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Dryer won't heat up--could it possibly be the heater element?

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It could be, but the thermoswitch is a more likely suspect. it is installed on the heater element "tube" with 2 wires on it. With the dryer unpluged, remove the 2 wires and check it with a self powered continuity checker on the 2 leads, if it lights it is ok if no light it is bad. it is held in place by one screw.

Posted on Nov 18, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Dryer won't come on. Wire block burned. Wires test good. Heating coil lookes burned


A good heating element should have continuity. When the heating element breaks, there is no continuity between the heater terminals. But sometimes, the broken ends of the heating element can make contact with the metal heater housing (from vibration) and draw a large current, causing the symptoms you have described.

To confirm a "short" between the heating element and the heater housing, check for continuity between the housing and each heater terminal. (The shorted part of the heating element is usually welded to the housing.) Occasionally, the short will not be welded, but a visual inspection will verify (welding scars and black soot) that a short has occurred, intermittantly.

Replace the terminal block, heater, damaged internal wiring, and possibly the thermal fuse, thermostats, and power cord.

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1 Answer

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Whenever I see this problem I look for reasons why the dryer stopped heating. You might think the heating element is the priority thing to check and you would be right. But their are other things to look for besides the element. I inspect the dryer inside and out for signs of lint buildup and vent blockage. If I see a lot of lint I know it might very well be a safety limit has popped. Most dryers have 2 limits mounted next to the heater element on the heater housing.A lager one is rated @250f and a smaller one is rated @300f. If that smaller limit is tripped then you will have no heat,however, the dryer will still run. If the filter housing and blower area really get a lint buildup then a melting fuse rated @350f will kill the dryer so that the thing won't catch fire. I have manuals and repair photos for most American models HERE

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1 Answer

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Hi, If you are having problems with your gas dryer not heatingthe most common problem is that the ignitor goes bad. Even though it glowssometimes it is still not working properly. if you dryer is gas check out this gas no heat tip.... If you have an electric dryer, you can have many differentthings that can go wrong causing the dryer not to heat. check outthis electric no heat tip...

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Sounds like the heater element is bad that is the main cause for them not to heat up . Their should be a cover on the back that comes off and you can get to the heater element after removing it .

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Before you replace the heating element, check the thermal fuse. All heaters have safety thermal fuse. This opens in case the thermostat fails. This is normally attached on or near the heating element, looks like diode. (When replacing, do not solder ! this will damage the fuse)

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