We moved into an older home that the electric has not been updated. We have been here since may. I have had the washer and dryer since march, and had no problems until the last few weeks. Before making it through a whole cycle it will still be running with no heat. As soon as I open the door it goes completely dead. I then have to replace the 30amp fuse before it will work again. My question is this a problem with my dryer or is it the electric that needs updated? Keep in mind we have lived here since may and just now started having an issue. If anyone can point us in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it.
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Simply there is to much load on the breaker so its tripping to protect your home. I'm not an electrician so I am giving you info based off my experience. Some houses, most I think, have a special plug for the dryer and you can buy a different plug that screws on to the dryer depending on which plug your home has. You may need to upgrade your existing plug in the wall if its an older house. Also, I believe that circuits is on its own breaker separate from the rest so it shouldn't Tripp anything else but the dryer\washer. You can easily fix this yourself if you are confident in dealing with shutting off the electricity and rewiring the outlet or the dryer plus. If not then a electrician can do it easily allbet at a fee. Often times the Home depot or Lowes reps will give you advice but you have to understand its only advice. I would take a picture of the plug and the wall outlet and the breaker. This way you have something to show them at the store when you ask about the plug. One other thing it might be is that the dryer has a bad hearing element or sensor and its drawing to much current causing the trip of the breaker but usually dryers have a $50 fuse on the back that's supposed to blow out first.
Is your dryer electric or gas. If electric, check your fuse box first thing. If it is an older model and your home has an older fuse box, and the boxes uses the big bullet type fuses for the 220 line, one or both fuses could be bad. If so, go buy two new fuses and give it a t;ry.
test the following steps and fix it. God bless you If the washer won't start, the user control and display board may be defective. Check for power to the washer first.
If the washer won't start the timer might be defective. This part is often misdiagnosed, check other components before replacing this timer.
If the washer won't start the line fuse might have blown.
If the washer won't start the thermal fuse may have blown. It can be tested for continuity. Watch our fuse testing video for more information.
If the washer won't start the line fuse might have blown, or the line fuse holder might be damaged and need to be replaced.
If the washer won't start the main control board might be defective. This is not common. Check other parts and causes first.
If the washer won't start the lid switch assembly might be defective. This is a very common problem. The lid switch assembly can fail either mechanically or electrically. Test any electrical switches with an Ohm meter for continuity. The switches should have continuity according to their design
If the washer won't start the door lock assembly should be checked. The door lock can fail either mechanically or electrically. Test any switches on the door lock with an Ohm meter. The switches should have continuity according to their design.
If the washer won't start check to see if there is power at the electrical outlet which the washer is plugged into. Plug a lamp or radio into the outlet to check it. If the outlet is dead, check the circuit breakers or fuses for the home.
If the washer won't start, check to be sure there is power to the electrical outlet for the home. If that is OK, the power cord itself might be defective. This is rare. You can check the power cord with an Ohm meter for continuity.
Possibly or the thermo fuse just went bad normally if the thermo-fuse blows its a venting problem warm moist air back builds into the dryer which in turn blows the thermo-fuse to save the dryer from further damage and also keeps from starting a fire in your home a big saftey feature that has saved many homes.
If you were told to check the home fuses its the circuit breaker for the house. If the house is older it may have a small circuit breaker just for the dryer. Otherwise open the circuit breaker for the house and look for the dryer fuse. Usually 2 20amp breakers together. Flip it off and push towards off a little more to reset than flip back on.
So you have an, ahem... problem....you have a Code compliant dryer (with it's 4 wire cord and plug)....and have moved into an older home that is not Code compliant (with it's 3 prong receptacle outlet)....and this is fairly common.
At this point - you have two choices....replace the wiring from the dryer's breaker to the receptacle with all new 8/3 with ground romex (it more then likely only has 8/2 with ground now)....and replace the receptacle with a 4 prong grounding receptacle to match your dryer's cord....OR - as an alternative - you can replace the cord on your dryer with a 3 prong cord to match the existing dryer receptacle outlet.
Out of the 2 choices....the first one will bring the old wiring in the home up to current Codes (all NEW homes must have this 4 wire/4 prong set-up per Code...but older homes are grand-fathered)...but it is clearly the most involved, time consuming and most costly approach...and it is recommended only an electrician do this work. If this approach is taken....your dryer cord can stay as is...it will now fit the new receptacle outlet with no modifications.
The second approach - is to pick up a 3 wire 3 prong cord at your local hardware store to match the existing 3 prong receptacle.....and replace the 4 wire cord on your dryer with it. Although this is the least desireable - it is an allowed approach because this is an older home with existing wiring. This is a much less involved approach...all you need to buy is the 3 wire dryer cord (they come all ready to go) remove the 4 wire cord and install the 3 wire cord to your electrical connections at the back of the dryer. Hopefully...when the 4 wire cord was installed on your dryer, the ground strap wasn't removed completely (this is a metal strap that will connect the white wire to the metal frame of the dryer)...because now you will need to re-use the ground strap. For more on this....see the images of the differences of the 3 wire and 4 wire dryer hook-up at: http://www.applianceaid.com/general.html#3to4
NOTE: the only real difference between the 3 wire cord and the 4 wire cord is now the white neutral and the ground are kept seperate in a 4 wire..the green ground will connect directly to the dryer frame....where in a 3 wire there is no seperate ground wire - ground and neutral are one and the same...the ground strap connects the frame to the white neutral. The 4 wire permits a better safety measure...in the event of an electrical problem (ground fault) in the dryer...the fault now has a seperate path to your panel's ground...and less chance of a shock from touching the metal frame of the dryer.
The choice of how to proceed is up to you....if you go with completely updating the dryer wiring from the breaker outward...I recommend an electrician do this work for you (it's about an hour's work...plus materials). Then your exisiting dryer's 4 wire 4 prong cord can stay as is....the electrician will install a 4 prong receptacle made to fit your cord.
If you go with simply replacing the dryer's cord....changing it to a 3 wire so it will fit the receptacle...make sure the ground strap is re-utilized as seen in the images at the site above.(also make sure all work is done with the dryer breaker (or fuse if a really old home) off before starting any work. If you change the cord yourself...make sure to reconnect in exactly the same manner as the previous cord was connected...(make a note on paper or take pictures so that there are no mistakes)..and that you tighten the nuts securely to the posts once the wire lugs are on them. Where you state you do not have a background in electrical work...you can have an electrician change this cord for you...(typically in under a half-hour)....or you can do it yourself - by carefully following the pictures.
The choice is yours...if it was me - I'd change the wiring from the breaker outward...making the older home meet today's current Codes and be complaint for this dryer..and then you wouldn't need to change a thing on the dryer....but you can go either way....Codes allow this grandfathering in older homes with existing wiring.
Usually what fails in an electric dryer after years of good service that the heating element or elements fail and it often blows a fuse in the dryer when it does this. You need to remove covers and check the heating element with an ohm meter, Sometimes the element is visible and can be seen to be broken. If you can't see the break avoiding handling the element wire as the older it is the more fragile it gets. No point breaking one that isn't already broken. The thermostat that controls the drying temperature can also fail but that is less likely. Heating elements are like light bulbs. They have a fixed life and burn out after a number of hours. Don't forget to replace the fuse if it has one and its blown with the same size fuse.