How to Properly Hook Up a Four-wire Dryer Cord


Electric dryers have either a three- or four-wire connection system for hooking the power cord to the dryer. Dryers with four-wire systems employ the standard three wires with ring terminals and an additional grounding wire with its own terminal. Mobile homes are required by law to implement the four-wire configuration for any dryer that is installed. The dryer should also be fitted with a strain-relief collar. The collar holds the cord in place if and when the dryer is moved, preventing a disconnection of the four wires.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Strain-relief collar (may be included with the dryer)
  • Remove the panel concealing the power connection ports on the back of the dryer. The precise location of the panel varies. Remove the screws in the panel with the screwdriver to reveal each of the terminals.

  • Insert the two strain-relief tabs into the openings below the terminal block opening. The two tabs are to be connected by two screws to hold the cord steady once the included wires are connected. Screw in the two screws to align the tabs. Do not tighten the screws so that the distance between the two tabs is too narrow to accommodate the power cord.

  • Insert the cord into the terminal block through the opening of the strain-relief tabs.

  • Remove the screw holding the neutral ground wire onto the side of the dryer's panel. Remove the screw from the center terminal inside the terminal block.

  • Place the ring terminal of the white wire over the center terminal. Place the neutral wire ring terminal over the white wire terminal and screw in the screw to hold the assembly in place on the center terminal.

  • Place the ring terminal from the green wire onto the outside grounding point of the dryer, formerly occupied by the neutral wire. Screw in the screw to hold the green wire, or ground, in place.

  • Remove the two screws on the outer of the three terminals. Place each of the remaining wires' ring terminals onto the respective remaining terminals. Screw in the screws to hold the wires in place.

  • Replace the panel covering the terminal block and screw in the screws. Tighten the screws on either side of the strain-relief tabs to hold the cord in place.

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