Question on switching 20/40 breaker for 60 breaker

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Old 12-01-20, 02:39 AM
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Question on switching 20/40 breaker for 60 breaker

I have no knowledge of breakers or power I am just trying to figure out why my dryer will not work and I feel like it because of the breaker being switched. My dryer started tripping the breaker so we went to lowes and they didnt have a breaker like the original one which was 20/40 so we ask someone and they told us to use a 60 amp. This breaker runs my dryer and stove. Now a different dryer turns on but it is giving a error code of PS which has to do with power being to high/low. Could this be the problem or is this breaker ok? Thanks
 
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Old 12-01-20, 04:16 AM
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You can not just upsize a circuit breaker to solve an issue. This is extremely dangerous to do. It could cause a fire..

Breakers are rated according to the size of the conductors in the circuit.

The breaker is doing its job by tripping - it is telling you that there is an issue that needs to be tended to and corrected before going forward.

Give us a bit more detail. Don't use that circuit where you have replaced it with a 60 amp,
The person at Lowe's gave you incorrect advise.
 
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Old 12-01-20, 05:56 AM
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You probably have a problem with the dryer, for example the heating element is shorted to other metal parts.

Does the dryer run for any length of time before the breaker trips?

Measure (or have an expert measure) hot to hot e.g. red to black voltage, and hot to neutral (both black to white and red to white) voltages after the dryer has been turned on and before the breaker trips.Does the stove work correctly (for various combinations of burners and oven)? A small subpanel with an adequate sized (amperage) feed can power both a dryer and a stove, with separate breaker sets for each. A single branch circuit may not power both of those items.

Don't try this at home without an expert present. Construct a series circuit, using wires with alligator clips at the ends. black (hot) at the dryer receptacle to a 100 watt actual (100 watt incandescent) light bulb. Light bulb to a hot prong of the dryer cord. Neutral prong of the dryer cord to white (neutral) of the dryer receptacle. Turn the dryer dial very slowly to make the dryer go through its cycle at your pace .Does the bulb light up (indicating s significant ground fault)? Repeat for the red wire and white wire. (Test might not give meaningful results with a digitally controlled dryer or a dryer that uses the ground plug pin for both neutral and ground.).
 
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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-01-20 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 12-01-20, 07:45 AM
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A 20/40 breaker powers two separate circuits, one at 20 amps the other at 40 amps. The sum of the two do not equat to a 60 amp breaker. As said you are putting the wiring at risk.
 
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Old 12-01-20, 09:46 AM
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Hi, probably the guy at the big box store was a retired shoe salesman, as mentioned that breaker can not be used.
Now a different dryer turns on but it is giving a error code of PS, how many driers are involved here?
Geo🇺🇸
 
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Old 12-02-20, 03:34 AM
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I posted pictures of the breaker that was originally installed and the one that is installed now. The original dryer did heat up and run and worked perfectly except it kept kicking the breaker. It would run for approx. 1 minutes then it got to where it wouldn't even turn on. So I went and got my mother in-laws but once I got it home it wouldn't heat up. It had sat in her house for a couple of years with no one using it so it may have torn up. Now the dryer I am having an issue with is giving a code PS which has to do with power being to high/low, I googled the code here what it says: "PS error code on the dryer's display indicates that there is improper voltage with the power cord, which could be caused by the white and red wire connections being reversed on the dryer's terminal block".
I checked the way the plug is installed and its correct.

I have tried 3 different dryers lol The original dryer which caused the problem, then my mother in-laws dryer which would not heat up and now the one that's giving the PS code.
 

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Old 12-02-20, 03:40 AM
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This is a snapshot of the breakers



 
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Old 12-02-20, 04:55 AM
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Immediately remove that two pole 60amp breaker.

That breaker is not a suitable substitute for the one that was in there. You were mis-advised to use this 60amp breaker. This is not the solution to your issue.

It would be odd that the 20/40 breaker would be bad but possible.

 
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Old 12-02-20, 05:27 AM
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"PS error code on the dryer's display indicates that there is improper voltage with the power cord, which could be caused by the white and red wire connections being reversed on the dryer's terminal block"
How did you wire your new breaker?
If original 20/40 breaker was as pictured, it should have been feeding 4 different circuits. 1 40A 240V circuit and 2 20A 120V circuits. Since you have replaced it with single 2 pole 60A breaker, you will have 2 left over wires. I suspect you only wired one leg of dryer power and your dryer is only getting 120V.

Replace with exact same breaker as you had before and wire exactly the same.
Those quadplex breakers can be ordered on-line.
 
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Old 12-02-20, 06:32 AM
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Redo the voltage tests at the dryer receptacle.

Are you getting 120 volts white to red, 120 volts white to black, and 240 volts red to black?

Still better if you can do these tests under load; a lab test jig with two 100 watt incandescent lamps in series together with your multimeter can impose the load for these tests. Don't worry about the brightness; it is the simultaneous voltage reading on your meter that counts.
 
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Old 12-04-20, 11:57 AM
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the original one which was 20/40 so we ask someone and they told us to use a 60 amp.
Totally wrong as others already stated. Remove the 20-40 quad breaker and replace it with a 2-pole 30 amp breaker for the dryer, the 40 amp protection was also wrong! OR....get a new quad breaker incorporating a 30 amp 2-pole and two 20 amp single poles. Once you have the right breaker in place start checking voltages, you need a 120/240 volt circuit. Both red and black wires to neutral should each be 120 volts and black to red should be 240 volts.
 
 

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