Dryer Burns Out Outlets?

We have an apartment size dryer that runs on 110. Lately it has been burning up the outlet that we plug it into. We have replaced the plug end on the dryer. Same results, but after a while of using it (like a few months or so). We have tried different outlets and industrial extension cords, all with the same results. Whatever it is plugged into, burns up. The plug and wire on the dryer appears to have no damage. It's only what we plug it into.


Any ideas on how to fix this problem? The plug on the left is the dryer plug and the one on the right shows you what happens to any plug we plug that dryer into.

By Misty from Wooster, OH

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April 3, 20100 found this helpful

It is obviously a heating issue and the question would be what is causing the heating. There are two basic choices, something is making the dryer draw more amperage such as a motor going out, not likley since you say it can go awhile before the problem starts, or a bad connection. First, I wouldn't use an extension cord, they are not meant for long term high amp draw, even the industrial kind are meant for temporary power.


If you must, try to get a quality cord rated for an air conditioner, they are expected to be left plugged in for several months and have basically the same load characteristics as a dryer. Make sure the cord rated at least 15 amps and I would get at least 12 guage and maybe even go to 10 guage which would help it run cooler. The smaller the wire, the greater the resistance and therefore the greater the heating as it is used.

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April 3, 20100 found this helpful

In agreement with 'zoodad', I'm guessing that the cord you are using is only rated for 15 amps. You should have at least a 20amp cord. If you can't find one readily, then go to a hardware store and buy a 20a 5-20p [plug], length of SJO [2wire w/ground] cord and 5-20R [receptacle] and assemble it. Presently you're asking the cord to keep 'melting'. One day you'll have a nice electrical fire.


Once this has been remedied, when you have the dryer running, grip the extension cord and see how warm it is. If it is 'questionably' warm, then, it's time to check out the dryer. Is it clogged up with lint? Are the heating coils about to fail [or maybe there is a failed coil?] but don't keep using it unless you are sitting close by with a fire extinguisher [electrically rated of course]

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April 4, 20100 found this helpful

It is possible the outlet you are plugging into is 220 and your dryer is 110, since most dryers are set up for 220. You may have to get an electrician to check that out for you.

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April 23, 20100 found this helpful

I think I know the problem (of course I'm coming to this conclusion with everyone's comments on here). I believe every time I use this, it's always plugged into something. Meaning, the "heavy duty" extension cord, or the 6 plug thing that takes 2 plugs and turn it into 6 plugs. I think, by what you are saying, is that it just should be plugged into the wall socket itself, and not into anything else (or use a higher amp extension cord).


I haven't done that yet. Do you believe that the regular outlet will be ok to plug into and try (of course, it's just your opinion). I guess what I'm afraid of is the wires in the trailer wall getting hot and causing a fire. I can check the "heavy duty" extension cord that I'm currently using and feel it getting hot, but I cannot see or feel the wires in the wall. Is there a wall outlet you would suggest (like one with a fuse in it - like the bathroom outlets)? Any other suggestions? (I do like the idea of getting a higher amp cord. The cord on the dryer seems to be ok - not getting hot or anything. It seems to be WHAT I'm plugging that cord into that is getting hot).

Just to reiterate, it is a 110 apartment size dryer - not a 220 full size dryer. The plug in the wall is just a regular 110 outlet. And added information: I live in a 1962 trailer. It doesn't have a lot of outlets, hence the reason for using extension cords or the 6 outlet extender). I will have to not overload these outlets anymore and just use two plugs in each outlet.


Thanks so much for all of your help!

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