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Breaker Problem
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Breaker Problem
Residential Wiring - The Right Way!

Wiring Information for the Do It Yourself Homeowner

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Thread: Breaker Problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1

    Default Breaker Problem

    Dryer is tripping breaker. Unplugged it but breaker is still tripping. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Lala land, OH
    Posts
    235

    Default

    First, make sure nobody modified the circuit. This should be a dedicated circuit for the dryer only. Sometimes people will attempt to modify the circuit to run the washer off one of the 120V legs.

    The next step would require you to open your panel. Do not continue if you are not completely comfortable working in a electrical panel. If this is your main/service panel, there may be sections in here that will be live even after you shut off your main breaker. These sections will be exposed when the cover is off. If your main disconnect is not inside this panel, then it should be safe, but you NEED to test it to be sure.

    Remove the cover and locate the dryer breaker. You should see a red and a black wire screwed into the breaker. Shut off the breaker (don't assume it's off because it tripped, 1 leg could still be live). Test with a meter or test light between each wire and neutral to make sure it is dead since you will be touching these wires. You can flip your main breaker, or breakers on either side of the dyer breaker if you want. Disconnect the red and black wires from the breaker. Make sure they dont flip back and contact other live parts. You don't need to worry about the neutral(white) and ground. Turn the main on if you shut it off, then turn the dryer breaker back on.

    If it still trips, the breaker is bad.. They are designed to fail 'safe'. Remove the breaker and take it with you to get the replacement. It needs to be the same manufacturer and size (likely 30A). There should be a label on your panel door of what breakers are approved to work in your panel. You may want to take a picture of this with your phone so you have it with you. If it's a old panel, you may have trouble finding a breaker. Post the manufacturer and series on here if so.

    If the breaker does not trip, then you have a wiring issue. It could be a damaged wire or something fell apart in the outlet. Start by removing the outlet cover and inspecting. Then trace the wire to the panel. If it's exposed behind the dryer, inspect that area carefully. A out of balance washer could have smashed something against it. (you may want to start by looking here)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    1

    Default Breaker Problem

    It was a 20 amp single pole breaker. I unplugged the washer and removed the 110 outlet that the washer was plugged in to. The hot and neutral wires were hanging in air. I turned on the breaker and it hummed. So that eliminates the washer and the outlet as the cause of the problem.

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