Electrician Training Electrical Certification wiring recessed light fixtures Electrical Wiring Electrical Troubleshooting and Electrical Repairs wire outdoor light fixture Home Electrical Wiring Diagrams
wiring home generator and transfer switch wiring a 220 volt range cord outlet Wiring for GFCI Outlets Wiring Outlets and a Switched Outlet Wiring and Installing Ceiling Fans and Remote Controls wire dimmer switch wiring diagrams for switches wiring a dryer cord and 220 outlet circuit breaker panel
Electrical Wire and Cable

Helping People with Electrical Wiring for Over 30 Years!

Question – Troubleshooting a Dryer Plug

What causes a 240 volt outlet to give only 120 volts?

I have a 220 line for my dryer. Sometimes it fails. When it failed I tested the outlet. I got 125 from the left leg and 25 from the right. I reset all the breakers and reread and it read correctly at 125 each leg. I don’t know how to check the breaker to tell you its reading, but do you have any idea what would cause this intermittent problem?

From what you are explaining, you are experiencing a problem with the circuit breaker where one of the two connections to the panel buss has become corroded and is arcing. This will cause an intermittent connection until it finally arcs so bad that this connection becomes totally lost. I would strongly advise you to get a qualified electrician to correct this situation right away as it could lead to much more severe problems in the panel. The severity of the problem depends upon the brand of the panel and the style of breaker. Zinsco Panels are popular for this problem as well as other brands especially when a twin breaker is used. Twin breakers are thinner and have less contact surface with the buss which can contribute to over-heating and create arcing while the circuit is being used. Many times a new full size breaker can be installed in a different position in the panel where the buss has not been damaged and your circuit will be restored.

« Residential Wiring Diagrams Question – Steps to Take to Lower Your Electric Bill »

» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.
  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

» Click here to learn more about Home Electrical Wiring «

Not the answer you're looking for?
Browse other questions in the following categories:

Dryer Outlet Questions

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.