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Understanding World Dryer Model Numbers

Looking for a particular World Dryer Hand Dryer but you can't make sense of those World Dryer model numbers? In this article, we help you to understand what the model numbers mean and how to use them.

Believe it or not, the most complicated model numbers involve some of the earlier models like the Model A & AirMax (hand dryers), and the Model B (hair dryers). Once you understand these, however, the later models will pose no challenge at all.

There is a little bit of a Method to the Model Number Madness and also some history. So pour yourself a strong cup of coffee and you will soon be in the model-number-know.


This is the basic Model A hand dryer, shown by the “A” in the primary location. This particular unit is the standard hand dryer and the first that was manufactured by World Dryer. It has a porcelain enamel cast iron cover, is push button, has a swivel nozzle, requires 115 volts, 20 Amps and is white. The A in the model number, with no other numbers or letters, indicates all of these base features except for white, which is indicated by the suffix of 974.

Technically, without an “A” at the end of the model number, this unit is a demo unit and not for sale. We usually ignore this last letter since it does not provide any other information, but when you receive your unit, you would see it written like this:


At some point, World Dryer started offering these units with a fixed nozzle (does not swivel for using on the face and hair) option. To show the fixed nozzle, a “5” was introduced after the primary model letter as follows:


More recently, all of the model A hand dryers were converted to Universal Nozzles, meaning they can be adjusted with an Allen wrench to either swivel or fixed. Once World Dryer made that change, they began shipping all of their models in the fixed position. If you want a swivel nozzle, you need to adjust it yourself once you have the dryer. If you have a job that specifies a swivel nozzle (without the “5” in the model number), you would still order it fixed (with the “5”) and adjust it during installation. As a result, all World Dryer Models A and M (AirMax) come only fixed and therefore must have the 5 after the primary model letter.

To show that the nozzle is “Universal” ie adjustable in the field, World Dryer added a “U” at the end of the model number. So the standard unit now looks like this:


However, since all model A’s now come fixed and we don’t need the last A anyway, most people completely drop the A and the U and write the model number like this:


Many people drop suffix (the part after the dash) and call this unit simply an “A5 hand dryer”. But you really need the 974 to know the color and cover type. So don’t specify just an A5 hand dryer. Specify an A5-974.

As the options were added to this dryer over the years, other letters and numbers were added to model numbers.

An “M” instead of an “A” indicated an AirMax hand dryer. The AirMax is identical to the model A, but almost twice as fast. The AirMax was specified whenever possible unless there is a problem with the added noise of a high-speed hand dryer.


Since the AirMax blows such a large volume of air, World Dryer would prefer that users did not blow the air into their eyes, and so this unit does not come with the Allen wrench to convert it to swivel, and is therefore not a Universal Nozzle, so you will not see the “U” at the end of the model number, only the “A”. (M5-974A will be written on the box.) Can you convert it to swivel if you have the Allen wrench? Yes. Unless World Dryer used an old style nozzle (which they don't anymore).

Now, a “B” for the primary model letter indicates the World Dryer Airstyle hair dryer. This is essentially the same as the model A but configured upside down so that long hair does not get pulled into the air intake at the bottom. These units only come with swivel nozzles, so you will not see the “5” in the model number. They also only come in push button – no automatics. If you want an automatic hair dryer, purchase a Model A, but you are taking your chances with long hair!



As other wattage options were added to these models, they were represented by numbers just after the model number as follows:

Added Description Example
(none) No extra number. 110-120V, 20A, 2300 Watts A5-974
2 110-120V, 15A, 1725 Watts (Lower heat settings) A52-974
4 208-230V, 10A, 2300 Watts A54-974
7 277V, 8.5A, 2300 Watts A57-974

A "1" and a "3" are only used for the Model B hair dryer

Added Description Example
1 110-120V, 10A, 1725 Watts (Lower heat settings) B1-974
3 208-230V, 10A, 2300 Watts B3-974

International Models. If you are exporting or importing hand dryers outside of North America, the voltage requirement is usually 230 volts but with 50 Hz instead of 60 Hz used in the US. 50 Hz is indicated in an additional number slot by the an “8.”

Added Description Example
48 230V, 10A, 2300 Watts, 50Hz (for export only)) A548-974

Sensor Activated (Automatic)

When automatic (hands-free, infrared sensor) hand dryers were added to the model numbers, they were indicated by the letter “X.” So if you want an automatic unit (which we recommend) purchase the XA5-974 (for the model A) or the XM5-974 (for the AirMax).

Other Cover Options

Cast iron was the standard in the hand dryer industry for many years. But today there are many different cover options available. In the Model A, B and AirMax hand dryers, you can get a steel cover with a white finish (less expensive but easier to scratch or rust), or stainless steel (in either a bright polished finish or a satin, brushed finish).*

Added Description Example
D (974) White Steel Cover DA5-974 or DXA5-974
D - 972 Polished Stainless Steel Cover DA5-972 or DXA5-972
D - 973 Brushed Stainless Steel Cover DA5-973 or DXA5-973

*At one point, there were other colored finishes (beige, black, and gray), but these are no longer available.

Mounting Options

All of the models we have looked at so far are surface mounted hand dryers. To get an ADA compliant, recessed hand dryer, you will need an “R” in the prefix. These hand dryers come with a wall box that fits into the wall. This option is only available in cast iron or brushed stainless steel. (One used to be able to purchase a recessing kit for the other cover options, but this is no longer the case.)

For the recessed version, you must also add a “Q” to the suffix. This indicates the squashed nozzle that helps the unit meet ADA compliance. You can make a special order for a recessed hand dryer with a regular, large nozzle, but it is not ADA compliant. You can also still purchase the old “E nozzle” which is a flat grid, but these are being replaced by the “Q” nozzles.

Two examples of this would be RA5-Q974 and DXRM5-Q973.

Summing Up

And, finally, below is a diagram which sums all of this up nicely.

For more information on hand dryers, please call us at (704) 937-2673, or email info@restroomdirect.com and we will be happy to help you!

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