Why Does My Dryer Keep Tripping The Breaker?

As a local Dickinson, Texas electrical contractor one of the most common calls I get is for a dryer tripping the breaker.  There are several reasons why your dryer might be tripping the breaker. Here are the most common culprits I have come across:

Faulty circuit breaker: While less common, the breaker itself could be malfunctioning. If you've ruled out all other possibilities, consult a local electrician.

Loose or damaged wiring: Loose or damaged wiring can create arcing and heat, tripping the breaker as a safety precaution. This is also best left to a qualified electrician.  Check out this photo of a dryer receptacle that is melted from un repaired loose wiring.  

Burnt Up Dryer Receptacle

Overloaded circuit: This happens when you're trying to draw more power than the circuit can handle. Check if other appliances are on the same circuit as your dryer and turn them off.

Clogged lint trap: A clogged lint trap restricts airflow and makes the dryer work harder, drawing more power and potentially tripping the breaker. Clean the lint trap after every load and vacuum out the lint collection area with a vacuum several times a year.  

Clogged Dryer Lint Trap Can Overheat Your Dryer Tripping the Breaker

Faulty heating element: If the heating element is damaged or shorted out, it can cause the breaker to trip. This is a more complex issue and may require professional repair.

Faulty dryer motor: Similar to the heating element, a malfunctioning motor can draw too much power or create a short circuit, tripping the breaker.

Overloaded dryer: Don't cram too many clothes into the dryer. This can strain the motor and overheat the appliance, leading to a tripped breaker.

Here are some things you can try to troubleshoot the problem:

  • Clean the lint trap.
  • Unplug the dryer and check for any visible damage to the cord or plug.

Reduce the load size in the dryer.

  • Reset the circuit breaker. (Caution: Only do this if you're sure there's no risk of fire or further damage.)

If you've tried these steps and the problem persists, it's best to call a qualified appliance repair technician or a local electrician to diagnose and fix the issue.

ProLectric can fix electrical issues related to the power feeding your dryer.  Give us a call today at 281-337-5060, we have electricians available for same day service.  

Important safety note: Never attempt to repair electrical appliances yourself unless you are a qualified electrician. Messing with electrical wiring can be dangerous and lead to serious injury or even death. 

Click here for more electrical troubleshooting tips.

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