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

AD14301030 Dryer Adapter by AC WORKS™

S10301430-018

S10301430-018 Dryer Adapter by AC WORKS™

S14301030-018

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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12 comments

  • Hello Donald. It sounds like you might not be getting enough voltage or amperage to your dryer to get it hot enough. The cause of that might be a wiring issue. Use a multimeter to test the outlet and see what you get. Voltage should be between 220 to 250, whereas the amperage should be up to 30.

    Christopher on
  • Changed a 3 prong plug to a 4 prong plug on a 15 year old electric dryer to match the 4 prong plug in a newer house. However, dryer does not appear to generate as much heat as before the move. Dryer was moved was over 600 miles. Any recommendations of what to look for or an on-line troubleshooting guide?

    Donald Bleasdale on
  • Hello Timothy. For this situation, it is best to have the ground run all the way back up to the panel. Please consult with a local electrician on this.

    Christopher on
  • My current dryer is a 3 wire line from the panel box that goes into a 4 wire receptical. I put a 4 wire plug on my new dryer. The ground isn’t hooked up. Do I have to change the 3 wire line or can I add a copper groung and a ground rod just on the other side of the wall outside. Does my ground have to go back to the panel box

    Timothy Colyer on
  • Hello Anna.
    That definitely sounds like it could be a wiring issue that you should have a local electrician check out. Dryer outlets are only supposed to supply between 220-240 volts, whereas yours is going at 260. Do you have a 3-prong or 4-prong dryer plug/outlet? Do you know roughly when your home was built?

    Christopher on

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