Dryers have always been crucial in American laundry spaces. They made clothes drying quick and convenient even without the sun.
But their convenience comes with huge electricity use. Electric dryers are one of the appliances that consume the most electricity at home, and they need larger circuits for their current draws.
But how many amps does a dryer use? Gas dryers can draw as low as 5 amps, but electric dryers can draw as much as 30 amps.
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Dryer Amperage Requirements
Clothes dryers in America come in two variants: gas-powered and electric-powered dryers. A gas dryer ignites propane or natural gas to heat air and dry clothes. An electric dryer sends an electric current through a heating element that heats the air.
Here is a summary of the typical clothes dryer amperage:
|Type of clothes dryer||Voltage||Current||Dryer Amp Breaker|
|Gas Dryer||120 volts||5 to 10 amps||15 amps or 20 amps|
|Standard electric dryer||240 volts (single phase or 208 volts (3 phase)||22 to 30 amps||30 amps|
|Portable dryer||120 volts||7.5 to 15 amps||15 amps or 20 amps|
Since a gas dryer uses gas as the primary heat source, it only draws a small amount of current. Its typical dryer amperage can be from 5 to 10 amps and can be plugged into a 15 amp or 20 amp circuit at 120 volts.
An electric dryer, though, uses mainly electricity, so it draws a huge amount of current. Standard electric dryers need a 30 amp circuit at 240 volts or 208 volts (for three-phase power). Electric dryer amperage can range from 22 amps up to 30 amps.
Some electric dryers, though, can be compact and portable and plugged into a standard 15 amp circuit at 120 volts. These portable electric dryers are good for small apartments and RVs. They have a lower dryer amp draw than standard electric dryers and can draw as low as 7.5 amps.
Here’s a look at some models and their dryer amp ratings:
|Brand||Model||Capacity (cu. ft)||Current (amps)|
|Standard 240V dryer, electric|
|Compact or portable 120V dryer, electric|
|GE Compact Dryer||DSKS333ECWW||3.6||15|
Factors Affecting Dryer Amperage
1. Dryer Power Rating
Dryers with higher power or watt ratings will draw more current. Large-capacity dryers will usually be more powerful.
2. Dryer Model
Newer dryer models are more efficient than older ones, reducing the current that they can draw. New models have better technology to ensure efficiency.
3. Dryer Efficiency
More efficient dryers will have less electricity consumption. Energy Star-certified dryers will generally use 20% less electricity than non-certified dryers.
Cycles with hotter settings will draw more current. Sometimes, hotter settings are meant for linens and other heavy fabrics. “Eco” or “Auto” modes may dry your normal loads with less electricity.
5. Dryer Type
Gas dryers will have lower electricity consumption since they use a different source to heat the clothes. Also, heat pump dryers can save more energy costs than a conventional dryer.
Determining the Amperage Usage of a Dryer
1. Read the Manual
When you buy a dryer, they often come with a manufacturer’s manual that lists all of the installation requirements and specifications. Check the manual if it lists the circuit requirements and the dryer’s outlet amperage.
2. Measure Using a Wattmeter with an Ampere Feature
If you want to know what amperage a dryer is using in real-time, a household wattmeter can measure the energy use, power, and current draw of the dryer. Just make sure you get the right wattmeter that can measure up to 30 amps.
3. Estimate Using the Formula for Power
If you can’t measure the current, you can estimate using the definition of power. Current can be solved using:
For example, let’s say we have a Samsung dryer with a 5300-watt heating element. The current drawn by this 220-volt dryer will be:
Take note that this is a rough estimate and can vary depending on the settings of the dryer and its efficiency. The value may be higher or lower than the calculation.
Tips for Reducing Energy Consumption When Using a Dryer
1. Dry your clothes under the sun if possible
Air drying is free and saves you energy from using the dryer.
2. Follow the capacity of the dryer
Stick to the load rated for your dryer. Overloading the load takes longer to dry, while underloading uses the same energy as a full load for every drying cycle, even with a few clothes inside.
3. Use the spin cycle of the washer
Extended spin cycles can remove as much water from the load as possible before placing the load in the dryer. Use the extended spin cycles of your washing machine to reduce drying time dryer amp draw
4. Lower the dryer’s heat setting
Hot settings use more energy than normal drying cycles. Longer cycles will eventually use less energy.
5. Separate loads for lighter and heavier fabrics
Lighter fabrics will dry faster than heavier ones. Instead of combining lighter and heavier fabrics in one load, separate them so the drying time will be shorter.
Clothes dryers draw a lot of currents and consume more energy than other appliances in your laundry room. Thus, knowing how many amps does a dryer use can help you prepare the right circuit for your appliance.
Electric dryers can still be used efficiently when you understand the factors that affect the dryer’s current draw. If you follow our tips for reducing the dryer’s consumption, your 240V dryer will be a handy partner in your laundry space.
I am Andrew Wright. I established this blog after eight years of experience designing, installing, and maintaining electrical power systems. I love my job, and I have always wanted to offer others the necessary help so they can take care of their houses.