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Old 10-17-2012, 11:57 AM   #1
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Voltage on Electric Dryer


My electric dryer does not heat up. I called an appliance technician and he said i needed an electrician because the dryer is not getting the required voltage which is 220-240V. After he left, I replaced the circuit breaker and measured the voltage to be 214v-215v (before replacement i measured it to be 213v). Do I really need an electrician?


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Old 10-17-2012, 12:16 PM   #2
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Voltage on Electric Dryer


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My electric dry does not heat up. I called an appliance technician and he said i needed an electrician because the dryer is not getting the required voltage which is 220-240V. After he left, I replaced the circuit breaker and measured the voltage to be 214v-215v (before replacement i measured it to be 213v). Do I really need an electrician?
Did the appliance technician make a house call, or did he make his diagnosis over the phone?

Where did you measure the voltage? At the breaker, at the socket, inside the plug on the dryer cord, or inside the dryer itself? Does the socket/plug have 3 prongs or 4?

Does the motor spin the drum? If so, but no heat is produced, my guess at this point would be one of the heating elements (resistance wires) is open, but that's just a first guess (because they all fail eventually, and suddenly).

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Old 10-17-2012, 12:27 PM   #3
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The technician made a house call--cost me $$$. I measured it at the circuit breaker, socket and the plug inside the dryer itself--same voltage through out. It's a 4-prong plug. And the motor spins okay. I called the technician back hopefully with a replacement heating element. I appreciate your fast reply.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:35 PM   #4
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Voltage on Electric Dryer


I just think that being 5-6 volts low isn't enough to cause the dryer to not heat at all. And the motor is a lot more sensitive to low voltage than the heating element is; if the motor spins it's highly unlikely the problem is low voltage.

I'm a big believer in Occam's Razor: The simplest explanation is most often the best.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:58 PM   #5
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Voltage on Electric Dryer


A) The nominal voltage is the US Is 240V, NOT 220V. So this is 25V low.

B) The motor is most likely 120V, so if you lose a leg, or one is compromised at all, you can get a close reading between the legs and still have a problem with one. Also, a backfeed can show power to a dead leg, or at least give an erroneous reading, like 214-215V. This will also let the motor run perfectly but the element will still not heat.

You need to test the voltage at the receptacle, and it needs to be 225V-250V.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:12 PM   #6
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A) The nominal voltage is the US Is 240V, NOT 220V. So this is 25V low.

B) The motor is most likely 120V, so if you lose a leg, or one is compromised at all, you can get a close reading between the legs and still have a problem with one. Also, a backfeed can show power to a dead leg, or at least give an erroneous reading, like 214-215V. This will also let the motor run perfectly but the element will still not heat.

You need to test the voltage at the receptacle, and it needs to be 225V-250V.
I verified the voltages at the receptacle. I get readings on both legs... either side + bottom=124v; both sides=214v.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:41 PM   #7
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Voltage on Electric Dryer


Somethings still not right. 124 + 124 = 248. not 213. Either your meter is off or something is still wrong. There is a chance you are measuring phantom voltage if you are using a high impedance digital meter. Try measuring the 240 volt voltage with the dryer on.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:52 PM   #8
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I verified the voltages at the receptacle. I get readings on both legs... either side + bottom=124v; both sides=214v.
These voltages do not correspond to a single-phase system. What kind of building is this? Is it in an apartment or condo complex? I suspect you have two phases of a 120/208V 3-phase system. This shouldn't really matter for the operation of your dryer though. You will just get somewhat less heat since the voltage will be 208V (nominal) instead of 240V. It should still work acceptably.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:58 PM   #9
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Just bought this MASTECH ms8268 from Amazon this weekend. With the dryer on, the reading on the 240v is 214V +.3/.4
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:02 PM   #10
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It is a condo. I think this may explain the variation in the voltage measurement.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:28 PM   #11
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It is a condo. I think this may explain the variation in the voltage measurement.
You could measure the incoming voltage from the meter to your main panel (with your main CB off). If you're still getting 214V there, then there's nothing inside the condo that's pulling the voltage down.

The resistance elements inside the dryer are usually fairly easy to get at. If you can find the two ends of the element, with the power plug pulled see if you can measure the resistance. It should be a few tens of ohms. If the resistance is infinite the element is open. If it's 0 ohms, then the element is shorted (not likely, or you'd be tripping breakers).
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:03 PM   #12
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It is a condo. I think this may explain the variation in the voltage measurement.
Yes, that explains it. Your voltage measurements are within the normal range, and are actually slightly above the nominal voltage of 120/208V. The problem seems to be inside the dryer.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:33 PM   #13
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Voltage on Electric Dryer


Even at 214v it would still work to some degree,
Your problem is with the dryer itself,
Could be loose wire, faulty element,
faulty switch, faulty overheat cutout.
An competant appliance repair man should be able to sort it out quick smart !

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Old 10-17-2012, 06:55 PM   #14
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If the voltage line to neutral is 124 and it's a 120/208 3 wye, the phase to phase voltage will be very close to 214.

I seriously doubt the problem is with the power supply. If there's 124/214 at the terminals at the back of the dryer, the problem is almost certainly in the dryer itself.

I seriously question the compentency of an appliance tech who cannot determine whether the trouble is in the power supply or the appliance. It's about a 2 minute test.

The heating circuit of your average everyday electric dryer has about a dozen or so places where failure is likely. It could be something as simple as a burnt connection or the element could be burnt out.

Usually, it takes longer to get the back panel off than it does to find the problem.

Rob

Last edited by micromind; 10-17-2012 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:48 PM   #15
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WOW. I LOVE this forum/site. Thank you for the postings!
The technician did not show up and said he needs to order the part--and will call me tomorrow. There is a 10-day warranty on the service call. (Now I wish I did the work on the dryer myself but I already spent some money).
BTW: He said since I did not get an electrician, he will charge me extra if the problem is not the dryer! I said--Sure!
I will keep you posted.

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