How to Convert a Dryer from Three Prongs to Four Prongs

Homes contain either a four-prong receptacle or a three-prong receptacle for clothes dryers. You do not have to change the three-prong receptacle; unless you relocate the location of the receptacle, which at that time you should upgrade to the four-prong receptacle. The four-prong receptacles are code enforced for all newer homes—early 2000 and newer. The four and the three-prong receptacles both have 250 volts and 30 amps. The four-prong cord has a ground wire on the cord, and the three- prong cord does not.


Things you will need
Phillips screwdriver
Standard screwdriver
¼-inch nut driver



Step 1
Disconnect power to the dryer before, removing the three-prong cord from the back of the dryer.

Step 2
Remove the screws from the access panel located on the back of the dryer– next to the dryer cord. Use a screwdriver to remove all of the screws from the access panel. Remove the access panel from the back of the dryer to expose the wire connecters.

Step 3
Remove the screws or bolts from the three-wire terminals. This will depend on the type of dryer if it contains bolts or screws. Do not drop the screws or bolts down into the back of the dryer.

Step 4
Remove the black wire, white wire and the red wire from the terminals. Remove the copper strip connected to the green screw and the white wire terminal. The copper strip is the ground for the dryer on a three-prong corded dryer.

Step 5
Loosen the two screws holding the three-prong cord snug to the back of the dryer. Pull the loosened wires through the back of the dryer.

Step 6
Install the new four-prong cord to the dryer. Slide the red, black, white and green wires through the wire hole on the back of the dryer. Line up the black wire to the black wire terminal, located on the top dryer terminal, and secure the black wire to the terminal. Attach the white wire to the middle terminal located under the black wire, and attach the red wire on the bottom terminal.

Step 7
Attach the green wire to the green ground screw, located on the back of the dryer, next to the wire terminals.

Step 8
Reattach the access panel to the back of the dryer, and retighten the panel to the dryer.



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