Electric dryer keys tripping breaker


Old 07-11-04, 05:48 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Angry Electric dryer keys tripping breaker

Well I hoep someone out here cna help out with some advice.

Had an older 7 yr. old dryer that finally bit it. It would occationally go into a power failure mode according to the display but this time it looks to have really bitten the dust. To be sure, I tested each side of the outlet wil a meter, and it read 120V on each side. I also tested the point where the power cord terminates on the back of the dryer and got the same reading.

So I figured, dryer is dead and went and got a new Whirlpool for pretty good deal. Well now it is blowing the breaker it is on. Dual 20amp in the panel. It takes anywhere between 4 and 15 minuytes for it to go but it does. I am trying to figure out if it is the breaker that can handle the power of this thing or if has been a problem all along but the digital dryer was better able to interpret the power spike and cut off on it's own before blowing the breaker.

Here is the setup as I believe:
20/20 breaker-->12 gauge (I think)-->new recepticle-->power cord-->terminiates into back of new dryer

All connections are snug and fit. My thoughts are go to a 30/30 braker setup and run new 10 gauge wire there to outlet. That seems like overkill but everything else has been tried...and lots of $$$ spent.

Thanks in advance.

Sponsored Links
Old 07-11-04, 07:07 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Many years ago, dryers could run on a 20-amp circuit. All residential dryers sold for many years now require a 30-amp service. Since the circuit wiring is most likely sized for 20 amps, you'll need new wiring in addition to the new breaker. It is remotely possible that you already have #10 copper on this circuit, in which case you could just change the breaker to 30 amps and use the existing wiring. But don't do that unless you are 100% sure that all the wire on this circuit is #10 copper.

Your old installation probably only had three wires. Code now requires four, so you'll need to install 10/3 with ground. You'll also need to change the receptacle to a four-hole kind, and you'll need to buy a new cord and plug for your dryer that has four prongs on the plug.

It's not overkill. It's standard.
Old 07-11-04, 07:07 PM
Andrew's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 930
I'm not an electrician, but 20A seems small for a dryer. Usually it is 30A w/ #10 wire. I'll let the others answer this one for sure.

John beat me to the punch!
Old 07-12-04, 03:39 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I'll let you know

I figured as much but wanted a second opinion on this.
I will probably tackle this next weekend and then let you know what happens. Thanks for the advice!
Old 07-28-04, 06:10 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thumbs up Done!

Well, I got lucky and had 10 gauge already wired here...whew! I replaced the breaker with dual 30amp, rewired outlet and now everything is peachy. No breakers popping, the breaker is cool and not hot, and so is the outlet. Thanks for help and advice. I am telling all of my friends about this board now.


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes