240 Dryer Wires Don't Have Power


  #1  
Old 02-24-24, 05:21 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2024
Posts: 4
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
240 Dryer Wires Don't Have Power

This is my first post to the forum. Two nights ago our dryer went out, which it has on several occasions. It has typically been a thermal fuse, an easy fix. After testing the thermal fuse with my multimeter, it was fine so I went on to troubleshoot the dryer. I went through everything until I followed it to the outlet and breaker box. I found that my 30amp was bad and changed it. I went back to the plug and still no power. I removed the cover and got back to the wire running into the plug and there was no power. I checked the surrounding outlets and they are all fine. There are 240 volts coming from the breaker box, but I don't know where it is being lost before it gets to the outlet.
I didn't change the actual outlet itself because my thoughts were, if there is no power coming from the wires, the outlet itself could be fine. Any ideas before I have to call a professional.?
 

Last edited by mprice13; 02-24-24 at 05:32 PM.
  #2  
Old 02-24-24, 06:04 PM
P
Member
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: United States, Virginia
Posts: 1,710
Received 274 Upvotes on 231 Posts
So you tested across the lugs of the breaker that the dryer outlet is hooked to and get 240V, but get nothing at the wire end at the outlet?
 
  #3  
Old 02-24-24, 06:55 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2024
Posts: 4
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Yes
 
  #4  
Old 02-24-24, 08:15 PM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 8,042
Received 516 Upvotes on 421 Posts
Probably a junction box between the breaker and the dryer with a loose connection.
 
  #5  
Old 02-24-24, 09:37 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2024
Posts: 4
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Junction Box connection

How would that work. The wire



I'm not quite sure how the junction boxes work. Looking at the wire coming through the box, how would it have an effect on the wires? Are they connected in the back somehow? With the sheathing coming through the hole in the box, how would that work? I'm just a rookie, please help me to understand.
 
  #6  
Old 02-25-24, 01:43 AM
A
Member
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,012
Received 166 Upvotes on 138 Posts
MPrice13:
You are mixing up the terminology when you describe things which is throwing us in a different direction from what you are trying to describe in your troubleshooting. No offense, but we need to straighten this out before we can help you properly.

When you say that you found that your "30amp" was bad I would assume you mean the 30amp two pole breaker in the panel. If so how did you determine it was bad? Explain what you did exactly to test it.

I checked the surrounding outlets and they are all fine.
A dryer line for an electric dryer is a dedicated 30amp circuit, there would be no other receptacles on that circuit so checking other receptacles is meaningless in this case.

I went back to the plug and still no power.
You mean you went back to the outlet/receptacle and there was no power. What did you test the receptacle with and how did you do it?

​​​​​​​There are 240 volts coming from the breaker box
What did you test and you got 240V? You should be getting 120v and 240v on an electric dryer. How did you get for 240v?

​​​​​​​I'm not quite sure how the junction boxes work.
Joed post #4 is referring to a possible junction box between the panel and the receptacle box, I believe you are confusing Joed's statement with the receptacle box. What Joed is referring to is a possible junction box between the breaker panel and the receptacle box in which a connection may have been made to connect/extend the circuit which then leads to the receptacle box. Your picture we are assuming in post #5 is the receptacle box (correct?) and not a junction box in between the breaker panel and the receptacle box. I say this because your picture from what I can see only had one cable in it; a junction box would have at least two cables in it.

If you removed the receptacle be extremely careful if you energize the breaker as the ends of the wires will be hot. There was no need to remove the receptacle at this point (yet). You are getting ahead of yourself especially since you seem to have very little experience working with electrical; again no offense, we just don't want you to get hurt. I am not too keen on the idea of you working on this circuit with the receptacle off of the wires.

Also, when you refer to wires or cable: In the picture there is a cable, the cable has wires; stick with this to prevent confusion.

Coming from the dryer there is a harness, at the end of the harness is a plug. The plug goes into the receptacle. The receptacle is mounted in a receptacle box. A cable (containing wires) leads back to the breaker panel. There it is connected to a two pole breaker and ground and neutral bars.

Now take it step by step as to what you did in testing, starting at the breaker panel going towards the dryer.












