Changing a dryer cord is easy and can be done by most individuals with a few tools around the house. Due to the different types of outlets installed in homes, dryers have been made to have their cords easily removed and replaced. There are two types of dryer cords. Three-prong, three-wire cords are older versions of the standard dryer plug. Four-wire cords are newer and outlets for four wire cords are being placed into homes built since the National Electrical Code changed in 2000 to require their installation.
Things You'll Need
- Dryer cord
- Multimeter (optional)
Unplug the dryer. Move it away from the wall to provide ample light and workspace.
Find the panel where the cord attaches the back of the dryer. Take off the small metal access panel by removing the screws along the sides to expose the wiring of the dryer. Note the wires attached to the dryer in the area called the terminal block.
Unscrew the metal grounding clamp, if one exists. Metal grounding clamps are usually only found on three-wire plugs.
Note the position of the existing plug's color-coded wires as the new cord must be screwed into the same places.
Detach the cord by removing all screws holding it in place.
Attach the new cord by placing the wires in the same position. Loop the circular hooks at the end of the new cord's wires and tighten the screws to secure them. Ensure a good connection by tightening the screws with a drill or electric screwdriver.
Attach the green ground wire to the frame of the dryer, outside the terminal block. Only four-wire, four-pronged cords will have this green ground wire. Unscrew any nearby screw, loop the green wire's hook over it and tighten it in place. Three-pronged cords do not require an exterior ground aside from the grounding clamp.
Replace the grounding clamp if necessary, and the terminal block access panel. Do not overtighten the panel if the ground wire is attached, as too much pressure on the wire could damage or sever the wire coating.
Tips & Warnings
- Most dryers have similar wiring patterns: black wire is on the left screw, the white in the middle, and red on the right. Green wires are placed directly dryer frame.
- Use a multimeter set to test resistance on the surface of the dryer and at the connection point of the white ground wire. If the resistance measures more than a few ohms, the cord should be retightened to make a better connection.
- Do not operate a dryer with a bad connection. Periodically check your dryer's electrical resistance to make sure the plug is continuing to make a good connection. Poor connections can cause electrical shock or fire.
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