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dryer machine electric cord

how to install a dryer electrical cord

how to install a dryer electrical cord

Electric clothes dryers typically are sold without power cords attached, and as annoying as that may be, there's a good reason for this omission. In 1996,the National Electrical Code (NEC) changed the requirements for electric dryer wiring and cord connections. The old cords had three-prong plugs that fit three-slot wall outlets. In three-prong cords, there were two hot wires, with the third wire serving as both the neutral and the ground connection. To make this work, the dryer was configured so that the chassis's ground connection was jumpered to the neutral connection by means of a small metal strap in the connection box.

All this changed with the 1996 code revision, where new installations required that dryer outlets must be wired to accept four-prong cords, with separate neutral and ground wires. This also required a slightly different configuration in the dryer's connection box, in which the neutral and ground terminals were no longer jumpered together. This configuration slightly improves the protection against shock, since the machine's chassis now has its own grounding pathway.

The NEC (and most local building codes) still permit the use ofthree-prong dryer cords in houses that have the old style of dryer outlet. And since your dryer might be older or newer than your outlet, dryer manufacturers don't bother giving you an appliance cord because it might not work for your situation. That's why the cords are sold separately.

This project shows you how to install a new four-prong dryer cord for use with a four-slot outlet, which has been the standard for more than 20 years. Alternatively, if your house has an old three-slot dryer outlet, you can install a three-prong dryer cord on your new dryer to make it compatible with a three-slot dryer outlet.

Locate the electrical cover plate on the back of the dryer. It willbe near a hole about 3/4-inch in diameter in the dryer's back panel. Remove the screws on the cover plate, using a screwdriver or nut driver. Remove the plate from the dryer to expose the wiring terminal block for the cord connections. Set the plate and screws aside.

There should be no wire or metal tab connecting the ground screw to the center (neutral) terminal on the terminal block. If there is, the dryer is set up for athree-prong cord. You must remove this connection, following the dryer manufacturer's instructions.

Install a new strain-relief fitting to secure the cord where it enters the dryer panel. These fittings typically have a top and bottom half. Remove the screws from the fitting and separate the two halves. Insert the tab of each half into the dryer cord hole, so it is flat against the inside of the dryer panel. Fit the two halves over the cord and reinstall the fitting's screws. Tighten the screws so the cord is held firmly, but make sure the fitting does not deform the cord or pinch the insulation.

Set the cover plate into place over the terminal block, and secure it with its mounting screws. Make sure all dryer controls are off and plug in the dryer to the four-slot outlet. Turn on the dryer and test it for proper function.

If you happen to have an older three-slot dryer outlet, the electrical code does allow you to install a three-prong cord to fit that outlet. The installation process is much the same as for four-prong cords with one exception:

In the dryer's wire connection box, there must be a metal jumper between the center neutral terminal and the ground terminal. If you are installing a three-prong cord, the center wire (the ground/neutral wire) is connected to this center ground/neutral connection, and the other two wires are connected to outer terminals (both hot) on the dryer.

how to use a 4-prong dryer cord with a 3-slot outlet

how to use a 4-prong dryer cord with a 3-slot outlet

When moving a newer electric dryer into an older house, it's not uncommon to find that the cord and plug included with the new dryer doesn't fit the 240-volt dryer outlet. Before the mid-1990s, most electric clothes dryers operated with three-prong plugs that fit into three-slot outlets, but since 1996, the electric code has required four-slot outlets. The mismatch can work both ways: You may find that a newer dryer doesn't fit an older-style outlet, or that an older clothes dryer doesn't fit a newer outlet.

The change in electric dryer plugs and outlets was made for enhanced safety. In a traditional three-slot 240-volt outlet, there are two hot slots and one neutral slot. These correspond to the two hot and one neutral wire in the three-prong cord. On the dryer, the metal case of the appliance has a ground screw, and this is connected to the neutral wiring terminal of the dryer. In the event of a short to ground, the electrical current is intended to travel on the neutral wire back to the breaker box.

A four-slot outlet has a fourth slot that is dedicated as an equipment grounding conductor. The four-prong cord has a dedicated ground wire that connects to the metal dryer case. The ground and neutral pathways are separate, reducing the change of accidental shock.

