If you have a plan to buy a dryer for your home, it is important for you to understand which size breaker you would need for the dryer. Since most people complain that their dryer is not properly working, even after trying different fixing methods, the problem will need you to take a deeper look.
As dryers are known for being electricity-intensive appliances and require special mechanisms, you must ensure their safety. Generally, the average dryer breaker size is available in 30A, according to NEC. However, to know more about what size breaker you need for the dryer, make sure you read this guide.
How Does a Circuit Breaker Work?
Circuit breakers generally work by monitoring the electricity flow on a specific circuit. When the electricity passing through the particular circuit reaches an unsafe level, the breaker generally cuts off or trips the power within the circuit.
Therefore, when you find a tripping circuit breaker, it is actually protecting the circuit from getting damaged, overheating, and causing a destructive electrical fire.
The circuit breaker is more like a traffic light that takes care of the traffic flow on a particular road. Until the road has a safe and steady number of cars, traffic signals keep giving green signals. However, when the number of cars increases on one street, it turns red to put a halt to the traffic.
Similarly, the red light on the road is what happens to the circuit breaker when it breaks or trips, the electricity flow.
What are The Different Sizes of Breakers for Dryers?
You need to understand, in detail, the different breaker sizes for the dryer to make sure that you comply with the specific rating of the clothes dryer.
Always remember that choosing the correct breaker size is required to prevent electrical accidents and incessant tripping within your home. As dryers are load-heavy appliances, it consumes electricity. This is why the breaker size should be chosen to provide the required consumption of the machine.
The experts even recommend that the dryers be installed into a dedicated circuit to maintain electricity flow through the appliance and ensure the home’s security.
1. 240V Dryers
The electric dryers that are rated with 240 V need to adhere to a 30A breaker, as said by NEC. Even when this is true, you must keep an expectation to find dryers that perform nominally with a breaker of 24 to 30 Ampere. It is always recommended to follow the rating mentioned by the National Electrical Code to ensure your home’s and other appliances’ safety.
Apart from this, you must choose the correct wire size required for a 30A circuit breaker for your dryer, which is either 8 AWG aluminium lines or 10 AWG copper cables.
2. 220V Dryers
Dryers that are rated at 220V require almost similar to dryers rated at 240V. However, 220V dryers would be able to perform amazingly with breakers ranging from 10 to 30A. However, 30A is mostly available in the market.
3. 120V/110V Dryers
The dryers rated as 110V – 120 V range fall into this category. These appliances are majorly considered to be compact compared to the previously rated electric dryers. Therefore, as these are small, these dryers would consume less energy and would need a smaller breaker.
If you have bought a dryer rated from 110V to 120 V, you would typically require a breaker from 7.5A to 15A. Additionally, such compact-sized dryers would not need any separate circuit lines. Hence, you can easily plug these dryers anywhere in your home.
What Happens If The Right Size Breaker is Not Used for The Dryer?
Choosing the perfect hardware to ensure safety and make the best use of appliances is always recommended. If you want to know what happens when you choose a higher or lower AMP breaker for the electric dryer, check out the following section.
1. Install a Circuit Breaker That is too low
What generally happens when you install a 20A breaker when the electric dryer needs a 30A breaker? As there is a significant difference, here are some potential consequences of such a choice.
Generally, there would be no such safety issues when you use a lower amperage circuit breaker like a 25A breaker for the electric dryer. However, it will result in constantly tripping the breaker.
As a dryer tends to pull more amperage compared to what the breaker allows, it will result in tripping and shutting off the power. So when you install a lower amperage breaker, it might not necessarily become a safety issue. Still, it will become annoying and restrict you from experiencing the maximum potential of the electric dryer.
2. Install a Circuit Breaker That is too High
Now let us find out what happens when you install a higher amperage breaker than recommended for the electric dryer. If you choose to install a 50 AMP Breaker when your dryer requires a 30 AMP dryer breaker, what would potentially be the consequence?
When the electric dryer you’re using requires 10 AWG wire size, but you have installed 30 AMP, it might not consistently trip the dryer breaker, but it can potentially damage the electric dryer and cause a fire. Larger amperage breakers do not trip during overcurrent but permanently damage the electric dryers.
On the other hand, when you choose the correct wire size for a 50 AMP breaker, even when the electric dryer needs 30 amp, it would not become a problem. Most of the modern appliances available in the market are integrated with inbuilt overcurrent protection, which ensures managing the required level without harming the devices.
How Can I know If my Breaker is the Correct Size or Not?
We have already checked above that choosing the correct breaker for the dryer is always necessary. This will ensure the safety of your home appliances and prevent damage. Now that being said, you must be wondering how to understand the accurate breaker size for the dryer. For this, you initially need to know the amperage of the dryer.
Commonly the dryer will provide the list of amperage and its voltage on a sticker or plate on the machine. It is mostly available on the back or front side of the dryer. You will also be able to find the information in the dryer manual.
However, if you cannot find any sticker or plate, researching the dryer model will help you find the amperage required instantly.
If you don’t agree with the information present on the internet, you need to do some math on yourself.
Wattage / Voltage = Amperage
Knowing all the other values makes it easier for you to find the accurate amperage required by the dryer.
After establishing the amperage required by the dryer, multiply it by 1.25. The value acquired might not be strictly followed, but it will become ideal. You can choose a circuit breaker around it to achieve the maximum potential.
Can I Replace The Breaker for a Dryer?
Replacing the dryer breaker, whether it is too low or too high or not properly functioning, is a very straightforward procedure. But there is a need to follow the steps correctly to ensure your safety.
It is crucial to know that the replacement steps of breakers are not universal, so you need to check the brand’s service panel to ensure that the circuit breaker works appropriately. It is better to choose professionals to handle the electrical aspects of your home.
Tools Required are
- Electrical tester
Steps to Follow
- Firstly, you must ensure the main breaker is shut off. You will find a switch available on top of its Service panel.
- Open the service panel to access the circuit breakers and wires.
- Use the electrical tester to make sure that there is no flowing electricity on the service panel. Touch the screw with the electrical tester, holding the breaker and its metal surface. If no electricity flow is detected, it is safe to start the repair work.
- Unscrew screws present in the breaker that primarily works to secure the breaker.
- Pull the black and red wires present under the screws to remove the breaker.
- Once you have removed the breaker, you can install a new breaker on the service panel. Before you screw the new breaker, ensure the black and red wires are placed under both screws and securely holding the breaker.
- Tighten the screws as required.
- Once you have placed and successfully installed the breaker, close the service panel cover and switch on the breaker.
It is always essential to know the breaker size for your electric dryer and the wire size. With all the numbers clearly known, it becomes easier to choose and install. Remember that since these are electric appliances and dryers are heavy electrical appliances, you must abide by the rules.
Hopefully, the above information will help you choose the right breaker size for your dryer and understand what could go wrong when you choose a higher or lower amperage dryer breaker. So choose effectively and ensure the safety of your home and electrical appliances.