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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
House built in 1990, lived here for 8 months when suddenly the dryer loses power in the middle of drying a load of clothes. 3 year old Kenmore electric dryer with no previous problems.

Called an appliance repair guy. He ran tests and showed me it was definitely the house wiring... he was getting 120 volts on one side, but 70 to 90 volts on the other, which wouldn't even allow him to run his diagnostic tests.

Contacted American Home Shield (we had a home warranty included with our home purchase) for an electrician. He determined it was a problem with the wiring, so he ran an entirely new 10 AWG all the way back to the service panel. He turned on the dryer and ran it for about 10 minutes. It seemed to be fixed.

Next laundry day, one load complete, then same issue... quit 15 minutes into 2nd load of drying. Called both the appliance guy and the electrician again. Appliance guy came out first. Showed me the same problem again: 120 volts and 70 to 90 volts. He switched the breaker off & on. Doing this repeatedly, he was able to complete diagnostic testing on the dryer, which determined the dryer was fine. At the very end of his testing, he wasn't able to get the breaker to reset & the dryer was no longer switching on.

Electrician came out and installed a new breaker, which allowed the dryer to run normally again for several minutes. He commented that it was strange the breaker didn't appear to be broken... no skorch marks, no odor, nothing loose.

That worked for another entire day of laundry. Next laundry day, it happened again. This time, I decided to move the position of the breaker in the service panel myself, which got us through another laundry day. I put another call in to AHS since there is obviously STILL something amiss. No one wants to do anything more! AHS wants a 2nd opinion from an appliance professional and the electrician doesn't want to come back for any more work.

Today, it shut down AGAIN! :vs_mad: WTF is wrong with my electric? Have any of you seen this issue before? Is it a crappy bus bar in my service panel? It's a Siemens panel. Would really appreciate hearing that someone else has dealt with this and found a solution! Thanks!
 

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Call a different electrician. This one is easy. The problem is outside your unit someplace. There is a loose connection coming in to your service, or between your service and your panel maybe. It could also be in your 30 amp breaker for the dryer. Somewhere there is a loose connection and the one leg of the feed is dying completely. That sixty volts the dryer tech read was not real, it was ghost voltage produced by his digital voltmeter. He needs to purchase a solenoid type tester or else use a Fluke with a low z setting. Then he would have read zero volts on the one leg of the feed wire. Good luck. Just get another company so you get a real pro the next time. Dryers don't work well if one leg is not connecting thru the system properly. They don't work at all.........
 

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Sounds like you have either a poor connection at your panel, the wiring going to the service, or an actual issues with the transformer from the power company. You should have someone who is comfortable around electric or an electrician check the main power in your panel and see how many volts you have on the lugs coming into the panel.

If the power coming in is at 120v on both legs then it is an issue down stream. If you have 120v on Phase A, and 90v on Phase B it could be an issues with the wires(or connections) going from your meter to the main panel, or damaged service entrance wires coming from your pole.

What do you get if you test voltage on your main lugs or main breaker?

EDIT: macmikeman beat me to it.
 

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moto and chet are right. Its the power company.

this is how you can get them to come out quickly. say the following: I had a professional electrician come out and he measured at the mains in the panel that one side reads 120 and the other is at 70.


If you you just say "I think my power might not be right, I had an electrician come out and the issue is not solved."

the Power company will say "well then did he check at the main lugs?" (which is your side of the meter to resolve and can give them a reason not to come out right away)

So that's why I say to state it like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If there would be an issue with the power coming into the main, wouldn't I see power issues elsewhere in the house? We don't have lights flickering or other appliances that randomly shut down or lose power with a load. We DO, however, have a basement circuit protected by GFCI that pops off randomly. We didn't know why that was happening either, so this may explain it.

The guy is a licensed electrician... how would he NOT know to check this after 3 calls??
 

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There is a bad connection on one of the hot wires coming into the house
@MotoGP1199 and @macmikeman2 are right. Problem is a bad connection outside. Could be inside your main breaker as well.
Like Travis said, call the power company. They will check their end free of charge. Most areas, though, you own all of the electrical equipment on the outside of the house. The aerial wires and connections, the glass electric meter
(not the box it plugs into) and all the wiring in the street usually belongs to the utility.
If the problem is in any of that, your utility will repair it for free.
If it is not on their end, then you will need an electrician back. DIY is not safe on an energized service.
 

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As Ebby said, it's strange that all the rest of the house is fine if it's a utility side problem.

For what it's worth, replace the dryer outlet. The existing one may not be gripping the prong on the plug properly or have a defect inside. Really, it's the last thing in the dryer circuit you haven't explored. Dryer outlets are cheap.
 

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Someone said utility issue, another said inside wiring and one said possible receptacle issue. Which one?
moto. assure that isnt the problem first.
Yes, if half the leg is having issues, any 220 device would also have a problem. Like the Outside AC unit or something. But if its going off, then goming back, he wont notice that.


Moto is right. test that first at the panel while the issue is going on.
Seriously, have you ever seen a dryer outlet "go bad" unless it was clearly damaged by something like Water or rust?
 

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moto. assure that isnt the problem first.
Yes, if half the leg is having issues, any 220 device would also have a problem. Like the Outside AC unit or something. But if its going off, then goming back, he wont notice that.


Moto is right. test that first at the panel while the issue is going on.
Seriously, have you ever seen a dryer outlet "go bad" unless it was clearly damaged by something like Water or rust?
Yes. Brass socket in the receptacle cracked in two but was still touching. If the electrician installed a new breaker and there are no issues with other appliances/circuits in the house, why does it seem so far fetched that an outlet may be bad?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
We had an egress window installed (including excavation for the well) in November. The work was done awfully close to the marked underground electric that runs to the house. I really hope I don't have to deal with getting those guys back over here to admit they damaged something. 😞
 

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have you ever seen a dryer outlet "go bad"
Yes, I have, on numerous occasions. They have fatigue in the metal, start arcing and it eventually loses secure contact to one of the hots. It could, for that matter be the cord plug showing fatigue. Worth checking.
 

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Yes, I have, on numerous occasions. They have fatigue in the metal, start arcing and it eventually loses secure contact to one of the hots. It could, for that matter be the cord plug showing fatigue. Worth checking.
OK! Youre Right! if you have 220 outlets going bad on numerous occasions, and it has nothing to do with the machine, or water, or anything else...just plain old, defective, then thats what happens. He should check it. Youre right too!
In fact, all of you are right.


I think therefore, that he should check the power company, change the outlet, run a new line, and change the motor on the machine.


that should do it.
 

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I think therefore, that he should check the power company, change the outlet, run a new line, and change the motor on the machine.
No reason to be snarky, just because you got caught not knowing what you're talking about. Just apologize and move on.

Btw, I too have experienced a dryer outlet developing a bad connection. I've also experienced getting caught 'talking out of my butt'. It doesn't pay to dig the hole any deeper.
 
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