Are your clothes not drying as fast as before? One of the most common causes of a malfunctioning clothes dryer is a faulty heating element. The dryer heating element generates the heat that dries your clothing.
This guide will help you recognize the symptoms of a dryer heating element that is not working properly. It will also provide instructions on how to repair your dryer.
Signs of a faulty dryer heating element
The heating element may be broken if your dryer is not sufficiently warm or not working at all. Here are some other signs to look out for:
Clothes are taking longer to dry
The most obvious sign of a faulty heating element is that your clothes are taking longer to dry than usual. If you notice that your clothes are still damp after a full cycle, it’s time to check your heating element.
The dryer is overheating
Another sign of a faulty heating element is that your dryer is overheating. If your dryer is getting hot to the touch, it may be the heating element is not turning off when it should.
If you notice a burning smell coming from your dryer, it may be because the heating element is overheating. Turn off your dryer immediately and check for any signs of damage.
Dryer shuts off
If your dryer is shutting off before the cycle is complete, it may be because the heating element is not functioning properly.
No heat at all
If your dryer is not producing any heat at all, it’s a clear sign that your heating element is faulty.
Identifying these signs early on can save you time and money in the long run. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to test your heating element.
How to test a dryer heating element?
Testing for a faulty dryer heating element
Before you can replace your heating element, you need to determine if it is, in fact, faulty. Here are the steps to follow to test your heating element:
Step 1: Unplug your dryer
Before you start any testing, make sure your dryer is unplugged to avoid any accidents.
Step 2: Locate the heating element
The heating element is usually located behind the dryer drum. You may need to remove the drum or back panel to access it.
Step 3: Test for continuity
Using a multimeter, set it to the continuity setting and touch the probes to the terminals of the heating element. If there is no continuity, it means the heating element is faulty and needs to be replaced.
Step 4: Check for damage
While you have the heating element out, check for any signs of damage such as cracks or breaks. If you notice any damage, it’s a clear sign that the heating element needs to be replaced.
Step 5: Test the thermostats
After verifying the continuity of the heating element, it is then necessary to inspect the thermostats, which are responsible for controlling the temperature inside the dryer.
If they are faulty, it can cause issues with the heating element. Use the multimeter to test the thermostats for continuity.
If your heating element tests negative for continuity and your thermostats are functioning correctly, it’s time to replace your heating element.
Replacing a faulty dryer heating element
Now that you’ve determined that your heating element is faulty, it’s time to replace it. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Order a replacement heating element
Make sure you order the correct replacement heating element for your dryer model. You can find this information in your dryer’s manual, looking at the model number plate on the dryer itself, or by searching online.
Step 2: Unplug your dryer
Before you start any repairs, make sure your dryer is unplugged to avoid any mishaps.
Step 3: Remove the old heating element
Remove the back panel of your dryer and locate the heating element. Disconnect the wires and remove the old heating element.
Step 4: Install the new heating element
Install the new heating element in the same location as the old one. Reconnect the wires and secure the heating element in place.
Step 5: Test the new heating element
Plug in your dryer and run a test cycle to ensure that the new heating element is functioning correctly.
Great DIY job! You’ve successfully replaced your faulty heating element.
Common mistakes to avoid when diagnosing a faulty dryer heating element
When diagnosing a faulty heating element, there are a few common mistakes that people make. Here are some things to avoid:
Assuming it’s always the heating element
While a faulty heating element is a common cause of dryer issues, it’s not always the problem. Make sure you test other components such as the thermostats and fuses before replacing the heating element.
Not checking for damage
Before you replace your heating element, make sure you check for any signs of damage. If there is damage, it’s a clear sign that the heating element needs to be replaced.
Not following safety precautions
Always unplug your dryer before starting any repairs. Failure to do so can result in serious injury or death.
Not ordering the correct replacement part
Make sure you order the correct replacement part for your dryer model. Ordering the wrong part can result in further damage to your dryer.
Identify the signs of a faulty heating element as soon as possible. Test the element and thermostats for continuity. Follow the steps to replace any faulty parts. Remember to always follow safety precautions and check for any signs of damage before starting any repairs.
Do you need extra help with your clothes dryer? Removing and replacing your heating element? Finding out which part number you need? Finding the model number of your dryer? Finding out which element you need for a Samsung or Whirlpool dryer? Let us know your question using the comments below and we can help you get your dryer fixed.