Electrifying a New Laundry Room

One home improvement that can increase the value of a home is a separate laundry room. Many potential home buyers have listed a separate laundry room as “must-have.” If your washer and dryer are currently located in a dingy basement, it may also be more convenient to relocate the appliances. Other than the cost of new appliances, one of the major costs of creating a laundry room is to install the proper electrical and plumbing. Here, we’ll give you a guide to what electrical circuits¬†you’ll need to have¬†in order to turn a closet or another room into a laundry room.

Both the washer and dryer require their own unique electrical outlet. The appliances cannot be plugged into any outlet in the home and expected to work. Washers require a 120-volt, 20-amp circuit and receptacle, according to The Spruce. Installing this circuit and receptacle requires three wires: a hot wire, a neutral wire and a ground wire. An electric dryer requires a 240-volt, 30-amp receptacle due to its high power demands. The receptacle comes in two styles: three wire and four wire. The three wire style has two hot wires and neutral (which is bonded to the ground elsewhere). The four wire style has an additional ground connection. The four-wire style now the accepted standard though some older homes may have the three wire style already installed in the current laundry location. If you purchase a newer appliance, it will have four prongs. Electricians no longer install the three-pronged style for dryers because it is not allowed by the National Electric Code. Both the washer and electric dryer require a junction box for the circuits.

If you want to have lighting or other electric appliances in your laundry room, it also makes sense to install a 15-amp circuit. Most separate rooms will already have this circuit installed. However, if you are adding a washer and dryer to an unlit closet space, the circuit may need to be added.

Should homeowners try to install this circuit themselves? It is possible, but we recommend calling a professional electrician. It’s one thing to update or repair an electrical circuit that already exists. It’s another thing to install a new one and make sure that it works correctly. Homeowners can save money on the installation cost by volunteering to hang drywall themselves. As a do-it-yourself project, hanging drywall can be easier and safer for homeowners to learn. Plus, it’s a skill that can be used in many different parts of the home.

Installing a separate laundry room can add value and convenience to a home. However, homeowners should keep in mind the costs associated with the installation. New electrical and plumbing fixtures will be required to run the washer and dryer in the new space.

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