Most washers and dryers require a 240-volt outlet to operate. Most home outlets are 120 volts, so rewiring may need to be done before installing these appliances. The plugs and prongs are slightly different in a 240-volt outlet when compared to a 120-volt outlet.
A 240-volt plug may have a number of different configurations, so homeowners are advised to have an idea of what configuration the new appliance has before installing the outlet. Though it is possible to change the cord of the washing machine to a 120-volt model, it is safer and easier to install a new 240-volt outlet into the wall.