Dryer is "tripping" main breaker

Old 10-29-19, 06:14 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 1
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Dryer is "tripping" main breaker

Hey all,
I'd just like to preface with the fact that I don't know anything about electrical work and before I call a pro and get a lengthy quote, I figured I'd make a stop here first.
I just bought a house a month or so ago and it's relatively in great shape other than a few things I've been noticing. One of my main concerns is my new electrical problem that's been surfacing. Now, this isnt an every time occurrence but some nights when I'm running the dryer, it'll be on for anywhere from 5-25 minutes and the whole house will go out. When I go down to check the breaker box, none of the breakers are tripped. Instead what I'm doing to get the power back on is flipping the mains to off, and then back to on, sometimes twice or three times before the power finally comes back on.

I believe it's a 100 amp box and yes it does feel very slightly warm to the touch when this happens. The first time this started happening, our dryer was on "eco friendly" mode. Once I turned it to a timed dry, the power stayed on. But the second time, it happened on timed dry. Like I said before, I know nothing about electrical work and I'd really like some tips or a nudge in the right direction of what the underlying cause of this could be.
Thanks in advance!
Old 10-29-19, 06:25 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 62,535
Received 3,485 Upvotes on 3,128 Posts
Welcome to the forums.

You have some serious over loading conditions if the dryer is tripping the main breaker. If the dryer were at fault it would trip its own 30A circuit breaker. It may the combination of other loads plus the dryer that's causing the trip.

Is the only panel ?
Do you have electric heat ?
Electric hot water ?
Electric cooking ?

A picture of your panel would be helpful. Even more helpful would be a picture of the inside.
Old 10-29-19, 06:27 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 13,888
Received 710 Upvotes on 603 Posts
You likely have a loose connection in your panel. Loose connections will cause things to heat up which is why the breaker(s) feel warm. I suspect you just need somebody (or you if you are comfortable) to tighten all connections in the panel. Likely when you wiggle the breaker you just remake the connection. You should also inspect the bus bars in the panel.

If you can also find somebody with a thermal camera that would be helpful in spotting any loose connections.
Old 10-30-19, 05:35 AM
pugsl's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 8,161
Received 76 Upvotes on 69 Posts
Possible but rare is main breaker is going bad and extra load of dryer is all needed to trip.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: