Does a Gas Dryer Plug Into a Special Outlet?

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Contact local experts to confirm that your dryer’s outlet meets local codes and ordinances.
See More Photos

Although both a gas and electric clothes dryer use electricity, a gas clothes dryer requires a different electrical connection than an electric dryer does. A gas clothes dryer uses 120 volts of electricity to power the igniter, drum and its main controls, whereas an electric dryer relies on 240 volts of electricity to power its entire operation. While a gas dryer uses significantly less energy than an electric dryer, you still can't plug its power cord into just any electrical outlet. You must plug a gas dryer's power cord into an outlet that has been grounded.


Video of the Day

Electrical Connections

You can plug your gas dryer's power cord into a standard 120 volt outlet with a 15 amp fuse or circuit breaker that has been properly grounded. A standard outlet usually has a three-post terminal strip that's designed to hold a typical three-wire power cord that a gas dryer uses. Use the power cord that comes with your dryer to plug it into the outlet. The power cord has already been grounded and is safe to use with your dryer. If your dryer didn't come with its own power cord, or "pigtail," you can usually purchase one from the retailer where you bought your dryer. A sales clerk should be able to assist you in obtaining the appropriate cord for your dryer.


Outlet Requirements

You must plug your gas dryer into an electrical outlet that has been properly grounded based on local codes and ordinances. This is the only thing that makes the outlet needs of a gas dryer special from other devices, such as an alarm clock or lamp, where a grounded outlet isn't necessarily required for safe use. If you aren't sure whether or not the outlet you plan to plug in your gas dryer's power cord has been grounded, contact a certified electrician to inspect the outlet, and confirm that it's grounded.



Grounding provides protection against electrical shock when operating your dryer. An outlet that has been grounded is set up to divert an electrical current away from the dryer in the event of a short circuit. If you plug your dryer into an outlet that has not been grounded, the manufacturer won't be responsible for covering the cost to repair the damage that might result.



A gas dryer usually comes with a three-wire power cord that's equipped with a grounding conductor. If you don't install it properly, you could be in danger of an electrical shock. Do not alter the plug that came with your dryer to make it fit into a different outlet. Modifying the plug could interfere with its grounding abilities and render it useless. Rely on a qualified electrician or dryer installation specialist to install your dryer.