Why Grounding Your Dryer is Important

Posted by Stephanie Junek on

Did you know some dryer plugs are 3-prong and others are 4-prong?  Have you wondered why this is or have you had trouble connecting your dryer to your home electrical dryer outlet because they don’t match?

NEMA 10-30R outlet

The old style of 3-prong dryer cords did not include a ground wire.  Changes in the National Electrical Code now require dryers to be wired with a ground wire.  This means the cords now have 4-prong plugs.  There are some cases where you cannot plug your dryer into your receptacle.  This is because you may have an old dryer and a new construction home or a new dryer and an old home. 

NEMA 14-30R outlet

AC WORKS™ brand residential collection contains a few options for you to adapt to the current outlet you have in your home, meaning you won’t have to hire an electrician to re-wire your outlets. 

When using an old 3-prong cord, the neutral wire had to be tied to the ground connection on the case of your dryer, which is metal.  When converting with a 4-prong adapter it is important to make sure the neutral terminal is not connected to the ground case. 

Make sure you are correctly connected before you plug your dryer in.  There are many things that can go wrong with a dryer that has been incorrectly ground.  For example, your hot wire could cause your dryer to become live, causing electrocution or shock to anyone who touches it. 

The 4-prong cords contain two hot wires, a neutral, and a ground wire.  This provides a safe path for any current traveling to the machine to be re-routed and avoiding danger. 

We have a variety of dryer adapter types to find solutions allowing you to convert a 3-prong to a 4-prong or vice versa. 


AD14301030 Dryer Adapter by AC WORKS™


S10301430-018 Dryer Adapter by AC WORKS™


S14301030-018 Dryer Adapter by AC WORKS™

If you have any questions about how to convert or properly hook your dryer up to your current outlet contact our sales engineers for solutions.  info@acconnectors.com We are happy to help find the solution to work best with your existing hookups and teach you how to install them properly and safely. 

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  • Hello Greg.
    If you have a 3-prong dryer outlet, it will not have a ground wire attached to the L-shaped terminal. That terminal is neutral/white. Are there any wires connected to the L-shaped terminal? How exactly did you test your outlet with the multimeter? A 3-prong dryer outlet is supposed to be 220V. We recommend you have a certified electrician take a look at your outlet. Also, the new standard is to have a 4-prong outlet for a dryer. A 4-prong dryer outlet has grounding.

    Christopher on
  • I haven’t been able to get my dryer to turn on, in a 1970’s home we recently purchased. We thought it was the dryer, but upon trying a new dryer (and thankfully returning it), we realized it was the outlet. When taking a multimeter to the test points in the on the circuit breaker, we see 120Vac on both wires. At the outlet we see 30-50Vac between the lines and ground. However upon opening the outlet, I see there is no ground wire attached to the L shaped side of the outlet. Is this why my dryers won’t turn on?

    Greg on
  • We are glad to be able to help Stewart. You can subscribe to our blog for weekly articles, promotions, and other updates.

    Stephanie Junek on
  • In this post have top electrical knowledge. This is very interesting post. I am very thankful for your post.


    Stewart Bailey on
  • Thank you for the kind words Loren. Let us know if you have a topic you would like to see us talk about in the future.

    Stephanie Junek on

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