Dryer Oulet Problem?

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  #1  
Old 06-05-13, 12:18 AM
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Dryer Oulet Problem?

Hello,

Tonight when I tried starting my dryer, it made a brief 1-2 second attempt at starting but then it stopped completely. When I opened the dryer door, there was no light.

First thing I did was check the breakers outside, everything looked good. But I still switched them all OFF then back ON. However, the dryer seems like it's still not getting any power.

I found a video tutorial on YouTube about how to test a dryer outlet and followed the directions since I've never done this before...

I took a multimeter, pictured below and tested the outlet. Here's the picture of the multimeter I used. Hopefully I used it on the correct setting: ACV 750


Below are pictures of the tests I did with the multimeter. In the pictures where it says POSITIVE LEAD, that's where I stuck the positive lead on the multimeter and the same where it says NEGATIVE LEAD.

Test 1:

On this first test I got a reading of 122 Volts.

Test 2:

On the second test I got a reading of 42 Volts.

Test 3:

On the third test I got a reading of 101 Volts.


I though I should get a 120 Volt reading on Test1 and Test2 and a 240 Volt reading on Test3???

Based on the readings I was getting on the multimeter, if it safe to say that the outlet is the cause of the problem?

Thanks!


P.S. - This is the first time I've ever had to do anything like this. So, if I did the testing with the multimeter wrong, PLEASE LET ME KNOW! :-)
 
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  #2  
Old 06-05-13, 02:47 AM
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Using a digital multimeter is fine as long as you can differentiate between actual voltage and phantom voltage, which is what you have in test 2 & 3.

Test 3 should have resulted in 240 volts, and test 2 should have been 120 volts. The upper right connection in your box is probably compromised, either in the receptacle, or at the breaker. Remove the power and remove the cover to see if there is a loose connection. You said your breakers were outside, so I gather you are in Colorado? Filling out your profile will help us localize our advice a little more closely.
 
  #3  
Old 06-05-13, 04:17 AM
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In addition to what Larry said the probes are often just too small to make good contact in the slots. Best to take the cover off and touch the probes to the screws.
 
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Old 06-05-13, 09:19 AM
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You may need to turn the breaker off and pull the receptacle out of its box to get good access to the terminal screws. If, after you turn the power back on and test again, you don't find 120V and 240V across the appropriate pairs of terminals, the next place to test is across the terminals for that circuit in your panel. Let us know the results if that's the case.

But if you do find 120V and 240V to the receptacle, then the contact has been compromised between the receptacle and the plug.

If that's the case, and the prongs on the dryer plug are made of a strip of metal folded in half, you can try improving the connection by using s stiff knife blade to gently spread the two sides of each prong, so that it is wider.
 
  #5  
Old 06-05-13, 09:30 AM
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This morning I switched off the main breaker to the house (which I also did last night), then took the cover off of the dryer outlet to test again. The tests were still not where they should be.

But once I replaced the cover and switched the main breaker back on, the dryer actually works. The dryer now turns on and the light on the inside is working again.

When I used the multimeter with the cover off the outlet I actually pushed the probes into the metal slots on the outlet, I didn't just touch it to the screws. Maybe it forced something back into place?

I also re-tested with the multimeter once I found that the dryer is working again and now all the voltage levels are where they should be.

I'm kinda confused why there would be a problem and now it's gone...?
 
  #6  
Old 06-05-13, 10:46 AM
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You have a loose connection. You need to pull the receptacle and tighten all of the connections.
 
  #7  
Old 06-05-13, 11:28 AM
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I agree with Ray that you have a loose connection. That loose connection may be integral with the receptacle though and require a receptacle replacement.
 
  #8  
Old 06-05-13, 12:44 PM
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Thanks for the replies!

I will remove the cover on the outlet later this evening and check the connections to make sure everything is nice and tight.

I rent this house, so if I have anymore problems with the outlet I will call the property manager to send out someone to replace it.

I'm just glad it wasn't my dryer that was the problem :-)

Thanks again!
 
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