Top 5 Reasons Your Dryer Keeps Tripping the Circuit Breaker
You pile a big load of wet clothes in the dryer, close the door, hit the on switch, and…Pop! There goes the circuit breaker. And when you try to start the dryer again, the same thing happens.
So what’s going on? Why is your dryer suddenly tripping the circuit breaker?
Before you blame the dryer, make sure that the problem doesn’t lie within the circuit breaker itself. Breakers can wear over time, and eventually reach a point where they trip easily, even when the electrical load is within limits.
But if the circuit breaker is not the problem, then you can go ahead and blame the dryer. And you’ll likely need a repairman’s help in diagnosing and repairing the problem.
There are several common problems that can cause a dryer to repeatedly trip the circuit breaker. Once the repairman has found the cause of the problem, it’s likely to be one of the following:
#1: Heating Element
When heating elements fail, it’s not uncommon for them to short out against the structure of the dryer. And when that happens, it’s likely to trip the circuit breaker. Replacing the heating element will solve the problem.
#2: Drive Motor
The drive motor that turns the drum may have failed. It’s fairly rare for drive motors to fail, but it does happen. And sometimes drive motors that fail may be shorting out internally. That will cause the breaker to trip. Replacement of the motor is the only recourse.
#3: Terminal Block
A dryer’s terminal block serves as the ‘intersection’ where the incoming power cord interfaces with the dryer’s internal wiring. Sometimes wires attached to the terminal block can degrade or loosen, causing electrical arcing. When this happens, the terminal block can be destroyed or damaged, and the circuit breaker tripped.
This problem will most likely require the replacement of the terminal block.
#4: Start Switch
Sometimes a dryer’s start switch will become stuck in the ‘on’ position. This can cause the motor to pull more electrical current than normal, causing the breaker to trip.
#5: Motor Bearings
Over time, the dryer’s motor bearings may degrade. This can happen as a result of normal wear and tear, and also from a gummy accumulation of dirt. As the worn or dirty bearings turn with an increasing amount of resistance, they can cause the motor to draw more electrical current.
Eventually the problem can become bad enough to repeatedly trip the circuit breaker.