dryer keeps tripping breaker

8 Reasons Why Your Dryer Keeps Tripping Breaker (Fixed!)

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After a painful day’s work, when I put the laundry inside the dryer after washing them, the dryer kept tripping the breakers. My heart skipped a beat. Dyers are expensive and I couldn’t immediately afford to buy a new dryer just for myself. Then and there I started searching for solutions on the internet.

Turns out, the problem is just a stepping stone for dryer owners. Facing such a problem is normal. Almost every dryer owner faces such problems at least once in their life. So, what was the reason for the dryer keeps tripping breaker? Turns out, it was just a weak circuit breaker within the dryer that caused it to trip the breaker every 5 minutes. But several other minor inconveniences like heating element assembly failure, internal short circuit, or terminal blockage can cause this problem.

Problems that are causing your dryer to trip the breaker

Dryer To Trip The Breaker

You may see ‘dryer keeps tripping breaker’ in almost all types of brands. Though the problem might arise in different brands, I assure you that the reasons behind this pesky problem remain absolutely the same. Below, I have mentioned some of the problems that cause your dryer to trip the breakers:-

  1. Malfunctioning heating element
  2. Internal short
  3. Terminal blockage
  4. Malfunctioning drive motor
  5. Wearing of motor bearings
  6. Stuck start switch
  7. Faulty thermal resistors
  8. Weak circuit breaker

Step By Step Solutions For dryer keeps tripping breaker Are Given In The Following:

1. Malfunctioning heating element

If your dryer trips the breaker after every 5 or 10 minutes, then there may be a heating element issue. A faulty heating element can cause a shortage in the heating housing. Due to this, the main function of the heating element is disturbed, as it is responsible for heating the air that is distributed within the dryer. To check whether the heating element is functional, you’ll need to use a multimeter. Test each terminal for continuity to the case. A shorted heating element is indicated by the continuity of the case.

Solution

Follow these simple steps to replace the heating element of your dryer:-

  1. First, unplug the dryer from the electric source.
  2. Remove the dryer exhaust hose and slowly remove the back panel.
  3. Look inside the back of the dryer for a long metal housing, inside which the heating element is present.
  4. Unscrew the black sensor on top and bottom.
  5. Unhook the two wires just below the bottom sensor
  6. Lift the whole grey casing gently.
  7. Take out the screw holding the element in and take it out.
  8. Install the new heating element.
DPD 279838 Dryer Heating Element For Whirlpool Kenmore Sears Maytag Amana Admiral Kitchenaid Magic...
  • 【Part Number】: 279838 Dryer Heating Element. For Whirlpool, Kenmore, Sears, Maytag, Amana, Admiral, Kitchenaid, Magic, Chef, Norge.
  • 【Replaces the following Part】:EXP279838 AP3094254, 279837, 279838VP, 3398064, 3403585, 8565582, AH334313.
  • 【Repair the following symptoms】: Insufficient heat | Drying time too long | Dryer takes too long | Dryer overheating can not automatically shut down.

2. Internal short

Internal short is one of the main and most common reasons why a dryer might trip the breakers. This is also one of the most common reasons for new dryers to keep tripping the breaker. You might ask yourself, why and how does an internal short occur? Internal shorts might occur due to a blown fuse. This is caused due to several reasons like a poor door switch, timer issues, motors, or even the power switch malfunctioning.

To check for internal shorts, you will need to use an electrical appliance known as an ohmmeter. An ohmmeter can help you determine whether your dryer has a short in one of its internal components. If there is a shortage within your dryer, then you will need to repair or replace it to stop the inconvenience it is causing.

Solution

To fix this problem, you will need to replace the blown thermal fuse within the dryer. To replace it, you must do the following:-

  1. You must first locate the thermal fuse near the exhaust duct.
  2. Disconnect the power and remove the back panel.
  3. Unscrew the fuse and replace it with a brand new one.
HXMLS 3392519 Dryer Thermal Fuse (3 Pack) Replacement for Whirlpool WP3392519 Replaces Part #...
  • PARTS NUMBER: 3 Pack 3392519 Dryer Thermal Fuse Replacement.
  • REPLACE PART NUMBER: 3388651, G4AP0500, 3392519, 694511, 80005, WP3392519VP, WP3392519, 21900, 214500, 39800
  • PROTECT THE DRYER : The thermal fuse shuts down the dryer when it starts to overheat

3. Terminal blockage

All the electric wires of an electric dryer are attached to the terminal block. If there are any loose wires within the terminal block, it causes disturbance which results in a short circuit and trips the breaker. This is one of the main reasons that cause the dryer to trip the breaker after 10 minutes. Although it is not a common problem, it is still possible.

