Why won't ANY blowdryer work in my house?

I’ve been living here several years, and I can’t find any blowdryer that would turn on. So, I assume it is the house’s electrical system. I hit those reset buttons in the bathroom. No luck. Now, the other night I discovered another reset switch downstairs that I’ve never noticed. It has no outlet. What would this be for? Should I try clicking this, and if I click this, should I click the original reset button in the bathroom? In which order?

Does other stuff work in the outlet?

Is there a reset button on the blowdryer? Mine has one on the plug. I’ve hit the wrong button many times while plugging it in and have to hit the reset button to get it to work.

Well, you could try it. I don’t think the order would make any difference.

describe what it looks like, where it is, what it is near? is it concealed or do you see wires or conduit coming from it? if so where do these go?

does a nightlight work it the bathroom after pushing the RESET button on that receptacle? if not (and you know the nightlight works) is the bathroom circuit breaker off?

bathroom circuit breaker off, bathroom circuit breaker bad, bathroom GFCI receptacle bad, wire loose or broken between or at the circuit breaker box and bathroom are possible causes.

other possible causes are defective dryers or not pushing the RESET button on them.

the RESET buttons and their position can be hard to see. it is also easy to hit the TEST button when plugging in or using which turns it off.

Important questions -

Does the outlet work at all???

Or do you mean the circuit trips as soon as you plug in a big load like a dryer or electric kettle?

GFI (Ground Fault Interrupt) - you cannot have two in the same circuit or they will be forever detecting each other as a fault and tripping the circuit. If you found a second one (what, just floating in mid air? Basement outlet?) the next step is to determine what circuit each is on. The simplest way is to figure out which switch on the breaker panel is responsible for each circuit/GFI unit. Usually you do this by plugging something in (i.e. a radio, or lamp) and seeing if flipping the breaker turns it off/on. If the outlet does not work - good luck! If you can’t figure things out to this point, that’s why they have electricians.

You said you have never been able to use a hair dryer in your house. I assume you mean it doesn’t work on your bathroom recepticle. How about the outlet in your living room, bedroom, etc…? That would narrow down the problem. If the problem is only on your bathroom circut then it would be reasonable to investigate the GFI switches, fuse or even the plug or wiring on that circut. However if a hair dryer will not work in ANY of the outlets in your home I suspect it is time to call an electrician.

It doesn’t work anywhere in my house, but it works for everything else. I’ve hit the reset/test buttons on each outlet and on the dryers. No luck. And the set buttons I just discovered, is in the master bathroom. It only has those buttons, there’s not outlet with it.

That is interesting. I am going to ask an obvious question, not trying to be insulting. Do you even know if the dryer itself works? If other items work in the home in various outlets and the only thing that doesn’t work is the hair dryer I would suspect the problem is with the dryer itself.
If the dryer is pulling to much from your electrical system I would think that turning it on would produce a tripped fuse. You haven’t mentioned that, so my guess would be the hair dryer itself is bad. Have you tried this hair dryer at another location, a neighbors house? If it works there, but refuses to come on at your home would be a real mystery.

Can you link to a picture of this device? I’ve never seen anything like that, and can’t quite picture it.

I’ve had a hair dryer go out from overheating, and then nothing on it works. No heat, no fan, nothing. I assume there’s some kind of one-time fuse in them. I even opened it up, but couldn’t see anything obvious.

Sounds like a “pass through” or “deadfront” GFI - it’s just a GFI without sockets to protect whatever’s downstream from it. They’re not very common, but they’re used for things like hot tubs where you may want local GFI protection, but not GFI-protected receptacles.

Interesting, thanks. I’ve never seen one.

That was sort of what I was thinking. However, in the real world, or at least my bath room, my wife has a hair drier with the GFI in the enlarged plug. It is plugged into a GFI outlet. It works. With hair driers having come with GFI’s in the plug and code requiring GFI’s in bathroom for a long time, it must be very common for them to work with GFI outlets.

I still think this may give us a clue to the problem. Diamond02, have you checked the polarity of the circuits in your house? Code requires the hot side to be connected to black or other color, neutral to white, and ground to bare or green. Outlets have brass, silver and green screws for hot, neutral, and ground. Neutral and ground should be connected at the main service. Hot should show 120 V to both neutral and ground. There are doohickies you plug in and they tell you if an outlet is wired correctly. I have always made do with my multimeter. I have heard of houses where all the circuits were wired up wrong. (Confusing when you try to wire up a 3 way switch.)

There’s one of those in our closet, up at about the same level as the lightswitch, which protects the circuit that the whirlpool tub is on. Obviously, you don’t want outlets on that same circuit. Our house was built in 2004.

GFIs can follow one another in a circuit. sometimes it will cause an earlier one to trip. using GFI corded appliance in a GFI receptacle is common. plugging a GFI extension cord/power strip into one another or a GFI receptacle is common. work around is to not have overly sensitive ones earlier than others.

What are the exact symptoms? Do blowdryers simply not come on at all? Do you know what’s the voltage in your house?

Grandma’s house was on 110V and ours on 230V for maybe twenty years. Some blowdryers would try to come on but barely wheeze; others would be completely unresponsive - until we switched them from 230V to 110V. We had to always, always make sure that we only brought there dryers whose voltage could be switched. Other items, such as space heaters, didn’t have this problem.

Maybe it’s a deviant blow dryer.


I would try a lower voltage blowdryer first. I have never paid attention to that, so I will see what happens. If that doesn’t work, I will just contact an electrician.

How many dryers is “no dryers”?