four years ago we bought a dryer from home depot. They sent people out
who put the wire on the dryer (4 prong) and installed the dryer. Never
really looked at the way they wired it until I had an issue with the
dryer. So I got the dryer working but part of my troubleshooting was
to look at the cord. First thing I noitced is that the cord runs into
the dryer through a small hole at the back but the clamp that should
be there to secure the wire to the dryer is missing. My question is
about how this is wired. The red and black wires are in the correct
place but the white and green are both on the center terminal. It
seems odd because the instructions seem to say that the green should
be connected to the chasis and the white wire connected to the chasis
should be put back onto the center terminal with the other wire. My
question is if this is ok and what is likely to happen if left this
When you have a 4 wire cord, the red and black wires are hooked to the 'hot'
terminals. The white wire should be the neutral terminal and the green goes
to the chasis for a safety ground. Also if there is a wire or strap going
from the neutral (white) terminal to the chasis , it should be removed.
If you have an older 3 wire cord then the white goes to the neutral terminal
and a wire or strap goes from there to the chasis.
The 4 wire hook up is suspose to be somewhat safer than the 3 wire hookup.
The 4 wire hookup should be standard now , the 3 wire hookup is the old way.
There is no real problem with the way it is hooked up in your dryer. It is
just thought to be much safer if a problem develops in the dryer wiring and
a hot wire shots to the chasis. Knowing it is wrong, I would change it to
the correct way.
I could never understand what the diffference between 3 and 4 wire
hookup is. With a 4 wire hookup, the neutral and ground are shorted
together in the electrical panel anyway. With a 3 wire hookup, they
are shorted at the dryer connections.
But there should be a clamp of some sort where the cable enters the
With the 3-wire connection, if there is an open in the neutral from the
outlet to the panel the dryer frame is hot. The NEC allowance to use the
neutral as a ground had a number of limitations that reduced this hazard.
I might check that the receptacle in fact has a ground wire.
Wayne has a nice description of 3 and 4-wire connections.
Others have already answered most of your questions. ABSOLUTELY there
should be a clamp where the cord enters the dryer body. This is why I never
let the delivery guys add a cord for me. I prefer to have it done right the
Assuming you have four wires in the box for the 4 wire plug, the correct way
is to ground the body separately. Sometimes people cheat and use a four
wire plug when they only have 3 wires. If that is the case then the wiring
is correct as installed. You have to test the plug to determine this.
Please come visit http://www.househomerepair.com
The clamps that come with range and dryer cords is pretty useless, so I
routinely toss them myself. I do replace them with a round service connector
which hold the cable tightly. Usually when I check on how the " delivery"
people connect ranges and dryers, I find that they have the four wires
exactly where they should be. The thing they don't seem to do, is remove the
factory installed jumper from the neutral connector to the chassis.
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