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When I try to screw in the dryer power cord, the screws make contact with the square plate behind the contacts. The screws, however, will not screw in all the way and are leaving a gap which is preventing Full Contact of the three pieces. Is there supposed to be a gap? How can I fix this?enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here

edit Maybe the screws are the problem? Should I get a smaller screw that goes all the way in?

  • Are you replacing the plug on a dryer cord? Are these screws the contact screws for the wires? If the original cord got damaged at the plug end most people would replace the entire cord. – Jim Stewart Aug 1 at 15:31
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    Are you talking about the 2 hot & ground wires? The clamps should secure the wires , what type clamp screws are being used? A machine screw sometimes with a square plate where the wire goes under the plate. Or an anvil where a stirrup clamps the wire, I have been called because a home owner was putting the wire on the wrong side of the stirrup and it would not clamp the wire. I don’t ever recall a screw and plate connection not closing but there could be a manufacturer defect. A photo would be helpful. – Ed Beal Aug 1 at 15:37
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    This is a new power cord. The last one was damaged. It’s a three prong dryer power supply. The screw goes into the square plate, but does not go all the way through it. Two of the screws are original. 1 is a replacement screw, but none of them will screw all the way in. I’ve even taken the square plate out to see if it’ll screw in and it won’t. – Katelyn K Aug 1 at 15:49
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    That is a bit puzzling then. Can you check if the threads of the screw or the hole have been damaged? Or if it might possibly be going in cross-threaded? If the screws are damaged, it may be as simple as replacing them with new ones of the same size. – Nate S - Reinstate Monica Aug 1 at 16:52
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    @Jim Stewart the grounding wire is below it. That screw is to hold the assembly in. – Katelyn K Aug 1 at 17:59
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Test screw length with nuts removed

With the cord terminals out of the way and the nut removed, test inserting the screw through the appliance terminal. Does the screw go in easily and contact the appliance terminal? If so then the screw length is OK. (Threads on the screw and/or nut may still be damaged, but at least you'll know whether the length is good.)

Turn the cord terminals over

Look at the picture below. Notice that the appliance terminals are rotated so that the crimp is "up" ie facing the viewer. The crimps on the cord are facing "down" away from the viewer. Because the crimps stand proud of the terminal face they may be hitting the plastic barrier piece and preventing the screw from being tightened correctly. Twist each conductor 180 degrees to eliminate the interference between the crimp and the plastic. annotated photo of terminals

Replacing the hardware

If you do decide to replace screws and/or nuts, be aware that it's easy to make a mistake. When you have your final selection, ensure that the nut spins onto the screw easily (that the thread pitch is correct) and also ensure that the screw doesn't wobble in the nut (ie, that the screw's diameter is correct). It's easy to get an 8-32 screw and a 10-32 nut, for example, but the combination won't hold reliably.

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    I think your suggestion to turn the cord terminals over is the correct one. If you look at the terminal in the second picture you'll see that there are wear marks on the terminal where the screw was contacting it. Those wear marks indicate that the crimp is preventing the terminal from laying flat. – Platinum Goose Aug 1 at 19:11

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