If you are faced with the problem of a dryer plug and dryer outlet that don't match, there are two possible remedies. One is to replace the old circuit by installing new four-wire cable and a four-slot outlet, each with a dedicated ground. This is a job for an electrician, and it brings the circuit up to code. The other option is to replace the four-prong cord with a three-prong cord. This is an allowable remedy under the electrical code, which "grandfathers in" older installations. It is only new installations where the four-slot dryer receptacles are required; existing three-slot receptacles are allowed to remain.

Simply replacing the dryer cord is by far the easier solution and the one that most DIYers pursue when they are faced with the problem. However, this configuration is not as safe as a four-wire circuit.

In the main service panel (breaker box), find the double-pole circuit breaker that controls the clothes dryer and flip the breaker to the OFF position. At the dryer outlet, check for power using a non-contact voltage tester.

Unplug the dryer and move it to a location where you have access to the back panel. You may need to disconnect the dryer vent to move and work on the dryer. Make sure you have plenty of light while working.

Most dryer circuits have 30-amp breakers, indicated by a "30" stamped on the switch bar of the breaker. A double-pole breaker is twice as wide as a standard (single-pole) breaker, and most service panels have only a few double-pole breakers.

Use a screwdriver to remove the cover on the electrical connection box on the back of the dryer. It is located just above where the power cord comes out of the dryer and is attached with one or two screws. Set the cover and screws aside.

Remove the strain-relief clamp holding the cord by removing the two screws joining the two halves of the clamp together. Separate the two halves of the fitting and pull them out of the hole individually.

Using a magnetic nut driver or screwdriver, disconnect the black and red cord wires from the left-side and right-side terminals on the dryer's terminal block. These are the hot wire connections. Disconnect the white wire from the center terminal. Disconnect the green grounding wire from the machine case by unscrewing the green grounding screw.

Alternatively, the dryer may have a metal bonding strap (typically connected under the ground screw) instead of a white machine wire. If so, attach the strap to both the ground screw and the neutral (center) terminal.

Thread the loose end of the three-prong cord through the hole in the electrical connection box. Connect the outer two wires (the hot wires) on the cord to the outer two screws terminals, one on each screw. Connect the center wire to the center (neutral) terminal. If there a bonding strap for the ground, it must be connected to the neutral terminal along with the center cord wire.

Slide one half of the strain-relief clamp into the hole under the cord wire. Fit the other half of the clamp in the same way but on the top of the cord. Squeeze the two halves together with pliers and thread the screws into the holes. Tighten the screws until the cord is secure.

Do not re-use the original strain-relief clamp with the new three-prong cord. Clamps for four-prong cords are round and will not properly fit the flat shape of a three-prong cord. Use the strain-relief that comes with the new cord, or buy a compatible clamp separately.

Reattach the connection box cover plate with its screw(s). Slide the dryer into place, and reconnect the dryer vent duct, if necessary. Plug the cord into the outlet. At the main service panel, turn the dryer's circuit breaker back to the ON position, then test the dryer for proper operation.

If you have the related but opposite situationan older dryer with a three-prong cord but a newer house with a four-slot outletit is equally easy to replace an old cord with a new four-prong cord that will fit a four-slot outlet. Most of the steps described above will be the same, with one important difference: The neutral terminal and ground screw will not have a jumper between them, and each will be connected to its own cord wire.

how to replace a 3-prong electric dryer cord with a 4-prong cord

how to replace a 3-prong electric dryer cord with a 4-prong cord

Due to changes in theNational Electrical Code (NEC), recommended wiring for electric clothes dryer outlets changed in 1996. Before the change, dryer outlets were 3-slot devices that accepted 3-prong cords. This configuration did not include a dedicated ground connection; the dryer's equipment ground (case ground) was connected to the neutral conductor in the dryer cord and the household circuit.

Since the Code change, new dryer outlets must be wired with separateneutral and ground wires. These outlets have four slots and will accept only 4-prong electrical cords. Homeowners owning older dryers with 3-prong cords are sometimes perplexed when they move into a home that has a newer 4-slot outlet. In this instance, the solution is to replace the old 3-prong cord with a 4-prong cord to match the new outlet. Fortunately, it is a very easy project.

