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Whirlpool Dryer Is Tripping the Main Circuit Breaker

Christie Gross

A properly running Whirlpool clothes dryer shouldn't trip one of its two main circuit breakers. If one or both circuit breakers are routinely tripping, look into the problem. An electrical malfunction is most likely cutting the power supply to your clothes dryer to prevent it from short circuiting and prevent it from starting an electrical fire.

Circuit Breakers

Most Whirlpool clothes dryers function with the support of two circuit breakers: one breaker operates the heating element and one powers the drum. Each breaker should be labeled on the main circuit box so you can easily identify which breaker belongs to which dryer element. If only one of the breakers is tripping, it likely indicates that there's a problem related to the element that it supports. For example, if the drum's circuit breaker is tripping, there's probably an issue with one of the components that turns it, conversely, if the heating element's circuit breaker trips, inspect the heating element's components for a short. If both circuit breakers are tripped, the problem might be a component that controls both elements or with the home's wiring.

Loose Power Cord

Check to make sure your Whirlpool clothes dryer's power cord is securely inserted into the appropriate electrical outlet. Only insert the power cord into a grounded outlet to prevent a power surge from affecting your dryer. If the power cord is loose, unplug and reinsert it so that its wires are all the way into the outlet. A loose connection can activate the dryer's circuit breakers.

Damaged Power Cord

Inspect the power cord for damage and replace the cord if its condition is poor. It's possible that a frayed or exposed wire is interfering with the electrical connection and prompting the circuit breakers to trip. Continuing to use a damaged cord can lead to an electrical fire.


Your Whirlpool clothes dryer is outfitted with a thermal fuse that cuts the power supply to the dryer when it overheats. It does this to prevent a fire from erupting in the dryer and its corresponding exhaust system. Although you can reset the circuit breakers from the box, your dryer won't function routinely until you also replace the thermal fuse. To prevent it from blowing again, figure out why it overheated, so the problem doesn't happen again.

Power Surge

Anytime there's severe weather, it can disrupt the power supply to your home. If a surge of electricity produced from an electrical storm enters your home's wiring, the circuit breakers to certain appliances, like your Whirlpool clothes dryer, might trip to protect itself from a strong current that could damage its wiring. Try resetting the circuit breakers and turning the dryer on. If it runs normally, you've likely resolved the issue.

Broken Electrical Outlet

If the electrical outlet for your Whirlpool dryer is broken, it can cause its circuit breakers to trip. Unplug the dryer and place another appliance's power cord into the electrical outlet and turn the appliance on. If the breakers trip again, contact an electrician to evaluate the outlet's continuity and make necessary repairs.