Tutorial: How to Safely and Easily Install a Three Pronged Dryer Plug
When faced with needing to connect a new dryer to an older, pre-existing three prong outlet, the NEC code today still allows for the use of this type of outlet, as long as the appropriate wiring and procedures for installation are followed. When initiating a task such as this, the first thing that needs to be done is to acquire a new three prong cord that matches the pattern of the outlet, which can be found at a local hardware store. After the cord is acquired, the dryer’s electrical access panel is then removed and the four wires inside must be identified, noting the color of each.
From this point, the wiring process can begin through manual manipulation of the components. With a Phillips screwdriver or socket wrench, the green wires will first need to be unscrewed to free the four wire cable from the dryer. Then, the new three prong cord can be inserted into the dryer’s knockout opening, while taking care to make sure the cable clamp is not tightened yet.
If the new cord comes with color coding, it will be useful in identifying the respective order for the connections made to the terminal block inside the dryer. In this case, the center wire of the three wires will be attached to the middle terminal screw and each of the outside wires will be attached to each of the outside terminals on the terminal block. Once that is finished, the “grounding strap” will connect between the center terminal and the dryer case to form the conduit for the electrical connection between the two components.
For cords without color-coding, the same steps regarding the terminal block connections will apply, with the center wire going to the middle terminal screw and the two outside wires to the outside terminals. Again, the grounding strap will be connected between the center terminal and the dryer case.
After this is completed, the cable clamp can now be tightened up to secure the cord in place and the access cover can be screwed back in. At this point, make sure to do a double check of your connections and always wear safety goggles when handling any electrical components as a precaution. And lastly, after everything is hooked up, it is ready to be plugged in and tested. As long as all the steps have been done correctly and safety has been ensured, it should be ready to launder another load of clothes.