1

A two-pole 30 amp breaker keeps tripping on a brand new dryer and is tripping more often as time goes on (was originally tripping every few weeks or so, now doing it every day), so I figured it would be worth a shot to just replace the breaker and see if that fixes it or the source is something deeper.

Unfortunately, the main panel doesn't seem to have a main 100-150 amp breaker or is a split bus, as I flipped all the breakers on the top half of the panel but the dryer was still live. It looks to be hooked up straight to the meter, so I don't think there's any sort of main switch upstream.

enter image description here enter image description here

  • Are you asking if the dryer circuit could be tapped directly out of the meterbox? If none of the breakers on the top half of the panel control the dryer why not flip the breakers on the bottom half? If you are saying the breakers for the dryer keep tripping then you obviously know where they are? I'm trying to understand but it seems like the bearings on the dryer motor may be shot if your breakers are tripping at an increasingly faster pace. This could mean the motor is struggling and therefore causing an overload situation – Chris Taylor Feb 6 at 2:31
  • Can you post a photo of the label on the inside of the panel door? – ThreePhaseEel Feb 6 at 4:10
  • @ChrisTaylor Sorry I wasn't clearer, it's the latter case. I know where the dryer circuit breaker is, I'm just trying to replace it. I know the fact that it's tripping usually means the appliance is pulling too much load, but the dryer is brand new, and this also happened occasionally with the previous dryer that we replaced this one with. I figured with how cheap breakers are, it's worth a shot before calling a professional to diagnose. – jrp07f Feb 6 at 16:12
  • @ThreePhaseEel added a photo to the main post! – jrp07f Feb 6 at 16:12
  • Can you post photos of the two boxes below the meter? – ThreePhaseEel Feb 6 at 23:39
1

That's not a split bus (Rule of Six). For one thing, it is too new - Rule of Six panels were outlawed before CH panels started getting branded Eaton. For another, all the breakers are accounted for, there would need to be a "Main Lighting" breaker.

By the way, CH is a great panel.

I wonder if the main panel used to be here, and is now on the other side of the wall, and this one was installed as a subpanel to handle the dozen or so circuits that were impracticable to route to the new location.

  • Thanks so much for the clarification! The other side of the wall, in this case, is right in our living room and I don't see anything noticeable on the wall at that point. – jrp07f Feb 6 at 16:12
1

The Panel Designation CH24CCR is a Main Lug Only Panel. This means it doesn't have a Main Breaker and looking at your meter location and nipple running into your panel, there is no enclosed main breaker or fused disconnect. They do make a main breaker kit but you would have to find a cover with a hole for it. Looking at your photos I would say your best bet would to replace the panel with the correct configuration.

As far as your dryer circuit goes. When you reset and run your dryer does the circuit breaker get hotter than normal? It should not really feel hot to the touch. If it is heating up you may have a damaged breaker or lugs and it's slowly heating up enough to trip the bi-metal device inside. It will continue to weaken until and trip more frequently as time goes on. That sounds something like you are experiencing. It might also be a loose connection at the breaker lugs, but if it is tripping the breaker, I would bet it is already damaged. So you might see about replacing the breaker make sure you clean the conductors and follow the torque table on the label when tightening up the conductors.

The only real way to verify that it is the breaker or an overload is if you have an ammeter. you can check both conductors coming out of the breaker and see is the amperage is too high for the circuit. If its pulling less than 21A the dryer is operating ok. Leave the ammeter on the circuit and check back from time to time to see if the amperage is changing before the breaker trips. The more expensive ammeters will have a peak amperage button so you can check and see if the current spikes while in use.

Remember you will have to be checking amperage's while the power is on. So exercise extreme caution while testing. If you feel you are not experienced enough then seek qualified help.

good luck and stay safe.

  • From the photo of the label, it seems to say you can either feed the main lugs directly from another breaker or install a breaker as a "backfed" main in this box (which didn't happen here). I wonder if the large dark box to the lower right of the panel is a fused disconnect of some kind that feeds the main lugs of the switch panel. – Upnorth Feb 6 at 19:25
  • @Upnorth - You are correct. You can install a "backfed" main. I didn't mention it because it has to be approved as main breaker which have some blurred line requirements. This can be found in NEC Article 408.37(D) and further requirements in 110.3 in particular (A)(1) Informational note number 2. In short it must be approved for that purpose and installed with a tamperproof fastener. I know GE has some approved kits for this but I am not sure if this type of Cutler Hammer does. – Retired Master Electrician Feb 7 at 13:35
0

I rarely turn a main off to replace a breaker but I do make sure the breaker is in the off position prior to pulling the breaker or installing. I would check outside the home for a main at the service drop it is unusual for the main to be prior to the meter but I have seen it.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.