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I have a three wire receptacle and a cord with four wires on the plug. How can I make this work?

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You have to change the cord <$20
all you need is a screwdriver and some patience

Posted on Jun 28, 2008

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I have a hotpoint dryer that has a fire wire plug connected to it. The house i have now has a three prong receptacle on the wall. Can i just buy a three prong receptacle and tape off the extra red wire.


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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




heatman101

Aug 29, 2010 | Hotpoint 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.

Feb 08, 2010 | Dryers

2 Answers

I have a 4 prong dryer but the plug in the wall is a three prong, ibought a four prong plug and i dont know how to connect a three wire into a four prong plug please help me.. hugo


Do NOT try and change the receptacle please. It is dangerous and we do not want anyone getting hurt. In your case, it would be better to put a 3 prong cord on the dryer. Overall you could call an electrician to install the 4 prong receptacle, which will require new 4 conductor wire as well and run to the breaker box. Get a flat style 3 prong dryer cord and we'll tell you how to install it. Unless you call an electrician. ;-) If this helps you, please rate my answer. Thank you.

Jan 07, 2010 | GE Dryers

2 Answers

Installing a four prong plug


best bet would to be to buy a plug that matches your receptical.....this is somthing you do not want to monkey with as if not wired right could turn your dryer into a fire hazzard. white to white green to green black to black and the other wire goes to earth ground for like trailer houses and modular homes.

Nov 23, 2009 | Whirlpool Dryers

1 Answer

Convert three pin plug to four pin


These two pictures illustrate the power wiring on a the terminal of an electric dryer. The one on top is the old-style three-wire configuration. Most people have this type in their homes. New code changes, though, require that dryers now have a four-wire cord, shown on the bottom.
Besides the number of wires in each cord, there are two important things to notice. First, in the four-wire configuration, notice that the dryer's grounding strap is folded back on itself. The whole point of the four-wire cord is to separate the ground from the neutral. The green wire (the "new" extra wire in the four-wire cord) is attached to the dryer cabinet. In the three-wire configuration, the grounding strap is left intact and the neutral and ground are tied together.


Sure hope this helps you find a resolution to your delimma! Best wishes.


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Sep 06, 2009 | Frigidaire GLEQ2152ES Electric Dryer

1 Answer

Elkectric dryer won't start


to put it kindly depending on way you connected wires unit could be damaged,replace pigtail with three wire and outlet to original.outlet wires should be black,red and white. turn breaker off attach white to middle and red,black to sides,"either side is fine".Attach dryer pigtail in same manner with white on white and if plug in and turn breaker on.If there is no operation at this point dryer possibly damaged from previous wiring.Just remember be safe when working with electrical and ask before trying to change things that aren't the same.

Apr 20, 2009 | Whirlpool LER5636P Electric Dryer

1 Answer

No Heat


no the four wire cord just has an extra green ground wire,the three pong will work just make sure you have the middle wire on the cord on the middle of the terminal block,let me know how you make out-mike

Apr 02, 2009 | Whirlpool LER4634J Electric Dryer

1 Answer

Four prong plug to three prong plug


Is the receptacle in the wall a four prong or three prong. You will have to match the cord on the dryer to the wall recepticle. If the wall is four prong the dryer cord has to be a four prong. The green wire with the yellow line, that is on the end of the dryer cord, is a cabinet ground and should be attached to the cabinet of the dryer and making good contact. The other three wires on the end of the dyrer cord attach to the terminal block.

Jul 08, 2008 | Whirlpool GEW9200L Electric Dryer

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