Why Does My Dryer Trip a Circuit Breaker?

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If the circuit breaker trips it can leave your clothes wet

Thermal Resistor

Thermal Resistors

When a dryer trips the circuit breaker, it will suddenly power down. Any devices connected to that particular outlet will also suffer from a sudden loss of power. It this occurs every time the appliance is used, the dryer is tripping the circuit breaker.

The first potential area of trouble could be that the dryer has a defective thermal resistor. Dryer thermal resistors control the heater in the unit. If the thermal resistor is defective, it will not turn off the heating components in the dryer, which will cause the dryer to continually heat up. As it keeps heating, it keeps drawing power, which will trip the breaker. If the user is comfortable with dryer design, he should check the thermal resistor (also known as the "thermsistor") for damage. A thermal resistor is about the size of a nickel and is located in the heating element. Remove the dryer connections to it and test its conductivity with an Ohmeter. If there is no reading, the resistor is defective and needs replacement.

Faulty Circuit Breakers

If the dryer is tripping the circuit breaker, it's possible that the circuit breaker itself is malfunctioning. Circuit breakers trip as a safety precaution to prevent an electrical circuit from overloading or shorting. If an electrical circuit was to overload or short, it could lead to a physical damage even electrical fire. If a circuit breaker is not working, it can repeatedly trip because it is not able to handle normal electrical draw. Circuit breaker replacement is not difficult and household circuit breakers can be found in local hardware stores. However, due to the electrical danger involved, contact an electrician to fix it.

Loose Electrical Connections

An electrician may be needed for repairs

There could be a loose connection in the outlet. A loose connection in the outlet could consist of wiring that is not functioning and is unable to properly manage current. The current needed by the dryer is being mishandled by the loosely connected outlet and drawing more power from the electrical system, tripping the circuit breaker. Once again, an outlet can be replaced with hardware store parts but an electrician is best suitable to fix it, due to the dangers of electricity.

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Chad Hunter

Chad Hunter is a freelance writer and author. Hunter began writing professionally in 1993 and has written for AskMen.com, Baton Rouge Parenting and additional newsletters, magazines and online publications. He holds a Bachelor of Science in computer networking from Purdue. Hunter is also a guest lecturer.