3 prong dryer to 4 prong

hebaMay 30, 2012

I would like to install a new electric dryer ( 4 prong ) but I have a 3 prong receptacle ( 2 blacks and a braided silver wire coming form the panel ) I want the new dryer to be grounded, please help.

thank you

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chas045

Your old dryer was grounded. The braided wire is/was the ground. If there was no unattached white wire, then you would need to run a new four wire cable if you have access. One of the black wires and the white, give you access to 110 volts. Otherwise all you have is 220 Volts.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 8:07AM
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dan1888

Is your unit 220v or 110v. Where are you located.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 8:12AM
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foodonastump

Are you sure it requires 4 prong? It very well may, but I know my new Samsung can be wired either way. A note on the wiring diagram says that code requires 4 wire for service installed after 1996. In other words, 3 prong is ok if it's existing, but you're not allowed to run a new three wire line.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 9:06AM
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weedmeister

New dryers in the US can use either 3 or 4 wires. You just need to follow the instructions in the manual and purchase the correct pigtail from HD or Lowes.

Changing the outlet to 4-wire will require an electrician to come in and redo the wiring from the panel to that outlet.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 4:03PM
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heba

I live in Tucson AZ and the new unit is 220v , If I use the old 3 prong cord for the new 4 prong dryer will it still be grounded ?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 2:11AM
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foodonastump

3 wire is two hot and a ground. 4 wire is two hot, a neutral and a ground. I think you should be focusing more on whether you can properly connect the dryer with a 3 wire cord than if you can get away with deliberately miswiring a new 4-prong receptical.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 7:35AM
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mike_73

foodonastump is correct 3 wire dryer cord is grounded. 2 hot and one neutral/ground. 4 wire plug is just 2 hot 1 neutral 1 ground.

neutral and ground wires both go to the same place in the end, and that is ground anyway. with the 4 wire set up all it does is provide a second path to ground for more safety.

do not try to adapt one cord to work with the other outlet type, that would be a code violation. you should get the correct cord for your outlet and wire it to the dryer per your dryers instructions.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 8:11AM
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heba

can you explain the pigtail method ?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 10:21AM
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foodonastump

Pigtail method? This method is to go out and buy the proper pigtail, or power supply cord. In your case it will be a 3-wire 3-prong pigtail. Then hook it up to your dryer per the manufacturer's wiring diagram.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 11:16AM
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heba

whats your opinion on installing a 4 prong out to the wall ( one neutral and 2 hots and leaving an open ground on the 4 prong outlet) since there is there is only 3 wires from the panel

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 8:25PM
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foodonastump

I, myself, have no opinion on that because I'm pretty ignorant on electrical and I'm honest enough to admit that rather than risk burning your house down. :) I do have suggestions though:

1) Post the specific model you wish to install, and perhaps someone will take the time to locate the wiring diagram to confirm whether it can be wired 3-wire 3-prong.

- and/or -

2) Post your question over on the Wiring Forum. Seems like an active forum where I'd guess that people put their reputations on the line with their answers.

Here is a link that might be useful: GW wiring forum

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 11:49PM
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brickeyee

"whats your opinion on installing a 4 prong out to the wall ( one neutral and 2 hots and leaving an open ground on the 4 prong outlet) since there is there is only 3 wires from the panel"

you will ten have a completley ungrounded chassis.

Whan you wire for a 4-caor the bond in the unit betweenthechasss ad combined neutral-ground is removed since th echassis wil be grounded by the fourth prong on the cord.

A 4-wire plug without any connection to the ground in the receptacle is not grounded at all.

A 3-wire cord shares the neutral nad ground on the same wire.

It is NOT ungrounded.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 2:15PM
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Alea36

I have no choice but to change my dryer plug, I moved to different cities in Texas. I went from a home to an apartment, my dryer came with a 3 prong wire but the apartment plug is 4 prong.
Do I need an electrician or is it simple enough to just match the wires on the back of the dryer's plug?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 7:08PM
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lee676

If it's a recent 240v/30a dryer (i.e. made in last few decades) you can find 4-prong "dryer cords" in hardware or appliance stores. Unplug the dryer, remove the existing cord, and attach new one correctly including the ground wire to ground screw on dryer. Installation manual for dryer should have directions. Get someone knowledgeable to install the cord if you're not familiar with this stuff, but this is very doable.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 9:20PM
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mike_73

The dryer is not usually sold with the cord. You buy that separate or the store will often add it to the cost and put on the correct one when delivered I had to add a second laundry hook up to my two apartment home so when I moved my dryer I had to change the cord too. You can no longer install new wiring with the old 3 prong dryer outlet you have to use the 4 prong/wire set up for new installs. That is why newer homes have the 4 prong outlet. The 3 prong cords and outlets can still be purchased and used for wiring that met the old code

It's not hard as others said to change the cord. I remember mine had a diagram inside that showed how to hook up either cord.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 8:16AM
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kaseki

Lets be clear about the purpose of the neutral lead -- it returns unbalanced currents to the breaker box instead of sending them through the chassis, water pipes, etc. A proper 3-wire configuration will not have unbalanced currents, but a 4-wire could have unbalanced currents (e.g., using 120V for electronics).

So, if the unit is designed to be hooked up either 3-wire or 4-wire, then use whichever connection fits your wall receptacle. In the case of 3-wire, do not attach the neutral terminal in the unit to ground, let it float unless otherwise directed by the manufacturer. In case of 4-wire, bring the unit neutral to the receptacle neutral, and don't attach it to any ground terminals.

kas

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 12:50PM
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