We were changing our dryer from a 4-prong to a 3-prong cord and my husband accidentally put the center wire on one of the other terminals. He plugged it in and ran the dryer for a few minutes, then turned it off, and as he was preparing to push the dryer into its place against the wall, there was a loud pop and the faint smell of smoke. He immediately unplugged the dryer and, upon closer inspection, realized his mistake. But when he corrected the wiring, the dryer would no longer work. We know it's not the circuit breaker as we plugged in the landlord's dryer and it's been running fine.

It's a Kenmore Elite HE dryer purchased in 2004. I replaced the heating element a few years ago and it's been going strong up until now. I'd really like to repair this dryer if at all possible. It's old but has been very dependable. But I'm not sure where to even start? (I'm not super handy either but I like to try.)

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    Did he happen to bump the dryer into another appliance that was plugged in? Mistakes connecting a 3-prong cord to a dryer are a really good way to electrify the chassis of the dryer. Normally that just kills people, but if the frame shorted against something grounded, that could have weirder effects. Jan 22, 2019 at 21:47
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    It may have fried the circuit board and if so you will have to look for a new one. Jan 23, 2019 at 13:32
  • So you put a new cord on and it was working? Now you "corrected" the wiring and it's not working? Sounds like one of the connections was loose and when you pushed it in the loose connection came undone and shorted out (loud pop). A picture of the connections you made for the cord may help. Jan 23, 2019 at 19:21
  • Sounds like we were very lucky. Jan 23, 2019 at 22:26
  • It was working for 10 seconds, Platinum Goose. And then it popped. Then we corrected the wiring on a slim hope it would still work. Jan 23, 2019 at 22:27

2 Answers 2


You most probably reversed neutral with second phase, giving 240V to the electronic board: you could either find a new electronic board or replace whole appliance.


Are you sure you didn't trip the breaker or at least one side of it. Try turning the breaker all the way off. Make sure both poles are pushed to the off position. Then turn it all the way on. If you have a voltmeter then check to see if there is power on both poles of the breaker. It should read a nominal 240V.

If that isn't it, then try and locate the POP sound by seeing if there is a faint smell of smoke from the receptacle or the dryer. If it is the dryer, then chances are you have burnt up some of the wiring in the dryer and if that is the case odds are you are looking at getting a repairman on the dryer or buying a new one.

I say this because you have said you are not all that handy and tearing into a dryer to make a DIY repair requires a certain amount of mechanical expertise.

Good luck and sorry for the bad news.

  • It's definitely not the breaker because we have a different dryer plugged in and working fine. Jan 23, 2019 at 22:18
  • He thinks he fried the motor but I'm thinking it could also be the electronic control board or something else? And I don't want to just replace parts willynilly. I'll have to poke around and see if I can tell where the pop came from. Jan 23, 2019 at 22:25

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