I am living in very old house and one of Main Panel's breaker is keep tripping due to excessive power usage (dryer or electric stove)

So, I did some investigation and this is current setup

Main Panel(Push matic, P215, 15Amp 2 Pole Breaker) -> Sub Panel -> Dryer

When I run Dryer excessively, the Main Panel's breaker trips which indicates that I am using too much power on Sub Panel

So, I decided to upgrade Main Panel's breaker from 15Amp to 20Amp which I hope to prevent it from tripping again.

However, to achieve this, I know the wire between Main Panel to Sub Panel is very important.

I duged into tiny space and were able to take a picture of the wire but not sure what gauge it is.

To me, it looks like its printed as 10/3 Philips wire but I am not a professional and needs someone to confirm this.

If the wire is 10/3, am I safe to upgrade to maximum 30Amp?

Before I purchase the push matic breaker, I just need some help to verify that Im safe to upgrade breaker.


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  • 3
    What does your dryer say. Should be a label on it listing voltage and amperage.
    – crip659
    Jun 25, 2021 at 11:17
  • Is this a gas or an electric dryer? Jun 25, 2021 at 11:26
  • What is the plug and receptacle? If they are 30 amp sure with that size branch circuit you can go to 30 IF the receptacle and the dryer plug are 30 amp also. The breaker is sized to the smallest thing on the circuit.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 25, 2021 at 14:10
  • 1
    Wait, do you really mean you're feeding an electric range and electric dryer both from a 15A breaker in the main panel? OK on that cable, do the bare ends of the wire look gray/silver.... or do they look coppery/bronzey? Jun 25, 2021 at 17:51

1 Answer 1


You are correct, that's 10/3 AWG copper wire and you can upgrade your breaker for that circuit to a 30 Amp breaker. Most dryers that I've worked on, installed, are about 5400 Watts and that turns out to be around 23 Amps. You might be OK with the 20 Amp breaker depending on how the heater cycles but why take a chance. Return the 20 Amp breaker for a 30 Amp breaker if your dryer name plate indicates close to 5400 Watts.

  • 1
    But only if you are confident that all the wiring is at least 10 AWG Jun 25, 2021 at 12:04

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