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
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?
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
For your sake Laurie I'm hoping I'm wrong, but....
"Things which go away by themselves usually come back by themselves."
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
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.
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... ;-)
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,
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