Converting 3-prong Dryer Outlet To 4 - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 04-16-2011, 12:20 PM   #1
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Converting 3-prong dryer outlet to 4

So after spending an hour to squeeze a stacked washer/dryer combo into our basement (damn you, low stairwell ceilings), I realize that the dryer has a 4-prong plug, but the receptacle on the wall is an older 3-prong plug!

However, after opening up the receptacle box I find 4 wires:

I used my voltage meter to find the following readings:
Red-black: 240v
Red-white: 120v
Black-white: 120v
Red-bare: 120v
Black-bare: 120v

Here's the junction box side of the conduit (the thick white one in the back, with bare/red/black/white wires coming out of it):

So here's the question - this looks like a proper 4-wire 30-amp hookup, right? It's the receptacle that's old? Would it be a good idea/legal to replace the receptacle myself, since I'm not going to be running any wires? It appears to be a simple "unscrew wire" - "screw in wire" job. I should mention that I'm pretty handy with a drill and screwdriver. Just don't want to do anything that's not up to code.


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Old 04-16-2011, 01:53 PM   #2
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looks great! just go grab a 4 prong plug and a cover and install. you might need a short piece of wire and a nut to get the bare long enough.


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Old 04-16-2011, 09:22 PM   #3
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yep, that's exactly how my 4-pin dryer is wired in the panel.. its important that the neutral & bare ground are terminated at different locations which you have.

seems you just need to replace the receptical as previous poster sais.
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Old 04-23-2011, 04:33 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys. I went out and got a correct receptacle and after a careful replacement, I can now wash my clothes!
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:49 PM   #5
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You were lucky to have a true 10/3 w/ground. Not many older cables had the full size ground, or any ground at all.

Incidentally, you did it backwards, but the final outcome was definitely better. Typically you match the cord to the receptacle, not the other way around. Meaning you would have swapped out the dryer cord instead of replacing the receptacle. In your case the 4-wire receptacle was a better way to go.
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