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Twinky 02-19-2008 09:57 PM

Laundry Room Electrical problem, need help.
I am hoping someone can help me with ideas. Anything will be helpful.

Here is the situation: We had an old dryer we had been using for about 2 years. It started to spark, you could see the blue light from behind the dryer, and you could smell a slight burning smell.
We disconnected the dryer, and bought a new one. We installed the new one, and did a few loads of laundry with no problems. The second day of use, the new dryer began doing it as well. The dryer takes a few minutes, then it begins sparking. Its a significant blue spark.

Can't just be the dryer, but what would cause that from the house? Could grounding be an issue?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

mdshunk 02-19-2008 10:15 PM

Where are the sparks coming from, in particular?

hms 02-19-2008 11:16 PM

I have had similar situation with some dryers. In my case, whoever wired the 220v receptacle wired the ground to one of the hot legs and one of the hot legs to ground on the receptacle. It didn't effect anything until the dryer was run and then the dryer was "hot" to the touch if you know what I mean. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz yowza! It grounded through the vent.

Another possibility is to tighten all the connections in the receptacle and the dryer as well. Check the cord - did you replace the cord or use the old one. It could be a bad cord at the connections somewhere.

Kingsmurf 02-20-2008 01:30 AM

if you are NOT going to do the right thing and hire an electrician . .snapping/sparking is bad connections in the receptacle . .turn off the power
, . . and make dang sure you do this right...and take the old receptacle apart and fix the bad connections . .loose screws . .loose wires etc...typical...not hard to fix . . . very careful


arichard21 02-20-2008 05:06 AM

We had a simmilar problem, turned out that the outlet was old and the contacts were worn out. Replaced the receptacle and good to go.

goose134 02-20-2008 08:07 PM


Where are the sparks coming from, in particular?
thought I'd repeat the question, as I was curious too.

Twinky 02-26-2008 08:56 PM

Thanks for the replies
To All,
Thanks for your replies, and advice. We called our property manager who in-turn sent an electrician. We live in a condo, and learned that the electricians who installed the place did a less than desirable job.

When the electrician checked the outlet, the there was no ground. When he removed it from the wall, the ground wire was just laying there, it had never been attached at all. He also discovered that the C/B box was wired poorly. He reinstalled the ground wire, and adjusted the wiring in the C/B. He left, and we started doing laundry, only to find that the C/B kept tripping. So we called him back out. He replaced the outlet, added a four prong outlet, rewired the C/B in the box. The dryer ran fine, until 10 minutes after the electrician had gone. Then it was dead. No tripped C/B, nothing. Before leaving the electrician mentioned, that if what he had done would not fix it, then it was in the walls.

So, I wanted to pass this information on. Its a little scary, because the ground not being attached prevented the C/B from tripping. The dryer was overheating and sparking out of the back around the connection point for the chord. If the dryer had not had its issues, our first sign could have been a house fire. Fortunately we bought the replacement plan for the dryer, so I will be headed to lowes to replace that this weekend, and using it AFTER the electrician comes back out.

Thanks for the many replies, hope the info I provided will help someone else. Guess the old warning, don't leave your dryer running unnattended is a pretty good warning to heed!

Kingsmurf 02-27-2008 02:54 AM

Oh Man what a cluster hump " electrician" took two trips to determine it needed the correct plug? . . . .spooky wonder if this is the management companys typical plumber / painter/ carpet layer / electrician type . .

there shouldnt be any sparks coming from the rear of your new dryer period . . . . .I doubt that it is "something in the walls" . .more probably something not found by an competent electrician

I can only suggest that for safety sake you call your own electrician
and get the wiring sorted out . . .crickey it isnt that complicated . . .
. .just doesnt souind like you've anyone competent at the maintenance crew in your Condo's

for sure you're in an spot . .I wish I could help more . .any friends in the business ?

CowboyAndy 02-27-2008 05:29 AM

Did the electrician replace the receptacle itself? It sounds like arcing between the prong of the plug and contact in the receptacle.

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