How to switch a double-pole 30A dryer recepticle between two different plugs?

CZLoco

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Electrical folks....
I need to tap my new air compressor into my dryer outlet, as I have no more space available to add to my panel.
And the compressor will be two feet away from the dyer with one wall in between.

The easy thing to do would be to just wire a four-wire dryer power cord up to the air compressor.
And unplug the dryer when not using it, so the air compressor can be plugged in.

But I'm wondering if there might be an inexpensive permanent solution?
One outlet with two plugs and a switch that lets me switch back and forth between the two plugs, depending on which I want to use?

The four-wire, two-pole, 30A dryer recepticle:
44347
 

fr0st

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To my knowledge, you can take another cable hooked up on the same wires where they are screwed in in the dryer outlet and go from there to the new compressor outlet..

img_1447703_0_ebf4cd5eca16c8ae1d3bef0d73c8bef4.gif
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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Seriously? That was the idea, was to ensure that neither would run at the same time as the other.
I'm not sure what my midrange dryer is rated for, but the compressor is 22A at startup, otherwise it's 15A.

Would be pretty nice if I can indeed let them both run on the same circuit without switching back and forth.
 
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220 circuits are really supposed to be dedicated for all kinds of reasons.

But you wanted easy.

Compressor and dryer together shouldn't pull 25 amps per leg. Cutting it close it is, on startup for both devices.
 

MadRussian

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Look, per NEC, you can only load a circuit to 80%. So with 30A breaker, you got 24A to play with.
If compressor draws 22A at start up, that only leaves 2A for a dryer and there is a reason it's a 30A breaker just for the dryer.
You will not be able to share that circuit, but you could keep plugging one at a time as needed.

Let me see your panel, maybe something can still be done.
 

Vegas12

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IF, and that's a huge if, you have a minimum 8 guage wire at the panel, you can run two receptacles with a single 50 amp breaker.....but I doubt it. Plus you're not supposed to run a larger breaker than called for for individual appliances....

The other way is get a a 4 pole mini-breaker which will let you put two circuits in that one spot on the panel..

 
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Vegas12

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Don't most dryers have 10 gauge running to them? Which will carry 30 amps per leg on 220?

You need both legs for 220....that won't run both the dryer and compressor on startup....hence the big "IF" there was an 8 guage wire.
 
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RobBase

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CZ, you can add another outlet for the compressor tied into that dryer circuit and it will work as long as you only have one
or the other plugged in and operating at the same time. It would be totally against code and all that, but it will work fine, theoretically.

Practically speaking, you'd have to open up the outlet box for the dryer and try to pigtail 3 #10ga or 3 #8ga together with wire nuts to feed
both outlets and then cram all that shit and the dryer outlet back into the existing dryer outlet box.
I doubt it will fit.
 
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CZLoco

CZLoco

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Thank you.
It's a Kenmore 80 series dryer, pretty old. The heating element is rated at 5200W/240V.
I can't find the amperage rating.

I don't want to do anything hinky.
So if it's not safe, cheap and easy, then I'll just stick with swapping the power cord as necessary.

44350

44351
 
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Rocco

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switch that lets me switch back and forth between the two plugs

I saw a guy do that. He wanted a plug to run his dryer and a plug to run his 220 garage equipment. Everything was the same area, opposite sides of the same wall. He got a small 220 split box and mounted it on the garage side of the wall. He ran the 220 to the split box and then a couple of 220 wires, from the split box to each of the 220 outlets on either side of the wall. He would run whichever outlet he wanted to use with the split box.

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Stetson

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Wiring the four prong fitting on the air compressor and plugging in the one you're going to use is the cheapest and easiest way, and guaranteed not to burn your house down. You could be done in ten minutes including putting tools away.
 
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CZLoco

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Why not just run a sub panel to the garage
In a few years I would like to upgrade my service from the street.

I saw a guy do that. He wanted a plug to run his dryer and a plug to run his 220 garage equipment. Everything was the same area, opposite sides of the same wall. He got a small 220 split box and mounted it on the garage side of the wall. He ran the 220 to the split box and then a couple of 220 wires, from the split box to each of the 220 outlets on either side of the wall. He would run whichever outlet he wanted to use with the split box.

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I thought about something similar to this! Just flip one off and flip the other on.
Was hoping for more of a "lightswitch" kinda deal that I could mindlessly do as I walked past.
Swapping plugs around isn't so bad if I'm just doing it now and then.
But the lightswitch thing seemed like a nice idea, I was sure something might be available for a solution like that.

Too much work right now to run new wires to the outside panel to wire up the additional double pole but I like the way you think. :up:
 
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Amazon sells splitters/adaptors if you wanna go that route.

Most people keep their compressor turned off when not in use, I don't happen to be one of those people but most people do.
 

Stuman

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You can just add another receptacle for the compressor off the dryer. If you don't run them at the same time there is no need for a switch. Even if you accidentally run both at the same time the only thing that would happen is the breaker would trip.
 

Rhino

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Prioritize.... infrastructure of a house before the build starts.. once the infrastructure is in place.. then you remodel.. ya kinda doing backwards and spending money twice.

A panel is an easy job. As long as your service has the capacity.

Have you looked up the code for what you want to do?

If it isn't coded and you do have a fire go luck trying to collect from the insurance co.
 