 
  #7  
Old 02-25-24, 01:16 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2024
Posts: 4
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the information on terminology and no offense is taken. I'm not very well-versed and definitely new to this.
1. Yes when I say 30amp Im mean the 30amp 2 pole breaker.
  1. I used a non-contact voltage tester to test each breaker in the panel and the 30 amp didn't have any power.
  2. I then turned the power off for the entire breaker panel at the very top of the panel and removed the cover.
  3. I then turned the power pack on and repeated the process with the non-contact voltage tester.
  4. I then used my multimeter to check the screws where the white and black wire connected to the 30 amp double pole breaker and there was no voltage coming from it.
I checked the surrounding outlets and they are all fine.

A dryer line for an electric dryer is a dedicated 30amp circuit, there would be no other receptacles on that circuit so checking other receptacles is meaningless in this case.
I wondered about that. I read somewhere the surrounding circuits on the breaker could cause others not to work, but I now see that it was talking regular not a dedicated circuit.

​​​​​​​I went back to the plug and still no power.
You mean you went back to the outlet/receptacle and there was no power. What did you test the receptacle with and how did you do it?
  1. Yes, I went to the wall outlet/receptacle and used the noncontact voltage tester and there was no power.
  2. I then used the multimeter and placed the black lead in first, to the neutral side/slot of the outlet/receptacle, and the red lead into each hot slot of the outlet one at a time, and tested both sides didn't have any voltage (they were supposed to each produce 120 volts, right?)
  3. I then placed the leads ( red in one, and black in the other) into each of the hot slots together which is supposed to read 240, (right?), and they produced no voltage

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​There are 240 volts coming from the breaker box
What did you test and you got 240V? You should be getting 120v and 240v on an electric dryer. How did you get for 240v?
I tested the screws from the 30 amp 2 pole breaker, and I think I answered the rest in the previous question.

​​​​​​​ I went back to the plug and still no power. I removed the cover and got back to the wire running into the plug and there was no power
What I meant here was that I went back to the receptacle/outlet and removed the cover plate and screws from the get access to the wires coming out of the cable in my picture, and used the non-contact voltage test and it didn't read any voltage when the power was on.

So in essence, I use the multimeter to test the two screws from the 30amp breaker and it read 240 (actually 242 I think) and went to the receptacle/outlet and the noncontact voltage tester didn't detect any voltage.

[QUOTEjJ​​​​​​​oed post #4 is referring to a possible junction box between the panel and the receptacle box, I believe you are confusing Joed's statement with the receptacle box. What Joed is referring to is a possible junction box between the breaker panel and the receptacle box in which a connection may have been made to connect/extend the circuit which then leads to the receptacle box. Your picture we are assuming in post #5 is the receptacle box (correct?) and not a junction box in between the breaker panel and the receptacle box. I say this because your picture from what I can see only had one cable in it; a junction box would have at least two cables in it.[/QUOTE]

I was definitely confusing the two.

​​​​​​​If you removed the receptacle be extremely careful if you energize the breaker as the ends of the wires will be hot. There was no need to remove the receptacle at this point (yet). You are getting ahead of yourself especially since you seem to have very little experience working with electrical; again no offense, we just don't want you to get hurt. I am not too keen on the idea of you working on this circuit with the receptacle off of the wires.

Also, when you refer to wires or cable: In the picture there is a cable, the cable has wires; stick with this to prevent confusion.
I followed exactly what you were saying and just wasn't detailed enough in what I was describing. I guess my next question is where would I find the junction box to check it? I was going to follow the cable back into my attic to see if it was damaged there, but I got frustrated and tired last night and went to bed. I am about to check there now and see if I see anything.

Thanks for helping me understand this stuff a little better. After checking for the junction box, what would be next?







 
  #8  
Old 02-25-24, 03:26 PM
P
Member
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: United States, Virginia
Posts: 1,710
Received 274 Upvotes on 231 Posts
You need to use the multimeter on the wire connections at the outlet. The non contact should not be use for testing circuits.
 
  #9  
Old 02-25-24, 08:57 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,100
Received 3,982 Upvotes on 3,574 Posts
I then used my multimeter to check the screws where the white and black wire connected to the 30 amp double pole breaker and there was no voltage coming from it.
Before you do anything else.... you need to measure 240v on the two 2P30 breaker terminals.
If you don't get 240v..... push the breaker very firmly towards OFF..... then turn back on.

