What To Check If Your Dryer Keeps Tripping Breaker?

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There are a number of reasons why your dryer tripping breaker issues might be occurring.

For most dryers, it’s either a problem with the motor, amps, or might be something as simple as a faulty wire or energy source.

These are some of the common issues and resolutions to your problem.

Dryer Tripping Breaker

Finding the source of the problem will dictate the solution or best way to repair it.

These are some common reasons your dryer is tripping up your breaker.

Circuit Breaker is Weak

Over time, circuit breakers can weaken. And, even if the amperage is below the draw limit, it can cause them to trip up. What’s the solution? Before jumping to this conclusion, make sure you

  • Check all wires
  • Check for defective dryer components
  • Check the amperage draw with a meter

If you’ve done this, it might necessitate having an electrician visit your home to check the circuit breaker.

If your circuit breaker is 15 to 20 years old, it can weaken and trip up normally. It may be time to replace the circuit breaker in older homes.

What To Check If Your Dryer Keeps Tripping Breaker

Heating Element or Heating Element Assembly Failure

The heating element might have failed in your dryer.

If this occurs, it shorts out against the housing, and it causes your dryer to trip the circuit breaker.

To check the heating element you’ll use a multimeter and test each terminal for continuity to the case.

If continuity to the case is present, the heating element has shorted out.

If this is the problem, you’ll have to replace the heating element to prevent the tripping from continuing.

It’s also possible that the heating element assembly is at fault. You’ll check it similarly to the heating element using a multimeter to test the terminals for continuity.

If it’s shorted out, you’ll have to replace the piece.

Dryer heating element grounded

Internal Short

If the problem isn’t with the circuit breaker or a heating element failure, it might be an internal short that’s causing it to trip. Several issues can cause this including

  • A poor door switch
  • Timer
  • The motor
  • The on/off switch isn’t operating

To check each of these areas, you’ll use an ohmmeter. This will help determine if there is a short in one of the internal components of the dryer.

If so, you can replace or repair them, and this should likely resolve the tripping of the circuit breaker while the dryer is operating.

Terminal Block

Power cords on electrical dryers attach at a terminal block. If there are loose wires on the terminal block this can cause them to arc and ultimately destroy the power source.

This causes the wire to short against the dryer, and causes the dryer tripper to break. Although not common, it is possible.

What’s the solution? Check the terminal block. If wires are loose, tighten them.

If you notice arcing, or if the wire has shorted, you might have to replace it.

Drive Motor

If the drive motor has failed it will short out internally. This can cause the dryer to trip the circuit breaker.

Like other parts, you’ll want to use a multimeter to check if there’s continuity in the driver motor.

If the windings are shorted out, you’ll need to replace motor.

Dryer Tripping the Circuit Breaker after 10 Minutes

Weak Circuit Breaker

In many instances, this is caused by a weak breaker. Your breaker should have an amp rating of 30. To test this, you’ll use

  • A clamp or amperage meter while the dryer is running
  • Test line one and line two of the voltage supply

If, during your test, the amperage reading is below 30, this indicates a weak circuit breaker might be the issue.

It’s not a problem with your dryer. If necessary, you’ll have to replace the circuit breaker.

Heating Element Check

A second problem might be with the heating element if your dryer trips after 10 minutes of operation.

To test the heating element, you’ll remove both lines. Using an ohm meter, you’ll check the resistance reading.

This number should fall between 7.8 to 11.8 ohms of resistance.

If the reading isn’t between these numbers, you might have a faulty heating element. If this is the case, replacing it should resolve the problem.

LG Dryer Tripping Breaker

If your LG dryer is tripping the breaker, it might be one of the above issues.

Using the ohm meter, checking the amperage, and checking that there are no loose wires, are your first options.

If none of those suffice, you might want to dig into the owner’s manual for your LG series dryer.

Each one has different parts/configuration, so the names and terminology might change from model to model.

With LG dryers, you should first make sure the pigtail is attached correctly at the back of the unit to the circuit breaker.

Make sure red wires are attached to red, and black are attached to black.

The white should be in the middle, and green wire towards the cabinets. If all of these are properly wired and going in the direction, it might be a faulty pigtail.

In this case, you’ll simply replace that. You might also be dealing with bad outlets or wiring. Use a multimeter to check the levels on all wires and outlet boxes.

If you’ve already ruled out it’s not the circuit breaker, these might be the problems.

If any of these wires are faulty, replace them. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, you may need the assistance of an electrician to help determine the underlying problems.

Whirlpool Dryer Keeps Tripping Circuit Breaker

Similarly to LG dryers, start by checking the owner’s manual of your Whirlpool dryer.

This will help you determine all parts are properly connected, wires are accurately attached, and everything is properly configured.

Some of the reasons the dryer’s tripping the circuit breaker with these dryers may include

  • Circuit breakers are weak/faulty
  • Loose power cords (check all cords and wiring, more often than not this is a problem)
  • Damaged power cords; if there is frayed or exposed wiring, replace it
  • Overheating, which can be caused by overstuffing the dryer or using settings which are too high (heat)
  • A power surge recently occurred (reset the breaker, even if you didn’t lose power)
  • Broken electrical outlets on the Whirlpool dryer. Check the outlet by removing the Whirlpool plug and plugging in another appliance, if that appliance doesn’t work, you’ll have to replace the broken electrical outlet.

Reader Comments (8)

  1. I have a whirlpool electric dryer. Breaker trips after running 5-10 min. It trips on heater leg of 110. Motor will run thru complete cycle with that wire off breaker. Have replaced heating element. Ran several cycles with dryer empty and everything seemed ok. Put in clothes and it tripped breaker after 10 min. Any ideas? Thank you.

  2. I have a problem of a resin dryer that keeps on striping due overheating while the parameters are still within specifications .

  3. Bought a new Speed Queen washer and dryer GFI seems to trip after dryer cycle. Receptacle worked fine in front loader GE I replaced. Any thoughts

    • One of the reasons why GFCI tripped is when there is a spark developed in the circuit. Who knows, if it’s relay contacts or motor’s brushes creating a momentary spark. IDK


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