Death by Dryer -- dryer electrical question


Old 07-06-19, 06:46 PM
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Death by Dryer -- dryer electrical question

I just had a washer and dryer installed where I helped with installing the electrical chord to the dryer's electrical box. Being a completely inexperienced homeowner, I made the brilliant decision of wanting to check the electrical box once more to ensure all screws were nice and tight before pushing the dryer back towards the wall...while the dryer was plugged in...(I think you know where I'm going with this). After removing the electrical plate and checking the screws with my rubber handled screwdriver, I was completely startled by the loud "CRACK!" accompanied with a bright flash of light. Long story short, I made a huge mistake of forgetting to unplug the machine and I'm thankful I'm alive. I checked all wires and they seem fine (no damage or charring). The dryer has completed several runs with no issues. There is a small charred mark on the outer metal electrical plate, but that is it. My question: does it appear safe to use this dryer? If not, how would you recommend I proceed? Thank you in advance!
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Old 07-06-19, 07:19 PM
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Are you referring to where the CORD is attached to the dryer? Sounds like you shorted the hot to ground. If it is running ok you should be good to go with no damage. I might also suggest you don't mess with anything involving electricity from now on, you may not be so lucky next time and could cause a fire or worse. With little to no experience you would be best advised to hire that kind of work out to someone with proper experience, for your own safety.
Old 07-07-19, 04:28 AM
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Maybe not blatantly, and probably not intentionally, your title implies that the dryer was somehow involved, and that's not the case. As Ron said, it's probably good now, except that you said that "I helped with installing the electrical chord to the dryer's electrical box". Since I don't know what this means, i.e. what you actually did, and since there are right and wrong ways to connect the wires, depending on whether you have 3 or 4 wire service to your dryer, I strongly suggest that you ask an electrician or the serviceperson for the company you bought your dryer from to verify that it is connected properly. I am not going to elaborate because it does not sound like you should be doing this yourself, but will say that even though it seems to be operating properly that does not mean that you could not possibly have a condition which, under the right circumstances, could injure you or someone in your household, or worse.
Old 07-07-19, 07:13 AM
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how would you recommend I proceed?
Buy a new screwdriver .....................
Old 07-07-19, 08:12 AM
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Thank You

Thank for the responses so far. Yes, it was the the red "hot" that was involved from the chord. I also agree that this is best left to the pros from here on out. I will have an electrician confirm proper setup.
Old 07-07-19, 08:34 AM
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Ok- You tightened the screws for the cord of an electric clothes dryer while the dryer was still plugged in and caused an arc.
Don't do that again.
If it was broke, you'd know it by now, I doubt you need an electrician to confirm that.

So, IF the dryer still works, you're good:
-the arc didn't fry the dryer control board,
- the arc didn't fry YOU,
- you now know what a dead short sounds like,
- you now know why I wrap the shafts of the screwdrivers in my electric-repair-tool-box with electrical tape just to be sure I don't get a surprise if there is voltage on the line, either from a tenant with an unmarked Multi-Wire-Branch-Circuit or from a family member "being helpful" who decides to turn ON the light that I'm replacing while I am screwing in the hot wire...
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