GE clothes dryer not hot

This GE dryer (USA 240v model) has 4 heat settings: Hi, Medium, Low, Fluff (no heat). It also has a moisture-monitoring setting ("More Dry" and "Less Dry").
I presume the way 3 heat settings are accomplished is through the use of 2 different wattage heater elements. For example, Low = 1000w element; Medium 1500w element; High = both elements.
There is now one heat setting: medium. All the settings of the heat switch result in the same medium heat.
The filter screen is clean and the airflow out of the vent hose (I disconnected it and checked the flow) is unchanged from a year ago (the last time I remember checking it out). Mains voltage verified. No overheating external connections.
How is it possible for the dryer to fail in a mode that results in only medium heat?
Just trying to get a few ideas before opening it up.
GE model DBXR453ET3WW
Thanks,
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DaveC wrote:

Hi,
Close, 2 of the same wattage elements and usually a couple of different thermostats.

One of the two elements broken, element grounded are a couple of possible trouble makers.
Some take apart helps.... http://www.applianceaid.com/take-apart.html http://www.applianceaid.com/ge-dryers.html http://www.applianceaid.com/grounded.html
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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Appliance Repair Aid wrote:

pop the top and watch the heater coil when it's running... if it cycles "off" more than "on" (mine did about 10 seconds on and 50 off during a minutes, no matter which temp you set it to, then suspect a clogged exhause (not the little flexible 4" pipe leading from the dryer to the wall - but the REST of it - the part that goes from the wall behind the dryer to the outside... mine was clogged almost shut... when I cleaned it out, problem solved. Now the dryer can get enough airflow that it doesn't overheat the thermostat quickly (which shuts off the element),.
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Steve Henderson wrote:

FWIW, I had the same thing happen with my gas dryer -- I think it's a common problem, especially with long exhausts.
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Thus spake Steve Henderson:

When troubleshooting externally (I've not opened it up, yet), I disconnected the hose and felt the temperature of the air. It was only lukewarm, unchanged, it seems, whether the hose is connected or not. Airflow is maximum, I think. This rules out airflow blockage.
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disconnected
Did you try the suggestions we already gave you? Are both elements themselves ok? Are the thermostats closing? Is power getting to them?
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Hang a clothesline, save energy and money, and quit whining.-Jitney
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That's not permitted in most neighborhoods these days, I guess it depends on where you live. Not only that, if I tried it in my area the trees would piss sap all over the clothes and ruin them before they even got dry.
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That's not permitted in most neighborhoods these days, I guess it depends on where you live.(snip)
Amazing how we give up freedom without even noticing, isn't it?
Not only that, if I tried it in my area the trees would piss sap all over the clothes and ruin them before they even got dry.(snip)
How is it that people managed to dry clothes before automatic dryers were invented?-Jitney
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Well in the case of families in this area they had several acres of rural land and a sizeable portion of it was cleared for a back yard and field. Now days land in this area is far too expensive for that and you're lucky to have much of a yard at all and some trees for privacy. It's the price to pay to live in a desireable area with a dense population.
Doesn't matter to anyway, I've never had to pay money for a clothes dryer and have always been able to keep them running with minimal effort. The cost of running one is trivial compared to all the other electrical crap in my house. I was just trying to help the original poster.
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That's fine. I live in the Southwestern U.S. desert, and poeple could dry their clothes here in 15-20 minutes on the clothesline. Many want to do so, but are prevented by the blockfhurer facist HOA committes. This, in the middle of an energy crisis. I thought we fought a war to defeat fascism. Silly me.-Jitney
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How about a nice hoophouse, aka polytunnel? A large 5 cent/ft^2 piece of 4-year greenhouse polyethylene film stretched over $5 double-curved 1x3 bows on 4' centers...
Nick
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-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1
On Thu, 18 Aug 2005 06:10:57 GMT, "James Sweet"

Since when? I thought it was only disallowed in those gay communities under Neo-Nazi HOA's. :-)
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This may be right. Another way it can be done is with two equal wattage elements. Low = one element across 120 V, medium = one element across 240 V, high = both elements across 240 V. More common in electric ranges that have off-1-2-3-4 pushbuttons instead of "infinite" heat controls, but possible in a dryer.

Using your assumption, "low" element open, or faulty temperature switch.

Open it up. :) Most GE washers and dryers will have a schematic folded up and taped somewhere inside the control panel. If you can read this and drive a DVM, you can make some tests of the switches and the elements at the control panel wiring, before having to pull the drum out to get at the elements. Unplug the dryer first and watch out for sharp edges of sheet metal inside it.
Matt Roberds
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-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1
On Mon, 15 Aug 2005 07:05:14 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@worldnet.att.net wrote:

This is wrong. 120 V across both elements in parallel will be half the wattage of 240 V across a single element.

I hated those systems. A quick way to spot a dodgy switch is with an inline wattmeter. Just cycle through the heat selections and watch the meter.
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Your statement is true, but I don't think it's what I said. Maybe I wasn't clear. If you have two 100 W 240 V elements, putting one element across 120 V yields 25 W. Putting one element across 240 V yields 100 W, and putting both elements in parallel across 240 V yields 200 W. Now I agree that this isn't a very linear progression (25-100-200), but I was just using it as an example.
Matt Roberds
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DaveC wrote:

Consider that your dryer is not just 240V it is 120-240V any element can be running at 120V or 240V or 0V at any one time. It might also cycle, but I don't think any do that to control the temp.
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cycle,
Dryer elements that I've seen have all been 240v, I also had a Kenmore dryer that had separate button thermostats which cycled the element depending on the temperature setting, I figured most dryers did it this way.
If you have two elements and are only getting medium then the low element is not working, either it's burned out, the overtemp thermostat is tripped or defective, or the switch is bad.
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