How to Connect a Four-Prong Dryer Cord to a Dryer

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Most modern dryers use a four-prong power cord. This type of cord was initially used in manufactured housing due to the dedicated ground wire, but it was soon adapted by new home builders as well. Knowing how to connect a four-prong cord to your dryer is a handy skill for budget-conscious homeowners.

Things You'll Need

  • Four-prong power cord
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Unplug the dryer and move it if necessary so you will be able to work on it without bumping any walls, shelves or other appliances. Make sure the area is well-lit so you can identify the colors of the wires.

  • Remove the existing cord with a screwdriver. The cord may be three-prong or four-prong depending on the age of the appliance. If there is a "neutral strap" or metal bar running from the terminal box to the appliance frame, disconnect it by unscrewing the portion that connects to the terminal or bending back both ends. This process varies according to the make and model of the machine.

  • Locate the three lugs or posts on the main terminal block for the dryer. Attach the black and red wires first to the left and right posts--they can go on either because they are transposable. Connect the neutral, or white, wire to the center terminal post. Be careful not to confuse the white wire with the green ground wire.

  • Attach the green wire to the specified grounding nut or the dryer chassis. The grounding nut is a green screw located close to the terminal box, but depending on the age of the unit you may need to use whatever is available. Check all connections to ensure they are tight, then move the dryer back to its original position and plug it in.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never work on any appliance that is plugged in to an outlet. Install a strain relief mechanism to prevent the cord from being accidentally disconnected.

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