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20 Amp Breaker For Dryer (Things You Must Know)

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Last updated on August 14th, 2022 at 01:25 pm

Dryers usually have circuit breakers rated for the appliance’s electrical load. Knowing the amp breaker suitable for your dryer can be so beneficial.

It will help you avoid situations of overheating or cutting off.  You shouldn’t just use any size or take bogus recommendations. Let’s see the possibility of 20 amp breakers on drying machines.

Only use a 20 amp circuit breaker for a dryer if that is the specified size. Running your dryer above or below its appropriate or correct amp circuit breaker can result in breaker shut-offs and excessive heat up. However, if a gas dryer is what you have, you can utilize the 20 amp circuit breaker.

Can I Use A 20 Amp Breaker For A Dryer?

20 Amp Breaker For Dryer

20 amp circuit breakers are typical in gas dryer scenarios. As a whole, you can utilize a 20 amp dryer size breaker when your manufacturer recommends it.

Circuit breakers operate by inspecting the electricity flow in circuits. Whenever circuit currents reach unacceptable levels, these devices trip or shut off

Unlike most gas dryers which need about 20 amp size breakers, most electric cloth dryers nowadays typically use 30 amp breakers.

Therefore, you shouldn’t just assume any amp circuit breaker size for your dryer. Instead, ensure you always get the appropriate one.

If you use an amp circuit breaker lower than the recommended one, the dryer will not operate for long.

Let’s say your dryer needs a capacity of about 30 amps to run. Using a lower capacity circuit breaker will result in constant tripping. 

Know that producers tailor circuit breakers to operate in a particular way. And in the same way, 20-amp-sized circuit breakers are fabricated to cease power when anything more than 20 amps tries to circulate the circuit. 

Avoid setting up a 20 amp circuit breaker for your dryer when it needs a 30 amp capacity. If you do so, the amp breaker will trip uncontrollably because of the excessive draw of high current.

This current is usually more than its capacity.

If you shouldn’t use a size circuit breaker that is less than the appropriate, don’t also utilize high amp breakers. 

Using a circuit breaker that is more than recommended will initiate a fire outbreak which can consequently impair your dryer.

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This fire outbreak can occur because of excessive heat up in the circuit or framework. Unlike low circuits breaker, high circuit breakers don’t necessarily cease power.

For more clarity, let’s say your dryer needs a 30 amp capacity and can hold a maximum of 30 amps. Utilizing a 40 amp size breaker will prompt overheating in the wire.

To know the suitable amp circuit breaker, consult your user manual. Or better still, check for a label, attachment, or printed text on the dryer.

You’ll usually find information about its proper dryer size breaker.

To some extent, using a 20 amp breaker depends on the power your dryer uses on average per cycle. If it uses less than 20 amps, the 20 amp circuit breaker would be okay though they’ll not be efficient.

What Size Breaker Does A 220v Dryer Need?

220v electric cloth dryers typically need 30 amp circuit breakers. That’s what the NEC(National Electric Code) even suggests. 

Know that the circuit breaker size and wire gauge of your electric clothes dryer depend on the power it needs.

And aside from that, most electric dryers nowadays usually operate on 30 amps which go in line with a 220v. 

But for 110 volts, 15 amps is standard. Electric cloth dryers have an average current draw of about 10-30 amps. At 220 volts, electric ranges are even up to  40 amps, and electric dryers are 30 amps. 

In addition, 110\120v electric clothes dryers generally utilize tinier circuit breakers. Unlike the 220v dryers, they’re plugged directly into the outlet. Therefore, they merely have a current draw of about 7-15.5 amps.

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Wholly, 220-volt dryers are different from their 110-120 volt counterparts. As a result, they require a disparate circuit breaker.

You should use circuit breakers for one appliance at a time as a guide. This means that when the breaker is on, it should not power any other appliance in the house. 

It is sometimes somewhat perturbing because electric cloth dryers need a lot of power. They can use all the power from the circuit breaker.

Also, ensure that your home has enough room space for the dryer cord and plug. The amp adapter cord should be long enough.

What Size Breaker Do I Need For A 240v Dryer?

Just as the 220v, 30 amp circuit breakers are equally essential for 240v electric cloth dryers. In contrast, 110\120v dryers barely require circuit breakers of about 15 amps.

I’m giving such a comparison because 220\240 and 110\120v are the dominant voltage forms through which electric dryers exist.

240v dryers are the most common you’ll find around, and they all utilize 30 amps breakers.

Additionally, 220v dryers are similar to 240v dryers. So they’re cognate to the extent that most 220v appliances and not just dryers have 240v labeling.

They use synonymous wiring specifications; there’s practically no discrepancy. For example, 220v and 240v dryers use  10 AWG  as the appropriate wire gauge or size.

Conversely, 110\120v circuit breakers are typically interrelated with gas dryers, and in this case, they require less power or current.

In addition, while 220\240v dryers demand the use of 3 or 4-prong dryer outlets, 110\110 dryers plug directly into the wall outlet

Altogether, always ensure you select the best circuit breaker for your dryer. It should not be too small or large. Nowadays, most dryers are 240v, and a 30 amp breaker is suitable in such situations.

Many homeowners and a few electricians suggest using 20 amp circuit breakers on 220v and 240v dryers.

But I don’t concord such suggestions because using a 20 amp breaker will prompt little or no efficiency.

And if you’re planning on using one, be rest assured of compromise. Breaker sizes should be at least as large as the dryer’s rating.

Can I Run A 30 Amp Dryer On A 20 Amp Breaker?

Homeowners with 20 amp breakers are always big-eyed about running their 30 amp dryers. But, to your knowledge, running your 20 amp dryer on a 20 amp breaker is dangerous.

You’ll be putting the breaker at a high risk of constant or uncontrollable tripping and shutting off. This is because 30 amp plugs don’t fit into 20 amp circuits.

Running the 20 amp dryer on that 20 amps breaker will decrease the circuit’s run time. Yes. The dryer will have to work harder to keep up with the demand of the load.

20 amp breakers are fabricated towards disconnecting if there’s a current draw of more than 20 amps.

Immediately the dryer attempts a current draw of more than 20 amps, the circuit breaker will respond by tripping or shutting off.

By and large, if a 20 amp breaker is what you have, I suggest you upgrade the breaker. After that, you should replace it with a 30 amp breaker. Your 30 amp dryer should ideally have a 30 amps breaker.

Final words

If you intend to use a 20 amp breaker on your dryer, first consider the size of the dryer. If you have a small dryer with a seemingly low voltage (about 110\120v), the 20 amp breaker is okay.

As a guide, the length of the circuit should not be too long. Also, it shouldn’t be too far from the circuit.

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