Dryer wiring = no heat.

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by MuckSavage, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. MuckSavage

    MuckSavage New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Did a search for this, but didn't find anything. Sorry if I missed something.

    Recently bought a house that was built in 1958. My father and I ran a wire to the basement for a new dryer that is replacing the gas fired one that was there previously.

    Added a 30amp double pole breaker, and wired up a 4 wire outlet in the basement. The voltage meter reads 120 coming out of both sides of the outlet. Dryer was delivered wired for a 4 prong outlet.

    Dryer spins, but no heat at all. Checked out all of the wiring, and it is all correct. (compared it to my father's at his house). Thought it might be the max amps of the box, but we tripped everything but the dryer breaker and still no heat.

    Thought maybe it was the breaker, but we attached the wires to another 220volt breaker that feeds the oven, and still no heat.

    I'm 99% positive it isn't the dryer, as this is the second one we have had. The first made loud clicking noises as well as not producing heat, so we had it replaced.

    The only thing I am not 100% sure about is where the ground and the common wire hook into. I have them both going into the neutral bar in the box. My dad doesn't seem to think this makes a difference.

    Anybody have any insight? Thanks in advance!
  2. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
    The dryer will only need 120 volts to spin but will require 240 volts to heat.

    You said you check the voltage to ground from both legs and had 120.

    Check between the two legs and see if you have 240
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Usually a double pole breaker will automatically pick up opposite legs , but as mentioned you do need to check and see if you have 240 BETWEEN the two hots, because it sounds like you do not.
  4. MuckSavage

    MuckSavage New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Unfortunately I am still at work, but I will check that out when I get home.

    I had another question, but it will depend on what I find when I get home, so I'll save it. :)
  5. Pewterpower

    Pewterpower New Member

    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    Tampa
    A friend of my daughter's has the exact same problem. I'm curious how this turned out. I also have my own questions about it, but unfortunately, there's not much to "search" through here anymore.
  6. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
    16 days and he ain't home yet?????????

    Fire away and let us see what we can come up with. I will help all I can.
  7. Pewterpower

    Pewterpower New Member

    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    Tampa
    It was actuall a rather quick fix. There was only 110 coming out of one leg, the other was dead. He went to the panel and found a wire loose and tightened it down. Now there is 240 at the outlet and all is well. If only everything else was that simple. :p
  8. Pewterpower

    Pewterpower New Member

    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    Tampa
    OK........not so fast.
    The heating element cuts out after being on for awhile. It got hot and we thought all was well, but the clothes didn't dry and it was not hot anymore.
    Is there a themostat that can be checked? How would I do that?
  9. BrianJohn

    BrianJohn DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    VA
    There is a thermostat and at least one thermal cutout. Normally the one line for the wiring in on the inside of the dryer back cover.

    Check your voltage as the unit is heating and when it stops heating, a high resistance connection can open with heating due to expansion of the mating surfaes of the conducting bodies (panel bus, breaker stabs, conductor termination ECT.)
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2007
  10. MuckSavage

    MuckSavage New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Well, I finally got an electrician out there, and he told me I had the breaker only tied into 1 leg. Took him about 2 minutes to fix.

    He also offered to do a "service change" and rewire my conduit to the basement (apparently me and my dad made a bags of it) for 1300 bucks. Told me that everyone else would charge me between 2 and 3 grand for a 150 amp box.
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,691
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    wire

    That is why you were told to check for 220/240 between the two feed wires. If you had, you might have realized the problem and saved the service charge.
  12. MuckSavage

    MuckSavage New Member

    Messages:
    7

    Sure enough. I could have checked, but assuming I would have found that, I still would have had no idea how to fix it. Hence the electrician. He basically confirmed what I assumed was the issue, and fixed what I had no idea how to fix.
  13. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    HJ - I suspect it was one of those "I didn't understand that answer, so I must be out of my league, better just call a pro" moments.

    edit: hey, I was right! I lost my connection while posting, only just saw Muck's answer

    Now there's a new question, and we've we've shifted from DIY to price-shopping.



    MuckSavage - the price for a new service is wildly situational. Permit fees vary wildly from one place to another, so do licensing requirements, insurance costs, labor costs... there's no way for anyone to answer that over the internet.

    The only way to know if that's a fair price, is to call a couple of other guys in and get their price. Ask a lot of questions. The prices will vary, but so will what's being sold to you. See how they all compare, and make a decision.



    As a personal aside - based just on the little you've said - he sounds like a snake. How come he's offering you this for such a low price compared to the others? Must either be lying, or a hack who cuts corners.

    I'd get a few other quotes.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2007
  14. MuckSavage

    MuckSavage New Member

    Messages:
    7
    I agree with you. I'm naturally distrustful of people that seem to be offering you a fantastic price. Buyer beware and all.

    But in his defense, he told me exactly what he was going to do, and told me to write it down and tell that to anyone else I call to get a quote. He said it was a 150 amp service change, and he would also re wire the 220 line I put downstairs. (He kind of laughed and said if we ever tried to sell the place it would never pass inspection).

    Also, he is a friend of our old landlord, who helped us buy this house. Our old landlord speaks very highly of him. He's kind of kooky, but I trust our old landlord, so we'll see. I am going to call and get quotes tomorrow.

    Thanks for everybody's help and suggestions. And yes, it was one of those "I don't know, call a professional" things, as well as a "get out of that breaker box you're going to kill yourself" things.

    :)
  15. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    From the sounds of that, maybe you've been adopted by the kooks. I've had that happen before...

    Is he licensed/insured? New service isn't a handyman job.
  16. MuckSavage

    MuckSavage New Member

    Messages:
    7
    From what I know he is licensed. He talked about getting all of the permits, and then having the city come out and check the work.
  17. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Then do as he recommended - call a few other electricians, ask them their price. If he's telling the truth, you're set.
  18. sbrn33

    sbrn33 Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Fremont, NE
    If he is changing it from the weatherhead down he is certainly not gouging you. $1300 is about as cheap as you will find for the service alone not to mention repairing the sloppy work in the basement.
    Maybe you should ask him about converting it to underground while he is at it.

    Although if you have breakers now why do you need a new service. Is it Federal Pacific or something with an aluminum buss?
  19. MuckSavage

    MuckSavage New Member

    Messages:
    7

    Yes, it is. Is it as bad as he was making it out to be? He seemed to really hate the current set up.
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