New Dryer Cord

Replacing a Dryer Cord

Older, 240-volt electric dryer receptacles have three prongs, attaching to three wires -- two hot leads and one neutral. New codes require a four-prong receptacle, which connects to two hot wires, a neutral, and a ground wire.

If a dryer cord does not match the receptacle, hire a pro to change the receptacle or change the cord yourself. The following steps show how to change from a three-wire to a four-wire cord. (Do not change from a four-wire to a three-wire. You will eliminate the ground wire, which offers extra protection against shock.)

Checklist

Time
About 1 hour to remove the old cord and install a new one

Tools
Screwdriver, drill, and perhaps strippers

Skills
Drilling a hole into metal; attaching wires to terminals

Materials
A new dryer cord and a grounding screw with a head large enough to capture the cord's ground wire

Step 1

Purchase a cord with a plug that fits the receptacle. See that the cord amperage rating matches the receptacle. Unplug the dryer before beginning work.

Step 2

Remove the access panel at the back of the dryer. Loosen the screws to the strain-relief bracket and remove the old wires. Connect the black, red, and white wires from the new cord to the same terminals.

Step 3

On the dryer's metal housing, drill a hole slightly smaller than the diameter of the screw shank. Feed the grounding screw through the ground-wire connector and finish tightening the screw.


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