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Answers to Electrical Questions About Dryer Connections

May 11, 2008

Tang-Hong asks:
I found your site on the internet and have a question for you. Tonight when I turned on the dryer, I saw a little blue light flashing once in the back near the power cord. After the dryer stopped, my clothes smelled funny (like burn rubber smell). I opened the cover and saw the wire of the power cord that connected to the black terminal’s damaged. Enclosed are 2 pictures of what it looks like now, sorry that the quality of them are not that great. It also looks like the terminal block itself’s damaged as well (blue circle in the pics).

Must I change the power cord or can I simply wrapp electrical tape around the damaged wire? Do I need to replace the terminal block? Click on the images below to enlarge them.

Dryer loose connection Dryer loose connection1

You need to replace the terminal block and power cord. After looking at the pictures you sent me, it looks like the cause of the problem is the replacement screw used to connect the wires to the terminal block. I believe the screw was not the proper size or thread count and caused a loose connection creating your existing problem. I also recommend having an appliance repair person examine your dryer for any other problems this may have caused as well.


JT asks:
I have a frigidaire electric dryer with a 3 prong cord. I just moved from an apartment which had a 3 prong outlet. I have now moved into my 1st house & the outlet is 4 prong. I purchased a 4 prong wire from home depot & connected it 2 the dryer & it is not working. I have the red with the red, green with the green, & black with black. The ground wire is green i guessing since it the one that is connected to the inner wiring of the dryer. What do i do with the white cord thats on this 4 prong wire? What am i doing wrong b/c really need to wash clothes?

When connecting your new dryer cord, you should connect the wires color to color (black to black, white to white, etc…) on the terminal block. The first connection should be your ground wire. This is the green wire and it will connect to a green ground screw on the dryer’s frame; not the terminal block. If you disconnected a green wire that was connected to the neutral terminal (center terminal) on the terminal block, then connect this wire with the green coming from the power cord to the same green ground screw on the dryer’s frame. If there is a bonding strap connected between the neutral terminal and dryer’s frame, then you need to remove this for a 4-wire configuration. Please see my article Changing an Electric Dryer’s Power Cord from a 3-Prong Plug to a 4-Prong Plug for further clarification and pictures on the bonding strap.

The next connection should be your neutral conductor (white wire). This is typically in the center position on the terminal block. The next connection should be the black power conductor. Connect this to the same position on the terminal block that has the black wires coming from inside of your dryer connected to it. The final connection is going to be the red wire coming from your power cord. Again, connect this to the same position on the terminal block that has the red wires coming from inside of your dryer connected to it.

Unfortunately, not all dryer manufacturers use the red wire, sometimes it is a blue wire. I’ve also seen the ground wire colored green with a yellow stripe instead of solid green as well.


Ken asks:
I have a Kenmore 90 Series Dryer.

I am switching back to the original 4 prong connector from the 3 prong but forgot the locations of the wires. I am assuming that the WHITE is the neutral and goes in the middle. The RED and BLACK go on the left and right. The GREEN goes to the location marked “External Ground Connector”. Now there is a GREEN/YELLOW STRIPE wire coming from the inside. I am guessing that goes with the WHITE wire? This would be the second ground wire?

The green with a yellow stripe wire is a ground wire and connects to the dryer’s frame with the other ground wires. Your neutral wire will only be white or gray in color.


Linda McDermott asks:
I didn’t see a response to a similar question I asked to Matt’s 5/5 question. I have a 4-prong dryer and 3-prong outlet. Can I change the cord? I think I sent a picture awhile ago of the back of my dryer. Thanks so much!

You may change the cord or receptacle. However, if you change the receptacle, then you need to install new conductors back to the breaker box as well. It will be cheaper and quicker if you change the cord.

Please see my “How to” article How To Change a 4 Prong Electric Dryer Power Cord To a 3 Prong Electric Power Cord for step by step instructions with pictures.


Matt asks:
didn’t see this listed, but i have a four prong dryer cord and a three prong outlet in my recently purchased 1966 built home. is it ok to change the cord or do i need to completely change the outlet.

You may change the power cord. Please see my “How to” article How To Change a 4 Prong Electric Dryer Power Cord To a 3 Prong Electric Power Cord for step by step instructions with pictures.


Josh asks:
same thing with the green wire thats left when i change the 4 prong to a 3 prong. what do i do with the green wire

Connect the green wire to the dryer’s frame with the other green wires.

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19 Responses to “Answers to Electrical Questions About Dryer Connections”

  1. Vanessa on May 24th, 2008 1:42 pm

    We recently purchased a GE dryer from the 80s (I think- at least, that’s when the manual is from). It has a 3-prong 220v plug, but we only have 110v receptacles. Is it possible to change the plug to 110v? If so, will it still work?

  2. Wayne Gilchrist on May 26th, 2008 9:53 am

    Hi Vanessa,

    I’m sorry, but your electric dryer will not work at 110v. You need to install a new circuit back to the breaker box. Because you are installing a new circuit, you are required to install 10/3 with ground NM cable (romex) back to your breaker box and protect this circuit with a 2-pole 30 amp circuit breaker. You will also need to install a 4-wire dryer receptacle and change your dryer power cord to a 4-wire.

    I wrote an article with step by step instructions and pictures on “Changing an Electric Dryer’s Power Cord from a 3-Prong Plug to a 4-Prong Plug”. The link to this article is in the second answer above.

  3. Tyler on May 28th, 2008 4:15 pm

    I recently bought a tanning bed and it takes 220v with a buck booster. My problem is the apartment I am in wont allow me to add an extra outlet and the outlets that I have right now are all 4 prong and the Male end on the buck booster is 3 prong. My question is can I rewire the buck booster on just the one end to a 4 prong and everything work ok? Leave the 3 prong plug running into the buck booster and changing the end that plugs into the wall to a 4 prong?

