Tip & How-To about Dryers

Elite and Duet Dryer Heating Element Replacement

This advice explains how to replace the heating element on Whirlpool Duet, Kenmore Elite and Maytag Epic dryers.

1. UNPLUG the dryer before servicing. Dangerous voltage is still present inside the dryer even when it is turned off.

2. Open the door and remove the lint screen. IMPORTANT: You will not be able to remove the air blower cover with the lint screen in place.

3. Remove the lower toe panel directly below the door. The panel comes off by locating and removing the screws under the bottom front edge. With the screws removed, the panel will drop down, then come off. NOTE: Propping the front feet of the dryer up can provide you better access to the screws (a 2x4 works well for this).

4. Disconnect the auto dry sensor plug (usually yellow wires with a white plug to the right of the blower assembly) and any ground wires that may be connected to the front panel.

5. Remove the air blower cover by locating and removing the mounting screws. NOTE: This is a good time to clean the blower fan housing, squirrel cage motor and dryer interior cabinet.

6. Remove the top panel of the dryer by locating and removing the screws holding the panel in place in the rear of the dryer. With the screws removed, the panel will slide back, then come off.

7. Locate the two screws that hold the operator console in place. There should be one on each side under the top panel. Remove the screws and carefully lift the panel straight up. NOTE: You do not need to disconnect the ribbon cables. Carefully lay the console across the top of the dryer out of the way.

8. Disconnect the door switch connector plug and remove the dryer front panel by locating the four screws that hold it in place. Loosen the two screws along the bottom of the panel and leave in place. Remove the top two screws and lift up and turn the whole front panel slightly counter-clockwise to release the drum supports from the dryer drum. NOTE: Make sure the dryer door is closed when removing the front panel to avoid damaging the door hinges.

9. Remove the dryer drum. Reach in behind the air blower with both hands and pull the idler pulley to the right with your right hand to release the tension and remove the dryer belt from the drive motor. With the belt still looped around the drum, you can use it like a handle to lift the entire drum up and out of the dryer.

10. With the drum removed, the heating components can easily be accessed. The TCO and Hi-Limit Thermostat is located on the outside of the heater box on the left hand side. The TCO is located at the back of the dryer, while the Hi-Limit Thermostat is located adjacent to the heating element terminals.


11. The entire heating assembly is removed by disconnecting all the components leads, followed by loosening the heater box mounting screw. With everything disconnected, the entire box and components will come free and lift out of the dryer. NOTE: Make sure you properly label all wiring to ensure they are reinstalled correctly.

12. There are a couple of mounting screws on the side of the heater box that holds the heating element in place. With the screws removed, the heating element will slide out of the box. NOTE: Make sure you take any resistance readings with the component disconnected from the circuit to ensure accuracy. The TCO and Hi-Limit Thermostat will read something close to 0 ohms if GOOD. The Heating Element should read 9 to 13 ohms.

13. Insert new heating element into the heater box and align the screw holes. Replace any other defective components and reinstall heater box.

14. Reinstall dryer drum ensuring the back rim of the drum rests on the rear dryer drum supports. Make sure the belt is looped on to the drum with the ribbed side towards the drum.

15. Reinstall the dryer belt by releasing the belt tension pulley as listed above, then, with your left hand loop the belt over the drive motor pulley. Release the idler pulley making sure the belt rests on the drive motor pulley. You should feel the belt tighten with tension. If you need further clarification on how to properly route the dryer belt you can go to repairclinic.com and click on the "Repair Help" link at the top of the page. On the following page, locate the "Dryer Belt Diagrams" link under the Special Features section. Refer to diagram K.

16. Reinstall the front panel by turning it slightly counter-clockwise and aligning the front drum supports under the front of the drum. Once the supports are under the drum, turn the front panel clockwise and lift up, placing it on the bottom two screws. Reinstall and tighten the top two screws.

17. Reinstall the door switch connector plug and reinstall the operator console. Use caution not to put too much stress on the ribbon cables.

18. Reinstall dryer top panel.

19. Reinstall air blower cover and reconnect the auto dry sensor and ground wire.

20. Reinstall toe panel by inserting the top portion first and pushing up. Push lower portion of the panel in place and reinstall screws.

I know this may seem like a lot, but its actually fairly simple if you follow the steps provided. Read through everything before attempting any repairs. If you have any questions, please let me know. I hope this helps you.

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