Dryer Cord Installation Guide

This page will walk you through the steps in installing and replacing a dryer cord. There are two types of cords: three wire cords and four wire cords. One most frequently asked question I get about dryers is “where can I find an adapter so my cord will plug into the receptacle?” My answer is always they do not make an adapter for dryer cords. Another common question I get is” I just purchased a dryer, why didn’t it come with a cord?” My answer is some houses have three wire receptacles and some have four wire receptacles so dryers do not come with cord.

Never attempt to change the receptacle in your house to fit your cord always change the cord.



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Identify the type of dryer cord you need

The first step in installing a dryer cord is to identify the type of cord you need. Look at your dryer receptacle on your wall. Some houses have four-wire receptacles and some have three wire receptacles. This just depends on when the wiring was done and what the code was at the time. Never attempt to change the receptacle, always install the correct cord that corresponds to the type of receptacle your house has. Below is a picture that will help you determine the type of receptacle you have.



Note that the receptacle will have a screw hole in the center of the receptacle. Don’t mistake this screw hole for an extra wire.

Install Three-Wire Cord



This section of this page will describe how to install a three wire cord. If your house has a three-wire receptacle you must install a three wire cord. Most three wire cords have three gray wires in line with each other. The dyer will have a terminal block with three posts, which correspond to each of the cord wires. The post in the center is the neutral wire, which is also used as a ground so there should be a wire or a strap connecting the center post to ground. Dryers come with a strap or wire connecting the center post to ground but if there was previously a four-wire cord on the dryer it may be missing. If there is not a strap or wire connecting the center post to ground you must find a wire to do so. This wire must be at least as big as the wires on the cord. This is very important because if this ground strap is not present the dryer will not be grounded and can cause electric shock just by touching the dryer. Connect the center wire of the cord to the center post on the dryer terminal block. Connect the two outside wires to the two outside post on the dryer terminal block. The dryer cord comes with a clamp, install it and your cord is installed. The diagram below should help. The part number for a three-wire cord is WX9X2 and can be purchased at AppliancePartsPros.com.

Install Four-Wire Cord


This section the this page will discuss how to install four wire cords. If your house has a four-wire receptacle you must install a four-wire cord. The dryer will have a terminal block with three wires and a green ground screw on the dryer case. The center post on the dryer terminal block may have a wire or strap that connects to ground. If this ground wire or strap is present remove it or your dryer will not be grounded properly and can cause electric shock just by touching the dryer. The four wire cord will have four wires: red, black, white and green wires. Connect the White wire to the center post on the dryer terminal block. Connect the red wire to one of the outside post on the dryer terminal block. Connect the black wire to the other outside post on the dryer terminal block. Connect the green wire to the Green ground screw on the dryer case. The dryer cord comes with a clamp, install the clamp and you are finished installing your cord. The diagram above should help. The part number for a four-wire cord is WX9X18 and can be purchased at AppliancePartsPros.com.

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Appliance Repair Expert

Shawn

  • Appliance repair since 1996
  • 2-years refrigeration courses
  • 1-year electric theory courses
  • 1-year residential wiring course


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