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Changing a Dryer Cord

Changing a Dryer Cord
 
If you install a new dryer in an older home, or an old dryer in a newer home, you may find that the cord on your dryer does not fit the outlet on the wall. Older homes typically have 3-prong outlets. The National Electrical Code requires homes built after the year 2000 to have 4-prong outlets. While these same codes prohibit changing a 4-prong to a 3-prong outlet, the code does allow changing the dryer's cord to match the existing outlet regardless of whether the cord is 3- or 4-prong.  Many homeowners who are familiar with a few common household tools can easily change a dryer cord themselves.

Preparation

 

• Purchase a cord to fit the outlet
• Turn off the power to the dryer.
• Position the dryer so you can access the point where the cord enters the back.
 

Safety

 

• Any time you work with appliances powered by electricity, it's a good idea to use hand tools with 
  insulated handles.
• Be sure to unplug the dryer before opening the access panel to remove the cord.
• Position the dryer so you can access the point where the cord enters the back.The National Electrical 
  Code requires all dryer outlets installed in homes built after the year 2000 to be 4-prong outlets.  
  If you prefer to update your outlet from 3-prong to 4-prong, have a licensed electrician do this work 
  for you.

 

Saving

 

• Almost all manufacturers sell their dryers without a cord attached, preferring to let you choose the cord 
  you need to match your outlet. Check to see if the cord will be installed for you after your purchase, 
  saving you time.
• When removing connection screws, a magnetic nut driver can save you time by preventing screws from 
  falling inside the machine.


 

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS JOB:

TOOLS:

MATERIALS:


  

Step 1: Open the Access Panel

 Open the Access Panel 1.  Unplug the dryer.  
 
2.  Open the access panel where the cord enters the back of the dryer.  
 
3.  Use pieces of masking tape to label which colored wire attaches to each
     terminal. The wires are typically color-coded, with a black wire on one end,
     a white wire in the middle and a red wire on the other end.  
  

Step 2: Remove the Old Cord

 Remove the Old Cord 1.  Loosen the connection screws holding the wires in place.  
 
2.  Disconnect the ground wire or strap that connects the center terminal to the
     case.  
 
3.  Use pliers to hold the strain relief bracket in place while loosening the bracket's
     screws.  
 
4.  Remove the old cord.  
  

Step 3: Attach the New Cord

 Attach the New 3-Prong Cord

Note: When replacement cord wires are color coded, simply match the colors of the new cord’s wires to those on the terminal block.


3-Prong Cord  


1.  Attach:  


         • the middle, or groundwire, to the center terminal,
         • one of the outer wires to the right terminal, and
         • the other outer wire to the left terminal.
 
2.  Attach the ground strap or wire that runs from the center terminal to the dryer 
     case.  
 
4-Prong Cord  


1.  Attach:

 

         • the white wire to the center terminal,
         • the red wire to the right terminal with the red wire installed, and
         • the black wire to the left terminal with the black wire installed.
 
2.  Attach the green wire to the green grounding screw or to the dryer case.  
 
3.  Remove the masking tape labels.  

 

Step 4: Replace the Access Panel

 Replace the Access Panel 1.  Fit the strain relief bracket into the cord access hole and evenly tighten both
     bracket screws firmly onto the cord. Don’t skip this step--the bracket protects
     the connections and helps avoid a possible short if the cord is yanked.  
 
2.  Replace the access panel on the back of the dryer.  
   

Step 5: Test the Dryer

 Test the Dryer 1.  Make sure the power to the dryer outlet is turned off.  
 
2.  Plug the dryer into the outlet.  
 
3.  Turn on the power to the outlet and test your dryer.