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Dryer cord replacement

9 years ago

Recently moved to a new house and have an old dryer. There are a variety of DIYs on the web for replacing a 3 prong cord with a 4 prong cord on a dryer to separate the neutral/ground, but something seems off with my dryer and I'm hoping I could get some insight.

The way I thought it worked on old dryers was that you have black and red wires as your live wires on either end of the electrical panel. Then in the middle would be a neutral+ground connection, with a long neutral white wire (following red/black wires), and a short strip or green wire connected to the frame of the dryer as the ground. Except, mine's a bit different...

First problem is color scheme. I have black and red wires, which are easy enough, but the neutral+ground connection on the dryer are odd. They're on the same bolt, so I assume they represent the neutral and ground connections. However, one wire is white(neutral?), and the other is yellow(ground?), which I thought was a color generally reserved for wiring live wires. Now, identifying for certain which is the ground would be simple enough if I could just follow one of those two wires to some grounding screw in the back of the dryer, right? Except both the white and yellow wires seem to go off to other parts of the dryer, so I can't actually prove which one is the ground, and I don't have a voltmeter to help me.

To make matters worse, I'm not the first person to tinker with this dryer, and whoever did the deed before me did a lovely job of stripping all the screws, so despite 2 hours of my time, I was unable to take apart the dryer to get a better look inside.

If I'm missing something obvious, please let me know. I'm pretty sure the yellow wire is supposed to be the ground and I can just disconnect it, cut it, and get on with installing the 4 prong plug. Alas, I'm honestly too much of a chicken, especially seeing as how I don't have a fire extinguisher on hand...

If it helps, dryer is a "General Electric 5 cycle automatic heavy duty extra large capacity" model # DCXR453EV0WW


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