MadRussian

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So, there are 2 panels, one outside and one inside?
I would replace that panel in the picture with something like 24 or 30 pole panel (mine is 200A with 42 poles) and have lots of space to add breakers as needed.

That advice is for someone like me. For you - just plug whichever one you are using, it's free and you can't fuck it up.
 

Dameon

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You can just add another receptacle for the compressor off the dryer. If you don't run them at the same time there is no need for a switch. Even if you accidentally run both at the same time the only thing that would happen is the breaker would trip.
This is your best answer.

Since the dryer is a manual operation (not like a water heater or freezer that could cut on automatically), just don't run both at once. If you do, it'll trip the breaker and no big deal.

Now, if it were me, I'd run another subpanel for your garage from your main panel, but I suspect that isn't a feasible option. Eliminating that, I'd wire a receptacle for your compressor where you need it and use the old wire to the dryer as a pull rope... assuming the original electrical contractor didn't follow code and stapled the wire appropriately. If he did, then Amazon 30amp splitter.
 

Dameon

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So, there are 2 panels, one outside and one inside?
I would replace that panel in the picture with something like 24 or 30 pole panel (mine is 200A with 42 poles) and have lots of space to add breakers as needed.
MR is right, but this is CERTAINLY a professional effort. It's also an insane amount of work swapping a panel.

My house is all electric. I have (2) 200amp panels and they are nearly full. Shit adds up... Tesla charger, tankless water heaters, (3) A/C units (including inside and outside units), (2) freezers, etc. When I get down to my last 2 pole slot, I'll use it for a subpanel before I fill it with a single device.
 

MadRussian

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Changing panels is no big deal, unless you don't have a clue about what you are doing.
I could change it within two hours or so.
Since Eddie doesn't know what he is doing, he would need to hire a pro.

Just unplug the dryer to use compressor and reverse when you need to use the dryer. It's free and very hard to fuck up.
 

Rhino

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Code code code.. is a must..

Yury is correct a small panel like that ... an hour or so.

Go with the switch out like Yury said if your budget won't let a $250 an hour guy come in and bang it out.

Do you need to pull a permit and file in your town for a panel change?
 
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You can also shock the shit outta yourself unplugging the dryer if it becomes routine and you get careless and don't turn the breaker off every time.

Human nature.
 

Rocco

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let a $250 an hour guy come in and bang it out.
Is that what electricians in your area get - $250 an hour ??? I do all my own work, so I'm not up on charges in the trades. $250 is like :wacko3::Buelldozer::wacko3:

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MadRussian

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Code code code.. is a must..

Yury is correct a small panel like that ... an hour or so.

Go with the switch out like Yury said if your budget won't let a $250 an hour guy come in and bang it out.

Do you need to pull a permit and file in your town for a panel change?

$250 an hour is NYC rates. Local sparky charge between $125-150 an hour, plus materials.
In Indiana you suppose to pull a permit, but many don't, since building inspector can't see what they are doing inside your garage/house.
Contractor will still try to charge you for permit, like he paid for it. It's been years, but it use to cost around $100.
 

zxfan

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You can also shock the shit outta yourself unplugging the dryer if it becomes routine and you get careless and don't turn the breaker off every time.
I have never ever turned off the breaker to the dryer to unplug it. You would basically have to try to grab the blades to get shocked.
 

Dameon

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I have never ever turned off the breaker to the dryer to unplug it. You would basically have to try to grab the blades to get shocked.
Just good practice. Potential phase imbalance or loss of ground/neutral if you don't pull it smoothly/quickly.
 

Vegas12

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I have never ever turned off the breaker to the dryer to unplug it. You would basically have to try to grab the blades to get shocked.

Never heard of such a thing regarding the breaker....I have a few 220v plugs that are in and out quite a bit.....from the 50amp RV to the welder....never had a problem.
 

Dameon

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Wouldn't that only happen if you unplugged it while it was running?
Likely yes for the 240v, but not necessarily for the 120v (if applicable). Most 240v devices/appliances have a need for 120v for control circuits or whatnot. They are likely powered up even if the device is "off". The phantom draw you've likely heard reference to. Like a user invoked brown out, if only for a moment.

You may never have a problem, but it only takes once to foul something up and it's a simple process to flip a breaker. Do you turn your light switch off to swap a bulb?
 

Dameon

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I have a few 220v plugs that are in and out quite a bit.....from the 50amp RV to the welder....never had a problem.
Welder probably not a big deal. Fancier ones might have a 120v circuit for a control panel or something. If it is a 3 wire plug, no neutral, and is less likely to have an issue. I'm pretty sure (TS can weigh in) that any modern 240v receptacle must be 4 wire. Old school manufactures were just riding the ground as a return path if they needed 120v on their device. Not safe.

On my RV, I never, ever, plugged it in hot. Normally I would turn the main breaker off in the RV before plugging it in. Once securely plugged, I would flip the main on the RV. Inverters can be overly sensitive to voltage spikes and drops.
 

Vegas12

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Likely yes for the 240v, but not necessarily for the 120v (if applicable). Most 240v devices/appliances have a need for 120v for control circuits or whatnot. They are likely powered up even if the device is "off". The phantom draw you've likely heard reference to. Like a user invoked brown out, if only for a moment.

You may never have a problem, but it only takes once to foul something up and it's a simple process to flip a breaker. Do you turn your light switch off to swap a bulb?

Regarding the light bulb......that would be a no, I'm not sticking my finger in the socket.
 
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