Update to "blown 220v outlet" thread

OK - electrician just left. Mysteries solved -- and even he was confused for a moment. I'll tell you why this was good news for me in a sec. Net: It was the outlet not the dryer. The source of the "pop" remains a mystery.
First he verified the outlet had no power, then checked behind the outlet and dryer panel for any burnt/blackened wires that might have explained the "pop" sound - nothing. Checked the breaker box and asked me several times if I was SURE there wasn't another panel. Apparently the breakers labeled MAIN usually indicate the presence of another panel. I didn't know of one. Made me wonder if there was one, because I didn't flip those when I was flipping all the others because I figured I didn't need to flip the MAIN power switch since I was trying to reset the specific breaker that controlled the outlet for the dryer.
You're probably snickering by now. ;-) If you've already guessed that the breakers labeled MAIN are 30 amp (hey, they were the only ones withOUT a number on them unlike the 20's and the 50's!) and that they are indeed the breakers for the dryer, they *were* tripped and once turned off and on (whoever it was who said they could take some effort to push back on was oh so right!) everything was fine, you are right. Dryer works fine.
*sigh* I am using the electricians momentary confusion regarding the mislabeled breakers as justification for *my* misguided logic in not resetting them originally.
$40, but hey, I'm thinking through I definitely got $40 bucks worth of education through all this! ;-) Thanks for the help!
Laurie <--- debated telling the whole truth but decided it was too funny not to share
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On Wed, 27 Jun 2007 01:10:17 GMT, "Laurie"

Glad you got it fixed.
Isn't 40 dollars cheap for a service call, even a short one? Where are you located?
(Or as my friend say, Where are you at?)

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mm wrote:

I'm in Dallas, but it's a little misleading. He is the husband of a new employee - and he offered to do it for free. I wasn't sure what the going rate was, so I figured it used to be $40 when I had one of those home policies, so I paid him that and swore him to secrecy about it being a simple breaker problem. LOL - knowing his wife, I'm sure it'll be a source of amusement before 9 this morning. ;-)
Plenty of folks around here who don't bother to add the "are" in "Where *are* you at?" **g** Where YOU at?
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Now will you label the damn box?! Would have saved you $40.
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Toller wrote:

Hmmm, My good neighbors get that kind of service free from me all the time. I am retired EE.
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Tony Hwang wrote:

<snip>
To use mm's words: "Where are you at?" I could sure use a good neighbor with EE experience!
That's nice though Tony - being and having a good neighbor is what makes a neighborhood IMHO.
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Toller wrote:

Yes sir. <meekly but noting in a weak moment of defiance that THAT breaker was the only one that WAS labeled!>
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On Wed, 27 Jun 2007 12:59:47 GMT, "Laurie"

Then you should unlabel all of them.
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Laurie wrote:

How come no one has yet asked.....
Did the electrician offer any suggestions as to what may have happened to cause that "pop" and trip the circuit breaker?
Breakers don't often decide to trip by themselves y'know. And if they do because of maybe a loose connection at the breaker causing it to get hot and "blow", that's not likely to make a "pop" at the load (dryer) end of the line.
For your sake Laurie I'm hoping I'm wrong, but....
"Things which go away by themselves usually come back by themselves."
Good Luck,
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

He didn't know - he looked for blackened whatever, but didn't see anything behind the outlet panel or the dryer panel where the cord connected. He didn't really do anything at the breakers other than flip them off and on.

Yep - I'm waiting til the weekend when I can be home and run the dryer for awhile just to be sure it's working right...I've been apprehensive to run a load when I can't sit there for the first while to make sure it's heating, etc I wish I remembered more of what the situation was when that pop happened - I know I was turning the timer dial and I think I was pushing it in when I shouldn't (or not pushing it in when I should've been) and it probably tried to turn on as a result and then I was pushing it along by keeping it pushed in and I'm guessing that's what caused it to trip.
The laundry room IS right next to the garage where the panel is. I don't know how loud the sound of a breaker tripping is, but if it's pretty loud, maybe I could've heard that through the POS door? Between feeling the power start and stop at the dryer by doing whatever I was doing with the dial and the sound, maybe I put them together in my head?
If there is a loose wire at the breaker for the dryer, which I will now unlabel and then relabel making everyone happy ;-), when the dryer is running will it a) be hot to the touch and b) if I touch it am I likely to fry myself?
Laurie
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Laurie wrote:
<snipped>

You won't fry yourself if you follow the steps below, but it never hurts to have a buddy standing by, just in case....
In order to check whether one (or both) of the breaker's output connections are getting hot because the output wires connected to it are not tightly gripped by their clamp screws, do this:
Make sure you can correctly identify the main circuit breaker, the one which controls power flow to all the smaller breakers in the panel.
Switch that main breaker OFF and then remove the cover plate from the breaker panel, exposing the wires and connections behind it.
Switch the main breaker ON again, keeping your fingers away from all those wires in the panel.
Turn on the dryer and let it run for 15 minutes.
Leave the dryer running and go to the panel. Switch the main breaker OFF to make sure there's no voltage on ANY of the smaller breakers in the panel. Flip the dryer breaker OFF too, you can't be too safe y'know.
At that point (if you've done all the prior steps correctly) it will be safe to feel the dryer breaker's output terminals with a fingertip, while keeping your other hand at your side. (And don't be standing in a puddle of water either.)
If either (or both) of the dryer's breaker output terminals feels hot, grab a screwdriver and tighten those terminal clamp screws. Heck, try tightening them anyway, if you're uncertain about how warm they feel.
Put the cover plate back on and flip the main and dryer breakers back on.
HTH,
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Wow. And here I was mentally thinking that I could just put my hand on the breaker itself (the plastic part)! :-) I do need to go look for the main power breaker now, since we have discovered that the one marked main is actually the dryer!!
Apparently, the fun never ends! ;-)
Truth be told, I don't think I'd attempt the above even though it seems fairly straight forward - if it blows again I think I'll probably get my electrician friend over and have him replace the breakers. This house is like 30 years old, so I don't know if breakers age (I just had an entire Federal something or other panel replaced at one of my rental properties based on the recommendation of a friend due to risk of fire), but maybe they're just old. You were right originally, things don't blow for no reason, so once burned, twice shy. Third time I'd be an idiot... ;-)
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<snip> You may have just furnished the final piece to the puzzle. My guess is that you would probably find a burn mark inside the dryer control panel. If you were putting pressure on the control it MIGHT move it just enough to make contact with something is shouldn't be making contact with --- and it may never do it again (we all hope).
Keep us posted, Mark
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