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Electrical Wire and Cable

How to Wire a Dryer Cord

Summary: Electrical wiring for a dryer power cord has a typical 240 Volt electric power cord with 3-wire and 4-wire wiring configurations. Many people may experience the situation of trying to make a older dryer work with an new four wire receptacle. This article will explain what options you have to get your dryer wired and running.
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How to Wire a 3Wire Cord and 4Wire Cord Dryer Cord

DIY Electrical Wiring Video

Wire a Dryer Cord and Outlet

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The 3-Wire Configuration is generally found at older homes. If you have an older electric dryer with a three prong 220 volt plug you have 2 Options: Most electric dryers can be wired to work with either a 3-wire or 4-wire circuit.

The 4-Wire Configuration has been adopted and applies to all new installations. The 4-wire circuit which has a separate insulated neutral wire and the separate ground wire along with the 2-hot wires. In this case where the home is newer than the old electric dryer the following describes what you would have to do.


Option 1:
You will need to purchase a 4-Wire Dryer Cord. Remove the 3-Wire Dryer Cord and install the replacement 4-Wire Dryer Cord. Next where the wires are connected to the electric dryer you will need to remove the Bonding Jumper which goes between the frame Grounded Screw and the Neutral Terminal as shown in the 3-WIRE HOOK UP wiring diagram below.
If this jumper does not exist then you will need to attach the Ground Wire from the 4-Wire Cord to the metal frame of the electric dryer.


Purchase a 3-Wire Outlet. Turn the circuit off and replace the 4-wire outlet with the 3-Wire Outlet and do not connect the Neutral wire to the outlet.

Wiring Option1: Wiring Option2:
The following steps apply ONLY if the dryer specifically states that it can be wired for either 3-Wire OR 4-Wire Connections. Some new dryers may require a Separate Insulated Neutral Wire AND a Separate Ground Wire for a 4-Wire Connection Only.
Be sure to consult your dryer installation manual
specifications for the configuration that is allowed.
3-wire-dryer-cord 4-wire-dryer-cord
3-wire-dryer-outlet 4-wire-dryer-outlet

NEMA 10-30R 30AMP-125/250VOLT

NEMA 14-30 30AMP-125/250VOLT
This system can be adjusted depending on what your wiring configuration is.
For example you may have one of the following conditions:
converting an old 3-wire outlet
to a new electric dryer
converting a new 4-wire outlet
to an old electric dryer

More About Wiring a Dryer Cord


Maytag Dryer Cord Replacement Model LDE 8000

I bought a used dryer today and my apartment is updated with the 4 prong power receptacle. Once the back cover was removed on the main board there was three terminals top to bottom in a row there is two wires one red and black, on the second terminal two white wires, and on the third one blue wire. Well I'm not sure how to place the new 4 prong on this existing board because the new plug has 4 wires a white, red, black, and green. Can you please direct my effort on this old dryer. Thank You Barry

Dave's Reply: Typically the older 3 wire dryers do not require the separate neutral wire, but they do need the ground wire, and the two power wires.

Electric Dryer Wiring Diagram

I just want to say how much my husband and I appreciate this dryer wiring configuration that you have made available for us. Thank you very much again!

Dave's Reply: Your welcome Tammy, I'm glad the dryer wiring diagram has helped you!

3 Wire Dryer Cord to a 4 Wire Dryer Cord

I need to convert an old 3 wire outlet for a new 4 wire dryer what is the easiest thing to do with this problem.

Dave's Reply: Calvin, new dryers require a 4-wire circuit only, and you must verify this with your own dryer by referring to the owners manual or the installation manual. Some dryers may allow a 3-wire cord to be used, however if you find that your new dryer does not allow a 3-wire cord to be used then a 4-wire circuit will need to be installed, which is best accomplished by hiring a qualified licensed electrician.

4 Wire 30 Amp 240 Volt Dryer Circuit

Dave, in changing a three wire dryer hook up to a four wire, what does the connection in the circuit breaker panel look like; since you would be running a 10/4 circuit? Appreciate your answer, Nelson

Dave's Reply: Nelson, the typical connections for a 240 volt 30 amp 4-wire dryer circuit in a panel is as follows: The Black and the Red to the 2-pole 30 amp circuit breaker. Bare or Green insulated Ground wire to the Grounded terminal strip. The White Neutral wire is terminated depending on the electrical panel: If this is the Main Panel the grounds and neutrals share the same terminal strip. If this is a Sub-Panel then the White Neutral is terminated on the isolated Neutral terminal strip which is not bonded to the grounded panel enclosure.

Unless you are a Qualified Electrician do not attempt working in an electrical panel, Contact a Qualified Licensed Electrician to perform any work involving an electrical panel.

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