I have a new outlet (in an older house) with 4 hole socket and an older (4 years old) dryer. The dryer currently has a three pin plug.

What are my options for connecting the dryer to the newer outlet?

I did see New dryer, old outlet and How do I connect a dryer with a four prong plug to a three prong socket?, and I guess my question is just the reversed.

Is there a type of adapter that would work for this?

EDIT: With the accepted answer, I think I figure it out. The before picture:

enter image description here

The after picture with the 4 prong cord:

enter image description here

Does that look right? (The colors of the wires in the cord match the colors of the wires inside the dryer.)

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    "four years old" is not old for a dryer. Your quite new dryer shipped with a modern 4-prong cord, but the previous owner had a really old house, so he changed it to a 3-prong cord. Change it back. Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 1:27
  • @Harper: Yeah, I was surprised because I though the 4 year old dryer was "new". I think you are right. We got the dryer from Best Buy with installation. They didn't leave anything except the transport plugs. I did find a 4-prong cord at Home Depot today.
    – Thomas
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 13:56
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    Based on your picture, it looks like you did not remove: "There will also be a wire attached to the same screw that the cord neutral lands on that runs off to the chassis; this wire will need to be removed from its terminal-block screw and left unterminated as it needs to be disconnected in a four-prong configuration." That is VERY important. Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 1:30
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    From what I can best guess without a specific model # the white wire coming from inside the dryer to the green ground wire screw should be removed. But verification based on the installation manual for the dryer would be a very good idea. Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 2:13
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    Can you post the make/model of this dryer? There should be a way to unhook that bonding jumper at the neutral end... Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 3:37

1 Answer 1


You need a new dryer cord, not an adapter

What you need to do is remove the existing cord from the dryer (dryer cords attach to a terminal block on the dryer, typically accessible by removing a cover from the back panel) and attach a new, four-prong/four-wire dryer cord to the terminal block. There is also a white wire running to the chassis ground screw on your dryer -- that wire needs to be moved from there to the neutral screw on the terminal block, thus disconnecting the neutral-ground bond on your dryer.

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    The instructions for the dryer will show exactly how to do this for this dryer. If you don't have the printed instructions, look online for the instructions. Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 10:48
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    @JimStewart: I am a bit worried about doing it myself, but maybe after a few Youtube videos I will do it. I love the internet :)
    – Thomas
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 13:57
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    Be sure to take a picture of the way it is before you disconnect anything. Then take a picture of the connection block with the new plug and post both here as an edit to your question. Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 16:37
  • @JimStewart: Thanks Jim. I have edited the question and added the before and after picture. Does this look right? I matched the colors and added the green (ground?) wire. The hardest part was getting the metal thing to squeeze down around the new cord.
    – Thomas
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 22:51
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    For our dryer the instructions are to place the neutral bonding jumper under the center screw on the connection block. So on your dryer the central screw will have two white wires under it. The purpose of this is to keep this jumper out of the way, but have it available if someone later would need to go back to a 3-wire cord. One could put electrical tape on the end on the jumper and leave it hanging but it is neater to have it corralled under a screw. Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 10:35

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