Disconnecting and moving an electric or gas clothes dryer is a simple process if you follow a couple of steps and have the right tools. Clothes dryers are lighter weight and much easier to move than a clothes washer. You can save yourself some money and time if you move it yourself.
What You Need
- Moving dolly
- Bungee cords or rope
- Duct tape
- Rigid vent system
- 15 minutes
Disconnecting and Moving
- Turn off gas and water supplies: If you have an electric dryer, simply unplug the cord and secure it to the back of the dryer with duct tape. If you have a gas dryer, turn off the gas source completely. Remove the supply hose from both the gas outlet and the dryer and store it inside the dryer drum. If you have a clothes dryer that features a steam cycle, you will also need to disconnect the water supply line. Be sure that the water valve is turned off at the main before disconnecting the water line. Have a small bucket or rags on hand to catch the inevitable drips.
- Disconnect vent ducts: For all types of dryers, disconnect the metallic vent duct or hose from the back of the dryer and from the wall. Store the vent system inside the dryer drum. If your dryer venting line is not metallic, discard it and upgrade to a metallic, fire-resistant vent when you move.
- Change the vent duct if necessary: All national and local building codes now require metal ducting for clothes dryers. Ideally, you should use rigid aluminum tubing pieces between the dryer and the outside vent. This type of ductwork does the best job of resisting the collection of lint in the duct. Flexible aluminum ducting is available, however, it is more prone to collecting lint inside. If you still have a white or silver vinyl duct hose, it should be replaced immediately. It is flammable and if ignited by the dryer it will burn and cause a house fire. Aluminum venting is inexpensive and well worth your time and trouble to install. It can save a life—yours or your family's.
- Place the dryer on the dolly: When everything is disconnected, carefully slide the dryer onto the dolly, evenly distributing the weight. Secure the dryer to the dolly with bungee cords or rope. This is especially important if you are moving up or downstairs.
- Plug in the dryer: When you arrive at your new home, electric dryers simply require connecting the metal vent and plugging the dryer into a 220v outlet. It is a very good idea to clean any dryer ductwork that you can before installing the dryer to help prevent fires.
- Buy a dryer cord if needed: You may find that the plug on the dryer's cord does not match the 220v outlet. 220v outlets can either accommodate three or four-pronged plugs. Don't panic if your dryer's plug doesn't match the outlet. It is much more simple to spend a few dollars and change the dryer cord than to change the outlet plug.
- Disconnecting the old dryer cord: Older homes typically have 3-prong outlets but the building codes were changed in 2000 to require 4-prong outlets. While these same codes prohibit changing a 4-prong to a 3-prong outlet, the code does allow changing the dryer's cord to match the existing outlet regardless of whether the cord is 3- or 4-prong. To change the cord, you must open the access panel on the back of a dryer with either a screwdriver or adjustable wrench. Remove the old cord by loosening the connection screws that hold the wires in place and disconnecting the ground wire.
- Attaching the new cord: Attach the new cord by connecting the color-coded wires to the same colored wires in the dryer and connect the ground wire.
- Testing your cord: Finally, close the access panel and test the dryer by plugging it into your new outlet. Be sure it will begin a cycle before you move the dryer into place. If the dryer does not work, check the breaker box to be sure the outlet is working properly.
- Reconnecting gas lines: Gas clothes dryers require a technician to connect the gas lines. Do not attempt to connect gas lines yourself. This is also the time you can make changes to the dryer if you are switching from natural gas to propane or vice versa.