Electrical Question

Tumble dryer problem

We bought a condenser tumble dryer a couple of years ago, which we keep in the cellar - we only use it in winter (or really bad rainy weather!) and it only gets used once or twice a week at most. I'm also pretty sure I'm not overloading it!

Over the last few months, we have noticed a popping sound a few minutes after the dryer is switched on and the electrics have been tripping, occasionally immediately when turning the plug socket on that the dryer is plugged in to. Also, there is a smell like the old caps guns near the RCD board (also in the cellar) when this happens. I assume this is at risk of starting a fire so I'm now too scared to use the dryer at all. The dryer itself works perfectly well, drying clothes and heating up as it should, and the fuse in the dryer plug hasn't blown. I thought the problem might be a damp socket in the cellar (our cellar isn't really that damp, just normal in the grand scheme of things), but I've since tried it plugged in via an extension cable to the kitchen and the same problem happened. I would appreciate a bit of advice around what the problem could be and how much this would cost roughly to fix. Just to note: we don't normally have any problems with the electrics tripping and no other electrical appliance in the house seems to cause the same tripping/caps smell.

Thanks for your help with this.

2 Answers

Best Answer

This is a very tricky one to answer via this help forum, as ideally a few diagnostic tests need to be run on the machine and the electrical circuit supplying it in the cellar.

What is certain is the "caps" smell is evidence of arcing, possible due to a poor/loose connection, burnt wire inside the machine or socket somewhere. Electrical current, most likely fault current is causing the RCD to trip, so its strongly advised to get an appliance electrician in and investigate further.

Be very wary of doing nothing, as if there were to be a fire in future, you could find that your insurer will not pay out as you have been negligent in ignoring the warning signs that something is clearly wrong.

Hope this helps.

Answered 17th Dec 2012

Electrical Safety Services

Member since 17 Oct 2011

Get an appliance electrician to Try a P.AT test on Tumble Dryer .

Answered 30th Jan 2013


Member since 25 Mar 2009

Need help with your project?

We have tradesmen ready to help you. Post a job, read reviews and hire today.

Post a job

Need some help?

Post a job on MyBuilder to find quality, local Electricians who can help you with your project.

Search all questions