This cover is all different sizes and shapes depending on the manufacturer of the dryer, but it is typically very close to where the cord enters the dryer. The cover is typically held in place with 1 - 4 screws. See image to the right of a Maytag Performa dryer access panel.
With the cover open you will see a terminal block with three wires. Black on one end, white in the middle and red on the other end. Use your 3/8′ nutdriver to remove the nuts or a phillips screwdriver to remove the bolts (depending on your dryer) and remove each dryer cord wire from the terminal block. When you remove the nuts or bolts, be careful not to drop them down into your dryer.
Now you need to install a bonding jumper from the neutral terminal to the dryer’s frame. The bonding jumper is either a metallic strap (typically copper or copperclad) or a green wire that is connected between your dryer’s neutral (white wire) terminal and the green ground screw connected to your dryer’s frame.
Installing this bonding jumper is an extremely important step when changing from a 4-wire to a 3-wire power cord to prevent electrical shocks when touching anything metallic on your dryer.
If you do not have the original bonding strap, you can make one. You need a short piece of green 10 AWG wire, 2 ring terminals, a pair of wire strippers and a pair of crimpers. Strip both ends of the green 10 AWG wire and crimp one ring terminal onto each end of the wire. Now connect one end of the wire to the neutral (center) terminal and the other end to the dryer’s frame; where your ground is connected now.
Loosen the screws at the connector and pull the cord out. Now thread your new cord through the connector and tighten down. This only needs to be snug do not over tighten. Sometimes the old connector will work with the new cord and sometimes not. If not, your new cord will include a connector that you may use.
To hook up your new 3-wire dryer cord, connect each wire to the dryer’s terminal block. The 2 outer wires are your “hot” wires and the center wire is the neutral.
Replace the access panel cover and your new 3-wire dryer cord is installed
Before plugging in your new dryer cord
, I recommend turning off the breaker to your dryer receptacle. Then plug in your dryer. Now turn the breaker back on. This is not fool proof, but it is a safer way to turn on the power to your dryer if you made a mistake connecting your new dryer cord.
If your dryer is different from the one described above and would like a second opinion on your connections, email a picture of the terminal block to info at ezdiyelectricity dot com. I will post the pictures on this page to help others with the same dryer.