How to Change Dryer Cords

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You have moved into your new home and everything is perfect until you go to plug your dryer in to the dryer outlet on the wall. The outlet has four slots and your dryer plug only has three prongs. There is no need to buy a new dryer, as changing dryer cords is the simple solution. If you can get to the back of your dryer, you can make this change yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips or slotted screwdriver

Three- to Four-Wire Cord

  • Open the access panel on the back of the dryer, using a screwdriver. It connects onto the dryer by two or more screws and is located next to the dryer cord.

  • Remove the screws holding the three-wire dryer cord onto the terminal block, using a screwdriver. The dryer cord feeds through a strain relief connector and into the body of the dryer. The strain relief connector tightens with screws to hold the dryer cord into the dryer, keeping it from pulling from the dryer accidentally. Loosen the screws on the strain relief connector and pull the cord from the dryer.

  • Install the four-wire dryer cord. Feed the dryer cord through the strain relief connector. The four-wire dryer cord has black, red, white and green wires with ring terminals attached to the ends of all four wires. Attach the white wire onto the middle screw on the terminal block inside the dryer. Connect the red and black wires onto either the right or left screws. Tighten the screws to hold the cord onto the terminal block. Attach the green wire to the green ground screw on the dryer chassis. Tighten the strain relief connector and replace the access panel.

Four- to Three-Wire Cord

  • Open the access panel on the back of the dryer. The access panel connects onto the back of the dryer by two or more screws. Remove the screws to gain access the dryer terminal block, using the screwdriver.

  • Loosen the screws on the dryer terminal block with the screwdriver to remove the white, red and black wires. Remove the green ground screw from the dryer chassis to remove the green ground wire. Loosen the screws on the strain relief connector and pull the four-wire dryer cord from the strain relief connector, releasing it from the dryer.

  • Feed the three-wire dryer cord through the strain relief connector. The three-wire dryer cord is not color-coded. The middle wire on the cord is the neutral wire; connect this wire to the center screw on the dryer terminal block. Connect the wires to the right and the left of the center wire onto the screws to the left of the center screw and the right at the center screw.

  • Tighten the screws to hold the three-wire dryer cord onto the terminal block. Tighten the strain relief connector to hold the dryer cord in place. The strain relief connector is designed to hold the dryer cord into the dryer and not allow it to pull accidentally from the dryer. Replace the access panel on the back of the dryer.

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