10 posts / 0 new
Last post
tylercc
dryer issues

I hope I am in the right place, If not let me know.

So I just moved in to a new condo and my dryer that is about 5 yrs old has started acting up. every time I dry a load on the high heat cycle it will trip the breaker after 20-30 min. it does not trip on low heat. I have checked the dryer vent/ dryer for clogs. the owner says there has never been a problem in the past with the breaker(not that it excludeds it from the possible problem). One thing I know is that If I disconnect the dryer vent from the dryer I can run it on high heat with out a problem. Also the dryer has to vent the air 8ft up and then 7-8ft to the outside of the condo. And for the vertical 8ft I was using the metal flex able ducting that is brand new. After some research I think it is one of the following a bad thermal cuff, faulty breaker, a bad heating element, a bad drive motor. I think it is most likely a bad thermal cuff, but I want to get some more opinions before I go testing everything. Any suggestions?

Fencepost
Re: dryer issues

I had a similar issue a while back. The dryer worked fine for about a year, then would trip the breaker. I gave the dryer a thorough going-over and cleaning; didn't find any problems. The breaker kept tripping. I replaced the breaker (with one of the same rating) and haven't had any more issues.

If possible, replace the dryer vent with "hard pipe" -- that is, with solid (not flexible) metal dryer vent pipe. It will reduce the risk of fire and make the dryer more efficient. The flexible pipe creates a lot of turbulence that slows down airflow and reduces the dryer's efficiency.

tylercc
Re: dryer issues

could the flexible ducting make the breaker trip if it first tripped the thermal cut offs?

A. Spruce
Re: dryer issues
tylercc wrote:

could the flexible ducting make the breaker trip if it first tripped the thermal cut offs?

I would say that this is possible. Think about it, if a corrugated pipe causes turbulence, then air does not flow freely through it. Reduced air speed means higher temps inside the dryer. You get the same thing from longer duct runs too, more resistance to airflow, more back pressure, more heat build up.

Since you have control over the vent, I'd start there, if the problem doesn't correct, then maybe you can get the landlord to change the breaker or at least have the system checked.

tylercc
Re: dryer issues

so lets say that I then used a solid metal vent pipe(or some other method) and it does not to trip the breaker, the problem would appear to be solved, meanwhile I end up having a bad thermal cutoff and one day the dryer over heats and starts a fire.:( would that be possible? should I check the thermal cutoff to be safe? Or am I just thinking too much?

A. Spruce
Re: dryer issues

There are those that would say that you can never be too safe. I would say that you need to do what you feel you need to do to feel safe.

If the dryer operates normally with the new duct, who's to say the thermal cut-off isn't already working properly? It cut off with the bad duct, it works perfectly with the new, this would indicate that the problem was indeed duct/heat related and that the cut-off is working properly - at least in my mind.

If the breaker and dryer continue to fault, then, obviously, further study is required.

tylercc
Re: dryer issues

so I'am not an expert on thermal cutoffs, but would they even trip if they were bad, or do they trip erratically when they are bad?

tylercc
Re: dryer issues

That is true, I just don't want to miss something

Fencepost
Re: dryer issues

I think the thermal cutoff is irrelevant to the breaker tripping. Under normal circumstances, if the dryer overheats, the thermal cutoff would reduce the load on the circuit making it less likely for the breaker to trip. If the thermal cutoff is faulty and does NOT trip when the dryer overheats, it won't increase the load on the circuit so the breaker has no reason to trip; it will just burn your house down instead.

A blocked or turbulent vent pipe CAN increase the load in that the dryer motor is working harder to push the air through, increasing the electricity demand. I don't know if that increased load is significant enough to trip the breaker, though.

A few articles about dryer vents:

http://www.ashireporter.org/HomeInspection/Articles/The-Facts-About-Clothes-Dryer-Exhaust-Systems/161
http://www.energyvanguard.com/blog-building-science-HERS-BPI/bid/33680/An-Easy-to-Fix-Air-Flow-Problem-That-Can-Save-Energy-and-Your-Life
http://www.energyvanguard.com/blog-building-science-HERS-BPI/bid/33801/4-Products-for-Enhancing-Air-Flow-in-Dryer-Vents

dj1
Re: dryer issues

tylercc,

Start with the easiest: change the breaker and the flex vent to solid.

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.