If you still don't measure 240vac..... look for another 2P (240v) breaker and see if you measure correctly there. If you measure 240v there.... your dryer breaker is bad or is not making proper connection in the panel. I'd replace the breaker next.

As a novice... I'd recommend wearing safety glasses when probing in the panel.



 
  #10  
Old 02-26-24, 08:46 AM
A
Member
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,012
Received 166 Upvotes on 138 Posts
MPrice13 I read your reply.
Follow PJMax post # 9. Please do be careful.

In this case do not use the non-contact tester as it will mislead you most of the time. Only use your mutimeter in troubleshooting this. I normally only use a non-contact test pen when I de-energize a circuit and then stick the pen in the box to see if any voltage it present; that's it.

What is really concerning me is that you stated your already replaced the 30amp two pole breaker for the dryer and the new 2 pole 30amp breaker is not showing 120v's or 240v's. This is highly unlikely that your original breaker and new breaker both are not working/functioning.

Double check and be absolutely sure that your new 30amp two pole breaker is on first of all. BUT before you turn the breaker on be sure that at the receptacle box if you still have the receptacle off that no one can touch the wires and that the wires are spaced far enough apart that they don't short out. Once you confirm that put one lead to one of the screws of the breaker and the other lead to the other screw of the breaker. Be sure your meter is turned on a set properly. Test it on another two pole breaker as suggested prior. Now check the new two pole breaker, screw to screw should read 240volts. One screw to neutral and then to ground should read 120volts, then test the other screw should read the same. If your breaker is showing breaker screw to screw 240volts and each screw to ground/neutral 120volts (or there abouts) then the breaker is working fine.
If you don't get these readings you are either doing something wrong or have an incorrect breaker (take a picture of the breaker in the panel so we can see).

With the two pole breaker on now go to the receptacle box but be extremely careful that before you turn the breaker on again that no one will touch or go near those exposed wires and that they are separated far enough apart so they don't short out. There should be 4 wires at the receptacle box. 1 black, 1 red, 1 white and 1 bare. Black to red should read 240volts, black to ground should be 120 volts black to neutral (white) should be 120volts. The red wire should read the same to ground and neutral. Once you check those readings turn off the 2 pole breaker for safety.

If you get proper readings at the breaker and the receptacle box then the issue is with the dryer. If you don't get the proper readings at either the breaker or the receptacle box then that is your problem.

If you get the proper readings at the breaker but not the receptacle box then there is an issue between the breaker panel and the receptacle box and this is why you were asked if there is a junction box in between the breaker panel and the receptacle box. If your readings do not match from breaker to receptacle box you will have to trace the cable from the breaker panel to the receptacle box and see if there is a junction box somewhere in between.

After you follow this report back to us with your findings.

Again, be extremely careful since you are working in a live panel and the ends of the wires at your receptacle box are exposed. Any persons, pets etc should be kept away while the breaker is on and the wires at the receptacle box should be spaced far enough apart so you don't get arcing or a dead short. Safety glasses are a must.

Again, take a picture of the two pole breaker in the panel so we can see it.

Hang on!! In your post #7 you said the following:
_____________
  1. Yes, I went to the wall outlet/receptacle and used the noncontact voltage tester and there was no power.
  2. I then used the multimeter and placed the black lead in first, to the neutral side/slot of the outlet/receptacle, and the red lead into each hot slot of the outlet one at a time, and tested both sides didn't have any voltage (they were supposed to each produce 120 volts, right?)
  3. I then placed the leads ( red in one, and black in the other) into each of the hot slots together which is supposed to read 240, (right?), and they produced no voltage.
    _______________________________________________
    If you are not getting any voltage readings at the receptacle with the breaker on then you either don't have the proper breaker on or your are not using your multimeter properly. Also if this is the case then even if there was a junction box between the breaker panel and the receptacle box it would be highly improbable that there would be an issue in the junction box wiring as this would mean that there was a problem with multiple wires in the junction box which is not likely. You are not doing something correctly. Double and triple check your steps and make sure you have the proper breaker and your meter is set properly.
 

Last edited by AFJES; 02-26-24 at 09:00 AM.
 

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