Fuses in box get hot when using Kenmore Electric Dryer (only on heat cycle)

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Hello,
I have an older Kenmore Electric Dryer SER #M61901833 Mod #86671100 66711.
A few months back I checked the clothes mid-cycle and found the inside door and the clothes to be very hot, hotter than I thought was normal.
This week I did 3 loads back to back, the room developed a stink like a dead mouse! I traced the smell to two very hot 30A (screw in) fuses. The fuses do not blow. The dryer has it's own box right off the main, and the dryer is only a few feet from the box. No recent changes to anything.
When I run the dryer on a AIR (no heat) cycle the fuses do not get hot. I can turn the drum OK by hand. When I run a Heat cycle on low/med/or high the fuses start heading up after some time, maybe 5-7 mins not sure.
I checked the wire connections in Main, side box, outlet, pigtail, one-time dryer fuse, cycling thermostat, and high-limit thermostat and all are tight and clean. The high-limit thermostat (2-wires) is in the heater chamber (tube), the cycling thermostat (4 wires) is near the exhuast vent.
Could the cycling thermostat be stuck closed? What about the high-limit therm? Any way to bench test these parts to see if they open at all? I am little concerned that the 30A (fast acting) fuses did not blow, nor did the dryer's one-time fuse.
Any help/suggestions are welcomed.
Thanks for your time, Jim
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wrote:

Are the contacts clean where the fuse screws in? Shut off the power and use a pencil erasor on the contacts, both on the box, and on the fuse itself. Be sure to look for burnt contacts in the fuse box. I have seen that happen.
Better yet, replace it with a breaker. You can buy small addon boxes that will hold one double ro two single breakers. Just mount it on the side of your main box.
What do you mean about a one time dryer fuse?
Of course the fuses only get warm during the dryer heating cycle. On cool air, your only running a motor. On heat cycle, you're sucking a lot of power for the heating elements (like an electric space heater), PLUS the motor.
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I will look closer at this.

At a later date, I'm planning on replacing the main fuse box with a larger breaker box, so the two add-on boxes will go away.

There is a one-time temp rated fuse in the exhaust, it's a fail safe for if the dryer gets too hot and the therms don't cycle off.

Yes, I realize that, I was just indicating that the motor alone was not a problem. So one might assume with caution, that the motor is not shorting out and that the bearings/rollers are in working condition, of course an Amp meter test would be better than an assumption.
Cheers, Jim
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It would really help for you to have an ammeter. This is really the only way to know how much current is flowing on each leg of the circuit, and if it's the proper amount. You also need to know that the voltage is correct, and that the conductor size of the dryer feeder is correct

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I will check the voltage. I have an older Amp Clamp multi-function meter. I tried to use the Amp meter a couple of years ago, never got a reading not sure if it works or I was doing something wrong, will look into it or maybe buying a new one.
Cheers, Jim
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wrote:

Checking connections would be first step; you did that.
If you have a way to measure current (clamp on ammeter would be easiest) you can tell if it's cycling by watching the current draw during operation.
I have done a quick test of thermostats with an ohmmeter and a heat gun. That will tell you if it's opening at all, but not check temperature. You can use an ohmmeter while the stat is sitting in a pan on the stove with a shallow layer of water and use a cooking thermometer to check the temp, but may be easier just to replace the stat.
I wouldn't necessarily expect the fuses to blow even if the stat wasn't cycling; they will blow on over current, but the current draw will be normal unless there is a wiring or element fault. Of course if they get hot enough....
Does the drying time seem shorter than you remember? If the stat wasn't cycling, you'd expect it to be shorter....
In any case, sure doesn't sound safe; I wouldn't use it until you figure out the problem.
HTH,
Paul F.
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wrote:

my seat of the pants opinion, the fuse connection isnt good, having hot fuses the wres on the fuse holder are likely toasted, i would replace the fuse panel with breakers
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my seat of the pants opinion, the fuse connection isnt good, having hot fuses the wres on the fuse holder are likely toasted, i would replace the fuse panel with breakers
I'm planing on replacing all the fuse boxes (main and two add-on) with a new Main w/breakers but not at this point.
Thanks, Jim
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Your an Idiot!
There's just got to be one on every board.
Cheers, Jim
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On Jan 20, 5:02am, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

