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  1. #1
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    Van Buren, Ar, USA.
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    20 amp circuit question

    Hey gang,

    My new home's utility room is set up for an electric dryer. We have a gas dryer. I have already ran a gas line for the dryer into the room. The washer receptacle already in place is a 20 amp single outlet. My question is if i replace the single with a 20 amp duplex outlet, will i be ok with the washer and the gas dryer running at the same time on the 20 amp circuit. I know that the gas dryer motor draws 6 amps. I am at work writing this and do not recall how many amps the electric dryer draws. Anyone know right off?

    Many thanks in advance.

    "There's no way anything can go wrong now."

  2. #2
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    Olathe, KS.
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    RE: 20 amp circuit question

    It will be close, Most washing machines draw somewhere around 12-15 amps, for the newer ones that is. Older machines use a little more.

    Depending on the wire in the house.....If it is 12 AWG (12/2 NMB W/Ground) you can put a 30 Receptical in, and up the breaker to 30 amps. This may be your saving grace.

  3. #3
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    Nath Saburbin Bahstin, Massachusetts, USA.
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    RE: 20 amp circuit question

    I'm not so sure that 30A on 12-2 is up to code . . . someone will know for sure, but I thought you needed 10-2 or better for a 30A circuit.

    As to the original question . . . check the plates (or stickers) on the backs of the appliances or the specs page in the manuals. Take both amp ratings and add them, if it's much over 15A you should not run them both continuously on a 20A breaker. If it's at or under 15A, feel free to shut off the breaker and swap the single for a 20A duplex, and plug them both in safely. If it's much over 15 . . . a second 20A circuit is probably a better idea.

  4. #4
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    RE: 20 amp circuit question


    >As to the original question . . . check the plates (or
    >stickers) on the backs of the appliances or the specs page
    >in the manuals. Take both amp ratings and add them, if it's
    >much over 15A you should not run them both continuously on a
    >20A breaker. If it's at or under 15A, feel free to shut off
    >the breaker and swap the single for a 20A duplex, and plug
    >them both in safely. If it's much over 15 . . . a second 20A
    >circuit is probably a better idea.

    I'll check the rating on the washer tonight when i get home and go from there.

    Thanks!!!!!

    "There's no way anything can go wrong now."

  5. #5
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    RE: 20 amp circuit question

    If it's already set up for an electric dryer, it should be cheap and easy to change the plug for the electric dryer into a 120V circut. New faceplate, and prying off the little bridge that holds the circut breakers together.

    If you really want, I bet you could even make a cord to do it, without even touching the circut breaker panel. You already have two hots, a neutral, and a ground in the dryer plug. Each leg alone should be able to trip both breakers if it exceeds the rating.



  6. #6
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    RE: 20 amp circuit question

    STOP

    12 AWG copper wire is not rated for 30Amps; in residential applications, the max breaker size is 20Amp with 12 AWG wire..

    That appliance circuit is designed to carry one load, the washing machine. If you feel comfortable risking your family's safety, then a duplex receptacle will fit in the j-box and at worst (hopefully) the double load will simply pop the breaker, and often enough so that you don't try to run two major appliances off a circuit designed for one.

  7. #7
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    RE: 20 amp circuit question

    I'll second that about the 30 amps on #12. It shouldn't ever be done.

    According to my "Pocket Ref", 20amps is the max, and even that is limited to 36 feet.

    If you want to convert the dryer plug into a 120V circut, you should make sure you have no more than a 20Amp circut breaker on each leg. The cord for the dryer would likely be a weak link if the circut is actually 2 30Amp legs, and if there were a minor fault in the washer, it may start a fire or somesuch.

  8. #8
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    Olathe, KS.
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    RE: 20 amp circuit question

    Well guys, I am not going to dispute you, because I also know exactly where you are looking to get the amp ratings of # 12. I couldn't beleive that what I am saying is right either, however my grandfather who is a master electrician, says that if you install a 30 amp rated receptical, the ones with the sideways "T" slot on the hot wire, that the circuit can now be rated @ 30 amps, I work around electricians in my line of work a lot, and I can tell you I have seen this done in comercial buildings as well, I don't know where the exception is in the code, but it must be in there somewhere, or that many different inspectors are wrong.

    Maybe it is just a residential restriction, I don't know, maybe I am wrong.

    Just posting my experience.

    It is always better to be safe than sorry, so use the #12 and a 20 amp, and run another circuit.

    By the way prying off that breaker bridge is a no no also, becasue the breakers are rivited together under the panel cover. Just pulling the bridge off is not truely seperating the breakers, and if someone ever put the 220 VAC back, and didn't replace the breaker, look out.

  9. #9
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    Nath Saburbin Bahstin, Massachusetts, USA.
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    RE: 20 amp circuit question

    >By the way prying off that breaker bridge is a no no also,
    >becasue the breakers are rivited together under the panel
    >cover. Just pulling the bridge off is not truely seperating
    >the breakers, and if someone ever put the 220 VAC back, and
    >didn't replace the breaker, look out.

    I think SD may have been refering to the tab on the side of the receptacle . . . not the common trip bar on the breaker. Popping that off will allow you to have a seperate circuit on each half of the receptacle. That of course requires a second hot to the box. I've got several done this way on my 220v 20A circuit for my shop tools.


  10. #10
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    San Jose, CA.
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    RE: 20 amp circuit question

    Here is a reference to the NEMA plugs available for typical usage. http://www.napanet.net/~swdsales/29.pdf

    If I intepret what your grandfather told you, the plug in question is a NEMA L5-20(PR). It is rated for 20 not 30 amps. I use one for the AC/Heat Pump in my shop. I use it as a 220v plug by splitting the load so neither side of the plug has more than 10Amps.

    It still gets down to wire size, not plug or breaker size.


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