However, be aware that it's still legal to use 3-slot outletsthe Code has no requirement that they must be replaced with 4-slot outlets. This is why new clothes dryers are generally sold without any power cord at all, so that you can install whatever cord style matches your outlet.

The key difference in the wiring configuration between 3-prong and 4-prong cords is that with the older setup, the 3-prong cord has only two hot wires and one neutral wirethere is no separateground wire. Therefore, the dryer's neutralwas tied to the ground connection on the metal case of the dryer. Such a configuration creates a very slight chance of shock, in the rare event that the dryer experiences a short circuit in its internal wiring. This was the reason why the Code changed to require the 4-wire configuration.

A 4-prong cord,by contrast, has a separate ground wire, which means that the dryer's neutral and ground are not connected together, thereby minimizing the chances that the appliances metal case will become energized during a short circuit. When you convert from the 3-prong to the 4-prong configuration, you must make sure that the dryer's neutral terminal is not connected to the case ground.

Because you are not working on actual circuit wires while installing the cord, this is a very safe project. But it is crucial that the wire connections you make whenattaching the cord to the appliance are correct and very secure. Loose connections can lead to short circuits and sparking once the appliance is plugged in for use.

Make sure the dryer is unplugged from the electrical source, then remove the metal plate covering the cord's wiring connections on the back of the dryer. It should be directly above the place where the cord comes out.

Disconnect the old 3-prong cord by removing the three screws securing the wire ends to the dryer'sterminal block. The two outer terminals are the hot terminals, and the center terminal is the neutral. There may be a short white wire or metal strap joining the neutral terminal and the ground screw, or there may be a white wire coming from inside the dryer and connecting to the ground screw. This is the 3-wire configuration that ties the case ground to the neutral cord wire. Pull the cord out through the hole to remove it from the dryer.

To install a new strain relief fitting, first slip the tab of the top half of the fitting into the hole and position the saddle (semi-circle) of the fitting over the top of the cord. Do the same with the bottom half of the fitting below the cord.

Squeeze the two halves together (sometimes it helps to use pliers to gently squeeze them together), and secure the halves with the fitting screws. Snug the screws so the cord isheld firmly but is not deformed by the pressure.

Note: Your old strain-relief fitting probably won't work for your new 4-prong cord. A 3-prong cord typically is flat, while a 4-prong cord usually is round and requires a fitting with a rounded area in its center. Do not use a strain-relief fitting that doesn't fit the cord.

Reinstall the cover plate with its screws. To test the dryer for proper operation, check the dryer's control knob(s) to confirm that everything is in the OFF position, then plug in the dryer into a 4-prong dryer outlet. Run the dryer for a few minutes to make sure everything works. Connect the dryer vent duct before using the dryer.

causes of electric dryer outlet and cord failures

causes of electric dryer outlet and cord failures

As is in most homes today, you probably have either a gas or electric clothes dryer. In the case of the electric clothes dryer, it is convenient when it works properly. If you're having issues with your dryer and finding that it's not drying clothes, you must first know what to look for.

Go to the electrical panel and see if either the fuse or circuit breaker feeding the clothes dryer is blown or tripped. If so, this could indicate a wiring problem either in themachine itself, a broken and shorted heating element, a dryer cord problem, a dryer outlet problem, or an issue with one of the many electrical wire connections from the electrical panel to the dryer itself.

If your electric dryer outlet and cord are getting hot but your dryer is not, it may be because of loose electrical connections. It could be an electrical fire just waiting to happen. As you can see in the photo, the right connection post has burnt off of the insulating post. Poor electrical connections, both at electrical terminals and the connection point of the cord and outlet, are often the cause of electrical fires in homes.

This particular outlet had a loose electrical connection under the burnt terminal where the feeder wire landed. The result was an increase in resistance, which in turn generated heat. The heat grew as the demand for current to heat the dryer increased. This, in turn, heated the plastic housing around the blades of the electric dryer cord.

