3 wire 220 volt plug wiring?

I have a 220 volt plug in my basement that doesn't have the same pins as my new dryer. The plug on the wall appears to be a 4 pin socket and my dryer is a 3 pin and doesn't line up to it. When I take the cover off it has 2 red wires and 1 white wire. I bought a new outlet that matches up to my dryer but how do I know what red wire goes where as well as the white wire? The picture below I added to show the 4 pin style my current outlet is, and the 3 pin style I want to change it too. I just moved into this house and it's the first time I had a 220 volt plug like that. It looks like the orginal home owner had the 3 pin a d changed it to the 4 pin because i found the old 3 pin outlet on a shelf. 

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14 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    You can also change the pigtail, sorry, the cord.

  • 2 months ago

    What country do you live in? Don't make people guess if you want a good answer.

  • zipper
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Yea there are three point plugs, four and five as well all for 220, you can change the wirer on the machine to fix the plug you have, the new wire cost about $15.00 bucks and is not that hard to switch out!

  • 2 months ago

    The four prong outlet includes a dedicated ground (bare) wire so is safer than the older three prong outlet.   So leave the outlet alone,  change the power cord.   (The adapter you show goes the wrong direction by the way.)    But before you do this,   DOUBLE CHECK,    there are heavy three prong plugs and outlets that are actually 110 volts,  such as for RVs and motorhomes.    Make sure your dryer is 220 before you go switching plugs.   It may be set up for 30 amp 110 power which is why you have a three prong plug. 

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  • garry
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    take it back , you got the wrong type , thats why it doesnt fit .

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Take the outlet back to the store and get a refund.  You change the cord on the dryer.  You buy the cord with the proper end and instructions come with it. Standard hook up for a dryer is a 4 pin. Ovens take a 3 pin usually, though in some cases they will be identical to the dryer outlet.(because that is what the electrician had with him)  The stove draws less power than does the dryer and there is less moisture.

    . An electrician wired your home. You are not a certified licensed electrician. So you don't touch that wiring.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    It's easy.

    Those two slanted tongs on the plug, put the red wire on one and the black wire on the other.  On the rounded tong in the middle, attach the white wire.   


    If you really want to you can take a piece of wire, attach it to the green and/or bare copper (doesn't matter which or if you use both, then run it to the back of the dryer, just screw it onto the metal anywhere on the back.  It's up to you though. it is not necessary. 

    The red is 120 volt

    The black is 120 volt

    Together they are your 240 volts

    and the white, green and bare wire if there is one, are all ground wires going to the exact same location in the breaker box. 

    The difference in the white and green or bare wire, is that the white on a 120 volt circuit typically completes the circuit. You don't want the green and bare wires to complete a circuit. 

    For reasons that are too long to go into.  It's just easier to say that if you use the green or bare wire to complete a circuit, you could get a little shock, which would be very rare on a dedicated line, which your dryer should be (no other outlets on that circuit)   

    Source(s): Turn the breaker off before you start. When finished, flip it back on and start drying.
  • 2 months ago

    The LEAST expensive and SAFEST solution is to REPLACE THE CORD on the dryer. EVERY dryer made in the last 30+ years is designed to allow this $15.00 or less change. Changing from a 4 prong to a 3 prong outlet is ILLEGAL.

  • 2 months ago

    the white is the neutral [center] and the reds do not matter in which order they are connected.  Do this SAFELY with the power turned off at breakers -- 220v can kill you.  -- grampa

  • 2 months ago

    With the 3 pin the ground and neutral (white) are combined. The 2 reds go on the  2 hot

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