I just moved into first house I bought. I buy a 4 prong dryer wire for my new whirlpool dryer. I used a 3 prong at my last residence and it started fine. But with 4 prong now when I hook up the neutral wire to pair it with the other neutral in the middle terminal, and put the ground wire hooked to the ground. It wont start. I've been reading you dont hook up the neutral with the ground, well I tried it that way just to see and the dryer started up... any suggestions? Hope I described this right for yall!enter image description hereenter image description here

  • Can you get us voltage readings from the outlet please? This sounds kinda suspiciously like an open neutral condition in the branch circuit... – ThreePhaseEel Dec 15 '19 at 14:48
  • Can you get a picture of the inside of the outlet box? And you'll need a proper connector to attach the cable to the dryer. – JACK Dec 15 '19 at 14:56
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Be careful "trying things out"; it's a good way to start a fire or get killed. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. – Daniel Griscom Dec 15 '19 at 14:58
  • Are you sure your problem is with the dryer and the new four pronged whip? Do you have a meter? Can you check to see if the voltage is correct at the receptacle? You will need a voltmeter for that not a Non-Contact AC Voltage Detector. You will need to check the breaker voltage also. – Retired Master Electrician Dec 15 '19 at 15:03
  • I dont have a meter yet but will be getting one soon. Will post readings! – Devin Buck Dec 15 '19 at 15:29

This wiring is insane. It's so wrong it's not even funny.

They used 14/2 cable, which is half the necessary size, and will start a fire if used to power a dryer.

They also wired it up simply matching colors to colors. It is obvious that the person who wired it never actually tried it, and good thing too.

I get the impression that they did this to meet some statutory requirement, such as a buyer demand/seller commitment to fit an electric dryer outlet. Either the seller DIYed it in a hurry without even thinking about the four terminals, or intentionally faked it to get to closing.

However, if they were exceptionally dumb, they may have put 240V across hot and neutral, which would have fried the dryer's motor and controls.

If the unit was used at all, it may be that someone had a gas dryer that someone had installed a NEMA 14-30 plug onto (which is wrong to do), and then they moved here, and put this in to match the weird wiring on their gas dryer.

Regardless, this is entirely unfit for service for an electric dryer. The receptacle is salvageable. The cable is not. It will need to be re-pulled with a 10/3 (black white red bare) NM (Romex) or UF type.

  • Thank you! It's weird this house was built in 95 and the guy I bought it from had no problems with dryer over the 5 years he lived here. My best bet would be to call electrician. Any idea on round abouts of what this could cost to do it right? – Devin Buck Dec 16 '19 at 0:38
  • @DevinBuck -- that depends pretty much entirely on how much wrangling the electrician needs to do to run the new cable from your dryer receptacle to the service panel location. – ThreePhaseEel Dec 16 '19 at 1:28

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