The Little Green Wire

Posted by Stephanie Junek on

We get the same story all the time from customers.  My dryer won’t work with my outlet.  Can I plug my dryer into a regular household outlet?  Do you have an adapter that will plug my electric dryer plug into my regular home outlet?

These are all very common questions and there are many others to go along with them.  The short answer is NO.  No, your a home dryer won’t fit into your regular home outlet and we don’t offer any adapters to plug any dryer outlet. 

Why not?  That is usually the next question.  Your dryer requires a much higher voltage than your regular home outlet will provide.  It requires a 240 Volt outlet and your home outlets are 110V.  This means you need to install an outlet to work with your dryer.  That means you need to hire a certified electrician to get the job done safely.

Dryer Outlets

Now that you see the outlets you realized you have one in your basement.  That makes sense.  A lot of our customers are not aware of what the huge outlet is for, so they don’t pay it any attention.  Which outlet do you have in your home?  The 3 or 4 prong version?

At this point, we ask our customer to share a picture with us.  If you send both the plug on your dryer and the outlet installed in your home, we can help narrow down which adapter is required to run your dryer. 

TIP: Did you know we offer FREE consultations?

How can I plug my 3-prong dryer plug into a 4-prong dryer outlet?

How do I plug my 4-prong dryer plug into an available 3-prong dryer outlet?

For this article, we are going to focus on a 4-prong new dryer plug needing to connect to a 3-prong old dryer outlet.  We have multiple adapters for you to choose from for this situation.

AC WORKS® AD10301430 Dryer Adapter


AC WORKS® S10301430-018 Flexible Adapter

The adapters above have one noticeable difference and that is their size.  AD10301430 is a compact yet heavy-duty adapter and the S10301430-018 is a flexible adapter able to move to any angle necessary in your space. 

Utilizing our FREE consultation, you have chosen the perfect adapter for your dryer space, ordered, and are waiting for arrival.  Before you can finish reading this article the doorbell rings and your new adapter has arrived.  Okay wait, we do have fast shipping, but there is no way we could know what you needed and ship it to you without the consultation.

TIP: Expedited orders ship out on the same day they have been ordered if ordered before 3 pm and if ground shipping is chosen, your order will ship out within 24 hours, sometimes on the same day, depending on the timing of the order. 

I regret to inform you that you won’t have to go awkwardly sit at the laundromat with a bunch of strangers all staring at each other’s underwear because your package is scheduled to arrive the very next day.  Yay, that is fast shipping.   

Shipping Package

You open the package to find your adapter, its instructions sheet, and a skinny green wire.  What on earth is this wire for?  This seems complicated.  Do I have to use it?  Will my dryer work without using it?  These are a few of the many questions we have been asked about this little green wire. 

4-Prong User Manual

The instruction sheet offers many different methods for using your little green wire.  The first and easiest method is to plug both ends of your adapter in.  Start with the 4-prong plug from your dryer and make your way over to the 3-prong outlet on the wall.  Plug your dryer plug and adapter into the outlet.

STOP!  Yes, technically you can use your dryer now that it has power.  NO, it is not recommended because your dryer is not grounded and is unsafe to use.  We don’t recommend using any dryer adapters without grounding capabilities.  It is a sure-fire way to destroy your appliance, your home, or even yourself.   

Now is the moment you have been waiting for, the little green wire.  The green wire that accompanies your adapter is a grounding wire.  Grab the grounding pin on your green wire and plug it into the grounding hole on any household outlet. 

Grounding Pin in Use

So now you’re telling me I purchased a dryer adapter that I cannot even safely use because there is no household outlet within 5 feet of my dryer?  AC WORKS® Sales Engineers to save the day!  We sure can help you get that dryer grounded without an outlet nearby. 

The first method requires a heavy-duty metal clamp, which is not included with your adapter purchase.  Clamp the grounding pin to a nearby metal pipe. 

Tip:  Avoid using a metal clamp with rubber over the jaws, as this will not work properly.

Metal Clamp and Grounding Wire

If it is difficult for you to find a metal clamp without rubber over the jaws, the second method requires an adjustable galvanized hose clamp, also not included with your adapter purchase.  Using the same idea as the first, take the hose clamp and attach the grounding pin to a nearby metal pipe. 

Clamping the ground wire using other methods

Lastly, if necessary, you can replace the ground pin with a 12-10 AWG ring terminal, not included with purchase, using a self-drilling metal screw you can attach the ring terminal and ground wire to your home’s metal frame.

Methods of grounding your dryer 

You want the metal ground to touch metal in order to keep the dryer ground.  If these methods won’t work for you and you think you have another idea, please contact one of our sales engineers or your certified electrician to find out if it is a safe and secure method. 

Also, if you are using the little green wire and your home outlet it is essential the grounding pin is inserted fully into your outlet or your dryer will not be grounded.  

Stephanie Junek Marketing and Brand Manager for Cordtec Power Corp

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  • Exactly the information I was looking for and thank you so much!

    Stevie on
  • If there’s no outlet and no metal pipe can the ground wire be connected to a copper water line? Is that the same as metal?

    Kristen on
  • This information is exactly what I needed. I don’t know how it could have been clearer – plug the dryer into the adapter, plug the adapter into the wall, plug the ground pin into a nearby socket. Thank you.

    Carol Uberbacher on
  • Marta

    Please see the instruction manual in the blog post as it describes what you can do with both ends of the green wire and how to safely ground your dryer. Here is a link to a printable version of the user manual. Please email and speak with one of our sales engineers if you still have any questions.

    Stephanie Junek on
  • What you are lacking is a straight-forward picture/diagram for attaching the green wire. I get that the tip needs to be either toucing a metal pipe or plugged into a grounded outlet. What you haven’t explained is what to do with the terminal end.

    I’m assuming I need to connect the terminal end to a metal screw that goes into a metal surface on the back of the dryer.

    Unfortunately, NOTHING provided with the adaptor shows a suggested connection and neither does this page.

    Marta Acree on

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