Dryer Keeps Tripping Breaker? Here’s What to Do

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If your dryer keeps tripping the circuit breaker, you are in the right place. In this article, we will cover all of the main reasons why this could be happening and what you can do to fix them.

Simply start from the beginning and work your way through each of the possible causes. Hopefully, by the end of this article, your dryer will be working properly!

Check the Heating Element

The best place to start is to check the heating element. The heating element works to heat the air that distributes around your dryer. When the heating element is faulty, it can short out the heating housing, which then causes the dryer to trip the circuit breaker.

To check the heating element, you need to:

  1. Turn the power off to the dryer.
  2. Pull the dryer out from the wall or its cabinet so you can work on it.
  3. Remove the panels on the dryer.
  4. Locate the heating element (check your manual if necessary).
  5. Once located, use a multimeter to test each of the terminals on the heating element. The terminals need to have continuity to the case.
  6. If the heating element has continuity to the case, this means it is defective and will need to be replaced.
  7. Once replaced, you need to put your dryer back together and then check if the problem has been solved. If the heating element passes the continuity test, you can move on to checking the next component.

Check the Heating Element Assembly

Another possible cause of your dryer tripping out is a faulty heating element assembly. Sometimes when the heating element fails, it can short out the heating housing, which then causes the dryer to trip out the circuit breaker. When this happens, your dryer won’t work properly.

Here’s how to check the heating element assembly:

  1. Make sure the power is still turned off to the dryer.
  2. If you haven’t already, pull the dryer out from the wall, and remove the panels.
  3. Locate the heating element assembly (check your manual if necessary).
  4. You can then test if the heating element assembly is faulty by using a multimeter to test each of the terminals on the heating element assembly for continuity.
  5. If the heating element assembly has continuity to the case, this means it is defective and will need to be replaced.
  6. Once replaced, you need to put your dryer back together and then check if the problem has been solved. If the heating element assembly is fine, you can move on to checking the next possible cause.

Check the Drive Motor

The next possible cause of the problem is a faulty drive motor. When the drive motor doesn’t work properly, it may short out internally, and this makes the dryer trip the circuit breaker repeatedly.

Here’s how to check the drive motor:

  1. Make sure the power is still switched off to the dryer.
  2. If you haven’t already, pull the dryer out from the wall, and then remove the panels so you can access the drive motor.
  3. Locate the drive motor.
  4. Once located, use a multimeter to test the drive motor for continuity.
  5. If the test shows that the motor windings are shorted out, you will need to replace the drive motor. However, if the drive motor is fine, you can move on to checking the next possible cause.

Check the Terminal Block

If you have an electric dryer, it will have a series of power cords that are all attached to the terminal block. If any of these wires become loose, they can arc, and this will destroy part of the terminal block. When this happens, one of the wires can short against the body of the dryer and then make the dryer trip the breaker.

It doesn’t happen very often, but if you’ve tried checking the other components above, then you should check the terminal block. To do that:

  1. Locate the terminal block.
  2. Check all the wires to see if any are loose. If so, tighten them.
  3. Check all the wires to see if any look like they are “arcing.” If so, replace them.
  4. You can then turn your dryer on and see if the problem has been solved. If the dryer still doesn’t work properly, you can move on to checking the next component.

Replace the Circuit Breaker

If you have checked all of the other components above and your dryer still doesn’t work, your last option is to replace the circuit breaker. Like any other electrical component, over time circuit breakers can become worn out, and this makes them weak. When they become weak, they may trip repeatedly and will need to be replaced. Replacing a circuit breaker should only be carried out by a qualified technician, as it is a dangerous repair to make if you don’t have the proper training.

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