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Sunshine807 10-20-2011 09:55 AM

Help with Electric 240v for a Dryer
In Feb 2011 my 7 year old dryer stopped heating. The repairman said there was nothing wrong with the dryer and replaced the 240v receptacle and the dryer worked for 6 months. Then it stopped heating again. The repairman told me to get an electrician to install 240v (he said I only had 110v) and then the dryer would work. A licensed electrician came out and inspected all wiring, circuits, etc and said everything was fine and that I have 243v. So I bought a new dryer because the repairman would not repair it and said it wasn't broken. The new dryer worked for 2 months and now will not start. It's under warranty so the repairman came out and said everything was fine with the dryer (even though it does not start) and he replaced the receptacle (again) and the dryer cord. I had another electrician come out and inspect the wires again and he found no problems. So for 7 years a dryer worked in this house and now after replacing a lot of things the dryer will still not work in my house. I have asked the electrician for an estimate to run all new wiring. He doesn't advise this since there is nothing wrong with the wiring. Is there anything else that I can do to get a dryer to run in my house again? I have been without a dryer for several weeks and the repairman is going to try to replace a part in the dryer but he says there is nothing wrong, he will just replace the part just in case. Thanks.

a7ecorsair 10-20-2011 10:12 AM

Step one: You need a new repairman....
Did the electrician remove your breaker panel cover and make sure all connections were tight at the dryer circuit breaker?
Does your dryer plug have three or four pins?

jbfan 10-20-2011 10:16 AM

I agree with a7.
The repairman is just shooting in the dark by replacing the receptacle several times, and ordering parts that he thinks will not repair the dryer.

If you have had 2 independant electricians out, and both verified that nothing was wrong with the circuit, then it must be the dryer.

Sunshine807 10-20-2011 10:25 AM

I am stuck with this repairman since he is a subcontractor of Lowes (where I bought the dryer). I asked Lowes for a different repair company but they refused. In August before I bought the dryer, yes an electrician removed the breaker panel and said everything was working. The dryer has 3 pins. Yesterday when the repairman was there. After he replaced the receptacle and the dryer cord and he took the dryer completely apart, so while it was still apart he had it running and heating and thought all was fixed. Then he put the dryer back together and it was dead again. Do you think it is worth having all my wiring replaced so I can have a working dryer? I am not sure what else to do since everything else has been replaced. Some things replaced twice. (It's always the same with this all of the repairmen say nothing wrong with the dryer and all the electricians say nothing wrong with the wiring.)

jbfan 10-20-2011 10:29 AM

Time to move up the chain.

If you can't get satifaction from the store, time to find a district manager.
If the dryer works when it was taken apart, and quit after it was put back together, then the dryer, or repairman is the problem!!

You could take the dryer back to lowes and stand in front of the store and say you were unfairly treated.

Call the manufacture of the dryer and ask them to for a list of autherized repair people.

mpoulton 10-20-2011 11:42 AM


Originally Posted by Sunshine807 (Post 752743)
Do you think it is worth having all my wiring replaced so I can have a working dryer? I am not sure what else to do since everything else has been replaced. Some things replaced twice. (It's always the same with this all of the repairmen say nothing wrong with the dryer and all the electricians say nothing wrong with the wiring.)

Two electricians have said there's nothing wrong with the wiring, and the dryer does actually work when the repairman had it disassembled, right? And it's the same repairman who keeps replacing the same parts, can't get it to work, and says it's a wiring problem, right? Clearly, the repairman is wrong. You need to demand that Lowes provide a competent repairman, and compensate you for two electrical service calls that found no problems. There's nothing wring with the wiring. Replacing the receptacle and cord twice is a totally nonsensical "solution" and indicates that the repairman has no clue what's going on. The fact that the dryer worked when disassembled and two electricians found no wiring issues pretty well proves the problem is in the dryer. Replacing the wiring will do nothing.

junkcollector 10-20-2011 11:45 AM

Did any of the electricians you had out try pulling the breaker out and checking the busbars for damage, and possibly trying a new circuit breaker? When the repairman said you had 120 there one time I suspect one half of the breaker is failing internally. Merely by switching the breaker on and off can cause this problem to come and go.

