Dryer Maintenance: How To Change The Heating Element

Are your clothes coming out your dryer wet and cold after a full cycle? If so the problem likely has to do with a faulty heating element. Without a heating element, your dryer will take a very long time to dry a full batch of clothes. Several hours later, you still might not have dry clothes. Worst of all, you will have run up your energy bill. This is why you want to fix your heating element as soon as possible. This is a much cheaper and easier alternative to buying a new dryer.

Getting Inside the Dryer

Most dryers have an access door along the back. First, unplug the power and then take the vent hose off of the dryer. At this point you can pull the dryer away from the wall and access the back panel. The panel can be quickly removed by just taking out a couple of screws. Don't lose the screws!

Find the Heating Element

The heating element has metal coils (like springs) that are usually in a metal encasement. It is about the size of a small shoe box. In some dryers the coils of the heating element will be easy to spot. In other dryers the coils will be covered by some sort of encasement meant to keep the coils dust free. Either way, you might need a flashlight to identify the heating element.

Removing the Heating Element

The heating element is rather easy to remove. First, unplug the power supply that leads into it. Then, remove the screws that attach it to the dryer frame. Put the new heating element in place, tighten the screws and plug the power supply in.

Testing the Dryer

Before you reattach the access panel on the back of the dryer, you should plug it in and test it without any clothes in it. Make sure you have it on a high heat setting for the test. Remember, it often takes several minutes for the heating element to start working. So, let it run for a bit and wait for the hot air. If hot air is coming out of the back vent, you can attach the access panel, reattach the hose and start enjoying warm, dry clothes.

If the problem does not seem to be fixed, you will need to call a professional. Dryers with electric panels are more difficult to fix and the heat issue could have nothing to do with the heating element. In this case, it is easier to just buy a new dryer.


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