Thursday, February 23, 2006

How to Wire Up an Electrical Dryer

Many homeowners assume that they will need the help of a professional in order to properly install an electrical dryer, but this is not necessarily the case. With some knowledge, some patience and some planning it is possible to wire your own electrical dryer.

It is important to know that modern dryers come with separate neutral and ground wires. This setup is generally safer, since the neutral wire that carries the current is not hooked up to the dryer case. However, this setup is worthless if the receptacle on the wall does not have a separate ground slot. If that is the case, you will first need to convert the four wire dryer into a three wire setup.

In order to do that, follow the steps listed below:

1. Identify the kind of plug needed by taking a look at the slot pattern of the current receptacle. It will be necessary to purchase a new power cord or plug from a home improvement or hardware store. In most cases this cord should cost no more than $15.

2. At the dryer end, the new cord will have only three wires, with no ground wire. The middle wire of eh cable is the neutral wire, and the other two wires are live wires. The hot wires will connect to the two outer connections on the power terminal block of the dryer. It does not matter which one is connected to which connection, as long as the live wire is connected to each of the outer terminal connections. Each outer wire provides 110-120, for a total voltage of 220-240 volts.

3. The middle wire of the cable will go into the middle connector. In this case the neutral wire will serve as a neutral and a ground connection, and the ground strap will also be connected to the center terminal, as well as to the frame of the dryer.

4. If the cord to the dryer uses colored wires, the neutral wire will be white, and the red and black wires will be the hot wires which need to be connected to the two outer connections. The ground strap, or green wire will be connected to the dryer frame.

It is of course very important to follow all safety and installation precautions provided by the manufacturer of the dryer and related equipment. If you feel that you need help, always seek the advice and guidance of a qualified electrician.

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