If your dryer keeps tripping the breaker, it’s important to find out why and fix the problem as soon as possible. It could be a simple issue that’s easy to fix or something more serious. There are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the problem and get your dryer up and running again.
Why Does a Circuit Breaker Trip?
The purpose of a circuit breaker is to stop the flow of electricity when there is an electrical fault that could cause the circuit to overheat. A circuit breaker will trip to prevent damage to the circuit. The circuit breaker protects the electrical power system in your home and the devices connected to it. The breaker may trip due to overloads, short circuits, or ground fault surges.
Why Does My Dryer Keep Tripping the Breaker?
A dryer that repeatedly trips the breaker is a definitive sign of an issue with the dryer or electrical components in your house. Dryers use about 2,000 to 6,000 watts of electricity. Depending on the brand and whether or not it is Energy Star certified will change the amount of electricity it uses.
If your breaker is constantly being tripped, it’s time to take a closer look at your dryer.
Bad Drive Motor
The drive motor is responsible for turning the drum while the appliance is running. If the motor fails, it short out internally, causing the breaker to trip. You can test the drive motor using a multimeter.
Faulty Start Switch
Another reason your dryer may trip the breaker is because of a faulty start switch. The start switch initiates the flow of electricity to the dryer motor. If it is not working correctly, it can cause the breaker to trip. You can test the start switch with a multimeter to see if it is receiving power. If not, you will need to replace it.
Loose Wires in Terminal Block
If there are loose wires in the terminal block, they can arc and damage part of the terminal block. If part of the terminal block is destroyed, the wires can short out against the dryer and cause it to trip the breaker.
Bad Dryer Thermostat
A bad dryer thermostat can also trip the breaker. The thermostat regulates the dryer temperature by turning the heat on and off. If it is not working correctly, it can cause the breaker to trip. You can test the thermostat with a multimeter to see if it is receiving power. If not, you will need to replace it.
Faulty Heating Element
The heating element is responsible for heating the air that circulates through the drum; this function is necessary to dry your clothes. If the heating element fails, it can short out against the heater housing, which can cause your breaker to trip. You can test the heating element using a multimeter.
Weak Circuit Breaker
Over time, circuit breakers can wear out and lose the ability to handle the same electrical load as they once did. Typically, a dryer requires a 30-amp circuit breaker. You can test your breaker by performing a test with an amperage meter while your dryer is running. The meter should not be below 30-amps. If it is, you may need to consult an electrician for a new circuit breaker.
How to Prevent Your Dryer From Tripping the Breaker
You can do a few things to prevent your breaker from tripping in the future.
- Properly ventilate your dryer. A dryer that is not venting properly can overheat and trip the breaker.
- Clean the lint screen after every load of laundry. A clogged lint filter can cause your dryer to overheat and trip the breaker.
- Inspect your dryer vent for any blockages. A blocked dryer vent can cause your dryer to overheat and trip the breaker. Depending on use, you should clean your dryer vent once or twice a year.
- Do not overload your dryer. Overloading your dryer can cause it to overheat and trip the breaker.
By following these tips, you can help prevent your breaker from tripping in the future. But if you’re continuously having issues with the performance of your dryer, reach out to the professionals at Service Care.