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canuck the pro
canuck the pro, Handyman
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 2823
Experience:  i have extensive experience in the home improvement industry. my current job is at lowes home improvement.
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My son and family moved into a new rental house and the wall

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My son and family moved into a new rental house and the wall socket for their dryer is different than the plug on the dryer. The wall socket is probably for 50 amp and I assume the dryer is rated for 30 amp since the plug is three prong with the lower prongs at a slant position. See photos. The left socket is 50 amp on our travel trailer box and the right is 30 amp, which looks like the plug on the dryer. What is the best, ***** ***** for this situation: 1. Change the cord on the dryer to fit the wall socket? 2. Change out the breaker in the main house box to a 30 amp if the one there now is a 50 amp? 3. Change the wall socket to fit the dryer plug? 4. Use a pigtail that fits the wall socket and connects to the dryer plug? Sorry, but I do not know the amps of the dryer at this time.

Hi, I'm Mike and I have 20+ years of experience in the home improvement field. I'll be glad to assist you today.

You do not want to plug the dryer into a 50 amp as there is a chance of causing an electrical fire. If you do discover that the plug is in fact 30 amp then simply replace the chord on the machine.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I do not understand. By replacing the dryer cord and plugging it into the 50 amp socket, why is this different than using a pigtail? If the dryer is max 30 amps and the socket is 50 amp, you could still have a fire no matter how it is connected, correct?

Because the 50 amp breaker is too much voltage for the cord for the dryer. A 30 amp breaker will trip during a power surge event and a 50 amp will not until it exceeds the voltage of the breaker. If the breaker is 30 amp then the solution is simply replace the cord. You are calling a replacement cord a pigtail, right?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
A pigtail to me is a cord that has a male 50 amp fitting on one end and a female 30 amp fitting on the other end. We use this if we do not access to a 30 amp socket at a trailer part and have to use their 50 amp socket. Our power cord on our travel trailer is a male 30 amp fitting and won't fit a 50 amp socket unless we use a conversion cord, or pigtail. Maybe I am calling it the wrong term.
Back to the dryer: the best solution is to change the cord on the dryer to one that will fit in the 50 amp wall socket AND make sure the breaker for the 50 amp wall socket is 50 amp and not a 30 amp???? Also, if there is a problem with the dryer and will it burn up if the power goes beyond its rating of 30 amps by being plugged in a 50 amp wall socket? Maybe I am messing up these electrical terms.

The pigtail would not be the solution and yes you are correct. The wiring is not rated for higher amperage. It is the same issue as using a light bulb that exceeds the wattage of the fixture. It will light up and work fine but the wiring will get hot and possibly melt the wire casing causing a fire hazard.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
As I understand it, you recommend we change the wiring on back of the dryer to one that will fit the wall socket, which we assume is 50 amp, because the gauge of the wire in the current cord is not large enough to service the dryer without getting too hot. AND, we should check the breaker to see what it is, either a 50 amp or 30 amp, correct? If the max amperage of the dryer is 30, will there be any problem plugging it in a 50 amp socket? That is, if the amperage of the dryer exceeds 30, then the 50 amp breaker will not trip soon enough, correct? What am I not understanding?

You have to check the breaker. If it is a 50 amp then it needs to be replaced with a 30 amp. You are changing the chord to fit the plug.

If the RV plug and the dryer plug are on the same breaker then that is incorrect too. They should be on their own dedicated circuits with 30 amp breakers for each. It is likely that the RV plug was an afterthought.

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Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The RV plug is at our home and the dryer is in my son's home. No connection. Just using the 50amp to 30 amp pigtail as an option to use, which is not what you recommend. Will change the cord to the dryer and check the breaker for 30 amp. Thanks.

I see. You are very welcome.