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My mom went out and bought a super old dryer to replace one that busted. I'm trying to hook it up with 4 prong cord hut there is no green nut for the ground. Where does the ground go?

marked as duplicate by isherwood, Tyson, Daniel Griscom, mmathis, Machavity Nov 29 '18 at 0:02

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  • Model # of the dryer? – manassehkatz Nov 18 '18 at 18:47
  • GE dde8508malwh – MsAgentM Nov 18 '18 at 18:50
  • I looked at this thread several times but it looked like it had a grounding screw and the OP wanted to know, assuming the green thread was a ground, it you connect with the case of the dryer or if it was a neutral and goes with the neutral. I'm connecting the cord and my green wire is definitely a ground. My problem is the dryer in question doesn't have an obvious bold or screw for the ground. – MsAgentM Nov 20 '18 at 2:14
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A modern dryer should have a separate ground (which is bonded to the exposed metal case of the dryer) and neutral connection, with a removable jumper between them.

Unfortunately, I can't seem to find an installation manual for this model, just several copies of the Use & Care Manual. There are three possibilities:

  1. The dryer has connections for 2 hots + neutral and no wiring at all for ground and the metal parts of the dryer are not connected to the neutral. You can test this with a multimeter by seeing if there is continuity between unpainted metal parts and the neutral connection. If there is no continuity (and you really truly have no ground connection on the dryer anywhere) then "a self tapping screw and secure the ground in the connection area be sure not to poke any other wires" is the right answer as it will provide a reasonable ground connection independent of the neutral connection.

  2. The dryer has ground & neutral bonded together with a jumper. For any dryer made after 1996 (and possibly even a little older) there should be a jumper and by removing the jumper have ground independent of neutral. If you test with a multimeter and find continuity between the metal parts and neutral then if you can find and remove this neutral-ground jumper you can then connect ground to the case with a self-tapping screw and be safe.

  3. The dryer has ground & neutral bonded together but no specific connection can be found. If this is the case then you have a 3-wire connection forced on you. If you were to connect a grounding wire to the metal case, you would effectively be bonding neutral & ground so that even though you are using a 4-wire connection, safety-wise it would be exactly the same - with the same dangers - as a 3-wire connection. If this turns out to be the case then I do NOT recommend this as (a) you are cheating well-established (> 20 years) safety standards and (b) likely have a VERY old dryer.

Bottom line: If you still can't find a jumper, check for continuity between case and neutral. If you don't have any continuity (check multiple locations to be sure) then ground to the case. If you do have continuity, get a different dryer. Used is OK, as long it isn't too old. Anything newer than 1996 should have a removable jumper so that you can connect it correctly.

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    You'll need to use a fine pitch self tapping screw (10-32) not a normal sheet metal screw. (Garvin Industries makes them, ask for a Garvin GSST at an electrical supply house sometime...) – ThreePhaseEel Nov 19 '18 at 1:45
  • Will I need to completely remove the cord to test this? Seems like I would. – MsAgentM Nov 20 '18 at 4:01
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It will work with out the ground, but for the safety of the operator, you can ground it to the sheet metal of the dryer, get yourself a self tapping screw and secure the ground in the connection area be sure not to poke any other wires

  • So it doesn't matter where it goes as long as it goes through metal and doesn't interfere with the other wires? – MsAgentM Nov 18 '18 at 19:12
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    Does a dryer of this vintage have an existing hole and screw for attaching the grounding conductor? Does it have a procedure for disconnecting the bond between the neutral and ground on the dryer connection block? – Jim Stewart Nov 18 '18 at 19:15
  • There are several wholes where it looks like screws went before. The appears to have been for the carriage (if that's what it is called) that holds the terminal block. There 5 holes, 3 have screws in them. I don't see an area for neutral outside of the terminal block. It's my guess that the neutral screw was in the odd hole on one side of the terminal, but I can't be sure and didn't want mess something up. – MsAgentM Nov 18 '18 at 19:54
  • Self tapping screws are not appropriate for ground connections, NEc specifically outlaws them. If you can't find a hole threaded 10-32 or 8-32, try a plain hole, bolt and nut. – Harper Nov 18 '18 at 22:33
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    @Harper -- the problem with self-tappers is the thread pitch not the self-tapping functionality. A 10-32 self-tapper is legal for grounding under the NEC, and Garvin makes 'em (in green even!) – ThreePhaseEel Nov 19 '18 at 1:46

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