traffic signal will remain green for the foreseeable future.

However, if there are too many vehicles traveling along that route at the same time, the signal turns red and traffic comes to a complete stop.

When a circuit breaker “trips” and interrupts the flow of power, that flashing red light is basically what is happening.

So, what happens if I install a circuit breaker that is too low on the breaker list?

It is possible that your dryer may need 30 amps of power to function, but if you install a circuit breaker that is less than 30 amps (for example, 20 amps), you would have continual tripping.


The “directions” of a circuit breaker are pre-programmed.

The manufacturer’s instructions for a 20-amp circuit breaker state that it should stop power if anything more than 20 amps attempts to pass through the circuit.

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The dryer will always consume more current than the circuit breaker is intended to handle if you install one that is less than 30 amps.

If you install a circuit breaker that is less than 30 amps, your breaker will trip every time you use the dryer.

What happens if I install a circuit breaker that is too high in the electrical system?

Incorrectly installing a circuit breaker exposes that circuit to dangerously high amounts of electricity, which may damage your dryer or create an electrical fire if the breaker is set too high.

When the electrical flow reaches safe levels, a circuit breaker with a setting that is too high will not cut power to the circuit.

Consider the following scenario: you put a 40-amp breaker on a circuit that is only intended to handle 30 amps.

As a result, a 40-amp breaker might possibly allow dangerous amounts of power to flow through the circuit and would never trip until the flow exceeded 40 amps.

However, at that time, the wires have had enough opportunity to overheat, potentially resulting in a fire.

Circuit breakers Have an Important Function

The primary function of a circuit breaker is to maintain the integrity of an electrical circuit.

Overloading and short-circuiting are examples of conditions that may result in an excessive discharge of current.

Many electrical mishaps may be avoided at home and in business settings thanks to the use of circuit breakers.

When it identifies a fault in the circuit, it instantly interrupts the flow of power in order to avoid any mishaps from occurring.

Various Breaker Sizes are Available

Circuit breakers are available in five different sizes, which you may choose from.

With each size comes a unique capability for powering a variety of various electrical items.

Understanding how each size works with various appliances is essential for avoiding electrical mishaps and causing damage to electronic gadgets and equipment. ​

Breaker with a 15-amp rating

The 15 amp breaker is the smallest and lightest of the group, with wire gauges ranging from 14 to 15.

This circuit breaker is capable of dealing with basic electrical sources found in the house.

This comprises electrical receptacles, power outlets, and light fixtures that are general in nature. ​

Breaker with a 20-amp rating

A 20 amp breaker can accommodate wire gauges ranging from 12 to 13 and is capable of handling more demanding electrical equipment.

In the kitchen, they have often been utilized to power a variety of electrical equipment such as the microwave oven and blender, all of which are powered by this kind of power source.

Breaker with a current of 30 amps

The 30 amp breaker, which is located in the center of the group, includes wire gauges ranging from 10 to 11.

Furthermore, due to its capacity, it is capable of handling something a little more demanding, such as water heaters that are distributed around the house.

Some houses nowadays, especially those that do not have many appliances, are only fitted with circuit breakers that are up to 30 amps.

Breaker with a 40-amp rating

The 40 amp breaker has wire gauges ranging from 8 to 9, which allows it to be used to power clothes dryers.

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If you’re experiencing trouble with your dryer not functioning, it’s possible that you’re not using a dryer with a 40 amp circuit.

Many of the appliances on the market today can also take 40 amps or more, making 40 amps for a breaker a safe choice.

Breaker with a 50-amp rating

Due to the fact that the 50 amp breaker is the largest available, it can readily handle electrically demanding equipment such as electric stoves.

This one has wire gauges ranging from 6 to 7 and is the most common breaker size used in houses.

Getting this breaker is a popular option among many homeowners since it enables them to be more flexible when purchasing electronic equipment without worrying about exceeding the breaker’s capacity.

Our Final Thoughts

When comparing the various sizes of breakers, it becomes apparent that a 40 amp breaker would be the most appropriate for the majority of dryers.

Although this is still dependent on the situation, you should remember that appliances should not exceed the amp limit of the circuit breaker.

Frequently Ask Questions

For a 220 dryer, what kind of circuit breaker do I need?

30 Amps is a good starting point.

The typical size of a dedicated circuit for a dryer is 30 Amps in capacity.

It is necessary to have a minimum of 10 copper or 8 aluminum. The breaker must not have a current rating of more than 30 Amps.

Is it possible to utilize a 50 amp breaker for a dryer that draws 30 amps?

It is possible to utilize a 50 Amp breaker if you are using a sub-panel.

The 50 maps may be used to supply one 30 amp and one 20 amp breaker in the second or sub-panel.

The washer and dryer will both be powered by the subpanel in this manner.

Just make sure that the ground in the subpanel is not linked to the white neutral bar in the main panel.

Is it possible to utilize a twin 20-amp breaker to power a dryer?

It is possible that your dryer may need 30 amps of power to function, but if you install a circuit breaker that is less than 30 amps (for example, 20 amps), you would have continual tripping.

The manufacturer’s instructions for a 20-amp circuit breaker state that it should stop power if anything more than 20 amps attempts to pass through the circuit.

Is it possible to connect a 10 2 dryer?

If your dryer does not need a neutral and is a pure 220V appliance, you may utilize the 10-2 and still be in compliance with the code requirements. The only problem is that the neutral and the ground must be shared.

For a 30 amp breaker, what size wire should I use?


You’ll need a wire gauge of 10 to handle a maximum current of 30 amps.

It is a central air conditioner that is the most popular home appliance that needs a 30 amp circuit.

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