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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Tap into my 30 amp Dryer outlet for an RV outlet???

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ktmrfs

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Posted: 05/30/19 09:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dfoxhoven wrote:

To clarify...it is a double pole 30 amp breaker...and it leads to the outlet in the laundry room and the washer and dryer are both plugged into what appears to be a standard 15-20 amp grounded outlet.


double pole 30A is going to be a 240 circuit. Washer and dryer run off 120V. So, something is at least "strange". It could have been rewired at one time, with the 30A set up for a electric dryer and then either the 30A doesn't go to anything anymore, or someone used 1 leg of the 30A breaker to wire in a 120V 15/20A outlet.

Or the 30A circuit still leads to a 30A 240V dryer outlet somewhere in the laundry room. Even if you have a gas dryer I suspect code still requires the laundry room to have a 30A 240V outlet for the dryer.

The other possibility is that years ago what was occasionally done is to run two circuits (split phase) to each duplex outlet. at the outlet they would break out the tab between top and bottom and wire one leg to the top circuit, one to the bottom. that made the "duplex" outlet into two single circuit outlets, still only needed one ground and one neutral. worst case neutral current would be the breaker rating for the circuit, best case neutral had no current flowing. However if that was done the breaker should have been either a 15A or 20A, not 30A

Someone may have replaced the dryer with gas, looked at a way to get another 120V outlet, left the 30A breaker in place and replaced the 30A 240V dryer circuit with a split circuit 120, one circuit for the dryer, one for the washer. In that case the wire to the outlet should be #10. But it may not have a seperate ground and neutral, which is a no-no.

Every gas dryer we have ever had runs on 120V, needing no more than a 15A circuit. In fact, in our house the washer and gas dryer have run on a single 20A circuit for decades and decades, most often running both at the same time.

Unless you are very familiar with electric codes and wiring I'd have a qualified electrician take a look at the what you really have going on. You REALLY need to know EXACTLY what the current wiring situation is BEFORE proceeding.

* This post was last edited 05/30/19 05:53pm by ktmrfs *   View edit history


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valhalla360

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Posted: 05/30/19 09:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check the voltage. If there are 3 pins and it's 120v...yes, it should be fine or just keep life simple and plug into a standard household outlet.

If you are not running the Air/Con, Electric Hot Water Heater or Microwave....you are unlikely to ever draw more than 5-10amps and a standard household outlet can easily handle the load.


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old guy

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Posted: 05/30/19 10:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

me thinks you need to seek out an electrician to do this for you. it's cheaper then blowing everything up in your camper by not knowing what you are doing

time2roll

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Posted: 05/30/19 10:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dfoxhoven wrote:

To clarify...it is a double pole 30 amp breaker...and it leads to the outlet in the laundry room and the washer and dryer are both plugged into what appears to be a standard 15-20 amp grounded outlet.
That is a split phase connection to the outlet. (very common) I doubt this meets code as it should be a 20 amp double breaker. I would change the breaker. As a minimum the wire should be #10 copper to use a 30 amp breaker. #10 wire is especially important if you will be plugging in a 30 amp RV.

Yes you can jump off and power the RV. But again I would change the breaker to 20 amp and install a 20 amp GFCI covered outdoor outlet and use an adapter. Just connect to 1 hot, 1 neutral, 1 ground. The second hot is for the washer only.

* This post was edited 05/30/19 10:31am by time2roll *


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KD4UPL

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Posted: 05/30/19 10:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here what I'm pretty sure you have going on.
Whoever wired your home originally assumed an electric dryer would be installed; maybe it was installed originally. They installed a standard 10-3 cable to the dryer location fed from a double pole 30 amp breaker. All that's fine. Then, someone decided to go with a gas dryer instead of an electric dryer and needed a 120v outlet. So, the 240v dryer outlet was removed and a regular 120v outlet attached to the #10 wires in the box. That is also fine but they should have changed the breaker to a 20 or 15 amp. It's not really that much of a hazard as the breaker is properly sized for the wire but code doesn't allow a 15 or 20 amp outlet on a 30 amp circuit.
Can you use this circuit for a 30A RV outlet? Sure. The existing 120v outlet is hooked between one of the hot wires and the white neutral leaving the other hot wire not connected. You can connect your RV outlet to this wire and the white neutral in the box providing a 30A 120v connection.
The only real problem is that technically your 120v outlet for your laundry equipment should be on a 20 A breaker. I would change out the double pole 30 A in your panel for 2 single pole breakers, a 20 A on the wire feeding the laundry equipment and a 30A on the wire feeding the RV outlet. Technically that doesn't meet code either because a multiwire branch circuit like you have is supposed to be on a single double pole breaker, not 2 single poles. However, that wasn't code until a few years ago, maybe about 2008 or so they introduced that. It's not really a hazard, just meant to make it easier for someone working on the circuit to get them both turned off.

