Dryer Fuse Blowing

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Old 08-25-09, 07:30 PM
Gen
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Dryer Fuse Blowing

I've got a dryer blowing it's fuse when it runs.
The service guy couldn't see anything wrong with the dryer itself. So I thought I'd replace the fuse for starters.
Can you suggest anything else.
Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 08-25-09, 07:46 PM
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Is it a fuse or a breaker? Disconnect the dryer and turn the circuit on and see if it holds. If it does there is something wrong with the dryer or the cord connecting the dryer.
 
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Old 08-26-09, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
Is it a fuse or a breaker? Disconnect the dryer and turn the circuit on and see if it holds. If it does there is something wrong with the dryer or the cord connecting the dryer.
Thanks for the reply. It's a breaker. But I'm curious......if I disconnect the dryer as you suggest and turn the circuit on, how will I be testing the breakers' holding power when there's no load on it. Or am I missing something here?
 
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Old 08-26-09, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Gen View Post
Thanks for the reply. It's a breaker. But I'm curious......if I disconnect the dryer as you suggest and turn the circuit on, how will I be testing the breakers' holding power when there's no load on it. Or am I missing something here?
It would be better to start at the breaker and move towards your dryer receptacle with your troubleshooting.

If it is tripping under load and taking a few minutes or more it may be getting hot at one of the bus stabs the breaker is connected to. Remember it is a two pole breaker so connects to two bus stabs.

Remove the wiring from the breaker after putting it in the off position. With the load center main off to remove power (turn all your other breakers off before throwing the main to the off position). This will only take a few minutes.

However if you do not have a main disconnect and have an older panel that is of some other configuration please report back that you have no way to turn power off to the panel. If this is the case you may need to post a picture of your panel interior for us so we can advise as to a safe way to remove the breaker. Always use a voltage tester on the breaker terminals and test each terminal to ground to be sure power is removed.

Remove the breaker by generally rocking it out of the buss connection. Check the breaker for any evidence of excessive heat at its bus connections. This may be a discoloration or burn spot. It may be on one pole or both. This is a common problem with breakers on dryer circuits that are under loads as often as they are. If you see evidence of excessive heat check the buss in the panel also for the same. If heat damage is evident then get a new breaker (if damage isn't excessive to the panel bus). If the bus looked good install new breaker in same location. Problem is now likely fixed. If the buss stab appears to be discolored at the connection points see if you can find a different location in the panel to install new breaker.
Turn on main then turn on all other breakers.

After you check this and if it is all good then move to dryer receptacle assuming there are no other junction boxes. Check connections at receptacle for tightness...if not tight then likely will see signs of excessive heat. Try these quick inspections and report back your findings.

Poor connections at the breaker will cause the breaker to heat and eventually will cause the bi-metal overload in the breaker to get hot enough to trip out. An amp meter will not generally detect this type problem but it will see an increase in amps for a bad connection at the receptacle if the amp meter is used on the wires at the breaker. The bad connection will be on one wire generally not both wires. As the dryer runs and heats you will see a gradual increase in the amps until the breaker trips out. May take several minutes for this to happen.

Never rely on the "Is the breaker getting hot or warm test" always check the breaker by removing it and forget about whether you feel it is warm or hot.
 
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Old 08-26-09, 10:59 AM
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A clamp on amp meter is a good way to test to. You need to see how many amps it is drawing when it trips. The Really Cheap Tool Place has them at a probably affordable price. You could if after following Bruto's advice find no cause try a new breaker. I'd put that as a if all else is negative option.
 
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Old 08-26-09, 12:26 PM
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What size of breaker is on this circuit? Does the breaker trip right away or at a certain point of the drying process?

Jim
 
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Old 08-26-09, 07:22 PM
Gen
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Hey Bruto,
Thank you for de-mystifying the problem, I will post back after I've followed your suggestions.
 
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Old 08-27-09, 07:20 PM
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Solved

Ok Bruto,
So here's what happened. I took out the breaker as you suggested--at which point one of the wires fell out. It was hardly in there. The bite mark on the wire ( from the screw) was less than 1/16" from the end.

I changed the breaker anyway and bingo, entire problem solved in 10 minutes. You have very effectively helped me.
Thank you so much!!
 
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Old 08-27-09, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Gen View Post
Ok Bruto,
So here's what happened. I took out the breaker as you suggested--at which point one of the wires fell out. It was hardly in there. The bite mark on the wire ( from the screw) was less than 1/16" from the end.

I changed the breaker anyway and bingo, entire problem solved in 10 minutes. You have very effectively helped me.
Thank you so much!!
And I am glad to have helped and more glad it resulted in a quick and inexpensive fix. Essentially the wire was not contacting the terminal compression as it should on that leg of the branch circuit and likely 'warmed to the point" the bimetallic overload bent enough
to open the breaker. Good job.
 
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