  4. Christine on May 30th, 2008 2:57 pm

    I have a question about a ceiling fan. I had a sunroom enclosure added to the back of my home in 2002. Electricians came out and wired it with outlets and I had a ceiling fan w/overhead light installed. The fan has worked well but in the past year or so I noticed that it really is not spinning as fast as it used to. The overhead light is still bright though. I am worried that there is a problem with the wiring? When I have it on the highest setting it does spin but is more like a medium spin with very little air flow. Thanks for taking my question.

  5. addictive on May 31st, 2008 12:12 pm

    I have new switch parts for my GE electric dryer, but not sure now which of the two wires goes where. One wire is brown, the other one white.

  6. david on June 6th, 2008 10:37 am

    my dryer seems that it is not getting hot and drying my clothes. Ive cleanded the outside vent and put a new silver hose on. Is there something inside my dryer that a have to replace.

  7. Christine on June 12th, 2008 7:01 am

    I am changing from 4 to three prong, the red ground wire is connected to the machine and my 4 prong cord. How do I unconnect the red wire from my cord and what do I do with it after?

  8. Devin on July 8th, 2008 9:50 pm

    I see this question asked but didn’t see an answer posted. If I have the old style 3 flat prong 50 amp 220 outlet and got a new dryer I assume I can just use what they sell as a “electric range cord” that is 6/2-8/1 and has the 3 flat prongs in the correct configuration? I realize dryers seem to require 30 amp 10/2 but that would require me to install a new outlet to fit those plug ends. Instructions say I have to use a new cord to prevent a warranty issue so can’t use the cord from my old dryer (which seems to be a 40 amp 10/2 3 flat prong)

  9. Jim on July 17th, 2008 5:15 am

    I just bouht a house and it came with an old dryer in the garage. I havn’t used it yet but when I was cleaning paint brushes in the sink next to it I touched my arm to the dryer and the sink and what a bite. I used my voltage meter and found 105 volts from the outside of the dryer to the sink. I thought it was the dryer so I disconected and put in my dryer and it was the same thing. What could be wrong with the receptacle that the outside of the dryer is being charged to over 100 volts.


  10. Martha on August 12th, 2008 8:49 am

    I just bought a new dryer from Sears. They supplied me with a 3 prong plug (2 flat prongs, one L-shaped). My home receptacle admits 3 flat prongs. Can I replace the supplied supplied dryer cord (and cable) with an “old-style”, 3 (flat) prong plug and cable or must I install a receptacle that will accept the “2 flat, one L-shaped pin” plug?

  11. KEN on September 16th, 2008 11:20 pm

    I wired up my Daughters dryer with a new 3 prong outlet and new wire, with a 30 amp breaker…I didn’t go to purchase the wire, my son and son-in-law did and it did not look right to me but the insisted that the sales person told them it was the correct wire for 220 for a dryer. The wire has no ID coding on it…The dryer is new…She turns it on and after a while ithe breaker kicks off, I asked her if the wire was hot or the breaker and she checked and the breaker is hot…could this be because of the wire or a faulty breaker? Thank you. Ken

  12. KAREN HANSHAW on November 9th, 2008 4:48 pm

    I have a Kemore Electric Clothes Dryer and I want a longer power cable so I can move my dryer over. My question is; how long can it before it builds up to much resistance?

  13. Kathy Fox on November 14th, 2008 12:35 pm

    We bought a house which has an older clothes dryer in it already. It has two cords coming from it, one is the electric cord I know, but the other one is flat and comes out from behind the control panel and goes up to the basement ceiling. Any ideas what its for? I have no idea where it goes.

  14. walker on December 4th, 2008 10:00 am

    I have a whirlpool heavy duty electric dryer. Every time I plug it in i hear a small noise like the dryer motor is kicking in, then the top of the casing heats up without me turning the dyer on. Ive cleaned all lint from it, but it keeps doing the same thing so Ive unplugged it. Any ideas? The model number says wx82000 but i cant find it anywhere online

  15. Tom on June 4th, 2009 11:28 pm

    I would like to know if you have a diagram of how to hook up a buck booster.. please? I closed my tanning business and I did it years ago but I just forgot what wires go to what.. help please? Thank you! Tom

  16. Julie on February 20th, 2010 6:46 pm

    I just purchased a tanning bed and the problem that I am having is I was told it would run on the same outlet as my dryer….well, not true. Both cords are 3 prong but the one on the tanning bed is a different type of 3 prong. What can I do to fix this problem, or better yet what would be the easiest & safest way to solve it without having to hire an electrician. I live in an apartment and the landlord is ok with the tanning bed as long as I dont have to have BIG electrical work done. Any and all help would be great…I would like to be tan before summer but want to do it the safe way… Thanks!!!!

  17. Angel on May 9th, 2011 5:12 am

    The elctrical wire that came with my appliance has a green in the middle, but I cannot see nither the black or the white wire. How do I Know?

  18. jannessa on October 15th, 2011 5:25 pm

    i just bought a tanning bed. and am having trouble hooking it up.. there is a green wire blue wire white wire brown wire red wire and yellow wire? wher do they all is a very old wolff system tanning bed.. someone pleaseee hellpp!!!!

  19. john battista on February 6th, 2016 2:21 pm

    Found faultywire hook up on my 220 dryer, been blowing termal fuses, I did notice the installer had green wire on the white wire terminal block and left the dryers white wire in place on the frame, manufacturing company say to use wire wire from the dryer on to the white terminal nlock and put the green wire from the cotd on the frame, what can this faulty wiring do thanks