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Installing an Electric Dryer

By Brett Freeman
Installing an Electric Dryer

The decision of whether to install a new clothes dryer yourself or pay to have it installed comes down to one question--are you comfortable working with electricity? If the answer is anything other than "Yes," hire a professional. Most new dryers do not come with power cords because houses built before 2000 generally have 3-prong 220-volt receptacles for clothes dryers. Newer homes have 4-prong 220-volt receptacles for ranges and dryers.

There is nothing particularly difficult about installing a power cord, but you'll be plugging it into a high-voltage outlet. If you're not sure you've done it right, consult a pro.

Which Cord?

Once you've determined which type of receptacle your laundry room has and purchased the appropriate cord, you're ready to install. Start by turning power to the dryer outlet off at your breaker box.

Installing a 4-prong cord is fairly simple. Connect the red, black, and white wires from the cord to the corresponding red, black and white wires on your dryer. Attach the cord's green ground wire to the dryer's green ground screw. If there is a green wire or a copper strap running from the white wire on your dryer to the ground screw (there should be), remove it.

A 3-prong cord has three wires instead of four. Connect either of the outside wires to the dryer's red wire, and the other to its black wire. Connect the center wire to the dryer's white wire and the ground strap, which should remain attached to the ground screw.

Finish

The rest is easy. Use hose clamps to attach the vent hose to the dryer's exhaust port and your vent duct. Push it into position, being careful not to crush the vent hose. Now plug the dryer in, turn the breaker back on, and you should be good to go.

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