Need a 4-Prong Dryer Outlet For a New Dryer? An Electrician Can Help!

So, you’ve just purchased a new dryer because the old one broke. The delivery guys just dropped it off, and now you are ready to unplug the old one, and plug the new one in. But there’s a catch (like most things in life): the old dryer was utilizing a 3-prong outlet, and your new dryer cord requires a 4-prong outlet. Don’t panic! A licensed electrician can install a new 4-prong dryer outlet for your new dryer. Let’s explain why you may still have a 3-prong dryer outlet, and why hiring a licensed electrician is your best option for replacing it with a 4-prong outlet.


4-prong dryer outlet installation

4-Prong Dryer Outlet Installation – KB Electric LLC


Why Do I Need a 4-Prong Dyer Outlet For My New Dryer?

You’ll need a 4-prong outlet for your new dryer because it is required by the NEC (National Electric Code) that all dryers must be plugged into a 4-prong outlet for safety measures. We will discuss why this is required shortly. 

Homes built before 1996 had 3-prong outlets installed for dryers because at the time, this was acceptable. After this, the NEC changed the code. So if your house was built before 1996 and no one has changed your dryer outlet since the house was built, it’s more than likely that your dryer is still operating with a 3-prong outlet.


Why Did The NEC Change The Code For Dryer Outlets?

The NEC (National Electric Code) changed the requirements for dryers because running the machines on only 3 wires poses a potential shock and electrocution hazard.

You may be asking yourself, “How is a 3-wire cord for a dryer a shock hazard?” Well, 3 wires are composed of 2 “hot” wires and 1 “neutral/ground” wire (it acts as both neutral and ground since there is no fourth wire for the ground). So, if the neutral/ground wire becomes damaged, or if the current flowing through the 2 “hot” wires becomes imbalanced, the difference of current will flow to the dryer, and not back to the main panel. Once the current flows to the dryer, the metal frame is now conducting electricity, which is an obvious shock hazard.


Should I Install a 4-Prong Outlet or Replace The Dryer Cord?

As electricians, we highly recommend that you DON’T just replace the new dryer’s cord to plug into your existing 3-prong outlet. This is against NEC code for a reason, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. The whole reason for installing a 4-prong outlet for your new dryer is to maintain safety and compliance for you and your family’s sake. There NEEDS to be a separate ground wire so that your dryer does not become energized to prevent shock and electrocution. 


Why You Should Hire A Licensed Electrician For 4-Prong Dryer Outlet Installation

A licensed and insured electrician can install your new 4-prong outlet so that your new dryer’s cord can plug in so that the dryer operates safely. Furthermore, if you don’t already have a dedicated line for your dryer, a licensed electrician can install this as well. A dedicated line is also required by the NEC for all large appliances, including a dryer. 

Electricians know the ins and outs of the NEC, they have the knowledge and field experience to wire anything electrical, and they have the tools on hand to install your dryer outlet properly and efficiently. 

Call KB Electric LLC today for your new 4-prong outlet! We serve all of Montgomery County, PA and the following surrounding counties: Delaware County, Bucks County, Berks County, Chester County, and Philadelphia, PA. (267) 467-3178