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Re: going from 3 prong wall plug to 4 prong?
Remove cover take a volt meter with one lead on center lug and one on the right lug should read 120 volts , then with one on center lug and one on left should read 120 volt , then with one on the left and one on the right should read 240 volts careful always when checking live voltage void electrical shock
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Is it an electric dryer or gas dryer? If it's a 120 volt gas dryer, then no, you need to keep it on a 3 prong cord. If it's an electric dryer, then yes it is possible to install a four prong plug onto it. Although it isn't recommended.
The main thing you need to know is which wire is ground. From the machine, it should be the green wire. On the plug, there should be on prong that is slightly longer than the other 3. The ground has to be the first one in the wall receptacle and the last one out. So the slightly longer one is where the green ground wire needs to be wired in. The other two wires are both power so it doesn't really matter which prong you wire those wires at.
Once again I'll remind you that it isn't recommended to convert 3 to 4 prongs like that. Just be careful and make sure you aren't touching any live wires.
You should change the plug at the wall. From your description, your dryer plug has two hot wires and a ground.
Your existing plug probably has 4 wires to it - two hots (120 volts each), a neutral (white), and a ground (green). The two hots are probably black or black and some other color.
You will need to match the plug on your dryer cord with the plug at the wall. The type of plug required should be described in your owner's manual. If you don't have that, then take a digital picture of the plug on the cord of your dryer and bring it to your local hardware or home improvement store. They should be able to match the companion wall plug for you.
Make sure the power is off (important). Remove the existing wall plug. When you wire it back up - this time with only three wires, connect the two hots (black and some other color) to the two hot prongs (terminals) and the green wire to the ground prong. Put a wire nut on the end of the white wire and tuck it back into the connection box. That's it. Turn the power back on and test for proper voltage and wiring configuration at the wall plug before you plug the dryer back in.
If you aren't familiar or comfortable with working on electrical apparatus, you should have a licensed electrician do this work for you. This solution also assumes you are in the USA.
IF you find that you have only a 3 wire feed for this dryer (and the
reason for the 3 prong receptacle)...then you can not properly install
a 4 prong dryer cord to it. You now have 2 choices....either rewire
(assuming that it is a 3 wire supply) the entire run from the dryer
breaker to the outlet location with 4 wire (typically a run of 8/3 with
ground having a black, red, white and bare ground)and install a 4 prong
dryer receptacle to match the configuration of the new dryers
cord.....OR - you can remove the 4 wire cord and replace it with a 3
wire cord....re-using the ground strap - IF it is still in place.
yes,is your wall plug 3 prong?remove the small cover off the back of the dryer,you will see 3 screws,remove the 4 prong cord,all you have to remember on the 3 prong is the middle wire on the cord goes to the middle screw on the terminal block, mount the other 2 one on each side and your done,let me know how you do-mike
The following link explains the wiring scheme for 3 and 4 prong power cords. I know the instructions are for converting from a 3 to a 4 prong, but if you look under the "Additional Notes" section it explains how to convert back to a 3-prong if you are currently using a 4-prong.