Replacing the wiring for a dryer receptacle

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  #1  
Old 09-26-12, 03:31 PM
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Question Replacing the wiring for a dryer receptacle

Problem: The new dryer trips circuit breaker after running for few minutes on the eco friendly cycles.

Current situation: The old dryer also tripped on timed dry once in a while, but not often enough. We think it always tripped if AC was also on. but not sure about that. There is a three pronged receptacle that the old owner had installed for the dryer. I am using that one at the moment.

Plan: Learn about the wiring and materials needed and replace the circuit breaker with 30 Amp double pole circuit breaker, replace the cable with 10/3 with ground nm cable, replace the three prong receptacle with 4 prong receptacle.

Questions:
Will this plan work to avoid the circuit breaker tripping. (I have come up with this plan by reading about such problems on different forums including this)

Is the switch to the left of the meter the main switch? (It says 100 on it, does that mean it supports 100 Amps total?). If it is and if I turn it off, is there no power to the circuit breaker? I remember reading that circuit breaker always has hot wires in them and they are not turned off.

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I have not been able to figure out which cable goes to the dryer receptacle. so don't know what gauge it is. Looking into the dryer receptacle it is a xx/3 wire. How can I measure the gauge of the wire by measuring the wire itself? I have access to the wire behind the receptacle. I couldn't pull out wire from the dryer receptacle to see the sheath to decide what cable it is. I did not see any cable marked xx/3 on the breaker side. (Though there were couple of cables that had nothing written on them)

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I assume that the breaker is 15Amp or 20 Amp. I should know for sure after I open up the circuit breaker panel. Is there any issue replacing it with a 30 Amp breaker (as long as I also replace the cable with 10/3 cable)

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I also remember reading that I should buy the circuit breakers from the same company as the panel .. I didn't find anything from cutler hammer controls in the big box stores (online). How should I go about finding the right circuit breaker?

Thanks for reading my post and for any suggestions, help, pointers ..
 
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  #2  
Old 09-26-12, 04:32 PM
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The wire looks like 10AWG with a 12AWG ground, and you have all four wires. Check the panel to see what the protection is and verify the wire size.

I didn't find anything from cutler hammer controls in the big box stores (online).
Search for Eaton Cutler Hammer.
 
  #3  
Old 09-26-12, 06:32 PM
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The breaker you need is a Cutler-Hammer CH230 (30A 2Pole). It has a tan handle and cannot be replaced by any other Cutler-Hammer breakers.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 07:43 PM
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Agreed, it looks like you have the correct wire installed. What does the circuit breaker say that keeps tripping? 20? 30?

If you can confirm it is in fact 10ga wire, you shouldn't have to replace it. It could just be an aging breaker.
 
  #5  
Old 09-27-12, 08:05 AM
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Thanks Nashkat1, CasualJoe, Zorfdt

I measured the wire with a wire gauge and it is 10 AWG (also the ground). So I don't need to change the wiring. That's great.
I looked at the breaker and it is 30 Amp. So if the breaker has gone bad over time, replacing it should fix my problem.
Found CH230 at home depot/lowes.

If that fixes my dryer tripping problem, this will turn out to be a very simple fix . I will probably not go for the 4 prong receptacle in that case.
 
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Old 09-27-12, 08:11 AM
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I will probably not go for the 4 prong receptacle in that case.
Three prong is no longer code compliant for safety reasons. Best and safest to convert dryer and receptacle to four prong. You dryer's instruction manual should contain instructions for converting to four prong but basically you change the cord and remove the ground jumper from the neutral.
 
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Old 09-27-12, 08:21 AM
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yeah, its easy enough. Was just being lazy. (and for existing circuits, three prong is allowed by code from what I had read)
But .. I should do the right thing if I can .. so I will go ahead and replace the three prong with four prong if the change of breaker fixes my problem. Here is the 4 prong receptacle I will be using.
 

Last edited by tnkrer; 09-27-12 at 09:24 AM.
  #8  
Old 09-27-12, 09:29 AM
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I will go ahead and replace the three prong with four prong if the change of breaker fixes my problem. Here is the 4 prong receptacle I will be using.
Good decision. So long as that receptacle matches the cord for the dryer, you should be good to go.
 

Last edited by Nashkat1; 09-27-12 at 07:48 PM.
  #9  
Old 09-27-12, 06:27 PM
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I looked at the breaker and it is 30 Amp. So if the breaker has gone bad over time, replacing it should fix my problem.
Found CH230 at home depot/lowes.
All CH series Cutler-Hammer breakers carry a lifetime warranty, take the bad one with you and it shouldn't cost you anything. It'll be interesting to hear if they honor the warranty; most big box salespeople don't have a clue about what they are selling.

Eaton Cutler-Hammer 45AMP 2 Pole CH Circuit Breaker - DISCONTINUED CH245 at The Home Depot

The warranty is listed under the specifications section.
 
  #10  
Old 09-27-12, 10:06 PM
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Have you ever successfully gotten a replacement like that? I will try it, but I seriously doubt that HD/Lowes would honor that

I have a dying baldwin lock on my door which is also supposed to have such lifetime warrantee, I called that company, but couldn't get anything outta them.
 
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Old 09-29-12, 11:02 AM
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Mod Note: Posts on tool returns moved to http://www.doityourself.com/forum/ge...l-returns.html
 
  #12  
Old 09-30-12, 06:06 AM
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There is a also a change that will need to be made at the wiring block on the dryer. The bond between neutral and ground will need to be removed.
 
  #13  
Old 10-01-12, 07:56 AM
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Update:

The dryer did not trip the circuit breaker. I touched the circuit breaker and found that it was not as cold as the other breakers. (I had never done this test on the older circuit breaker, so don't know if this one is not heating up as much, but I would guess so). If next few times, the breaker doesn't trip, then my problem is fixed
HD person said, may be he can replace the breaker, but he needs a receipt. I did not spend more time on that.

Thanks pcboss, when I replace the dryer cord, I will do that (the dryer manual mentions what needs to be done)
 
  #14  
Old 10-01-12, 07:29 PM
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HD person said, may be he can replace the breaker, but he needs a receipt.
At least you gave it a shot. The best warranty is only as good as the distributor you are dealing with. The same goes for cars.
 
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Old 10-01-12, 09:32 PM
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HD person said, may be he can replace the breaker, but he needs a receipt.
That is true for a HD refund or credit, but should not be true for a manufacturer's warranty. With a manufacturer's warranty, it should make no difference where or when you bought the failed item. It's yours, and it failed.

I would take it up the chain. I would also look for the Eaton Cutler-Hammer distributor - supply house - in the area. And I would let EC-H know how disappointed I am in the first round of customer satisfaction.
 
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