Electric Dryer Tripping Breaker


Old 05-15-08, 03:03 PM
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Electric Dryer Tripping Breaker

Hello, I searched the forums and read the post at the beginning of the forum concerning electric dryers and did not see a post that related to my exact problem. I'm a single mom, the week end is coming, so I need help ASAP. I can't afford to have a repairman or electrician out right now. I'm pretty handy if someone can give me a little direction.

For several months I have had the problem of my clothes taking longer than I thought they should to dry. Today, I got the bright idea to clean out the vents on my dryer, so I did that. Put a load of clothes in and within about 10-15 minutes, the breaker tripped---I reset it and restarted the dryer-same thing happened, so I went back and re-checked the vents, took the back cover off, cleaned all the lint out of there. (not much) Put it all back together and started the dryer back up and breaker tripped again after about 15 minutes. I have never tripped a breaker before. Seems odd to me that after cleaning the vents I would suddenly start tripping the breaker.

My dryer is a whirlpool model number LER8648LWO. I looked up the schematic for this dryer--saw where the thermostat is but didn't see all the sensors that are mentioned (temperature control, high temp, moisture) or the thermal fuse.
Where do I start??
Do I just start replacing all these things?? Unfortunately, my funds are limited right now, so I'd rather not replace any thing I don't have to. Any guesses as to what it might be on this model?
Should I replace the breaker first? If I need to replace the breaker--is it hard to do other than getting the same little black box, turning off the power at the meter outside, removing the old one and hooking up the new one??

I know I have a lot of questions--if these have been asked and answered then just direct me to the posts I need to see, or if there is a better resource for me to use, direct me there. Tomorrow is Friday so if I need to get parts I need to do it then.
Sorry about the long post--any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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Old 05-15-08, 04:56 PM
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Even if you had a 'stat, say where you cleaned out the lint, the wires should not be in there, for you to have disturbed.

Could be a coincidence. Unfortunately, you probably do not have an amp meter. They cost more than cheaper voltmeters, unfortunately. (I think somewhere in the $30-50 range).

If it was me, I'd first run an amp draw test, as the wires are split in the panel box for wrapping the meter around. Then one would know if there indeed was high draw or simply a weak breaker to replace.

Other than that, IF your clothes still take long to dry(even though you cleaned out the lint), and the heat output is not there, you may have some short on one of the 120 wires. Or, you could have an internal drag going on that is putting resistance to the motor.

You'd have to open up the machine and look at every connection. And also disconnect the belt, and rotate the idler pulley (tensioner) and also the motor shaft and try spinning the drum, to check all these for possible drag (which you do not want as that will load up the motor).

Why don't you stick a thermometer, that is capable of 160 degrees + and hold it out in the outside vent, and see what kind of high heat reading you are getting (you have to hold it there for say 10 minutes while on high heat, and get back with us.

I wish I could jump through this monitor and help you out.

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