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JJSIII

12:07PM | 06/09/03
Member Since: 06/08/03
1 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
Help. I have a 10-year olf Kenmore Dryer that two days ago started tripping the circuit breaker.

The details:

(1) I can run a full load of wet clothe the
dryer on Air for 20 minutes with no problems.
(2) Run the dryer on any heat seeting, and after 3-5 minutes it shuts off due to the circuit breaker tripping. I can wait a few minutes and repeat (2) with the same results.

I have cleaned all the areas that one can get to after removing the back panel. There was a lot of lint in all the feee spaces. After putting the dryer back together the problem remains.

What could the problem(s) be?

Thanks

JJSIII

DanO

03:28PM | 06/10/03
Member Since: 11/11/02
2274 lifetime posts
** Run the dryer on any heat seeting, and after 3-5 minutes it shuts off due to the circuit breaker tripping. I can wait a few minutes and repeat (2) with the same results. **

If there was a problem in the dryer it would usually trip the breaker right away or as soon as the heater turned on. Chances are you have a weak breaker and/or a poor connection in the breaker box causing it to trip.

Dan O.
www.Appliance411.com
The Appliance Information Site

=Ð~~~~~~

[This message has been edited by DanO (edited June 10, 2003).]

Jim D

12:12AM | 06/17/03
Member Since: 01/06/01
345 lifetime posts
Dan O - hi, could this also be a faulty high-limit thermostat for the heating element? Instead of it cutting off the electrical power to the element, maybe it's allowing it to get too hot and the breaker's kicking off. Just curious...

JJSIII - hi, getting all the lint out certainly helped. Did the problem occur before or after you did the cleaning? Were you also able to clean out the area around the heating element?

Good luck - regards! Jim D/Heathsville, VA

DanO

06:07AM | 06/17/03
Member Since: 11/11/02
2274 lifetime posts
** could this also be a faulty high-limit thermostat for the heating element? Instead of it cutting off the electrical power to the element, maybe it's allowing it to get too hot and the breaker's kicking off. **

No. The element should draw the same amperage no matter how long it is on for. The only time it might draw more is if it shorted in which case the fuse/breaker should tip as soon as the heater was energized, not after several minutes of use.

Excess amperage is what trips a fuse/breaker (besides a defect in it or the electrical panel which would cause the fuse/breaker to heat and fail for that reason).

Dan O.

Wolley

12:16PM | 06/17/03
Hi! Please be advised that any heating element, including incandescent light bulbs, will tend to draw up to 20% more current when they are about to fail, because the heating element (or filament) gets thinner, thus causing more resistance to the flow of electrons. I would remove the heating element from the dryer, and look for one or more areas that are discolored, blistered, or appear to be thinner than the rest of the coil, especially where the coil meets the terminals. If so, it is about to fail and needs to be replaced. I hope this helps!

DanO

08:50AM | 06/18/03
Member Since: 11/11/02
2274 lifetime posts
* after 3-5 minutes it shuts off due to the circuit breaker tripping. I can wait a few minutes and repeat with the same results. *

** be advised that any heating element, including incandescent light bulbs, will tend to draw up to 20% more current when they are about to fail, because the heating element (or filament) gets thinner, thus causing more resistance **

While that may be so, if it were about to fail it should still be about to fail at the start of the next cycle as well? So if your assertion was the cause, theoretically it should trip the breaker immediately the next time the dryer was used on a heat setting and not just after 3-5 minutes as the OP stated.

JMO

Dan O.
www.Appliance411.com
The Appliance Information Site

=Ð~~~~~~

Wolley

09:03AM | 06/18/03
Hi! It all depends on the "new" resistance of the element. If it draws just enough current to be just below the threshold of the circuit breaker, this one will slowly heat up, until its internal parts heat enough to trip the circuit breaker.

I am stating this particular cause here because I lived the exact same situation on my oven about 6 months ago. It would work normally for about 10 minutes, and then it would blow a fuse. When I checked the current drawn by the element, it was very close to the current limit of the fuse. Then I examined the element and saw an area where the outer steel tubing of the element was discolored. I replaced the element and everything went OK afterwards. Have a nice day!

DanO

01:49PM | 06/18/03
Member Since: 11/11/02
2274 lifetime posts
> I lived the exact same situation on my oven... I examined the element and saw an area where the outer steel tubing of the element was discolored. <

Most North American built dryers just use a coiled resistance wire as the heater (see illustration below). There is no outer sheath used on them like on range and water heater elements.

JFYI. I have never seen nor heard of a dryer element act as you described.

FWIW

Dan O.


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