After throwing parts at my washer this week like an amateur, I now pose it
to the group and request your assistance.
While troubleshooting/investigating a sound from the blower motor (which
turned out to be nothing), I plugged the dryer back in with the back still
off and started it up. While doing so, I accidentally bumped the blower
housing into a connector on a switch and it arced out.
I checked the visible damage which was only a little burnt mark on the
switch and on the connector. The connector welded itself to the blower
housing and a little tug pulled it back off. (This sounds like a comedy
caper by now I am sure. I am not typically this "Chevy Chase-like.")
I tried the dryer again and it started right up, but now the heating element
would not turn on. Everything else seems to work fine. I ordered the
switch-like part that the connector was attached to from repairclinic.com,
since I thought it might have some damage. As you can tell by now, my
electronics experience is not very grand. I swapped it out and still
nothing. There is another such switch on the same set of wires, so I
replaced that too. Still no heating element.
Why won't the element turn on now and what do I need to do to make it work?
Thanks for your help, I am down to my last pair of underwear and socks!
Yes, it was dumb; but we've all done dumb things. The important thing
is that we learn from these little lessons. It's also important to
learn all you can about electricity and troubleshooting BEFORE you
open up another appliance.
There are some wonderful websites for DIY appliance repair--often with
step-by-step diagnostics and photos. Do a google search for
"appliance repair." A couple of my favourites are
www.applianceaid.com, www.fixitnow.com, www.appliance411.com, and
www.repairclinic.com. For general diagnostics, try
www.repairfaq.org/sam/appfaq.htm. For general electrical wiring
practices and safety, try a search for electrical wiring.
Back to the safety theme--if you don't KNOW what you're doing, either
find out or call an expert--electricity kills.
Mr Fixit eh
"What do I need to make it work?" Firstly, and probably most importantly
skill, technical understanding of the aparatus you're "working", and I use
that word in it's broadest possible sense, on. The idea of DIY repairs is to
save yourself money..get that? You've replaced two switches, which I assume
are limits, that you can't even properly describe, at least one of which
probably wasn't bad to begin with. You are experiencing the problem you are
attempting to describe because of carelessness, according to my score card
that makes you 0 for 3. And you're still sitting here on the internet trying
to get a fix after buying one and possibly two switches that you didn't need
to begin with.....people like you should be restricted to using the internet
for looking at pictures. You're dangerous call a tech to correct the
problem, before you lose more than just money.
Thanks Tony. I understand how this situation appears and I didn't try to
edit that perception. This is certainly not my best moment, but as I said
in my post, I am not "really" this bad.
I am pretty mechanically inclined and tend to take care of most of my own
repairs on the car, house, etc fairly well. While your idea if DIY is "to
save money" mine is also to learn something along the way. It does seem
pretty careless of me to knock the shroud into the connector, but it wasn't
some deadly blunder because of a drunk wannabe attempting to fix his dryer
with a pair of pruning shears.
Hopefully you don't ever venture to unknown territory where the landscape is
unfamiliar and God help you if you make a mistake when you do because "Tony"
will be right there with empty hands to put you back in your place.
Firstly it does not "seem" pretty careless, it is absolutely careless, and
secondly and fortunately for you it was not a deadly blunder this time, but
the shroud being knocked into the connector, electrified the entire dryer,
if only momentarily, and could have just as easily electrocuted you in the
process, fortunately for you apparently a qualified electrician installed
your circuit protection system or you may not be reading this. And I
understand that "learning something along the way" is ideal, but not at the
cost of life and property.
We all have our off days. I could recount a story where I replaced a ball
joint on my car in about half an hour and was quite proud of myself, until
a moment's inattention with the grease gun at the very end of the job
turned into hours and hours of cursing, swearing, broken tools, sheared
off caliper bolts, grazed knuckles, and...
Oh, it's too painful to recall. Not my finest hour (couple days actually).
The OP really needs to back up and reassess his approach. Ie: not replace
This is a good time to go out and buy (or get from the library) a book
on appliance repair and a volt-ohm-meter (or even a neon tester), and
step by step diagnose _exactly_ what's broken before replacing anything.
He'll learn important skills that way to go along with his enthusiasm.
Oh, before doing that, go to the panel and cycle the dryer breaker off
then on again. If one of the two breakers has tripped, the motor could
still run but have no 240V to drive the heating element. Dryer breakers
are, by code, supposed to be tied together (and hence trip together), but
sometimes they're not tied. Or one of the breakers partially tripped but
not hard enough to take the other with it.
I can recommend the Reader's Digest book on how to repair almost everything.
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
Yes it was pretty careless and you are just damn lucky it wasn't
deadly. It very easily could have been. It doesn't matter if you
kill yourself being careless or kill yourself being drunk with
pruning shears... the end result is that you are still dead.
I encourage you to try to fix your own stuff, but you need to learn
some basics first. You never work on an appliance that is plugged in.
That is simply stupid. You need to get a basic multimeter and a basic
troubleshooting book and figure out what your actual problem is
instead of throwing parts at it. Both of the switches you replaced
could have been tested in five seconds using a $10 multimeter..
You've spent more on shipping already I would bet.
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