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Old 03-18-2019, 04:43 PM   #1
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What would cause an electric dryer to blow the main (not thermal) fuse?


I have a friend's GE electric dryer that stopped working. Started by checking the door switch, the main start switch and when those were good, I figured it was probably the thermal fuse. I took the small panel off where the cord connections are and there was a main fuse, the round kind, 1/4" diameter by 1 1/4" long, 30 Amp.

Tested this fuse and it was bad. Could not find a 30 Amp like this locally so tried a 20 Amp fuse. This blew after a little while. Ordered the 30 Amp fuses, installed one, and it seems to be working for now.

What would cause this fuse to blow? I am assuming a short somewhere so I shook the dryer pretty well while it was running and it seems fine currently.

I know fuses do not blow without reason, so what should I look for next if and when this fuse blows again?

In case there is any question as to what type of fuse I am talking about, here is a link:

https://www.amazon.com/GBB-30-Acting...gateway&sr=8-4


TIA for any insight.
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:48 PM   #2
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Re: What would cause an electric dryer to blow the main (not thermal) fuse?


You can usually find those fuses at an auto parts store pretty easily.

A fuse blows when too many amps go through it. A short (connection between hot and neutral or between hot and ground) causes a large amount of amperage to flow, which melts the metal inside the fuse and stops the flow of electricity. That is by design. If multiple fuses blow, you have a short somewhere.

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Old 03-18-2019, 04:49 PM   #3
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Re: What would cause an electric dryer to blow the main (not thermal) fuse?


The 20 amp fuse blew because more than 20 amps were traveling across the fuse. Again, that is by design.

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Old 03-18-2019, 04:51 PM   #4
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Re: What would cause an electric dryer to blow the main (not thermal) fuse?


Look at the plate on the appliance. It will tell you the amp draw of the appliance.

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Old 03-18-2019, 05:01 PM   #5
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Re: What would cause an electric dryer to blow the main (not thermal) fuse?


Yes, I know the fuse blew because of too much amperage going through it, and that is why it is there and how it works.

Any idea why it would be getting too much amperage, as in, the most common place a short would be? Also, if there was a short drawing too much amperage, why would this problem be intermittent, and not blow the next fuse immediately? How does a short circuit situation come and go? Like I said in the OP, I shook the dryer vigorously to try to trigger this short and it was fine.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:45 PM   #6
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Re: What would cause an electric dryer to blow the main (not thermal) fuse?


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Originally Posted by bleech1 View Post
Yes, I know the fuse blew because of too much amperage going through it, and that is why it is there and how it works.

Any idea why it would be getting too much amperage, as in, the most common place a short would be? Also, if there was a short drawing too much amperage, why would this problem be intermittent, and not blow the next fuse immediately? How does a short circuit situation come and go? Like I said in the OP, I shook the dryer vigorously to try to trigger this short and it was fine.
It's great that you really want to get to the root cause as to what happened. I can't really give you a definitive answer as to why or what's going on in your particular situation. However, I can offer my thoughts on the situation.

About how old is the dryer? Fuses do go bad, get weak, wear out over time, power surges, etc. As mentioned, they are a safety device to protect the circuitry/other components etc, from further damage. They don't last forever and can burn out.

Bottom line, you got it working now, I would just keep an eye on it. If it keeps blowing fuses, it would definitely require further trouble shooting.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:48 PM   #7
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Re: What would cause an electric dryer to blow the main (not thermal) fuse?


I have no idea what made the original 30 amp fuse blow. The 20 amp fuse was simply too small for the current draw of the appliance, do that is why it blew. You stated you have a new 30 amp fuse in it, and it is working as expected. I am not sure why you think there is a short.

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Old 03-18-2019, 06:54 PM   #8
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Re: What would cause an electric dryer to blow the main (not thermal) fuse?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jmon View Post
It's great that you really want to get to the root cause as to what happened. I can't really give you a definitive answer as to why or what's going on in your particular situation. However, I can offer my thoughts on the situation.

About how old is the dryer? Fuses do go bad, get weak, wear out over time, power surges, etc. As mentioned, they are a safety device to protect the circuitry/other components etc, from further damage. They don't last forever and can burn out.

Bottom line, you got it working now, I would just keep an eye on it. If it keeps blowing fuses, it would definitely require further trouble shooting.
Not sure of the age as it is not mine, but it looks fairly new. I would say in the last 10 years or so. Maybe that's not so new! ha.

I was thinking and hoping it was just a bad fuse. I replaced with a 20Amp that blew fairly quickly, but now the correct 30Amp is in place.

I guess it's possible that it draws 20 Amps on the regular and that is why the 20Amp fuse didn't last very long but that I cannot say for sure.

But you are right and I'm certainly not going to do anything if it keeps working but I was more interested in what would cause this and what to look for when/if the 30Amp fuse blows.

As you said, it definitely *could* be just a bad fuse that needed to be replaced but generally when a fuse blows, it is rarely because of a bad fuse in my experience.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:26 PM   #9
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Re: What would cause an electric dryer to blow the main (not thermal) fuse?


I have no idea what made the original 30 amp fuse blow. The 20 amp fuse was simply too small for the current draw of the appliance, do that is why it blew. You stated you have a new 30 amp fuse in it, and it is working as expected. Why do you think there is a short?

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Old 03-19-2019, 07:16 AM   #10
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I did not know dryers had a fuse inside them. Maybe that's a 21'st century thing. I just bought a flat screen HDTV only because I moved to a 2 story house and my old working 36" tube type TV was too heavy to carry upstairs.
Back to this issue, the link is for a very fast acting fuse. A slow blow fuse may be better.
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:37 AM   #11
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Re: What would cause an electric dryer to blow the main (not thermal) fuse?


There are many things that would cause this to happen. The motor being dirty, not enough cool air across the windings, Too many items in the drum that caused the motor and the heating elements to draw more current. The pulleys not as free turning as they once were, caused the motor to draw more current. Even a voltage increase, which in turn caused the current to increase. Or a resistance increase. Try making sure that the pulleys and drum turn easily. Ensure that all the ducts are clean and free of debris.Ensure that the plug is secure in the outlet. Ensure all of the electrical connections are tight and secured properly.


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Old 03-19-2019, 12:18 PM   #12
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Re: What would cause an electric dryer to blow the main (not thermal) fuse?


As Wiredindallas mentioned the replacement link you provided says that is a fast blow fuse. You need to check the manual for that dryer to see what fuse type the require, fast blow seems strange for a dryer. Someone before you may have changed it without checking.

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Old 03-30-2019, 04:28 PM   #13
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Re: What would cause an electric dryer to blow the main (not thermal) fuse?


Well, it blew again after a week and half of regular use. Maybe I should look into a non-fast blow fuse? The drum seems to turn freely so I am not sure what else it could be.
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Old 03-30-2019, 07:01 PM   #14
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Re: What would cause an electric dryer to blow the main (not thermal) fuse?


NON fuses should be used on the electrical heating elements as if they short it blows the fuses instantly. There is no inrush in a resistive load. If the fuses are also inline with a electric motor "resistive load" a non fast blow fuse will blow.

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Old 03-31-2019, 03:28 AM   #15
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Re: What would cause an electric dryer to blow the main (not thermal) fuse?


OP......have you checked the sag on the heating coils?
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