DIY (do-it-yourself) Projects

Published on December 11th, 2014 | by Peter Young

How To Test The Voltage Of Your Dryer’s Outlet

4-prong_dryer_outlet

Having trouble getting your clothes dry while using your dryer? It could be that your dryer isn’t receiving the proper amount of electricity to perform the task, and as a result, you could be spending more money on your monthly electric bills. But how does one know whether or not that’s the case? It’s actually a bit easier than you might think. Just follow these easy steps to ensure that your clothes dryer is receiving enough power in order to function properly:

Things you’ll need for the job:

  • Multimeter or an Ohm meter
  • Gloves
  • Safety Goggles
  • A 220 Volt Dryer Outlet

How to test the voltage of your dryers outlet

Before continuing, be sure to check out this video on how to test the voltage of your dryers outlet:

1. Unplug your dryer and put on your safety gear. Simply put on your gloves and goggles, grab the dryer’s plug and remove it from the wall outlet.

2. Turn on your multimeter and plug in your probes. Now that you’ve unplugged your dryer it is time to prep your multimeter. Turn on your multimeter and be sure that each of your probes are plugged into the appropriate inlet on the device. If you’re unsure of which inlets those are, consult your owners manual.

3. Be sure your multimeter is on the proper AC (Alternating Current) setting. Multimeters can test a variety of different AC and DC currents, but for the purposes of this test you’ll want to be sure it’s set to test AC currents. Be sure that your device is set to the maximum setting for testing AC currents, this is to prevent the device from becoming overpowered by the outlet.

4. Take your two probes and insert them into the side slots of your dryer’s wall outlet. Be careful not to touch the tips of your two probes while doing performing this task, doing so could cause the multimeter to malfunction. After you’ve carefully inserted your two probes in the side slots of the outlet take a look at how many volts the multimeter is registering. If you’re plug is working properly your device should be reading between 220-240 volts. 

Screen shot 2014-11-24 at 2.48.59 PM

5. Take one of the probes and put it into either the top or bottom slot. Leaving one of the probes in either of the two side slots, take the other and put it into either the top or bottom slot of the plug. If your outlet is working properly your device should be reading roughly 120 volts. Now repeat step three for the opposite set of slots (i.e. if you just tested the right and bottom slot, take your probes and test the left and bottom slot).

Screen shot 2014-11-24 at 2.49.28 PM

 

If throughout this process you’ve discovered that your outlet isn’t functioning properly, you should leave your dryer unplugged and contact a local electrician to have them come out and further diagnose the issue.

If you’re looking for more ways to make your home more energy efficient, be sure to check out our green home improvement projects: Green Living Ideas, after all, is a top 20 home improvement website!

Photo courtesy of Build My Own Cabin.





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About the Author

graduated from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) with a degree in journalism and has made sustainability and eco-conscious living mainstays of both his professional and personal life. It was during his time at PLU that he began his journey with sustainability and it’s what has led him to writing for Green Living Ideas. He currently resides in Honolulu and works for Pono Home, an energy efficiency company focused on reducing carbon emissions and promoting a healthier, greener lifestyle.



One Response to How To Test The Voltage Of Your Dryer’s Outlet

  1. Ian Simmons says:

    So when testing only one side it does not matter which probe you put in the line slot? I always thought you needed to be sure the positive(red) lead was in the line and the negative(black) lead was in the ground or neutral. Is that more for testing DC where you have a positive or negative line?

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