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replacing dryer cord

I need to change out a 4-prong dryer cord to a 3-prong due to my existing outlet. Does it matter if the leads are reversed when connecting it? I know the center wire is the neutral, but none of them are color coded. Will the dryer case become energized if the leads are switched? (black as red and red as black)
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Posted 2015-08-15T17:52:47+0000  by Question1 Question1
 
The colors of the two hot wires don't matter (black to black or black to red).  What does matter is making sure that chassis of the dryer is bonded to the neutral pole.  Typically there is some kind of metal strip or jumper wire that must be connected.
Posted 2015-08-16T00:37:49+0000  by Adam444
Hello Question1.  Welcome to the COmmunity!

Dryer cords have a flat profile so you can clearly see which conductors are on the outside edges as compared to the center one.  You are correct that the center conductor is the "white" neutral.  Both outer conductors are "hot" leads.  Each hot lead attaches to one of the outside terminals on the dryer terminal block, and the center lead goes to the center terminal.

The trick with converting from a 4 prong cord back to a 3 prong cord lies in how the chassis ground is handled.  Since your dryer was hooked up previously using a 4 prong cord, the chassis ground had its own wire on the cord to be attached to the ground screw on the dryer.  The jumper wire or metal strip that Adam referred to may well have been thrown away when the dryer was originally installed.  Now that you want to use a 3 prong cord, you need to find a way to connect the chassis ground to the center neutral terminal of the terminal block.

You will find instructions on how to do this in your owners manual.  If you do not have yours, just look up any electric dryer for your brand on homedepot.com and click the installation instructions.  

Chris.

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Posted 2015-08-18T18:41:20+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
 
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