Electric dryer tripping breaker

Joined
Jan 10, 2010
Messages
1,746
Location
Rochester, NY
We have a <5 year old Maytag electric dryer that has recently started tripping the circuit breaker. It happens once, twice, or sometimes not at all each load. Aside from this issue the dryer seems to work fine - no odd noises; normal drying time; good, warm airflow at the vent outside. There aren't any kinks in the vent that I can see. I took off the front panel last weekend, and while there was a bit of lint to be vacuumed out, everything looked OK. No loose connections or missing insulation. Our house is roughly 20 years old. The dryer is connected to a 3-prong 240V outlet with a 30A breaker. The dryer is rated for 26A. Any ideas where to look?
 
Joined
May 26, 2003
Messages
772
Location
Ohio
Check for loose connections at breaker, at the outlet, and the pigtail power terminals in the dryer. Try those first. I had a breaker trip problem and found loose connections in the outlet. Tightened them up and no more trips. If that doesn't correct the problem, it could be a tired breaker. Try replacing it. Otherwise it could be a developing short in the in the dryer motor or heating element.
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
Messages
11,654
Location
NorthEast
since it is electric dryer, I do not believe having clogged vent etc would cause the circuit breaker to trip. The amount of current going through the dryer does not know or care if the vent is clogged (of course you may set your house on the fire and thus will be able to buy a brand new dryer (and the house too)). However, if the heating coil has short in the middle (e.g. some portion of the coil got fused together), it will have less resistance which will lead to more current flowing through it and thus tripping the circuit breaker. If you have inductive amp meter, you might be able to check the actual current and thus decide if it is the breaker or the coil which needs to be replaced. It is unfortunate that neither of them would be cheaper than $50, so you might end up replacing both if you go by trial and error.
 
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