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REPLACING DRYER 4 PRONG PLUG

JUST MOVED IN NEW HOME, HAVE DRYER W/3 PRONGS, BECAUSE OF CODE THEY STATED I NEED TO REPLACE THE PRONG FOR THE 4 PRONG, I HAVE IT BUT BECAUSE OF THE WIRES THERES A RED,GREEN,BLACK,WHITE. BUT THE OLD DRYER PANEL HAS RED,GREEN,BLACK AND ANOTHER GREEN.

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This is common issue. Due to some building codes the 3-prong configuration is no longer used in homes. The wiring is similiar with one exception. The 4-wire plug uses an additonal (WHITE) NEUTRAL wire.

Here's a brief explanation of how the plugs are configured:

Dryer 3 prong wire configuration:

RED - 120 VAC
GREEN - GROUND
BLACK - 120 VAC

Dryer 4 prong wire configuration:

RED - 120 VAC
GREEN - GROUND
BLACK - 120 VAC
WHITE - NEUTRAL

BOTH plugs provide the SAME source voltages to your appliance:

220 VAC - provided across the RED and BLACK leads are what drives your heating circuitry.
120 VAC - usually tapped of the BLACK wire is used to run the drive motor and timer on MOST dryers.

The wire terminal block in the back of the dryer should have a black, white, and red wire running to it from the dryer wiring harness. With the 4 prong plug, simply attach the BLACK, WHITE and RED wires at the terminal block ensuring that you match the RED and BLACK wires as they are configured and attach the WHITE wire at the remaining terminal lug. Make sure you screw them all down securely. Attach the remaining GREEN wire to chassis (dryer frame) ground. I hope ths helps you.

Posted on Feb 14, 2008

  • sean Taylor Dec 14, 2012

    Many thanks for the time taken but unfortunately I have 1 red (its actually 2 red wires into 1 connector, 1 white, 2 seperate green wires going to an on/off switch with 2 prongs and a heat setting switch with 2 prongs.Would the white and red go to the power on/off and the 2 greens to the heat setting do you think?

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Here is a tip that will help you with changing your dryer plug.


Dryer Cord and Wiring Dryer 3 Wire or 4 Wire




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Change a 3 prong plug to 4 prong


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.

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How to hook up a 4 wire plug to a Maytag clothes dryer model LDE8824ACM with 3 wire connecters.


So you have an, ahem... problem....you have a Code compliant dryer (with it's 4 wire cord and plug)....and have moved into an older home that is not Code compliant (with it's 3 prong receptacle outlet)....and this is fairly common.

At this point - you have two choices....replace the wiring from the dryer's breaker to the receptacle with all new 8/3 with ground romex (it more then likely only has 8/2 with ground now)....and replace the receptacle with a 4 prong grounding receptacle to match your dryer's cord....OR - as an alternative - you can replace the cord on your dryer with a 3 prong cord to match the existing dryer receptacle outlet.

Out of the 2 choices....the first one will bring the old wiring in the home up to current Codes (all NEW homes must have this 4 wire/4 prong set-up per Code...but older homes are grand-fathered)...but it is clearly the most involved, time consuming and most costly approach...and it is recommended only an electrician do this work. If this approach is taken....your dryer cord can stay as is...it will now fit the new receptacle outlet with no modifications.

The second approach - is to pick up a 3 wire 3 prong cord at your local hardware store to match the existing 3 prong receptacle.....and replace the 4 wire cord on your dryer with it. Although this is the least desireable - it is an allowed approach because this is an older home with existing wiring. This is a much less involved approach...all you need to buy is the 3 wire dryer cord (they come all ready to go) remove the 4 wire cord and install the 3 wire cord to your electrical connections at the back of the dryer. Hopefully...when the 4 wire cord was installed on your dryer, the ground strap wasn't removed completely (this is a metal strap that will connect the white wire to the metal frame of the dryer)...because now you will need to re-use the ground strap. For more on this....see the images of the differences of the 3 wire and 4 wire dryer hook-up at:
http://www.applianceaid.com/general.html#3to4

NOTE: the only real difference between the 3 wire cord and the 4 wire cord is now the white neutral and the ground are kept seperate in a 4 wire..the green ground will connect directly to the dryer frame....where in a 3 wire there is no seperate ground wire - ground and neutral are one and the same...the ground strap connects the frame to the white neutral. The 4 wire permits a better safety measure...in the event of an electrical problem (ground fault) in the dryer...the fault now has a seperate path to your panel's ground...and less chance of a shock from touching the metal frame of the dryer.

The choice of how to proceed is up to you....if you go with completely updating the dryer wiring from the breaker outward...I recommend an electrician do this work for you (it's about an hour's work...plus materials). Then your exisiting dryer's 4 wire 4 prong cord can stay as is....the electrician will install a 4 prong receptacle made to fit your cord.

