My Dryer Keeps Tripping the Breaker

Written by gerry poulos
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My Dryer Keeps Tripping the Breaker
An electrical short is what causes a dryer to trip a circuit breaker. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Circuit breakers trip because of excessive electrical current travelling through them. Typically, an electrical short circuit causes this. The potential reasons for a dryer to keep tripping a circuit breaker include a short in the home's wiring, in the dryer's power cord and in the dryer itself.

Electrical Wiring Short

Residential wiring for electric dryers has three main components: the circuit breaker, the power outlet and the wires connecting the two. To determine if the problem is the wiring, unplug the dryer. If the breaker trips, there is a short in the outlet or the wires leading to it.

Damaged Power Cord

Dryer power cords are often the sources of short circuits. Power cords frequently receive damage from sharp edges, abrasions due to vibrations and excessive heat. To determine if the power cord is the problem, unplug the dryer and carefully inspect the cord for any damage. Replace the cord if damaged.

Dryer Malfunction

Electric dryers create a great deal of heat. This heat, along with wear and tear, can cause damage to the components of the dryer. These components include the wiring, heating element, motor, controls and switches. A dryer with an internal electrical short requires repair by someone qualified to do the work.

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