How Does One Convert a 4 Prong Dryer Cord to Fit a 3 Prong Outlet?

A 4-pronged dryer cord will not fit a 3-pronged outlet and will require either an adapter or a change to a dryer cord that will fit the three pronged outlet. While adapters are a simple solution, it is recommended for safety purposes that the dryer's cord itself be replaced.

The following items are needed to perform a cord change to a 3-prong cord:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Magnetic nut driver
  • Pencil
  • 3-pronged dryer cord

Follow these steps to perform the change:

  1. Unplug the dryer and open the access panel where the cord enters the back of the dryer.
  2. Remove the old cord by loosening the screws that hold the old cord in place and disconnecting the ground wire or strap that connects the center terminal to the case.
  3. Attach the new cord by attaching the ground wire to the center terminal and the outer wires to the right and left terminals, respectively; then, attach the wire that runs from the center terminal to the dryer case.
  4. Replace the access panel, being sure to fit the strain relief bracket into the access hole and evenly tighten the bracket screws around the cord to avoid a short in the event that the cord is yanked.
  5. Plug the dryer into the outlet and give it a test run to be sure that the cord is working.