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Old 07-27-2009, 11:42 AM   #1
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washer/dryer frying my outlet


I have one outlet in my laundry room with a dedicated 20-amp breaker. My 230V washer specifies it needs a 30-amp and my 120V dryer specifies a 15-amp. I didn't find this out until I plugged in both the washer and dryer on the one outlet. It fried the outlet (didn't trip the breaker) after about five minutes of having them both on. It had completed the entire wash cycle.

So I changed the outlet and plugged them both in. The outlet was fried again as soon as I turned on the dryer alone. Changed out the outlet again to a GFCI with the same result. The breaker is not tripping, but it is only a 20-amp.

Oh yeah, should also mention that both the washer and dryer are now plugged in to a GFCI in my garage (via a power strip). This GFCI is able to handle my washer, dryer, treadmill, TV, DVD player, speakers, and charger for my drill. The outlet in the laundry room is only able to handle a small nightlight. It won't even charge my drill.

I'm obviously a novice in this dept. What could be the problem and the possible fix? Thanks!


Last edited by dontwannadiy; 07-27-2009 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:57 AM   #2
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washer/dryer frying my outlet


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Originally Posted by dontwannadiy View Post
I have one outlet in my laundry room with a dedicated 20-amp breaker. My 230V washer specifies it needs a 30-amp and my 120V dryer specifies a 15-amp. I didn't find this out until I plugged in both the washer and dryer on the one outlet. It fried the outlet (didn't trip the breaker) after about five minutes of having them both on. It had completed the entire wash cycle.

So I changed the outlet and plugged them both in. The outlet was fried again as soon as I turned on the dryer alone. Changed out the outlet again to a GFCI with the same result. The breaker is not tripping, but it is only a 20-amp.

What could be the problem and the possible fix? Thanks!

Did you mix up the voltage rating in your text?
Where are you from?
There's no way we can plug something 220V into a 110 recepticle..


And you changed it, twice, thought it could make a difference!!!!

#1 - call an electrician, do not DIY.
#2 - turn the break off untill the electrician comes over, your house may burn down if you neglect this part.
#3 you will not be running both items off the same plug if they are different voltage !!!

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Old 07-27-2009, 12:15 PM   #3
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washer/dryer frying my outlet


Is this a steam washer and gas dryer? Give the model numbers of both.
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:33 PM   #4
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washer/dryer frying my outlet


I guess I did misread the text/specifications. They are both 120V/15amp. Model #'s: Washer - WM2688HNMA; Dryer - DLG2702V. Any ideas how to fix this?

Last edited by dontwannadiy; 07-27-2009 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:40 PM   #5
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washer/dryer frying my outlet


Could be bad wiring at the outlet arcing and causing excess heating of the contacts in the outlet. Are you using the back-stabs or the screws? Loose connections coupled with high current will heat up those contacts pretty fast. Always use the screws on anything that needs high current to pass through. Personally I always use the screws, never use the backstabs.
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:49 PM   #6
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Could be bad wiring at the outlet arcing and causing excess heating of the contacts in the outlet. Are you using the back-stabs or the screws? Loose connections coupled with high current will heat up those contacts pretty fast. Always use the screws on anything that needs high current to pass through. Personally I always use the screws, never use the backstabs.
I am using the screws. There is also an electric dryer outlet in the laundry room with a separate dedicated breaker, which I don't use because mine is gas. Not sure if this is relevant, just thought I would disclose it.
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:01 PM   #7
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washer/dryer frying my outlet


Did this outlet work before you plugged these appliances into it?? It sounds like you bought new appliances and when you plugged them in this issue suddenly occured.
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:12 PM   #8
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How old is the breaker box? Is is a pushmatic? :P

Pulling 30 amps through a 20 amp circuit might heat up the outlet a little, but it shouldn't melt. The breaker should be tripping after a half hour or less at 30 amps.
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:13 PM   #9
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Did this outlet work before you plugged these appliances into it?? It sounds like you bought new appliances and when you plugged them in this issue suddenly occured.
The appliances are not new to me, just new to this house. I just moved in. The outlet seemed to be working before, since I was able to run a full cycle on the washer. The outlet was fried once I turned both the washer and dryer on at the same time. I changed the outlet once with the same result, a second time (with a GFCI) with the same result. I had to change the outlet one last time just to run a nightlight in there for my dogs, but the outlet won't even charge my drill and I won't dare plug the washer or dryer in again until I figure out what's wrong.
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:15 PM   #10
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What do you mean won't charge the drill? Does it just not power up?

It sounds like you definitely have a high resistance connection there in the outlet box... but since you replaced the outlet it's hard to say. Can you post pictures of the outlet front and back and the inside of the box?
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:15 PM   #11
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How old is the breaker box? Is is a pushmatic? :P

Pulling 30 amps through a 20 amp circuit might heat up the outlet a little, but it shouldn't melt. The breaker should be tripping after a half hour or less at 30 amps.
The house was built in 1990, so it's probably about 19 years old.
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:22 PM   #12
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What do you mean won't charge the drill? Does it just not power up?

It sounds like you definitely have a high resistance connection there in the outlet box... but since you replaced the outlet it's hard to say. Can you post pictures of the outlet front and back and the inside of the box?
I have a nightlight on the outlet now, but when I tried to test out the outlet by attempting to charge my drill it wouldn't work. My drill charges on all other outlets in the house, except that one. The nightlight seems to be the only thing that works on that outlet. I can't post pictures until later as I'm not home right now.
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Old 07-27-2009, 02:40 PM   #13
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washer/dryer frying my outlet


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It fried the outlet (didn't trip the breaker) after about five minutes of having them both on.
So I changed the outlet and plugged them both in. The outlet was fried again as soon as I turned on the dryer alone.
Very strange.
The dryer plug is undersized somehow so the receptacle doesn't grip it tightly and therefore the contact resistance is way high causing localized heating?
Does the plug pull out easily?
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Old 07-27-2009, 04:43 PM   #14
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washer/dryer frying my outlet


There is obviously more to this story.


Call someone.
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:11 PM   #15
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washer/dryer frying my outlet


Plug in a 100w incand. bulb and measure the voltage across the bulb. If it passes, plug in a 10A hair dryer and measure the voltage. A 3v drop from the nominal 120v is about normal.

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