You have a new dryer, but the cord is not attached. Installing an electrical cord on your dryer can be complicated if you don't know what you're doing. It's also dangerous because it involves working with electricity. If you are not careful, you could get shocked or even start a fire in your home.
This guide will show you how to install a four-prong power cord onto any electric clothes dryer so that it is safe and ready for use. We'll walk through all of the steps required to complete this project safely and easily so that anyone can do it without any trouble at all.
What You'll Need
- Phillips screwdriver
- Nut driver or socket wrench
- Adjustable pliers
- Strain relief fitting for
- 4 prong cord
- UL-listed, 30 amp, and 4 prong dryer cord
Here’s how the process goes.
Disconnect all Electrical Power to the Dryer From the Circuit Breaker
Turn off all power to your dryer at the home's main electrical panel. Make sure you disconnect electrical from your dryer's wire connection box. Getting into contact with 240 volts can be dangerous.
Remove Cover Plate for Electrical Connections
After unplugging your dryer from the electrical, remove the metal plate covering your cord's wiring connection. Locate the electrical cover plate at the back of your dryer, then use a screwdriver or nut driver to remove it. This will expose the wiring terminal block for your dryer. This step is pretty easy if you already know simple electric work such as how to wire an outlet.
Remove the Strain-Relief Fitting
Remove the screws on the strain-relief fitting. These screws secure the cord to the back panel of the dryer. Remove the strain by separating the two halves of the fitting and pull them out of the hole one at a time.
Disconnect the Old Prong Cord
Disconnect your old 3-prong cord by removing the three screws that secure it to the wiring terminal block. Pull your old cord off of the terminal block and through the strain-relief fitting. The two outer terminals are hot terminals, while the center is a neutral terminal.
Separate the Dryer's Neutral From the Ground
Disconnect your dryer's neutral wire from the ground screw to change your wiring configuration from 3 prong to 4 prong. If you have a white wire coming from inside your dryer and connecting to the ground screw, remove it, then connect it to the neutral terminal on your dryer's terminal block. If there is a short white wire or metal tab connected to your neutral terminal on the wiring block and ground screw, remove the wire or tab from the ground screw.
Install the New Cord
Next, connect the new four-prong cord by inserting the loose wire end through the hole in your dryer's back panel. Start by connecting the green wire to the ground screw, followed by black cord wire. Next, connect the red wire to your dryer's terminal block neutral wire, which should be marked “White” or have a white line on the insulation near it.
The hot terminals are interchangeable, so each can be connected to either of the two terminal block screw terminals. After attaching both hot cord wires, use a small Phillips head screwdriver to tighten down the hot screws.
Secure the New Cord by Attaching the Strain-Relief Fitting
After connecting your new cord, proceed to install a new strain-relief fitting. Begin by removing the original strain relief, making sure to save the nut and bolt. Use a sharp utility knife to cut through both wires within 1/4 inch of the new strain-relief fitting. Strip back approximately 1 inch of insulation from each wire. Form each wire into a U-shape so they will fit around your new strain relief mounting.
After that, use fitting screws to squeeze the two halves together. You can also use pliers to tighten down the hot screws. Remember that your old strain-relief fitting won't work with your new four wire cord. So, make sure you don't use a strain-relief fitting that won't fit your new cord.
Reinstall the Dryer's Electrical Cover Plate
Using screws, reinstall back your electrical cover plate. Remember to attach the wires from the dryer to their matching terminals in your junction box. Make sure you test your new dryer for proper operation by checking its control knobs to confirm that everything is in the off position.
Run your dryer for minutes to ascertain that everything is okay after plugging the dryer back in. To be extra careful, always unplug your dryer after every loading. Make sure you connect your vent duct if removed before using it to dry your clothes.
FAQs on How to Install a Dryer Electrical Cord
How do you hook up a 3 prong dryer cord?
You can hook up a 3 prong dryer cord by attaching the ground wire to the grounding screw of the panel box. Attach one prong on the neutral line to the neutral terminal in your panel box while attaching the third prong to one hot or live terminal.
How safe is a 3 prong dryer cord?
A 3 prong dryer cord is not safe at all. It is hazardous to your safety. It is always best to use a 4 prong dryer cord.
How do you install an electric dryer cord?
To properly install an electric dryer cord, remove the old cord and replace it with a new one of the same length and gauge. Do not replace any other system components like the outlet receptacle or circuit breakers.
Can you do electrical work yourself?
No, you can't do electrical work yourself unless you're qualified electrical personnel. You'll need an electrical contractor to help you with the light commercial electrical wiring. You must ensure you include the cost of the contractor in your electric projects’ costs.
Final Thought on How to Install a Dryer Cord
As you can see, installing a prong dryer cord is a very simple process and one you can do yourself. However, you need to be careful when handling any electrical work as injuries and damages can happen at any time, even if you're not the one installing the new cord.