Tumble Dryer Tripping
Whilst a tumble dryer tripping the electrics in your home isn’t an especially common problem it can and does happen on occasion and here we explain the most common causes in general that will lead to that happening.
Please do be sure to follow the basic electrical safety instructions and stay safe while you attempt to repair your tumble dryer.
The first thing to be aware of, before you even begin doing anything, is that the nature of the problem can often offer you a huge amount of insight into what can be causing the problem.
For example, if your dryer trips the electrical supply when the heater comes on then it’s a fair bet that the problem is to do with the heater, not guaranteed, but it’s a reasonable assumption to make and a good place to start looking for the problem.
We will also point out that if you follow the tumble dryer safety tips and the dyer is installed in a suitable location then a number of these problems can be avoided.
Okay, warnings and such done, let’s run through what you should be checking.
Dryer Trips When Plugged In
Normally this will be a straight case of the mains interference filter having an issue as it’s normally the first thing that gets power and the most likely to have a problem.
It looks like a glorified capacitor and is normally mounted at the rear either top or bottom depending on the model and, if you’re not been cleaning the filters as you should like many people don’t do then fluff etc building up on it can short it out.
If it’s in an unheated area like a garage or the likes then if the fluff sitting on that gets damp… BANG!
About the only other thing that can cause this where the dryer isn’t even switched on is the mains lead or the plug on the wall that’s being used however it should be noted that if the dryer is on an extension lead that too can be a problem.
Dryer Trips When Powered On
What we mean by that is, the dryer is plugged in and doesn’t trip but as soon as you push the “on” button or turn the timer it pops the trip.
This gets a little more complex as it can vary from model to model so if you’ve any doubt please use the forum to get model and problem specific advice as any component that gets energised at this point can cause it to pop the trip.
The things that jump out are the mains on/off switch behind the button first and foremost as, if that shorts then your tumble dryer will pop the RCD immediately as it’s probably a dead short. Where it’s a control board then it’s entirely possibly the mains relay on the board is fried.
On some tumble dryer models there is a door lock and on all there will be a door switch or microswitch fitted that prevents the dryer from running with the door open. That’s the next suspect, look of that being shorted or dodgy in some way.
If it’s an older type dryer with a the old type turn to switch it on type timer then, it may well be the timer that’s had it and shorting internally.
On some there’s a relay that kicks the motor in and that can be an issue but, it’s rare to cause the machine to trip. Possible though.
Dryer Trips When Drying Starts
If you tumble dryer trips as soon as the motor starts to run then there’s a plethora of things to check but, some are far more likely to be the problem than others.
First up and the top suspect here is the heater and thermostats.
Any shorting with fluff/lint (remember what we said about filters and location earlier) will cause a dead short between live and neutral or earth and the machine will trip your electric out or blow the fuse. No doubt whatsoever.
The heaters can also have an insulation failure and what that means in layman’s terms is that the barriers between the earth of the heater and the electrical supply no longer work as they should and in order to prevent danger to you of electrocution, the RCD will trip.
The only course in this case is to replace the heating element if it’s not caked in fluff, in which case it’s also a fire hazard as well!
Thermostats, same deal really.
Far more rare but still possible is that the motor, motor capacitor or the control relays on the control board for some machines have popped but, these are far more rare and are very seldom an issue. For those however we’d usually suggest getting a professional repairer unless you’re really good with electrical stuff and have decent test equipment as changing those parts can be an expensive mistake if you’re wrong.