How do you spot a terminal blockage? A shorted or arcing wire can mean a terminal blockage. If this happens, repairing is inevitable to fix the problem. A blocked terminal can destroy the internal components of a dryer. Negligence to this problem can ultimately destroy the dryer.

Solution

You must check the terminal block regularly. If the wires are loose, tighten them. But if the problem persists, you will need to use a terminal block kit to fix the problem. This kit can be found in almost every household appliance market. If you are unable to still fix the problem, consult an expert.

Sale
Automation Systems Interconnect ASIUKK5 2-Level DIN Rail Terminal Block, Screw Clamp, 6.2 mm, 26 to...
  • Product Type:Terminal Block
  • Item Package Dimension:17.272 cm L X 11.43 cm W X 7.111 cm H
  • Item Package Weight:0.566 kg

4. Malfunctioning drive motor

A faulty drive motor may be the next possible reason why a dryer might keep tripping the breaker. Drive motors are the reason why a dryer’s drums are turning. A malfunctioning drive motor will prevent the drum from turning properly. An internal short might be the reason for drive motor malfunction. This will cause the dryer to trip the breakers.

To check whether the drive motor is functioning, remove the dryer panels so you can access the drive motor and check with a multimeter to test the drive motor for continuity. If the test proves that the motor windings are shorted out, you will need to replace the drive motor.

Solution

Follow these steps to replace the drive motor:-

  1. Unplug the dryer from the electric source.
  2. Remove the top panel by releasing the panel lockings.
  3. Remove the drum from inside the dryer.
  4. Remove the motor clamps on the front and rear sides of the drive motor.
  5. Loosen the blower wheel and remove the back panel and remove the blower wheel.
  6. Remove the motor to replace it with a new one.
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  • Replacement GE Appliances Dryer Motor Kit turns the drive belt that spins the dryer drum and is also called the Drive Motor Kit
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5. Wearing of motor bearings

Over time due to repeated usage, the motor bearings of your dryer might start to degrade. This happens due to normal wear and tear of the bearings, as well as due to the dirt accumulation of clothes which increases the friction of the bearings. The bearings become tougher to turn for the dryer, which causes it to draw more power and electricity.

Eventually, this problem grows to a point where it repeatedly causes the dryer to trip the breaker every 5 minutes interval or so. So how do you detect bad bearing within your dryer? The first sign of motor bearing wear is a sharp squealing sound. If you hear a sound like this, it might be time to change the bearings.

Solution

You can easily change the motor bearings of your dryer through a few simple steps:-

  1. Turn off the dryer and unplug the dryer from the power source.
  2. Raise the cabinet top and pull the lint screen out.
  3. Take off the front panel and remove the drum.
  4. Remove the motor clamps, loosen the blower wheel, and remove the back panel.
  5. Remove the blower wheel and replace the motor bearings.
Supplying Demand 5303281153 Dryer Rear Bearing Drum Kit Fits 5304459240, 3281153
  • Replaces part numbers 1851, 3281153, 5304459240, 85-852, AH459829, AP2142648, DE724, EA459829, PS459829, Q000142850, Q142850, WQ142850
  • Set includes the ball shaft, bearing, ball bearing, ball bearing retainer, high temp. lubricant, and screws.
  • Comes in Supplying Demand packaging

6. Stuck start switch

The stuck start button may seem like the silliest problem, but it is a real problem nonetheless. Sometimes, a dryer’s start button may be stuck in the ‘on’ position. This can cause the motor to extract more current than necessary, causing your dryer to trip the breakers. Wearing of the button is the main culprit of this problem. In such a case, you need to replace the switch. 