If you go with simply replacing the dryer's cord....changing it to a 3 wire so it will fit the receptacle...make sure the ground strap is re-utilized as seen in the images at the site above.(also make sure all work is done with the dryer breaker (or fuse if a really old home) off before starting any work. If you change the cord yourself...make sure to reconnect in exactly the same manner as the previous cord was connected...(make a note on paper or take pictures so that there are no mistakes)..and that you tighten the nuts securely to the posts once the wire lugs are on them. Where you state you do not have a background in electrical work...you can have an electrician change this cord for you...(typically in under a half-hour)....or you can do it yourself - by carefully following the pictures.

The choice is yours...if it was me - I'd change the wiring from the breaker outward...making the older home meet today's current Codes and be complaint for this dryer..and then you wouldn't need to change a thing on the dryer....but you can go either way....Codes allow this grandfathering in older homes with existing wiring.

Feb 09, 2010 | Dryers

1 Answer

Need to replace existing three wire plug with new four wire plug. there are only three terminals to connect to. what do i do?


Based on your description....you have a Code compliant dryer (with it's 4 wire cord and plug)....and have moved into an older home that is not Code compliant (with it's 3 prong receptacle outlet)....and this is fairly common.

At this point - you have two choices....replace the wiring from the dryer's breaker to the receptacle with all new 8/3 with ground romex (it more then likely only has 8/2 with ground now)....and replace the receptacle with a 4 prong grounding receptacle to match your dryer's cord....OR - as an alternative - you can replace the cord on your dryer with a 3 prong cord to match the existing dryer receptacle outlet.

Out of the 2 choices....the first one will bring the old wiring in the home up to current Codes (all NEW homes must have this 4 wire/4 prong set-up per Code...but older homes are grand-fathered)...but it is clearly the most involved, time consuming and most costly approach...and it is recommended only an electrician do this work. If this approach is taken....your dryer cord can stay as is...it will now fit the new receptacle outlet with no modifications.

The second approach - is to pick up a 3 wire 3 prong cord at your local hardware store to match the existing 3 prong receptacle.....and replace the 4 wire cord on your dryer with it. Although this is the least desireable - it is an allowed approach because this is an older home with existing wiring. This is a much less involved approach...all you need to buy is the 3 wire dryer cord (they come all ready to go) remove the 4 wire cord and install the 3 wire cord to your electrical connections at the back of the dryer. Hopefully...when the 4 wire cord was installed on your dryer, the ground strap wasn't removed completely (this is a metal strap that will connect the white wire to the metal frame of the dryer)...because now you will need to re-use the ground strap. For more on this....see the images of the differences of the 3 wire and 4 wire dryer hook-up at:
http://www.applianceaid.com/general.html#3to4


NOTE: the only real difference between the 3 wire cord and the 4 wire cord is now the white neutral and the ground are kept seperate in a 4 wire..the green ground will connect directly to the dryer frame....where in a 3 wire there is no seperate ground wire - ground and neutral are one and the same...the ground strap connects the frame to the white neutral. The 4 wire permits a better safety measure...in the event of an electrical problem (ground fault) in the dryer...the fault now has a seperate path to your panel's ground...and less chance of a shock from touching the metal frame of the dryer.



The choice of how to proceed is up to you....if you go with completely updating the dryer wiring from the breaker outward...I recommend an electrician do this work for you (it's about an hour's work...plus materials). Then your exisiting dryer's 4 wire 4 prong cord can stay as is....the electrician will install a 4 prong receptacle made to fit your cord.

If you go with simply replacing the dryer's cord....changing it to a 3 wire so it will fit the receptacle...make sure the ground strap is re-utilized as seen in the images at the site above.(also make sure all work is done with the dryer breaker (or fuse if a really old home) off before starting any work. If you change the cord yourself...make sure to reconnect in exactly the same manner as the previous cord was connected...(make a note on paper or take pictures so that there are no mistakes)..and that you tighten the nuts securely to the posts once the wire lugs are on them. Where you state you do not have a background in electrical work...you can have an electrician change this cord for you...(typically in under a half-hour)....or you can do it yourself - by carefully following the pictures.

The choice is yours...if it was me - I'd change the wiring from the breaker outward...making the older home meet today's current Codes and be complaint for this dryer..and then you wouldn't need to change a thing on the dryer....but you can go either way....Codes allow this grandfathering in older homes with existing wiring.

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Sounds like your heating element is burned out (acually burned threw) when you moved it if the element was weak it may have broke in two along the coil wires.
Happens alot.

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http://www.fixya.com/support/r793520-3_prong_4_prong_power_cord_conversion

I hope this helps you. If you have any questions, please let me know.

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