On my GE dryer, a 3 prong cord is hooked up as shown on the picture. I want to replace it with a 4 prong cord I got with the standard green/red/black/white terminals.

I am a bit unsure of what goes where and why the ground is connected to white/yellow with a jumper on the current setup.

How would I hook up the new cord after having removed the old 3 prong one and will I keep that jumper from ground like it is now?

It was suggested that this answered my question: White wire when changing from 4 prong to 3 on dryer I read that but found it a bit confusing. The answers I got here solved it for me.

enter image description here

  • The jumper is there for an odd Code section that allowed grounding certain appliances via the neutral conductor. The Code stopped allowing new installations of those 3 wire circuits over 20 years ago. You are much better off changing to a 4 wire configuration. Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 4:16
  • 8
    Does this answer your question? White wire when changing from 4 prong to 3 on dryer Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 19:04
  • I encourage you to choose a best answer... make up your own mind, but choosing your own answer would be fine. Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 21:17
  • @NoSparksPlease: If neutral is only needed for the motor, I wonder how much it would cost to manufacture a wall-mounted adapter that could safely supply a neutral to a hot-hot-ground plus using an autotransformer and a thermal breaker on the neutral that would disconnect the two hots (over-current protection on the two hots would be supplied by the panel)? Connecting neutral to the frame just seems crazy dangerous.
    – supercat
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 17:18
  • At this point, maybe we should close the other question as a dupe of this one. Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 18:12

3 Answers 3


Remove that brass jumper, connect white to the middle terminal, red and black to the one each of the two end terminals and green to the ground screw.

enter image description here

  • 1
    curious what that extra yellow going to the neutral terminal is.
    – Erich
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 14:27
  • 1
    If you remove the main cover therer may be a diagram on the back.
    – Jasen
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 18:51
  • 1
    I will look into what the extra yellow is connected to and report back here. Right now the dryer is running constantly so I am not allowed to open it.
    – Christian
    Commented Jan 7, 2021 at 15:42

The jumper from neutral to ground is exactly what makes a 3-prong cord so dangerous.

The jumper gets removed. The neutral wire lands on the insulated terminal (that was vacated) and the ground lands on the uninsulated end. I don't know if they provide a parking position for that strap to "live" when it is disconnected, but since 3-prong connections are obsolete and dangerous, I'd be thrilled to see it go away for good.

Really Code requires you to follow the dryer's UL-approved instructions (findable on the Web), however I'm pretty sure that's what the instructions will say to do.

  • "The jumper from neutral to ground is exactly what makes a 3-prong cord so dangerous." I'm not sure I agree with that. In particular, a 3-prong cord without the jumper would be dangerous too, just with a different failure mode as the trigger. Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 22:58
  • 1
    @JosephSible But then, the lack of grounding would be obvious. As in "wow, this thing isn't grounded I better ground it" Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 0:06
  • Out of curiosity, what would you make of a 3 prong with a ground instead of a neutral? (I think on the existing 3 prongs, the middle prong is a neutral.)
    – Joshua
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 4:51
  • 1
    @Joshua Oh, those are totally fine. That just means the equipment does not need neutral. Its wire requirements are irrelevant to the benefits of grounding. Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 5:21
  • 2
    That's a pretty impressive PhotoShop. Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 22:33

Thank you for the photoshopped connection picture. Very impressive and helpful! Based on that information and illustrations I got here I ended up with what you see in the picture. I moved the ground connection to make it work with the cord I got. It works so I am hoping I did it right. I also hope the used GE dryer I bought will last for a year or two. Thank you all again!

enter image description here

  • 3
    The way you can tell if you got it right is simple: Unplug the dryer. Use a multimeter to check for continuity (a) between the ground pin and any exposed metal on the dryer (should show continuity) and (b) between the ground pin and each of the other pins (should not show continuity). Hot/hot/neutral are pretty much guaranteed to be correct because (a) they are obvious and (b) hard to come up with a scenario where the dryer would work if they weren't done right. Ground is the tricky one - but your picture looks good. Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 19:02
  • 2
    I got out my multimeter and did the tests. According to that I'm good. First load is now going with the new cord. Thanks again!
    – Christian
    Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 20:49
  • 3
    Actually that makes perfect sense. The ground strap needs a ground screw in one place, yet typical cord lengths require the ground screw in another place. So two ground screw sites (or as man as 4 that I can see). Nothing wrong with that!!! Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 21:15
  • 2
    The ground cable is supposed to detach last if the cable is pulled with force (e.g. when someone stumbles over it). so it needs to go to the closest connection point. One of the hot wires slipping out of the wire nut will likely bring it in contact with the chassis, which is still grounded, causing the GFCI to trip. Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 22:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.