Question about Maytag PYE2300AY Electric Dryer
Until a week ago, I had never worked on or even seen the inside of a dryer before. The tumbler stopped working on my Maytag Performa PYET244AYW, but I still had heat blowing. I figured it was a broken belt.
I attempted to find my way into the dryer, starting in the back undoing screws. I also tilted the dryer forward to look for screws on the bottom, heard a clanging sound from a piece of metal falling inside the dryer, then put it back on it's feet.
Getting nowhere fast, I got on the internet and found out how to really get into the dryer from the front. I lifted the top and removed the front after disconnecting the switch. The belt was broken.
Ever since I've owned the dryer, over 4 years now, it has made a loud rumbling noise while running, but I never investigated. I pulled out the tumbler drum and now know where the noise came from. One of the rear drum rollers had the rubber tread worn completely off. I also realized that I had unscrewed the back panel earlier, so I screwed it back in. I also found the piece of metal that fell. It's 8" long x 2.5" wide, bent sort of like an "M", and has 2 screw holes.
I ordered up the replacement parts, installed them, vacuumed the inside, and put the dryer back together. I didn't know what the piece of metal was, so I guessed it was a heat element shield, so that the high limit thermostat wouldn't be exposed to the coils and that's where I put it, over the coils.
I fired up the dryer and the tumbler drum was turning again, quietly, but then I think I heard some crackling and saw a couple of blue flashes of light. The heat stopped working. I opened the top back up again, looked around, removed the metal plate, and noticed the heat element broke completely off, about an inch away from the contact clips.
I bought a new heat element today, installed it, and tested it without putting the metal plate back on top and it works fine. My questions are: What is the metal plate for and did I short out the heat element with it? If it's not a heat shield, should the heat element coils just be exposed like that? Is it safe for me to use my dryer again?
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