Does this post suggest that the wires from the 'main box' not be protected at all by fuses or circuit breakers? The wiring for a dryer (30 amp) should probably be #10 AWG fed from either fuses or a DP circuit breaker IN THE MAIN PANEL?
What is the suggestion here; that the wires to a pony/external fuse box/panel be tapped on somewhere to the busses in the main panel and then external fuses fed by thin gauge (#12 or #10 AWG) be provided????
The picture is most confusing! If some thing's getting hot it sounds like either bad connections. Or, another suggestion; has one of the heating element inside the dryer broken or sagged and made contact with the metal frame of the dryer (presumably grounded?). Thus causing additional current to flow, via ground and thereby possibly by passing some of the safety (e.g. over heat) switches inside the dryer which are in the 230 volt circuit.
Assumptions: This is a fairly standard 230 volt 2 or 3 wire North American style dryer which is grounded.
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Does this post suggest that the wires from the 'main box' not be protected at all by fuses or circuit breakers? The wiring for a dryer (30 amp) should probably be #10 AWG fed from either fuses or a DP circuit breaker IN THE MAIN PANEL?
What is the suggestion here; that the wires to a pony/external fuse box/panel be tapped on somewhere to the busses in the main panel and then external fuses fed by thin gauge (#12 or #10 AWG) be provided????
The picture is most confusing! If some thing's getting hot it sounds like either bad connections. Or, another suggestion; has one of the heating element inside the dryer broken or sagged and made contact with the metal frame of the dryer (presumably grounded?). Thus causing additional current to flow, via ground and thereby possibly by passing some of the safety (e.g. over heat) switches inside the dryer which are in the 230 volt circuit.
Assumptions: This is a fairly standard 230 volt 2 or 3 wire North American style dryer which is grounded.
The add-on box is wired to the main with #10 gauage, and the dryer is wired from the add-on also with #10 gauge. It's a 30 Amp rated add-on box. The outlet is 50A rated. The add-on box, the dryer, and wire were all installed new at the same time by a qualified person several years ago. It's a 3 wire system.
I visually checked the heater element cold and it looked OK but it was a little hard to see near the top (vertical tube). I was going to look at it while it was hot, but I'm waiting until I get a meter so I can also measure the amps to see if they increase as the dryer runs longer.
Cheers, Jim
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...

...
If the heating element touched ground it would short and burn immediately.
It's easy enough to test the elements if you can access the connections from the top w/o pulling the drum; simply measure continuity between them (w/ the dryer unplugged, of course). Typically there are three connections in series so the two elements can be operated in "low" and "hi" mode -- high is from one end of the one to the other end of the second while low is from mid-point to low end where the two elements are connected (that's the GE/Hotpoint arrangement I'm familiar with, anyway. Whether some of the other brands use two parallel independent elements or other arrangement I can't say; never had anything else).
It's quite simple w/ the GE style to pull the front and the drum to inspect the elements visually.
--
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I will re-check them.

Good idea.

Hmm, wonder is a hair dryer would get hot enough?

That's hard to judge becuase the washer is on it's last leg too. The clothes from the washer are wetter than when it was new. The internal shut-off leaks and spin cycle get off-balance often, and it leaks fluid, so the spin cycle is not as efficient as it should be. I was going to replace the pair this summer.

Yep.
Thanks, Jim
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Jim2009 wrote:

You don't, by any chance, have 60-amp fuses in a 30-amp circuit?
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HeyBub wrote:

Why would you ask that, HeyBub?
If you can show me a link to a place selling "screw in" fuses larger than 30 amps I'll apologize for what I just wrote.
I agree with those who've opined that some electrical connection(s) within the fuse box have developed higher than normal resistance and are generating more heat than they normally would. Even if a thermostat in the dryer is stuck closed, the fuse box components should not reach the smelly "very hot" condition the OP describes.
If the OP does not have a clamp on ammeter but does have an ac voltmeter he could measure the small voltage drop(s) across the fuse box terminals which could give him a clue that poor connections are causing the fuses to heat.
He should also look for poor connections caused by loose terminal screws in that fuse box
He could probably spot the "cycling" he's wondering about by noting whether the voltage drops across those fuses change dramatically from time to time during operation of the dryer.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Thanks Jeff, I'm going to re-check everything again. I'm looking into a Amp meter. I have an old one that may not work, so I might pick up a new one.
Cheers, Jim

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...

Precisely...
...
...
If you do, go for the clamp-on variety. Most DVM's don't have the facility to measure household currents and they require inline insertion which is a pita besides for most household-type diagnostics.
As Jeff notes, you could make an indirect measurement to observe if was some high resistance across the fuses themselves w/ the voltmeter directly.
I'd probably suggest just trying a new fuse just as a "can't hurt" shotgunning approach but again, if it's only the fuses that are overheating your problem is a high-impedance connection somewhere in that vicinity. As Jeff correctly notes, even if the thermostat isn't cycling, the overheating isn't occurring at the dryer but in the fuse box so you need to fix that then worry about whether there's another problem in the dryer as well.
If the fusebox is mounted and can't see the base of the sockets behind them, it may be a corrosion problem (from, say, a damp basement wall it's mounted on, maybe?) that you can't see other than by removing the holder box or, if it's the old separate bar type, disassembling it.
--
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Where to get? At a bank. One hundred for a dollar.
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HeyBub wrote:

Good one!
Lim time:
He was reading, when out went the light, So he looked for a fuse, quite uptight. But he couldn't find any, So he used an old penny. The blaze lasted well past midnight.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Some "fuse", ya phoney...! <big grin>
--
:)
JR

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