dryer pops breaker after 10-15 minutes

hi. apologies if this seems to be a common question, but...
our dryer has started (again) popping one half of the breaker after 10-15 minutes of running. the interesting thing is that it does this even if the dryer is not heating (ie a 'fluff' cycle).
you can feel one half of the breaker start to get hot after running the dryer for a few minutes, then eventually the breaker pops.
we had a Maytag guy out to look at the thing about 6-9 months ago when it was doing this, and he couldn't find anything wrong with the dryer. we replaced the breaker at the time, and it's been fine until now.
the vent is completely clear, and in fact the dryer is venting into the house at the moment (heat AND moisture is a luxury in Colorado at the moment).
I took the front off the dryer yesterday, and it looks OK. there's no sign of any problem with the heater element etc.
so, currently I'm thinking:
a) there's a poor contact between the fuse and the bus bar(s) in the box. will look at that this evening while it's still light.
b) the motor is dying, gradually pulling more and more current as it warms up, until the breaker goes.
any other possibilities?
thanks, Adam.
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use a clamp on ampmeter to check current draw on both legs.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I ordered one online last night. unfortunately the local stores want an arm and a leg for the things.
thanks, Adam.
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Could be the motor, as you suggest. Might also be the bearings are failing causing too much friction. Ditto if the belt is too tight.
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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Which side of the breaker trips, the side with the motor or the side with just the heater. If it is the motor side, it is one of the 110V components.
Check for a bad neutral as it is only used for the 110V stuff like the motor though I think it wouldn't run if that were open. Check for good continuity at the plug and at the terminals inside where the power cord attaches. Check the chassis to neutral to make sure voltage is 0V.
Try swapping the two hot poles (wires) where the power cord attaches inside the dryer. Does the other breaker trip now? That suggests it is not the breaker or wiring of either hot wire but still leaves the neutral and motor in doubt.
If the schematic is not plastered onto the back of the dryer, it sometimes can be found rolled up in the bottom or taped inside the compartment where the timer is.
Dual 30A breaker should have a tie bar so the other half is forced to trip at the same time. Bit of a shock hazard if it does not.
wrote:

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PipeDown wrote:

I'm guessing it's the motor side, since that is the one that gets hot when you run it on 'fluff' - ie no heater.

good idea. will try that.

yes, it does have a tie bar.
thanks, Adam.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote: <SNIP>

Right on target, IMO.
The side of the Line which has *both* heater element and motor as loads runs very close to the 80% limit. Overheating of the Bus stab (if you really do have a breaker) is very common. You may have to look closely at the panel to see if it is damaged.
Jim
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Speedy Jim wrote:

hmm. looks like a bad contact in the fuse box. I pulled the breaker, and checked it out - looked fine. anyhow, put it back in, and everything seems to be good now.
the dryer runs both with and without the heater with the breaker staying cool.
thanks, Adam.
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Check your receptacle if it is plugged in. I had a Maytag that developed a bad contact in an "Eagle brand" receptacle, and one day it just fried the circuit board and quit. When we pulled it out and unplugged it we found the receptacle and plug were hot to the touch. The plug was discoloured and a prong burnt off. When I removed the receptacle, it was charred and the wires showed signs of overheating. Replaced the power cord and plug and got a new receptacle. Then we called Maytag as we had 2 days left on the warranty. They replaced the circuit board and the dryer has been running fine for the past several years.
Summary: Check ALL connections, circuit breaker stab, circuit breaker wire connections, receptacle connections, plug and check for heating at all points, as well as the cord connections inside the dryer plus anything you can think to check and tighten. It could be any one or all.

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Eric Tonks wrote:

already looked at the plug, seems fine, no sign of scorching etc. on the pins.
I didn't (yet) take the receptacle to pieces though.
thanks, Adam.
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If you have a FPE stab lock panel REPLACE IT NOW!
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

hmm. had to look that one up. for the google challenged:
http://www.inspect-ny.com/fpe/fpe.html
anyhow. it's a General Electric panel.
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You say one side of the breaker gets hot when the dryer is on the fluff cycle. I don't see how anything could be drawing that much current without generating a lot of heat. Seems like your idea that there is a bad connection between the breaker and the bus bar. I would pull the breaker and look for discoloration. I always wear leather gloves, rubber soled shoes, and glasses when working on my breaker box. Glasses because if somehow you shorted a bus to ground with a screwdriver for example it can spit out red hot blobs of metal.
Probably easiest thing to do is replace the breaker and if it doesn't fix the problem, return the breaker for a refund and reinstall the old breaker.

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mine pops when the kids put way too many clothes in it.

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For gosh sakes, stop putting so many kids in it.
On Thu, 30 Mar 2006 09:11:31 -0500, "tom&kel"

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Jeff wrote:

hmm. I always turn it off at the main breaker. saves a lot of effort, although it does mean using a torch ;-)

couldn't see any discoloration, but I guess there is a thin film of oxide building up or something. as I said, pulling and reinstalling the breaker seems to have fixed it (for now).
is there some sort of contact grease you can use on these things? I'm thinking a light sanding of the contacts followed by some sort of electrical grease...
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