Question About A 220 Outlet...


Slightly Touched
9 Years
Apr 2, 2010
New Hampshire
My neighbor referred me to some friends of his that are selling a stackable washer/dryer combo. I just went and looked at it and it looked great, so I paid them with a check and came home. At the time I looked at it, he specifically said that it take a 220 outlet, and I even looked at the plug and said "Yep, that's what I have for an outlet". Then I came home and realized that is NOT what I have. I don't know what I have, but it isn't the same. The plug he showed me kind of looked like a face, with the top two prongs at an angle and then a third bottom prong. Well, my outlet is more like a plus sign pattern, with four prong slots at 12, 3, 6 & 9 O'clock positions. Next to that outlet is a regular 110 outlet.

What can I do? Is it a big deal to change my outlet to a 220? I'm getting a FANTASTIC deal on this washer/dryer and I don't mind paying someone to put a 220 in if it's a simple thing to do. Can anyone tell me if this is an easy fix or if I should skip getting the washer/dryer? I was so excited, and now I'm bummed!
To change to a 220 outlet the line would have to be changed, so Yes it's a big deal.

You would have to run a larger wire from the plug to you junction box.
That sounds like a 220 outlet with all of its prong insertions. This might be as simple as changing the cord to the dryer. So you don't forget do a drawing of your wall plug and carry it to the hardware, they should be able to fix you up.
Yup, you need to change the dryer cord. Three prong 220 plugs are the old style, that used a common nuetral/ground. The four prong in your house has two hots, one nuetral and a seperate ground. Just buy a new cord and you'll be all set.
When you change the cord from a 3 prong to a 4 prong, make sure you remove the bonding strap (neutral/ground)where the cord connects to the appliance and vice versa if you are going from a 4 to a 3.
Okay, I just talked to a friend of mine who knows about this stuff, and he too said the same thing about them simply being two types of 220's & simply changing the cords, so that's a relief.

But he was not familiar with what you said about the bonding strap. Is that something obvious that I will see when I open it up?
If there is one there, you will see it attached from the machine frame to the nuetral wire terminal. It depends on the age of the appliance, whether or not one will be present.
If there is one there, you will see it attached from the machine frame to the nuetral wire terminal. It depends on the age of the appliance, whether or not one will be present.

Keep in mind though that weather a 220v appliance comes with the bonding strap/screw or not, if you put a 3 prong cord on it, the neutral and ground must be bonded at the appliance. Failure to do so could result in getting seriously injured or even killed.

Edit: spelling
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Whoa, wait a minute. A three wire 220 (actually 240) plug has two hots and a ground. You never bond a neutral and ground anywhere but in the service entrance or main panel.

In Laura's case she can change the wire on the dryer to a 4 wire and CAP THE NEUTRAL on the dryer side.


Just get a 3 position plug at Home Depot and have someone who knows what they are doing wire it. It should take no longer than 10 minutes depending on the condition of the wires in the wall.

Make sure you check the breaker panel to make sure your circuit breaker is large enough for the dryer. If there was a dryer plugged in there already it should be.
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Change the recepticle on the wall or the plug on the appliance. If the recpt on the wall is as you describe it is 220.

Purple chicken is right.

Not a big deal 10 to 15 minutes.

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