Two dryers with this problem? Old one and new one?

Sunshine807 10-20-2011 12:18 PM

There is an electrician coming today to install a new 30amp circuit breaker. He originally did not think anything was wrong with the circuit breaker since I was getting the 240v at the end of the wires. The problem seems to show up on the front side of the receptacle (so the electrician said) so that is why the receptacle was replaced again (replaced in Feb 2011 also) He said I was getting 120v and 120v but they would not work together to make the 240v on the front side of the receptacle. I am tired of paying the service call fee for all of these electrician visits and want to get to the bottom of this. Yes, 2 dryers have failed in the last 6 months. My 7 year old failed in Feb 2011 (repairman replaced receptacle and it fixed the problem for 6 months). It failed again in Aug 2011, the repairman said it was not the dryer and I needed to have an electrician install the 240v. So I paid an electrician who told me that I did already have 240v. That is when I bought a new dryer (Aug 2011) since no one could fix the problem and it worked for 2 months and now the same thing is happening with this dryer only it is just dead (the other one would run but no heat).

Jim Port 10-20-2011 06:48 PM

I suspect that the dryer is only getting 120 volts. You said it would run but not heat. The heating elements need 240 to work properly, while the motor will run on 120.

Can you post a pic of the breaker?

dmxtothemax 10-20-2011 07:03 PM

Sounds like you could have one of the two hots,
dropping out intermittantly.
Intermittant faults like this can be difficult to locate sometimes,
you will need a experienced and patient electricain
if this is the case.

Billy_Bob 10-20-2011 07:15 PM

There are electrical problems where a light load (such as a voltmeter used for testing voltage) will work fine, but place a big load on the line (such as the heating element on a dryer) and the circuit fails.

One way to solve this problem once and for all and to cut down on all these service bills and finger pointing is to get a second used dryer with the same type plug. Verify it works elsewhere first.

Then when the problem occurs again, move the existing dryer out, plug in the 2nd, then that will settle that! If it works, then dryer problem. If it does not, then electrical problem. :)

As to electrical problems which could cause this, it could be a bad breaker, bad electrical panel, and very common are "loose" main wires going into the electric panel, any electric panels before that, electric meter base, the electric connections from the electric company at the house, or the electric connections from the electric company at the pole or pad transformer (if underground).

The electric company may come out for free and "retorque" your main electrical connections.

Symptoms of one main electric wire coming loose are that half of the circuits in the house do not work. Or half of the circuits on one electric panel no longer work.

a7ecorsair 10-20-2011 08:24 PM

If you want to do some troubleshooting on your own and you have a meter, and are comfortable measuring inside the main panel, remove the panel cover and locate the dryer breaker.
With the dryer off measure the voltage across the two pole breaker. Don't worry about measuring to ground or neutral, just measure were the two wires connect to the breaker.
Then, with your meter still contacting the breaker lugs, have someone start the dryer. You should have 240 +/- a few volts all the time.

Billy_Bob 10-20-2011 09:20 PM

FYI - I always assume people do things right...

Anyway another problem which can happen with a loaded circuit, as I mentioned above, is if someone has spliced the wire from the breaker to the dryer at some point and did not do this properly.

So there *could* be a bad connection as well between the breaker and the dryer outlet. Sometimes people hide these things in the wall. Not the right way to do things and not to code, but I have seen it done.

And there could be a junction box between the two which is accessible (like in attic, on the wall, in basement). That would be the right way to make a splice, however there could be a poor connection at that junction box.

One reason people might do this is if they moved the dryer location or had a room addition.

Sunshine807 10-21-2011 07:16 AM

So yesterday the electrician came out and replaced the circuit breaker and magic! the dryer works. But I still am not sure I should use if for now. It is making a very loud noise when you run it. I am afraid I might be damaging it further. I think when the repairman took it apart he did not put something back together right. So now I will have to waste another day of waiting for him to show up on Monday and hopefully everything is great after he fixes the loud noise problem!

jdwired 10-21-2011 07:26 AM

I think you shoulda got a different electrician since he said it was all good breakers do go bad and then he comes back to replace it what was he the cheapest electrician u could find ? id be scared to use that guy

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