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ccross6032

just double checking myself - dryer stopped working, faulty breaker...

9 posts in this topic

Hello there -

 

Last week, I put a load of clothes in the dryer and headed out to work. When i came home many hours later, i realized my clothes were "mostly" dry, but still damp. I punched the "start" button, and nothing....

 

I have an approximately 9 yo Maytag Legacy dryer, electric, model # SDE515DAYW..

 

So, I got online and researched things and thanks to diy sites, including this one, got myself a digital multimeter and started testing. Everything I could test with my multimeter was fine exept for 2 findings; i should say i didn't take out the motor and test it, thinking that looked too complex and figured I will just replace the motor "in case"...

 

1. I tested the door switch, timer, and the thermal fuse and cycling thermostat, etc. The only bad circuit I found was a weird one I thought - the "thermostat boosting heater" part 61623 (stamped on the part) - matches up with the thermostat boosting heater"

 

2. The terminal block where the power plugs into the 220 outet had a normal 110V reading across the 2nd and 3rd screws from left to right (neutral and L2 looks like). So, I checked my 220 V outlet and got 110V from one of the tilted terminals to the central terminal, and something like 75V from the other tilted terminal to the central "top" terminal. No definitive reading from tilted terminal to tilted terminal - definitely not 220V, kept skipping around with the digital readings but very low. Reversed my read and black multimeter lines in case I was misunderstanding or confusing orientation. Same thing.

 

Next: went out to breaker box. tested power - the red to white test was 110V, black to white was much lower - 50V-75V? something like that.

 

So, in review what i need to do is take out the motor, make sure the motor isn't also blown, and then replace the breakers in my box - yes?

 

And, of course, it can't be that simple, can it? When i was taking apart my dryer to test, I realized I had the wrong concept about the lint trap. I have one of those long brushes to clean the lint trap, which i do periodically, but realized i didn't understand where lint would accumulate and had cleared a nice little path through to the main outlet, but I was missing most of the lint accumulating in the ventral pocket. so there was very little air flow in there. i took apart the back air outlet that goes outside to move the dryer for testing, and there wasn't lint there.. but will go back through the rest of the tubing that vents outside and make sure there's no big plug in there. I will also add, just to fully admit that i'm an idiot, i had noticed that "regular" cycle was getting my clothes really hot and .. that's all i did, was note that and move on. i'm really lucky there was no fire started huh.

 

I have a lot of dogs and a cat. in hindsight, i thought the lint trap was never really that full? hmmm.

 

could overheating and blowing the thermostat boosting heater blow my breaker? it never tripped. I possibly also blew the motor and may or may not check that, i suppose if i have to take the one in there out to switch it out, i might test it, but i'm not sure I really understand the "numbers" on the motor that would tell me it's bad or okay.

 

thanks for double checking me.......

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I think you may simply have a bad breaker. Check for continuity across each of the three prongs on your dryer plug just as a quick test to find a possible short or grounding.

The thermostat heater assist, if I am understanding correctly, is a bias heater for your cycling thermostat. It should not show continuity. Basically it is a little heater that fools the cycling thermostat into thinking the dryer is hotter than it actually is. So if you put your temperature setting on low or delicate, the heater comes on, biasing the cycling thermostat causing it to reach its cutoff temperature faster. This causes the element to cycle off, keeping the temperature down.

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yes, just re-set or replace the Breaker

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Awesome - thank you all so much....

 

I'll check my prongs :)

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btw, drying clothes in a dryer then leaving, isn't such a good idea. Remember, you have an open heat source and highly flammable lint inside the dryer. It's always a good idea to keep an eye it.

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btw, drying clothes in a dryer then leaving, isn't such a good idea. Remember, you have an open heat source and highly flammable lint inside the dryer. It's always a good idea to keep an eye it.

Right.  I tell all my customers that the only appliance they should leave running when they aren't  home is the refrigerator, and even that's iffy these days. You do not want to come home to a flood or a fire!

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Just for kicks you could tighten the ground lugs in the breaker box on the neutral side. Check the bus bar screws, look for corrosion, rain water sometimes will infiltrate over the years usually from the permagum over the main wire drying out and letting the water seep in. i suspect you have a bad neutral somewhere, but have nothing to base it on other than past experience.Good luck.

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Thank you all for the advice! Yep, you are right - no running when I'm leaving, check.

 

Kohai - when I was testing the breaker box yesterday, the top part of the bus bar panel did have a lot of rust.... so i'll reinvestigate and tighten the lugs when i have the power off. One of my friends had her breaker box recently moved to inside her house, and I have been thinking about doing that for a few reasons (security, so I don't have to walk all the way around the side of my house with a flashlight to investigate a problem, etc).

 

thanks again!

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I hate it when they put the panel outside the house. I know it saves money but many people don't have battery backup or cell phones connected to their alarm system. Years ago I had a house like that and I drilled holes in the panel and put several real locks on it.

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