Electric dryers run on a 240 volt current, which requires the installation of a special kind of outlet. If your home was built before the mid 90’s, then it is likely that you have a 3 prong dryer outlet, but if it was built later, then you should have a 4 prong outlet. This is because in 1996 the National Electrical Code (NEC) mandated that all new home wiring use a neutral for Dryers. So, what exactly is the difference?
● 3-Slot: As stated previously before the mid 90’s dryer outlets tended to have 3 slots (one ground and two live). This meant that the ground wire would act as both the neutral and current pathway. Usually this is fine, but there is a larger possibility of an electrical shock occurrence due to the frame becoming energized. This risk on top of the increased frequency of water being found in the laundry areas led to the 4-slot outlets.
● 4-Slot: This outlet has two live slots, one ground slot, and one neutral wire. Due to the neutral wire acting as a return path for the excess power not being consumed, the possibility of shock becomes much lower.
If you are in an older home with a 3-slot outlet for your electric dryer, then you should consider contacting an electrician and switching to a 4-slot outlet. For more information on this, or installing contact us at (210) 899-2430.