Electrical Wiring Rules Related To Repairing Or Replacing A Washer Or Dryer


The licensing and permit requirements for repairing or installing new appliances, including washing machines and clothes dryers, may vary depending on where you live. Generally, if the appliance is plugged into a receptacle with a cord, you won't need to hire a professional to do the job. But if your current washer or dryer is hard-wired, you may need to hire a certified electrician or electrical contractor to repair the appliance or install a new one.

Cord-and-Plug Appliances

Although local electrical code requirements are intended to protect households from potentially unsafe situations, you don't usually need an electrician to replace an appliance that you plug into an electrical outlet in the wall. Your municipal government likely won't require you to get an electrical permit either. That may be the case as long as any repair work on the appliance is done in your home and you use the replacement part the appliance manufacturer recommends.

The manufacturer also may recommend what is known as a like-in-kind replacement part. Like-in-kind parts have the same voltage requirements, circuit current draw, and circuit over-current protection that a manufacturer part has.

Hard-Wired Appliances

If a household appliance that needs to be repaired or replaced is hard-wired, your local building code requirements may call for a certified electrician, who is knowledgeable about current regulations, to do the work. Hard-wired means the appliance is connected directly to the wiring in your home, which requires splicing wires and connecting them to terminals.

You may need an electrical permit when you hard-wire an appliance to your home's electrical system for the first time. Later on, if you need to replace the appliance, you likely won't need a permit so long as you install an appliance that has the same electrical requirements and function.

If the certified appliance repair technician repairing your washer or dryer needs to make modifications to a replacement part to make it fit the appliance, you may need to obtain an electrical permit. Sometimes it is necessary to make changes to replacement components when manufacturers upgrade their existing stock of parts.

Changing From a Hard-Wired to a Corded Appliance

If you decide to replace a hard-wired washer or dryer with a plug-in appliance, you'll need an electrician to install a 4-prong outlet for the molded plug of your new appliance. Installing a socket so that you can plug an appliance cord into it may make it easier the next time you need to replace the appliance. However, the electrician must make sure the cord on the appliance will match the outlet. If you replace an existing appliance with an older, used model, since the electrician will be installing a 4-prong outlet, you may need to change the cord on the appliance from a 3-prong cord to a 4-prong cord.

For more information, contact The Good Guys or a similar company.


30 June 2015

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