Dryer Trips Breaker...Except When it Doesn't

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Alright, I'm at a loss. When I vent my dryer to the outside it takes 2 - 3 cycles to dry a load of clothes. I assume the duct is clogged or partially clogged and will get HVAC guy to come out and take a look.
So I bought one of those little plastic interior vent boxes that you put some water in and run the flexible duct from the dryer over to it. When I hook that up, clothes dry quickly but it blows the breaker after about 5 minutes of drying. I thought maybe venting warm air was overheating the dryer so I extended the flex tube out to the front of the dryer and got the same results.
So I moved the little plastic vent box across the hall from the dryer and turned on the whole house fan that sits directly above to pull cool air in and suck the warm air from the dryer out. It still trips the breaker.
The breaker gets warm but if there was a problem why wouldn't it also trip when the dryer is vented to the outside?
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On Oct 23, 8:44 pm, triple7sss

NO HVAC guy needed to clean exhaust line, crudely connect a shop vacs EXHAUST to the interior dryer connection.......
turn on shop vac it will blow all the lint out of the dryer vent, have somone watch the exhaust spot they will likely see a big cloud of lint come out. do this easy maintence every 6 months or a year, your utility bill will be less........
your dryer likely is filled with lint, i would use the shop vac on vac and try to clean the dryer.....
the breaker may be just going bad, they are designed to trip sooner at end of life
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On Wed, 24 Oct 2012 00:44:01 +0000, triple7sss
cycles to dry a load of clothes. I assume the duct is clogged or partially clogged and will get HVAC guy to come out and take a look.

water in and run the flexible duct from the dryer over to it. When I hook that up, clothes dry quickly but it blows the breaker after about 5 minutes of drying. I thought maybe venting warm air was overheating the dryer so I extended the flex tube out to the front of the dryer and got the same results.

turned on the whole house fan that sits directly above to pull cool air in and suck the warm air from the dryer out. It still trips the breaker.

I bet the heating element is partially shorted. When the venting is partially blocked the thermal opens before the breaker cooks off.
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On Tue, 23 Oct 2012 21:06:25 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

cycles to dry a load of clothes. I assume the duct is clogged or partially clogged and will get HVAC guy to come out and take a look.

water in and run the flexible duct from the dryer over to it. When I hook that up, clothes dry quickly but it blows the breaker after about 5 minutes of drying. I thought maybe venting warm air was overheating the dryer so I extended the flex tube out to the front of the dryer and got the same results.

turned on the whole house fan that sits directly above to pull cool air in and suck the warm air from the dryer out. It still trips the breaker.

Or mabee the breaker is just weak enough that it would trip anyway if the thermal didn't trip out first. I'd replace the breaker before doing anything else - and THEN clean everything out.
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On Tue, 23 Oct 2012 21:39:34 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

cycles to dry a load of clothes. I assume the duct is clogged or partially clogged and will get HVAC guy to come out and take a look.

water in and run the flexible duct from the dryer over to it. When I hook that up, clothes dry quickly but it blows the breaker after about 5 minutes of drying. I thought maybe venting warm air was overheating the dryer so I extended the flex tube out to the front of the dryer and got the same results.

turned on the whole house fan that sits directly above to pull cool air in and suck the warm air from the dryer out. It still trips the breaker.

I would clean out the dryer first and take a look at the element while you have the front off. Why buy a breaker before you do a cleaning you should do anyway?
I own a clamp on ammeter so I would know the draw before I even took the cover off.
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On Tue, 23 Oct 2012 23:59:33 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Maybe it's a coincidence and now it will trip even when vented to the outsie.

Don't you have to separate the wires from each other, in the cable, and put the clamp-on around just one of them?
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wrote:

That is how it works. Fortunately dryer cords are usually zip lead or you check it in the panel. Be aware there are L/N loads in a dryer so you have to check both ungrounded conductors.
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On Wed, 24 Oct 2012 14:29:14 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

There MAY be L/N loads - many do not - and they will be minor.
Check at the panel.
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On Wed, 24 Oct 2012 23:19:24 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I have never seen a dryer with a 240v motor. (not GE, Whirlpool and all of the sub brands they own) They all have 120v motors.
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On Thu, 25 Oct 2012 13:35:16 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Unless it is a european "universal market" unit. Not common in North America - but they do exist.
That said, the motor is 1/4 to 1/3 HP to maximum 300 watts, out of about 4500 watts total. So still relatively minor.
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On Thu, 25 Oct 2012 22:02:27 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

300 watts is 2.,5 amps more on one leg, that is a significant number. Then you add the timer and any lights.
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On Fri, 26 Oct 2012 02:11:01 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Electronic timer draws les than 100ma and the light is not on when it is running. 2.5 amps is [perhaps significant on a 15 amp circuit , not on a 30. 300 out of 2250 on one side is still only 14%. And the motor only draws 300 watts under full load. Likely less than 100 with an empty drum or light load.
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On Wed, 24 Oct 2012 14:29:14 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Ah. I'm not sure I've ever seen my dryer cord, but I have seen the stove cord.

