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Clothes Dryer tripping circuit breaker

steveshreckjr's picture

I just recently purchased a house which came with a washer and dryer the previous owner's left behind.  I was doing a load of wash and when I used the dryer it ran for maybe 10 minutes and tripped the circuit breaker and shut off.  Once I reset the breaker the dryer started up fine, but a few minutes later it did the same thing. 

 

I first thought it might be a problem with the electrical, because we had the previous owner replace the breaker box and all the breakers due to the old one being defective.  However, I tried running the dryer with no clothes inside and it seemed to run just fine, not tripping the breaker once.  This leads me to believe it's a problem with the dryer.

 

Anyone have any thoughts on this?  Just basically want to know if my first call should be to an appliance repairman or an electrician.

My bet is a defective or (post #204961, reply #1 of 10)

My bet is a defective or improperly sized  circuit breaker.

Steve (post #204961, reply #2 of 10)

Tho the question might be considered goofy, is this an electric dryer?

If so, what is the rating required and what is the breaker?

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


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Sorry, it's an electric (post #204961, reply #3 of 10)

Sorry, it's an electric dryer.

No clue of the rating required, the breaker is a 30 amp breaker.

steve (post #204961, reply #4 of 10)

Since I've only seen 30 amp dryer circuits, and am only a dumb carpenter, I can only assume that the breaker is sized right.  If it's tripping, perhaps bad breaker as has been mentioned by Mark, poor connections, undersized cable or other..............

Lot of help.............

Best of luck.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


My bet, shorted wire somewhere (post #204961, reply #5 of 10)

My bet, shorted wire somewhere in the case or a bad heater element. The shorted wire will be easy to find, look for a burn mark. The element will look bad (collapsed winding shorting to another one).

Greg

I would guess a bad heater (post #204961, reply #6 of 10)

I would guess a bad heater element that has shorted back on itself.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

I apologize I put incorrect (post #204961, reply #7 of 10)

I apologize I put incorrect information in my post.  I looked at the breaker box again and the breaker for the dryer is actually not a 30 amp -- it's a 20 amp.  It's a double pole breaker so I just assumed it was a 30 amp and didn't look at it closely.  Looks like the dryer is off the hook -- the previous owner just hired an idiot electrician who put in the wrong breaker.

Be sure the wire is #10 (post #204961, reply #8 of 10)

Be sure the wire is #10

Greg

30A 240V is the standard for (post #204961, reply #9 of 10)

30A 240V is the standard for a residential electric dryer.

I suspect there's corrosion somewhere on a connection -- it heats up under load and causes more resistance which leads to more current draw .... A buddy in IBEW once told me the "technical" term for this but it's sliped my mind.  It's a good way to start fires.

First check the stabs on the circuit breaker.  Take the panel cover off and pop the breaker out and look for any sort of discoloration or pitting.  You may need a dentist's mirror, and don't lick your fingers before reaching in.  Then check all connections and the dryer's plug.  Everything should be clean and bright.  If it's not, make it so.  Except for the panel's breaker stabs.  Move the breaker to another pair; I'd replace the breaker in that case just to be sure I had clean contacts.  Cheap peace of mind.

I suspect there's corrosion (post #204961, reply #10 of 10)

I suspect there's corrosion somewhere on a connection -- it heats up under load and causes more resistance which leads to more current draw

Not a chance.  A bad connection can cause a fire, or trip a GFCI/AFCI breaker, but it won't cause higher current draw -- much the opposite.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville