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If you are unsure how to connect a 4 wire dryer cord, read this to the end.
How to connect a 4 wire dryer cord
To do this, you will just need is a screw driver.
Once you have it, simply follow the following steps:
If you are replacing your cord, make sure that you first disconnect the dryer from the power outlet or the circuit breaker is turned off.
Remove the small panel covering the terminal block. This panel is located at the back of your dryer and in most models, it is usually at the top and held in place by 1 screw.
Now, install the strain relief. Install 1 tab up while the other goes down. Make sure that they are held in place by their screws as shown below:
Thread your cord through the strain relief and tighten the screws to firmly hold the cord but not firmly enough to deform the cord. This protects the cord from coming off if yanked.
Remove the green screw holding the white/grey wire – neutral – from the dryer and connect the green wire from the cord to this slot.
Connect the white cord wire plus the dryer’s white wire together to the center terminal.
Now connect the red cord/ wire to either the right or left terminal.
You can now connect the black wire to the remaining terminal.
Quick tip: both the red and black wires can be connected interchangeably to the terminals.
Double check to make sure that you have firmly tightened the terminal screws.
Your connection should now look like the one above..
Finally, put back the panel and hold it in place with its original screw.
What is the difference between a 3 and 4 prong dryer cord?
Basically, the key difference between these cords is in their wiring.
Just like its name suggests, a 3-prong dryer cord has 3 wires: 2 hot wires and a neutral wire.
Keep in mind that although these 3-prong dryer cords are effective at providing dryers with power, they have 1 major drawback: they lack a ground wire.
On the other hand, the 4-prong cord has 2 hot wires, 1 neutral wire, and a ground wire.
It is worth mentioning that this is the modern dryer cord design.
In fact, the presence of the ground wire in a 4-prong cord makes your dryer safer to use.
When a dryer is connected using a 3-prong cord and there is damage on the neutral line or perhaps a loose connection, the dryer is unable to pass out the used current.
For that reason, this current is passed out through anybody that touches the dryer.
This is normally the issue when you touch the metallic part of your dryer and feel some kind of vibration flowing through you.
Okay, this current is not lethal(most of the time).
However, in some situations, it can be quite lethal and can lead to serious electrocution.
In short, a 4-prong dryer cord makes your dryer much safer to use.
Suffice it to say that it is thanks to this grounding wire that current codes are strict on modern houses having 4-prong outlets for dryers and washers.
That said, if you are looking for a dryer power cord replacement, we recommend you get a 4-wire dryer cord such as this 30-ampere dryer cord-its safe (never overheats and is easy-peasy to install)
Even if you have a dryer-washer combo or a dryer that is far away from your outlet, then this cable is probably what you need as it is 10 ft long.
What about houses with 3-prong outlets?
Now, if your house has 3-prong outlets, it was built before the mid-90s. Not until ’96 was it compulsory for new American homes to be installed with 4-prong outlets.
So, what do you do if your home has a 3-prong outlet but your dryer comes with the 4-prong power cord?
Well, let us see how you can work around this…
How to install 4 prong dryer cord on 3 prong dryer
While there could be other possible workarounds, perhaps none is easier than using a 4-to-3 prong dryer plug adapter
I am not kidding… The adapter is easy and fast to install – it typically requires less than 10 seconds of your time to get the job done.
Indeed, you simply plug in your adapter to the power outlet and then plug your dryer cord into the adapter.
As regards the green cord (the grounding wire, you plug it into any regular outlet nearby (as shown below) and you are good to go.
Oh, and you should not worry about compatibility with your dryer as this adapter is compatible with pretty much all 4 prong dryer / washer models.
Connecting a 4 wire dryer cord is not hard so you do not need an electrician or professional to do it for you.
Simply follow the steps above and you should be done within 5 minutes.
PS: If you are having trouble doing it, you can follow this short but detailed YouTube video by Whirlpool when doing it- it will make your job way easier.