Okay. Thanks.
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On Tue, 23 Oct 2012 23:59:33 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

cycles to dry a load of clothes. I assume the duct is clogged or partially clogged and will get HVAC guy to come out and take a look.

some water in and run the flexible duct from the dryer over to it. When I hook that up, clothes dry quickly but it blows the breaker after about 5 minutes of drying. I thought maybe venting warm air was overheating the dryer so I extended the flex tube out to the front of the dryer and got the same results.

turned on the whole house fan that sits directly above to pull cool air in and suck the warm air from the dryer out. It still trips the breaker.

The reason I would do it in the order specified is it did NOT trip with the possibly plugged or restricted line - and does when wide open. The (possibly) restricted duct is NOT the cause of the breaker tripping. Fix the tripping breaker first. If the breaker STILL trips, you have a drier problem.
The other passibility to troubleshoot is to get an Amprobe type tester to measure the drier current. If it is tripping at below 80% of the breaker rating it IS a bad breaker.
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There's a possibility that the breaker controlling the dryer is old and needs to be replaced. Breakers are electromagnetic or heat latches. When too much current flows through the electromagnet or the bimetal strip, it causes a latch to snap, causing the circuit to shut down. The latch can wear down, causing it to trip more often. So, the easiest and cheapest thing to do is to replace the breaker with one with an IDENTICAL rating. If it still trips, the problem is in the dryer.
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Triple7sss:
I can't help thinking that the reason why the dryer is working better but tripping the breaker when the duct is going into that plastic vent box is because the duct length involved is shorter and straighter, but the humidity in the air is going up.
The dryer duct might not necessarily be clogged. It may be that the dryer duct is simply imposing too much resistance to air flow.
777sss, in the picture below, can you tell us which kind of flexible duct you have connected to your dryer and about how long it is before it gets to the vent cap on the exterior of your house?
[image:
http://www.eureka4you.com/HOME%20-%20HOME%20-%20HOME/Index-Plumbing/used/VentMaterial.JPG ]
(If it's #1, it shouldn't even be used on a dryer because it's a fire hazard, and ducts like these have so much resistance to air flow that they'll only work semi-reasonably well if the path from the dryer to the vent cap is short and straight.)
It could be that the problem with the dryer is entirely due to the length and type of duct it's being expected to blow air through, and the tripping of the breaker is because venting the dryer through that little plastic box is just putting all the moisture from the clothes into the air, and that increased humidity makes the air more conductive to electricity.
I recall getting electrical shocks from the static electricity that built up on my body when I was a kid and I rubbed my shoes on the carpet in the house I grew up in. But, that only happened in the winter, and I subsequently learned the reason was because in winter the outdoor air comes into our houses and warms up, thereby sending it's relative humidity way down. In the summer, the indoor relative humidity is higher, and it's all the water molecules in the air that dissipate the static electricty on your body into the surrounding air. Dryer air is a better electrical insulator, and so you have to touch something grounded to remove the static electricity that builds up, and doing that give you a small shock.
I'm thinking that with enough humidity in the air and a great big 240 volt heating element in a dryer, you could have enough conductivity through the air to the metal cabinet of the dryer to trip the breaker. I know it sounds kinda far fetched, but that's what I keep coming up with.
--
nestork


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that #1 plastic fire hazard vent.
I replaced it on a friends dryer because of the safety hazard...... she wasnt happy claimed it couldnt burn. so i took a piece out in the yard and tried lighting it with a charcoal lighting torch, it refused to burn.
so then i tried lighting it with my propane torch, it still refused to burn, it put itself out as soon as i removed the torches flame...
the plastic line is highly convenient and not always the hazard presented.....
if you doubt this try the experiment yourself....
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/dryer-trips-breaker-except-when-it-doesn-t-718049-.htm triple7sss wrote:
nestork wrote:

http://www.eureka4you.com/HOME%20-%20HOME%20-%20HOME/Index-Plumbing/used/VentMaterial.JPG ]
I have number 4. I thought the damp air/heat might be the problem as well but like I say I put the little vent box right under my whole house fan and pulled the vented dryer air out of the house as quickly as it came out of the dryer and it still trips.
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/dryer-trips-breaker-except-when-it-doesn-t-718049-.htm triple7sss wrote: That makes sense. That's the only way I can come up with that it would NOT trip the breaker when vented outside to the clogged duct which would cut off the thermal breaker in the dryer but would still let it run and not trip the electrical breaker.
Thanks!
gfretwell wrote:

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"triple7sss" wrote in message
Alright, I'm at a loss. When I vent my dryer to the outside it takes 2 - 3 cycles to dry a load of clothes. I assume the duct is clogged or partially clogged and will get HVAC guy to come out and take a look.
So I bought one of those little plastic interior vent boxes that you put some water in and run the flexible duct from the dryer over to it. When I hook that up, clothes dry quickly but it blows the breaker after about 5 minutes of drying. I thought maybe venting warm air was overheating the dryer so I extended the flex tube out to the front of the dryer and got the same results.
So I moved the little plastic vent box across the hall from the dryer and turned on the whole house fan that sits directly above to pull cool air in and suck the warm air from the dryer out. It still trips the breaker.
The breaker gets warm but if there was a problem why wouldn't it also trip when the dryer is vented to the outside?
--

"Write a wise saying and your name will live forever."

- Anonymous
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