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.
homeowners who are familiar with a few common household tools can easily
change a dryer cord themselves.
Open the access panel where the cord enters the back of the dryer.
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.
Remove the Old Cord
Loosen the connection screws holding the wires in place.
Disconnect the ground wire or strap that connects the center terminal to the
Use pliers to hold the strain relief bracket in place while loosening the
Remove the old 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.
Attach the New Cord
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.
Attach the ground strap or wire that runs from the center terminal to the
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.
Attach the green wire to the green grounding screw or to the dryer case.
Remove the masking tape labels.
Replace the Access Panel
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
Replace the access panel on the back of the dryer.
Test the Dryer
Make sure the power to the dryer outlet is turned off.
Plug the dryer into the outlet.
Turn on the power to the outlet and test your dryer.