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Posted: 05/30/19 12:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Normally, tract homes are wired for both the 120 volt (washer and gas dryer controls) and with a 240 volt outlet for an electric dryer. The dryer outlet may not be visible on a casual glance if all the vent ducts, power cords and water lines are obscuring the view. When that happens, people may think the 30 amp double pole breaker is separately feeding the upper and lower outlets of the 120 volt box when that 120 volt box is on its own 20 amp circuit and has nothing to do with the 240 outlet. So, a picture is worth a thousand words.


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Posted: 05/30/19 02:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I also suspect the wiring has been changed. Wondering what was done with the ground. Bonded to the neutral in the outlet perhaps? Does the 3 light tester pass muster?

Best option is to get it back to code. Use the 240V 30A dryer wiring for RV plug (120V and single CB) and run new wiring to the 20A plugs.


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Posted: 05/30/19 04:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As an electrician myself I would strongly recommend you get a licensed electrician to evaluate your situation. Make sure the electrician realizes that the RV circuit is a 30 amp 110v circuit NOT A 220v! Many electricians have never delt with RV electrical. Do not assume he knows! They'll see that 30a plug and think 220v.


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cavie

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Posted: 05/30/19 06:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jerryjay11 wrote:

Considering your gas dryer also uses 120 volts for the "gas valve" (not referred to as an element) you may need some fine tuning on electrical circuits. The 30 amp outlet for your dryer is 240 consisting of two hot, and one ground wire where as your RV uses one hot, one ground and one neutral wire for 120 volts. It would be better to add one 30 amp 120 volt CB and the proper wire to an RV outlet and much safer it would be. The RV outlet polarity must be wired correct as well.

You can google RV outlet wiring schematics and if you are not sure, well?


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cavie

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Posted: 05/30/19 06:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ktmrfs wrote:

dfoxhoven wrote:

To clarify...it is a double pole 30 amp breaker...and it leads to the outlet in the laundry room and the washer and dryer are both plugged into what appears to be a standard 15-20 amp grounded outlet.


double pole 30A is going to be a 240 circuit. Washer and dryer run off 120V. So, something is at least "strange". It could have been rewired at one time, with the 30A set up for a electric dryer and then either the 30A doesn't go to anything anymore, or someone used 1 leg of the 30A breaker to wire in a 120V 15/20A outlet.

Or the 30A circuit still leads to a 30A 240V dryer outlet somewhere in the laundry room. Even if you have a gas dryer I suspect code still requires the laundry room to have a 30A 240V outlet for the dryer.

The other possibility is that years ago what was occasionally done is to run two circuits (split phase) to each duplex outlet. at the outlet they would break out the tab between top and bottom and wire one leg to the top circuit, one to the bottom. that made the "duplex" outlet into two single circuit outlets, still only needed one ground and one neutral. worst case neutral current would be the breaker rating for the circuit, best case neutral had no current flowing. However if that was done the breaker should have been either a 15A or 20A, not 30A

Someone may have replaced the dryer with gas, looked at a way to get another 120V outlet, left the 30A breaker in place and replaced the 30A 240V dryer circuit with a split circuit 120, one circuit for the dryer, one for the washer. In that case the wire to the outlet should be #10. But it may not have a seperate ground and neutral, which is a no-no.

Every gas dryer we have ever had runs on 120V, needing no more than a 15A circuit. In fact, in our house the washer and gas dryer have run on a single 20A circuit for decades and decades, most often running both at the same time.

Unless you are very familiar with electric codes and wiring I'd have a qualified electrician take a look at the what you really have going on. You REALLY need to know EXACTLY what the current wiring situation is BEFORE proceeding.


There has never been a requirement for a dryer circuit in a laundry room. Only a Dedicated 20 amp 120 outlet in the laundry,

To the OP, Chances are it was wired for a Dryer and someone rewired it for 2 separate circuits and it may be code if originally wired with 4 wire romex. Best to have an electrician look at it. I would just use a dog bone and plug into a 20 amp circuit. Manage your usage.

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