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The power is out because of Hurricane Gustav. I have a 6500 watt portable generator and would like to use our clothes dryer which has a 220 volt requirement. Is that possible, and is there a special extension cord I could run from the generator (located outside) into the house to connect to the electric dryer? There are several outlets on the generator and one says 240 volts. ?? Rusty

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Dryers require a 40A circuit breaker to handle the current. According to Ohms Law: Watts = Volts * Amps. Therefore, you require a power capacity of 220V * 40A in order to safely run the dryer, which is 8800 Watts. This means your generator does not have enough capacity to run the dryer. If we consider the full power of your generator at 6500 Watts, this only allows for 29.5A, which is not enough to run your dryer.

If it WAS possible, you would need to ensure that you ran a 30A heavy extension cord with the correct 220V plugs and receptacles on the end. This would require at least 10gauge 3-conductor wire, which is quite expensive.

However, that point is moot, since your generator does not have the capacity to run your dryer. You could try it, but I rather suspect that the dryer will trip the 30A breaker on the genset circuit. If you do try it, make sure you run a 10-gauge, 30A extension cord or you could have a fire.

Posted on Sep 06, 2008

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