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Electrical Wire and Cable

How to Test a 240 Volt Dryer Circuit

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Clothes Dryer is Not Working Right: Testing a 240 Volt Dryer Outlet, Tester Leads and Readings, What to do about Incorrect Dryer Voltage, How to Fix Dryer Problems.

Guide to Testing a Dryer Receptacle for 240 Volts

Electrical Question: My dryer just stopped working.

Dryer Voltage Problem

Can you help me.
This electrical repair question came from: Kim, a Homeowner from Spring, Texas.

Dryer is Not Heating

Can you give me an idea what that might mean? Thank You.
This electrical wiring question came from Wayne , in North Port , Florida.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Kim and Wayne.

How to Test a 240 Volt Dryer Circuit.

Application: Troubleshooting – Testing 240 Volt Dryer Circuit.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a qualified electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and 120-240 Volt Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with hand tools and electrical troubleshooting skills.
Precaution: Identify the dryer circuit, turn it OFF and then Tag it with a Note before making inspections or wiring modifications.
Note: Electrical troubleshooting is best performed by a qualified electrical contractor.
IMPORTANT: Working on electrical circuits and in an electric panel is dangerous due to arc flash hazards and the possibility of electric shock and is not advised for homeowners or inexperienced or unqualified individuals.

Testing a 240 Volt Dryer Outlet when the Dryer Does Not Work

More about an Electric Dryer Circuit and Outlet

Wiring a dryer

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

8 Responses to “How to Test a 240 Volt Dryer Circuit”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Rose,
    The receptacle outlet for the dryer should be checked for proper voltage, and the dryer exhaust vent pipe and duct cover should be inspected to make sure it is not clogged or obstructed.
    I hope this helps,

  2. Rose Guzman says:

    We just bought a new dryer because the old one was not heating up. We plugged the new dryer in and it runs, but does not heat up. Is it the outlet?

  3. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Michelle,
    From what you have described, the 240 volt dryer circuit and the dryer outlet wiring should be checked and tested to make sure the dryer is getting the right electrical power. The problem may not be with the dryer, but with the with the wiring of the circuit. Now that you have a new dryer, make sure that the existing electrical circuit matches the description of the required circuit as found in the installation manual that you received with the new dryer. Most new electric dryers require a 4-wire 240 volt 30 amp circuit. More information and wiring diagrams are provided in the resources of this main article.
    I hope this helps,

  4. Michelle says:

    We have had many problems with all of our dryers. The last two we had, although they were old, would run but just stopped heating. We now have a new dryer and it will not even start. We are not sure what to do.
    Please help?!

  5. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Robert,
    According to the The National Voltage Regulations Standards, The Nominal Standard for a 240 Volt Service allows Plus or Minus 5% which is a range of 228 – 252 volts. According to this standard your voltage is low, therefore you may want to contact your local utility power company and describe your voltage readings. With a voltage condition such as this, the dryer will work, however the electric motor of the dryer may run warmer than normal.

  6. robert keegan says:

    Is it OK that my tester only reads 211 volt on a 30 amp breaker? One power leg is 118 volt, and the other power leg is 122 volt, and both power legs read 211 volt. Will my dryer work? I have not plugged it in yet.

  7. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Sheri,
    The first thing I would do is reset the circuit breaker, which is typically a 2-pole 30 amp for a 240 volt electric dryer. If that does not produce heat then make sure the lint trap is clean and the exhaust vent is not clogged. If the dryer does not have air flow due to a problem with the ventilation then sensors will not allow the heat to come on or stay on thereby protecting the unit from having a fire. Those are always the first to check. Other possibilities are heating elements that need replacing or the control timer or another control switch or sensor that needs replacing.

  8. sheri says:

    My dryer does not heat anymore. It runs fine, but without heat. What should I do to repair it?


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