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Old 09-15-2008, 01:53 PM   #1
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Dryer Pony Problem.


I've recently been experiencing some issues with my dryer. At first I thought it was just the old dryer had died (the light would go on and all the switches moved current properly, but it wouldn't start) and so we went out and got a new one. That's when I realized it might be an electrical issue. The new dryer wouldn't turn on (new fancy thing with digital display). So I opened up the pony fuse box/switch (120/240 30Amp), and saw the old style glass fuses, and voila one of them was burnt out. So I bought some new fuses and replaced it. The new dryer started up no problem. Until my wife calls me at work and tells me that there is a burning smell coming from the dryer area. I came home opened up the box and saw that another fuse (the other old one) had burnt up. So I didn't take any chances and replaced both of them. 30 Amp P fuses. The dryer started back up, but then after awhile I noticed that the time on it wasn't decreasing (it dynamically senses how long is left to dry). So I hit pause.. and the power for the dryer goes off. I opened the dryer, not hot at all. This brought me back to the pony, and I see that one of the brand new fuses is fogging up like it's burning.
I double checked the dryer manual and it's power requirements are the same as the 4 prong outlet and pony are rated for. So I think that I may have a bad fuse box on my hands (maybe a short somewhere). Could the problem be solved potentially by time delay 30 amp fuses?
If it is the box, is it common for a short to develop in this style (large black switch in the middle with fuse on either side) and should I replace it with the same thing, or is there a better option to replace it with (with breakers instead of glass style fuses)?
Thanks.

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Old 09-15-2008, 02:49 PM   #2
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Dryer Pony Problem.


I would check for loose connections. Fuses work fine just not as easy to reset as a CB. Check all connections in the circuit.

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Old 09-15-2008, 03:50 PM   #3
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Dryer Pony Problem.


Sounds like aloose connection at the fuse causing the fuse to heat up. Either the fuse socket of the wire connection at the fuse sounds like it is loose.
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:52 AM   #4
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Dryer Pony Problem.


Thanks for the responses, after taking a close look at it, the switch seems rather simple. So I came to the same conclusion as the two of you, must be a loose connection, so I tightened everything and sanded the contact points for the fuses then installed new time delay fuses. So far so good 5 loads of laundry later no burnt fuses.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:40 AM   #5
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Dryer Pony Problem.


You might want to look inside the receptacle too. Tighten those wires on the receptacle.
Were the wires in the fuse box loose? What did you FIND in addition to what you did.
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:07 AM   #6
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Dryer Pony Problem.


Quote:
Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
You might want to look inside the receptacle too. Tighten those wires on the receptacle.
Were the wires in the fuse box loose? What did you FIND in addition to what you did.
Yep, so that didn't work, got home and was told the same fuse burnt out again. So I visited the hardware store and got a replacement switch. I've installed the new switch with new time delay fuses, and we'll see if it stands the test of time several loads. If It doesn't work I'm down to a problem with the line/feed or the dryer. I checked the voltage going through the box it looks good, the outlet is tight and in good condition. I'm wondering if it maybe a problem back at the main power feed. I had the hydro company come over not too long ago to install one of those new smart meters that we're required to have. I wasn't home to watch him work, I wonder if he fiddled with any of the lines.
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:47 AM   #7
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Dryer Pony Problem.


Could you have a bad cable (intermittent short) between the fuse box and the dryer receptacle?
Maybe someone hit a wire staple too hard.

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Old 09-17-2008, 08:54 AM   #8
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Dryer Pony Problem.


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Originally Posted by fw2007 View Post
Could you have a bad cable (intermittent short) between the fuse box and the dryer receptacle?
Maybe someone hit a wire staple too hard.

FW
That's sort of the weird part, looking at the dates on the stuff, I would surmise that it was installed in 1980's, and has worked successfully until now. Would a cable just suddenly go bad. It's a short 10 foot run to the switch then 1 foot to the receptacle, none of which has been disturbed in 20+ yrs.
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:39 PM   #9
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Dryer Pony Problem.


Not likely, but possible.
Try wiggling the cable slightly. I would think a short would show up then, and the fuse would blow.
Check for burn marks/discolorations on the cable, and any staples that are pinching it.
The two most common points for a short in non-metallic cable are staples and connectors/bushings.
That's why plastic insulated staples and plastic NM bushings were invented.

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Old 09-17-2008, 02:42 PM   #10
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Dryer Pony Problem.


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Originally Posted by Hobb3s View Post
Thanks for the responses, after taking a close look at it, the switch seems rather simple. So I came to the same conclusion as the two of you, must be a loose connection, so I tightened everything and sanded the contact points for the fuses then installed new time delay fuses. So far so good 5 loads of laundry later no burnt fuses.
Looking at the photo, it looks like a BX type connector at the top. I see the screw going into the side, and that's what BX (Metallic) connectors look like.
For NM cable, you should not have this type of connector. The screw could pinch the cable, causing a short.

FW
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:13 AM   #11
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Dryer Pony Problem.


Well, so far so good. I ended up replacing the entire switch with a new one, double checked the receptacle connections and the voltages running across all the lines. It's been a week, with many loads of laundry later and there hasn't been another burnt fuse since. crossing my fingers that this has solved the issue.
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:07 AM   #12
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Dryer Pony Problem.


Hey Hobb, you might want to consider replacing that bx connector with a romex one...
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:58 AM   #13
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Dryer Pony Problem.


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Originally Posted by rgsgww View Post
Hey Hobb, you might want to consider replacing that bx connector with a romex one...
Done and done, the new switch seems to have fixed the issue, we've not had a burnt fuse since I replaced it.
thanks everyone.
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:16 PM   #14
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Dryer Pony Problem.


I see that you have resolved the problem, but I have a question. Why is there even a fused disconnect there in the first place? Why isn't it continuous from the main panel to the dryer outlet? Is it some kind of Canadian code?
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:22 PM   #15
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Dryer Pony Problem.


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Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
I see that you have resolved the problem, but I have a question. Why is there even a fused disconnect there in the first place? Why isn't it continuous from the main panel to the dryer outlet? Is it some kind of Canadian code?
My house was built in 1958, and since then the fuse panel was replaced with a breaker panel sometime in the past (before I owned it) and the breaker panel does not have sufficient capacity to handle the A/C, Washer, or Dryer, so they each have separate pony boxes off the main feed and are not represented on the breaker panel. So that switch with the fuses is the only place that protects against overloads in the line.

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