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Discuss Help converting 3 prong dryer outlet to 4 prong. Which Outlet Box? in the American Professional Electrical Advice Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

A

acumengineer

DIY
I recently purchased a used clothes dryer, it came with 4 prong cord. Rather than change the cord, I figured it would be better to upgrade the outlet from 3 prong socket, since the existing wiring includes all 4 wires. Bought new outlet, and was dismayed to discover that the width of plastic casing where wires are connected is wider than the corresponding 3 prong outlet. Not just a tight fit for the wires, unfortunately, the old 2 inch wide outlet box is not wide enough to hold the back side of new 4 prong outlet. Here is a picture:
DryerOutlet.png

The outlet box is attached to a spur stud with 3 nails, through the back of the box. There is a 2x4 between the two outlet boxes, but the open outlet box is not attached directly to the 2x4. I pulled the wire down, so you can have an idea of how much slack I have to work with. The outlet box is 1 7/8 inch deep. The back side of outlet needs about 1 7/8 of depth in outlet.

I don't mind cutting the drywall to make room for a wider box, and you have probably already guessed that appearance isn't high on the priority list.

If there are no good options, I could go back to 3 prong outlet and change the cord to match outlet, but I would prefer moving forwards to backwards. In case all the mentions of inches didn't give it away, this is in the USA.

Any recommendations?
 
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Megawatt

Megawatt

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Arms
I recently purchased a used clothes dryer, it came with 4 prong cord. Rather than change the cord, I figured it would be better to upgrade the outlet from 3 prong socket, since the existing wiring includes all 4 wires. Bought new outlet, and was dismayed to discover that the width of plastic casing where wires are connected is wider than the corresponding 3 prong outlet. Not just a tight fit for the wires, unfortunately, the old 2 inch wide outlet box is not wide enough to hold the back side of new 4 prong outlet. Here is a picture:
View attachment 60692

The outlet box is attached to a spur stud with 3 nails, through the back of the box. There is a 2x4 between the two outlet boxes, but the open outlet box is not attached directly to the 2x4. I pulled the wire down, so you can have an idea of how much slack I have to work with. The outlet box is 1 7/8 inch deep. The back side of outlet needs about 1 7/8 of depth in outlet.

I don't mind cutting the drywall to make room for a wider box, and you have probably already guessed that appearance isn't high on the priority list.

If there are no good options, I could go back to 3 prong outlet and change the cord to match outlet, but I would prefer moving forwards to backwards. In case all the mentions of inches didn't give it away, this is in the USA.

Any recommendations?
@acumengineer that metal box has got to come out and you can go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and buy a single gang plastic box and a 4 prong receptacle. Once you start on it you have to bring it up to the 2020 edition NEC. As it is right now the bare ground wire is being used as a neutral which you are obligated to fix. You might have to trim the sheet rock to fit the plastic box in the wall.
 
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