Question about Dryers
Here ya go. This advice is general in nature, but should assist you in isolating MOST dryer malfunctions.
Normally when a dryer starts to exhibit longer dry times, or not drying at all, it is an indication that the Thermal Cut-Out (TCO) or Heating Element has blown.
A dryer needs air to breath. Proper ventilation is required for the heating circuits to regulate the internal air temperature properly. If you have to keep placing items back in the dryer to dry again, or the dryer just doesn’t seem to be putting out hot enough air, it may be time to think about checking the dryer vent ducting (a simple separation of more dense clothing from lighter weight clothing can help shorten dry times too). If the heating circuits are starved for air they actually OVERHEAT and can cause problems. This is why the outside case can feel hot, but the drum inside feels cold. The TCO acts as a fuse for the heating element circuits. When an overheat condition occurs, the hi-limit thermostat is supposed to open to shut off the heating element. This is how the dryer regulates its heat. However, if the hi-limit thermostat malfunctions, the TCO will blow. This device acts as a fuse, is not resettable, and has to be replaced. This also means that the hi-limit thermostat could be suspect and it should also be replaced at the same time. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the two components together and are sold as a set.
Now...if your dryer has been having problems drying, the first thing you need to check is the ventilation ducting to ensure that it is not kinked or clogged. Poor air flow is the number one cause of dryer failures. Not to mention it can cause fires due to lint backing up inside the dryer. This could be the "electrical" smell a lot of people complain about. If lint accumulates on the heating element it will smolder and burn. It is often reported that you should clean your ducting twice per year. I recommend the ducting be checked (this means inspected to see if it needs cleaning) thoroughly about once per season. That's 4 times per year. If you've never cleaned the ducting, or your dryer is pushed all the way up against the wall causing the ducting to become kinked, you will have air flow problems. One way in determining air flow is to remove the vent hose from the back of the dryer and start the dryer (of course, you need a working dryer in order to do this). The air should be forceful and slowly warm up to about 140 degrees. If the air flow is weak, you may have a clog inside the air baffle of the dryer (this is where the lint screen slides into). If the air flow is good, reattach the dryer hose and check at the output of the dryer vent as it exits your home. If the air flow is weak or non-existent then you know you have a clog in the vent line somewhere. Periodic cleaning will go a long way towards preventing future clogs. Dryer vent rule of thumb: The SHORTER and STRAIGHTER the vent line, the BETTER. Everywhere you have a bend or kink is an area where you will create potential collection points for lint. Poor dryer maintenance is also one of the frequent causes of house fires.
How to troubleshoot a dryer: If your dryer has the lint screen on top of the unit, you will need to remove the back panel to get to the heating circuits. If your dryer has the lint screen in the door, you will need to remove the lower kick panel under the door by pushing in on the release tabs with a putty knife. They are located along the front seam about two inches in from each side. CAUTION: It is recommended that you unplug the dryer BEFORE servicing the inside or cleaning. There are still dangerous voltages present even with the machine turned off.
Dryer Runs, But Does Not Heat:
1. Heating Element (located inside the heater box) - Resistance reading should be 9-13 ohms.
2. Thermal Cut-Out (located on the heater box) - Resistance reading of 0 ohms.
3. Hi limit Thermostat (located on the heater box closest to the heating element leads) – Resistance reading of 0 ohms.
4. Operating Thermostat (located on the air baffle) - (May have 4 wires attached to it). Will read 0 ohms across one set of leads, approx. 7 ohms across the other.
5. Bad Heater Relay (usually located in the console) – this is not equipped on all model dryers. However, on dryers that DO have them, this acts as a switch and turns the heater circuits on at the push of the START switch.
Dryer Does Not Run At All:
1. Thermal Fuse (located on the air baffle) - Resistance reading of 0 ohms. NOTE: If the thermal fuse is blown, the drum light will not come on.
2. Broken Drum Belt - If dryer is equipped with a broken belt relay, this will shut the dryer down.
3. Broken Door Switch - If the door switch is broken, this will shut down the entire dryer as no power is applied to the start switch with the door switch open.
4. Bad Start Switch - If the start switch does not toggle close or stay closed when released, the dryer will not start.
5. Bad Timer - If the timer does not function the dryer will not start.
6. Bad Drive Motor - No Motor, drum does not rotate, heating circuits may or may not function. DOUBLE CHECK the CONNECTOR PLUG on the Drive Motor. I have found situations where this plug came loose for whatever reason and caused the dryer to either shut off completely or work intermittently.
7. Bad A/C Receptacle and/or Connector Plug - If you aren't getting the proper voltage to the dryer, it will not run.
These recommendations for TROUBLESHOOTING are not all inclusive as different manufacturer models vary in components and configuration. However, the general cleaning maintenance and proper ventilation requirements should apply to ALL dryers.
I hope this helps you.
Posted on Apr 03, 2008
SOURCE: the dryer quit heating because
ALWAYS UNPLUG YOUR DRYER BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO DO ANY WORK ON IT.
Check to make sure you are getting full 220 Volt power to the dryer, if you are then:
Check your Wiring
Often the main wiring connection from the house, at the dryer, burns and the connection breaks. If this has happened to your dryer, you need to replace the power cord and the terminal block inside the dryer to which the wire is attached.
Check the blower motor to make sure it is not faulty, also check the blower fan blade to make sure it is not broken or plugged with lint.
Check the Door Switch.
If the door switch or the door-switch actuator is defective, the dryer won't work and you need to replace the failed component. The switch is inside the dryer main housing near the door frame. Sometimes you need to raise or open the top or front of the dryer to reach the switch. Check for continuity you should have none with door open, and should have a reading when closed. If not replace the door switch.
Check to make sure you heating problem is not a lint build up in the discharge hose or the dryer,as this condition can cause heater/thermistor problems such as overheating of the heating coil leading to failure of the coil and burnout of the thermostat/thermistor due to overheat.
Remove the back/or front just under the door of the machine and try to locate the air duct going from the blower to the drum. Normally inside/outside the air duct you will find the heating coil and the thermostats/thermistors. Once you have located the heating coil, remove the two wires from it and check the coil with an ohm meter across the two terminals of the coil.
You should read continuity across the terminals, if not you will need to replace the coil as it is faulty.
If the heating coil is ok, then:
You can check the thermostat/thermistor one at a time by removing the two wires and taping them together with electrical tape and running the dryer to check to see if the element is red or not,
or with an ohm meter check the two terminals of the thermostat/thermister
after you have removed the wires, the thermostat/thermistor should have/show continuity across the terminals.
If the coil heats up, or the thermostat/thermistor shows an open circut
then replace the thermostat/thermistor as it is defective.
If it overheats the dryer will not operate properly.
It's located on the blower housing.
It cannot be reset. A vent clogged with lint can cause it to overheat.
You can test it with an Ohm meter/continuity checker, if no continuity,
DO NOT LEAVE THE WIRES TAPED TOGETHER AFTER THE TEST.
This could cause a FIRE, as you have removed the safety of overheat from the machine.
Right after replacing a dryer element, always run the dryer on 'air fluff' / 'no heat', and go outside to verify there's plenty of air coming out your vent system.
If the vent's clogged, that new element can burn out very quickly.
For video and pictures on how to replace an element go to the following website, it will give you an idea what you are in for:
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Posted on Jan 16, 2011
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