are circuit breakers universal?

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  #1  
Old 01-06-05, 09:40 AM
blaquepapilion
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Unhappy are circuit breakers universal?

After 2 mths of fighting with my dryer to cooperate, Tues. I decided to give up and chunked the dryer. my new dryer was delivered this morning and it has no power either. the appliance guys suggested that i need to change the breaker because one side of the breaker was broke. Are all 30 AMP breakers universal or do I need to find one that matches the breaker box brand?
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  #2  
Old 01-06-05, 09:41 AM
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You need the correct breaker for the panel. If the dryer is not working the first thing you need to check is if you have 220V at the breaker, and at the dryer (assuming it's a 220V electric dryer).
 
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Old 01-06-05, 09:52 AM
blaquepapilion
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are 30 amps breakers universal?-PartII

electric company just left said the problem is either the breaker or the outlet i want to replace both
 
  #4  
Old 01-06-05, 10:35 AM
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You need a multimeter that can measure AC voltage before you go any further. First you need to check if you have 220V at the breaker. If yes, either the outlet or the wiring is bad. If not, the breaker is bad.

What type of panel do you have? Brand?
 
  #5  
Old 01-06-05, 12:40 PM
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I would start with the voltage tester at the receptacle, since the testing is easier for a novice to do. Test for voltage between each pair of holes in the receptacle (that's 3 tests for a 3-hole receptacle, or 6 tests for a 4-hole receptacle). Report the test results here and we can advise you what to do next.

The testing can either be done with a $15 multimeter, or a $2 neon circuit tester. Both are readily available at home centers.
 
  #6  
Old 01-06-05, 10:42 PM
blaquepapilion
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Question circuit breakers-PartIII

I bought the multitester and the breaker is powered correctly. Just to make my headache worse i decided to look at the dryer outlet. Well, I opened the outlet cover (3 pronged) and discovered that the wiring is actually 10/3 NM cable, and not the 10/2g cable that i had expected and furthermore the ground wire is just hanging out curled in the back of the box. I am not an expert on electricity but i did read in my wiring book that new dryers require a dedicated female four-slot receptacle. So I am guessing that I should change the receptacle and buy a new four-prong dryer cord? Is this assumption correct because you what is said about assuming things.
 
  #7  
Old 01-06-05, 10:52 PM
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Yes, if you have separate neutral and grounding wires, and if they are all connected properly in the panel (i.e., the grounding wire is really grounded), then you should take advantage of it by installing a 4-hole receptacle and a 4-prong cord and plug on your dryer (which will require you to remove the bonding strap or wire on your dryer which bonds the neutral to the chassis).
 
  #8  
Old 01-07-05, 05:33 AM
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A new dryer does not require a four wire receptacle. An old dryer can be used on a new four wire circuit. You do not have to change your existing wiring just because you bought a new (or used) dryer.

What is required is that any new circuit installed be four wire. This means that if you install new wiring, you must install a four wire circuit. Then whatever you plug into it must be wired with a four wire plug.

In your case, I would take advantage of all four wires. Make sure that they are hooked up at the panel and install a four wire receptacle.
 
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