I've checked all the main components except the motor for continuity and they all check out fine.

The AC breaker gets tripped and when flipped back on the dryer works. Dryer breaker has not tripped.

All parts are original except heating element, which is maybe 3-5 years old.

Dries fine when running and will finish the whole cycle. It will only run that one cylce, though, and as far as I know it trips the breaker when the load finishes.

Update 2016-02-12: The breaker labeled dryer is definitely the breaker controlling power to the dryer. Turning it off stops power to the dryer. I'm not sure which part is connected to the AC breaker.

It's too cold right now to turn on the AC so I haven't tested whether it will go off when the AC breaker is off.

I've investigated more and found that the door switch is broken, so it is not always engaged. Could the switch being momentarily engaged and then disengaged cause the issue?

  • 5
    mislabeled breaker, or dryer connected to the AC breaker
    – Jasen
    Feb 7, 2016 at 2:55
  • I take it that you can turn the dryer off by flipping the Dryer breaker? Feb 7, 2016 at 3:05
  • 1
    If you manually turn off the breaker labeled "dryer" does the dryer work? When you turn the A/C breaker off, does the A/C work?
    – Tester101
    Feb 7, 2016 at 3:14
  • 1
    I would go through my service panel (breaker box) and audit which breakers go to what, and put a list on the door to your panel. It's as simple as turning a breaker off and seeing what goes dead. You are exempt from the Code requirement, but it says use names that don't change, e.g. Northwest bedroom outlets not Morgan's room outlets. Feb 7, 2016 at 15:48
  • Just curious what code requirement is the OP exempt from. A home owner can do all electrical work on there home but must follow code to be legal.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 7, 2016 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


Sounds to me like someone crossed two wires coming from the AC and Dryer cables to the breakers. They are most likely both #10's and could easily be confused for each other.

Try shutting off the AC breaker and see if the Dryer runs with its breaker turned on. This sounds like what you said is happening in your question but just to double check try this test. If the Dryer doesn't run than than what happened is two wires are crossed to the two breakers. One is feeding the black on the AC and the Red on the dryer and the other is vice-versa.

Either way though, there is something wrong with the Dryer if it tripping a breaker. If you are not comfortable shutting down your main and working by flashlight in the panel with the cover off to straighten out the wiring then you should call an experienced electrician to check this out for you.

Also, you will probably have to call an appliance repairman unless you feel like getting into your dryer and working on that too.

Good luck with your project!

  • 3
    A (relatively) safe way to test the theory that the wires are mismatched would be to flip one of the two concerned breakers off and then test the lines on the dryer receptacle. One would stay hot and the other would be dead. Reversing the breaker positions would then energize the opposite position in the receptacle.
    – Jeff Meden
    Feb 12, 2016 at 15:42
  • 1
    @JeffMeden Good advice! Hopefully the OP will take you up on that.
    – ArchonOSX
    Feb 12, 2016 at 16:04

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