3 Prong to 4 Prong Dryer or Range Cord

Proper Install of Your Dryer or Range Cord

It's not unusual for home owners to confront problems when they find that the 4 prong plug for their new electric range or dryer won't fit the 3 hole receptacle in the wall. Alternatively, they may find that the 4 hole wall receptacle in their new house won't match up with the 3 prong plug on their old electric dryer or range.

This mismatch occurs because in the mid 1990's homes had 3 wire systems that had two “hot” wires (red and black) and a single neutral/ground wire. In 1996, the National Electrical Code was updated to require new homes to be built with a safer 4 wire configuration with separate ground and neutral wires.

So today, your new 4 prong electric dryer cord won't fit in an older 3 prong wall plug. The solution is simple. You will need to switch to a 3 prong dryer cord. The same is true for mismatched range cord and wall receptacle. Here are three important points to keep in mind:

  1. If a cord's plug, and the wall receptacle don't match, you must change the cord, not the wall receptacle.

  2. Dryer hookups and range hookups are configured differently. A dryer cord plug won't work in a range wall receptacle, nor will a range cord plug fit a dryer receptacle.

  3. The current 4 wire system has red and black wires just as before, plus a white neutral wire, and a green or bare wire for the ground.

The move to a 4 wire system was an important safety improvement. However, you can tell from above, that the conversion from a 3 prong vs 4 prong configuration on the plugs can be a bit of a hassle. Even after 20 years, this still can be an issue if you have or move into an older house.

Now that you know what needs to be done, you should also know that range and dryer cords do not come attached with a new appliance. If you are installing yourself, you'll need to know how to attach the cord to the appliance. Below is a link to a Whirlpool video demonstrating how the 4 wire cords are to be hooked up:

How to install a 4 wire supply cord to your dryer

Of course, when Arizona Wholesale Supply is delivering and installing your new appliances we'll bring the correct cord with us!


Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

facebook twitter

 

Leave a Reply