Solution

To fix this inconvenience, follow these simple steps:-

  1. Identify the model of the dryer for safety precautions.
  2. Take out the button housing.
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  • This is a genuine GE Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) part
  • GE OEM WE4M416 is compatible with various GE (General Electric) Dryer models
  • GE WE4M416 Push-to-Start Switch for GE Dryer has function of activating the dryer

7. Faulty thermal resistors

A faulty thermal resistor might be the sole reason for this pesky problem that you are facing. A thermal resistor is responsible for controlling the heat within the dryer. It being defective means that the dryer won’t properly turn off the heating element within causing it to heat up easily and destroying other components.

So how do you know when a thermal resistor is dysfunctional? You can use a watts meter to check the power consumption of your dryer. If it is taking in more power than necessary, then the thermal resistor might be defective.

Solution

By following the steps below, you can change the thermal resistor within your dryer:-

  1. Unplug the dryer from the power socket
  2. Unscrew the back panel by using a ¼ inch nut driver to remove the screws
  3. Remove the fuse with the help of the nut driver
  4. Install the new thermal resistor
HXMLS 3392519 Dryer Thermal Fuse (3 Pack) Replacement for Whirlpool WP3392519 Replaces Part #...
  • PARTS NUMBER: 3 Pack 3392519 Dryer Thermal Fuse Replacement.
  • REPLACE PART NUMBER: 3388651, G4AP0500, 3392519, 694511, 80005, WP3392519VP, WP3392519, 21900, 214500, 39800
  • PROTECT THE DRYER : The thermal fuse shuts down the dryer when it starts to overheat

8. Weak circuit breaker

When none of the above solutions work, then it might be because of your dryer’s circuit breakers. Throughout the years, intense usage of dryers can make the circuit breakers to be worn out. This causes them to become weaker, making them trip repeatedly. This makes them unreliable for the dryers.

If circuit breakers are the reason that makes the dryers trip repeatedly, then they must be replaced immediately. Although replacing circuit breakers can be tricky, with a few simple steps, even you can replace the circuit breakers.

Solution

Steps to replacing your dryer’s circuit breakers:-

  1. Turn off the power to the service panel at the top of the panel.
  2. Examine the circuit breakers by removing the cover from the service panel.
  3. Use a two-prong electrical tester to confirm the disconnection of electricity.
  4. Pull the black and red wires from under the set screws by unscrewing the two set screws and securing the black and red wires in the breaker.
  5. Under the service panel, pull out the circuit breaker.
  6. Replace the circuit breaker with a 30-amp double pole breaker.
  7. Reconnect the black and red wires and place them under the two set screws at the back of the breaker.
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  • Replacement Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok circuit breaker manufactured new by Connecticut Electric
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FAQs

1. Why does my dryer keep tripping the breaker after 5 to 10 minutes?

Your dryer keeps tripping the breakers due to multiple reasons like malfunctioning heating element, internal short, malfunctioning drive motor, or even due to a stuck start switch.

2. Why is my tumble dryer tripping the fuse box?

A current draw that is higher than normal can cause the circuit board to overload. So, the fuse is tripped to stop the dryer and keep it away from harm.

3. How do I stop my dryer from tripping the breaker?

Replacing a blown thermal fuse, changing the heating element, or simply using another power socket to power the dryer can stop it from tripping the breakers.

4. What causes a breaker to trip repeatedly?

Problems such as malfunctioning heating elements, internal short, malfunctioning drive motor, or even due to a stuck start switch can cause the breakers to trip repeatedly.

5. How much does it cost to replace a circuit breaker?

The average cost of replacing circuit breakers is $1,800. A low-amp sub-panel can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000.

6. How do you test a dryer circuit breaker?

You test a circuit breaker to determine its condition by touching it to see if it is hot or through visual queues such as damages or burning signs.

7. How do I know if my dryer breaker is bad?

Experiencing poor performance or interruptions with your dryer or smelling an electrical burning odor from your panel is a great indicator of a bad dryer breaker.

Conclusion

A dryer is an essential electrical accessory for every household. They are used for drying wet clothes. They provide many benefits when doing your laundry. Precious time and effort are saved due to them and are crucial for every family. Almost every dryer owner has seen dryers keep tripping the breakers. Following the solutions I have provided above will help you fix your dryer in no time. But if the solutions don’t help you fix your dryer, then it might be time for you to buy a new dryer. But that too should be done with enough research and consulting a professional.

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