Wire a Dryer with a 3 Prong Cord or 4 Prong Cord
How to Connect 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cords: How to Hook Up a 3Wire or 4Wire Dryer Cord.© By: Dave Rongey
Wiring a 3 Prong Dryer Cord
Electrical Question: I have an electric dryer with a 3 prong cord but my wall outlet is a 4 prong.
- I bought a 4 prong cord to switch out but before I installed it on dryer I wanted to make sure plug would fit. (I who knows nothing about electrical wiring or dangers).
- The cord was on the ground with all 4 wires exposed when I plugged it into the outlet. Of course it arced and fried the ring terminals.
- I turned off the circuit breaker to unplug the cord. I realize I could have fried myself now but my question is now that the new 4 prong cord has been installed on dryer and we plug it in, it does not work. Did I fry the plug?
Background: Toni, a Other from Santa Cruz, California.
Additional Comments: Your website was helpful in showing me how to switch out a 3 prong to a 4 prong dryer cord.
Thanks for your electric wiring question Toni.
Connecting 3Wire and 4Wire Dryer Cords
Application: How to Wire a 3Prong Cord for an Electric Dryer.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced. This electrical project is best performed by a Licensed Electrician or Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and connect the 240 volt dryer cord.
Precaution: Identify the dryer circuit at the electric panel, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the dryer cord wiring.
Notice: Wiring a dryer cord and making the electrical connections should be done according to local and national electrical codes and using approved materials.
How to Hook Up a 3Wire and 4Wire Dryer Cord
- Safety First – Unplug the Dryer Cord
- Always make sure the dryer cord is not plugged into the receptacle when making the wiring connections.
- Damage from Shorted Wires
- NOTE: As with this question, shorted wires typically do not damaged the 220 volt receptacle outlet.
- Resetting the Dryer Circuit
- If the dryer circuit breaker trips off, make sure to fully reset the circuit breaker, all the way off, then back on after the wiring and connections are completed.
- If a 240 volt dryer circuit should trip off It is very possible that just one side of the breaker has tripped, or half of the circuit breaker. In this case the circuit breaker should be turned all the way off before making any wiring connections.
- Ring Wire Terminals
- For best results, the ring terminal connectors should not be damaged, however if they are damaged they may be cut off and replaced with new ring terminal connectors which may be obtained from your local hardware store.
See More about Wiring a Dryer Cord
The following resources will help you with the electrical wiring connections for your dryer.
Dryer Cord Electrical Wiring
- Electric dryer installation with a typical 220 Volt electric power cord wiring system.
- You may find yourself with either a 3-wire or 4-wire electric dryer.
- Or a 3-wire or 4-wire outlet.
- Lets look a how the electric dryer is wired.
- What to do if your cord does not match the plug.
- Fully explained electrical wiring diagrams for dryer cords.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
More articles about Dryer Wiring and Home Electrical Wiring:
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