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How can I tell if the heating element has gone out?

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If your ELECTRIC dryer is still running, but does NOT produce heat, the following two links can give you advice on how to troubleshoot an ELECTRIC dryer with a no heat problem:

http://www.fixya.com/support/r3576548-dryer_runs_but_does_not_heat

http://www.fixya.com/support/r3574266-thorough_dryer_advice


IMPORTANT: Your problem may or may not be related to a heating element problem as there are numerous factors that can cause a dryer not to heat. The heating element has protection devices that are designed to regulate the heat and internal temperatures. If the dryer overheats the Thermal Cut-Out (TCO) typically will blow BEFORE the heating element. The replacement kit is much cheaper than purchasing a new heating element that may or may not be the problem.


Begin by unplugging the dryer and verifying the voltage at the wall receptacle. You should read 220-240VAC across the two Hot terminals (left and right slots). If the voltage is incorrect, check to make sure you don't have a breaker tripped. Some homes use 2 separate 120VAC breakers to provide power to the receptacle vice using one 240VAC breaker.

If the voltage IS correct, leave the dryer unplugged and remove the cover plate on the terminal block in the back of the dryer (this is where the power cord is installed). Plug the dryer back in and take a voltage reading across the two hot (RED and BLACK) wires at the terminal block. You should read 220-240VAC. If the voltage is good, you have an internal heating problem. If the voltage is bad at the terminal block, but good at the receptacle, you have a bad power cord.

NOTE: If the wires at the terminal block are not color coded, the outer two wires (left and right) are the hot leads. The center conductor is neutral or ground.

The reason a dryer will still run if the input voltage is incorrect, is because the drive motor only uses a portion of the 220 service. The motor runs off 110-120VAC, while the heating circuits require 220-240VAC. So, if you are missing 1/2 your input voltage due to a tripped breaker or bad power cord, your dryer may exhibit these symptoms.

If you determine the problem to be internal, the heating circuits will either be located in the rear of the dryer on the right hand, or under the dryer drum. Usually, an easy way to determine is by the location of the lint screen filter. If the filter is on top of the dryer, the heating circuits are in the back of the dryer. If the lint screen is in the door, the heating circuits are located under the dryer drum.

On a Whirlpool Duet or Kenmore Elite model, the heating circuits are located inside the dryer under the dryer drum on the right hand side. You will need to remove the lower toe panel under the door to access. The toe panel comes off by locating and removing the screws under the bottom front edge of the panel. The Heating Element is located inside a heater box. The Thermal Cut-Out (TCO) will be located on the outside of the heater box on the end opposite the heating element terminals (all the way towards the back of the dryer cabinet). The Hi-Limit Thermostat will be located adjacent to the heating element terminals.

If either the TCO or Hi-Limit Thermostat are determined to be bad, replace BOTH components at the same time. That is why these components are commonly sold as a set. Failure to do so may result in premature failure of any parts you replace.

If this is a GAS dryer, the problem may be attributed to a defective or weak burner igniter and/or blown thermal fuse.



Replacement parts (if required) may be found at the following websites:

searspartsdirect.com
pcappliancerepair.com
appliancepartspros.com
repairclinic.com

The average cost of these components varies, so shop and compare. The first three websites I listed have helpful
exploded view parts diagrams that can help you locate and properly identify any parts you may need. The heating components are usually listed under the "Bulkhead" section.


If you have any questions, please post back with your MODEL NUMBER and let me know. I hope you find this information helpful.


NOTE: If your model number is not listed on some of the websites, use the part numbers from the Sears website and use that as your search criteria. Some model numbers will not reference on some sites, but the part numbers will.

Posted on Apr 04, 2011

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