clothes dryer not hot

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My electric GE dryer doesn't seem to be using heat. It is around 17 years old as is the washer. What should I look for when I open up the back?
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First, check that you have 240 volts on the terminals of the machine. If you do, any number of possibilities exist,including a bad element. At 17 years, you may want to put repair $$ toward a new machine

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Probably the elements, but first check that you have 240 volts to them. Obviously if you do, and they are not heating, they are bad. I doubt new elements are terribly expensive, and replacing them can be a DIY project. Dunno about your machine, but I worked on a GE dryer that was a lot older than yours. The elements were behind the drum so the drum had to be pulled out to get to them. This particular one was a major PITA because the w&d were in a little storeroom with NO room to work,(I swear i looked like the room was built around the machines), and it was during the middle of summer in S.Tx. If your machine is in a place where there is ample room to work, it shouldn't be that hard. I don't think there is anything really tricky about the job. Go for it--worse case, you screw it up and have to buy a new one anyway. Larry
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lp13-30 wrote:

Yeah, the element is usually in the rear. I've changed one on a Speed Queen Commercial Dryer that I bought used. That dryer lasted about 37 years before the steel drum split apart. I called about a new drum, and gave them the model number, and they asked for the "rest of the model number" and when I told them that was it they were quite amused. Interestingly, most of the parts were still available, and often the same as the current production.
It's not a hard job to change it, but you have to get back there. 17 years old is not that old for a dryer.
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wrote:

You might look for the cash you hid back there cause you need a new machine after that many years.
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Probably a bad heater element or thermoswitch. Or it could just be dirty. Try taking it outside and blowing all the air passages out with compressed air or a leaf blower.
Bob
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there's nothing to a dryer. So no real reason to replace it (at a cost of $300 - $1000) just because it needs a $79 element. As mentioned before, make sure you have proper electric service to the machine. Then unplug it and start taking it apart from the back. You'll find there's about a half a dozen parts that make up the entire machine, and you'll probably find the element burned out. COULD be a thermostat switch, but they are easy to check with an ohm meter.
--
Steve Barker



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Steve Barker, 2/9/2007,10:35:23 AM, wrote:

There are three single post connections on the back of the drum with only one wire going to them. When not running they each have 15 VAC on them and when running they each have 120 VAC. With the wires off they all have some resistance between each other but not the same ohm value. If the element was bad wouldn't there be an open between those three connections?
There are also two other sensor type items with two wires each. One is black and has numbers on it. It has a short between the posts with the wires off. The other also has a short between the posts with the wires off.
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On the three posts , if you connect a volt meter across the two outer posts, do you get 240 volts?

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RBM, 2/9/2007,11:43:59 AM, wrote:

No, there is not. But there is 120 VAC to chassis ground from each post when running and 15 VAC when not. What does that tell you?
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badgolferman, 2/9/2007,2:27:16 PM, wrote:

Also the heat type selector switch toggles between 0 ohms, 33 ohms, and infinity.
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badgolferman, 2/9/2007,2:32:57 PM, wrote:

I messed around with all the wires on the switch panel. I took them off and put them back on again. The dryer HAS started to work again. I will keep my fingers crossed and hope it was just corroded contacts. Thanks for the help you all gave.
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On Fri, 9 Feb 2007 14:58:32 -0500, "badgolferman"
wrote:

Yep, if you're not sure what to do it never hurts to play with your wire...:)
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On Fri, 9 Feb 2007 14:58:32 -0500, "badgolferman"

For the first 10 or 20 years of my repair "career", starting about age 8, that's mostly what I did. Take something apart and put it back together and it works. I never knew why in most cases.

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don't you hate that? I know I do.
--
Steve Barker

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mm wrote:

The good thing is that everyone thinks you're a genius! I fixed my father-in-law's TV by taking the back off and putting it back on. I suspected a bad relay for the on-off switch, as I've seen this before, but whatever was wrong it's been working for about five years now.
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It tells me that the dryer is not the problem, its an open circuit to one of the hot legs, either in the wiring to the dryer or at the circuit breaker

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On Fri, 9 Feb 2007 11:43:59 -0500, "RBM" <rbm2(remove

I'm assuming for the moment that it is an electricla problem. There woudl be an open if the element was bad, unless there is another way to get from A to B. Sometimes there are multiple paths to the same place. Is there a wiring diagram on the inside of the cover you took off, or anywhere?
When you don't know if there is an alternate electric path, the best thing is to disconnect one of the two wires from its post, and measure the wire only to the other post. You can also measure from the post only (with the wire disconnected) to the other post to confirm that there is an alternate path. The total resistance of two resistors in parallel is found with the formula 1/a + 1/b = 1/total . If, for example, b is infinite, the 1/a = 1/total .
But maybe all the elements are good and it's some other problem.
Before to measure voltage before measureing resistance at the same place. Don't want to burn out the meter, or yourself.
Keep close track of whether the dryer is plugged in or not.

That wiring diagram would give an idea what they are. One might be temp sensor, that opens if it gets too hot, or a dampness sensor if you have that feature on your dryer.
BTW, my washer and dryer are 27 years old and working fine. I only do laundry for myself, but still, when they are 37 years old that will be like 18 years for two people.
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wrote:

Except some machines come apart from the front...:)

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On Feb 9, 11:19 am, Bill snipped-for-privacy@home.com wrote:

...
Specifically, for GE, there are two clips at front to raise the top, then the front comes off w/ two screws at the top so can pull the drum to get access to the heating elements, etc...
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