Like a loose wire connection, another factor that can do similar damage is the connection between the cord plug and the outlet itself. The left terminal connection had this problem; the connection fingers of the outlet were loose, causing a heat buildup on the cord blade and the outlet post. As with any outlet, if you plug the cord into the outlet and it seems to want to fall back out of the outlet, that's a telltale sign that the finger grips are worn out and that the outlet should be changed.

If you look in your local electrical supply shop or the electrical department of your hardware store, you are likely to find a tension-checking tool. This is an easy tool to use and check every outlet in your home. It determines if these outlets have the appropriate amount of tension. Simply plug it in, pull it out, and look at the tension amount. The guide supplied will give you the entire details. It's a nice tool to have in the old electrical toolbox.

does a range cord work on a dryer? | fred's appliance

does a range cord work on a dryer? | fred's appliance

Its easier to begin by answering that question with a look at how the two cords are the same. Both appliances require a 220/240-volt circuit. Thats really the extent of a range and dryer cords similarities. They should not be interchanged, with one exception, which well get to in a minute.

Amperage (amps): The measure of the amount of electricity, or current, that flows through the wires. Compare the motion of electrical current to water passing through a hose. Amps are comparable to the amount of water that passes through that hose during a certain period of time.

Voltage (volts): The force at which the current is pushed through the wires. Think about the force water needs to be pushed through the hose. Electrical current also needs force to move it through the wire.

Although each appliance cord is designed to carry a much greater electrical charge than smaller home appliances, their plugs are configured differently, and they each carry a different amount of current, which is measured in amps.

The 4-prong cords for both the range and dryer are configured with the ground and neutral wires separated. They each have the two flat hot wires on either side of the plug, and they each have the round ground wire placed at the top of the plug. The neutral wire on each plug is shaped differently just like that of the 3-prong plug.

Now for the answer to the question about whether the cords are interchangeable between the two appliances. Both require the same amount of force, or volts, to move the current through the wires; however, they need different amounts of current to operate.

You are playing with fire, quite literally, if you attempt to go the other way. Since the dryers cord is only rated for 30 amps, it cant handle the amount of electricity that a range requires to flow through its wires. Using a dryer cord on a range could result in a fire.

Homes built before the mid-1990s were constructed with 3-prong outlets for their 220/240 appliances, such as ranges and dryers. In 1996, the National Electric Code (NEC) required all new construction to make the change to 4-prong 220/240-volt outlets.

The 3-prong configuration connected the ground and neutral wires together, which created the possibility for the wires current to flow onto the ground wire and energize the metal frame of the range or dryer. It put the user at risk of being shocked when touching the appliance. Because the ground and neutral wires are separated in the 4-prong wire configuration, it helps to prevent electrical shock.

Since the NEC only required the 4-prong configuration for new construction, any residence older than the mid-90s may still be equipped with 3-prong outlets. You might have come across a situation where youve needed to replace your range or dryer and found the replacement appliances plug doesnt match your homes outlet.

In fact, new ranges and dryers do not come equipped with a standard cord for the very reason that your homes outlet may require either the 3-prong or 4-prong plug. Manufacturers give you the option of choosing the cord to match your homes electrical requirements.

If youve run up against a situation where you need to replace a 220/240-volt cord, and youre not comfortable doing it yourself, the highly-skilled technicians atFreds Appliance Serviceare here to assist you. We service all major household appliances and offer a very fast turnaround on parts delivery. That equates to providing our customers with the service you need when appliance repairs arise.

With Fred and Adam Butcher at the helm of our family-owned business since 1996, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality service to our neighbors in the northeast counties of Ohio. If youre located in Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula, and Cuyahoga Counties, youll find our service second to none.

Whether you have a question about changing the plug on your range or dryer, or you need repair service, our factory-trained technicians are knowledgeable about all aspects of the appliance industry. They are skilled at working with nearly any make or model of an appliance from all of the leading manufacturers.

Dont hesitate tocontact Freds Appliance Servicefor a professional and timely response to your appliance needs. From the very first moment you speak with a member of our customer service team until the job is complete, youll appreciate our commitment to customer care. Our goal is to help keep your life running smoothly.

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