Kenmore Dryer 2nd Opion requested


I have a Kenmore Dryer that is not drying the clothes like it should. The filter is cleaned as well as the exhaust vent/duct. However it is taking longer and longer to dry the clothes. Tonight there was a noticeable decrease in the temperature of the clothes while drying ( I stopped the cycle to check on it.) I put a thermometer in the exhaust stream and it only got up to around 99F. I tried the other settings and they were even cooler. So my thought is that it is the heating element. That would seem to be the simplest answer. However, I was wondering if I could somehow rule out the timer that turns the heating element on and off as being the problem.
Just wondering. To anyone generous enough to freely offer constructive advice, I thank you. I am also looking up this problem on the web just incase it is not the heating element. In addition, I'm looking for info on changing the piece out. So I'm not just begging for help, I'm also searching.
FYI - The dryer is Electric and 14 years old. I bought if from Sears and the salesman assured me I could get 20 years of usage out of it easily. But I'm not complaining. I have gotten my money's worth from it. If I can cheaply fix it, that is great, if not....well, that is life.
BM
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I doubt it is the thermostat. They usually just go one day and you would get no heat at all. Also I don't think your test of temperature was accurate. I was just testing out my new gas kenmore the other day and I used a digital thermometer to check the temperature at the exhaust while it was running and the temperature goes up and down. The high point is determined by the setting the dryer was on. In other words, while running the dryer is not at a consistent temperature so if you turned it off to check the temperature there is no way to be sure you were at the point of peak temperature which it reaches and goes below every few minutes.
There could be lint stuck inside. Have you checked to see how well it is blowing at the exhaust? If there is plenty of air coming out then it must be the thermostat or something electronic controlling the thermostat. If you are using an automatic cycle try a timed cycled and see if that works right.

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Like a light bulb, an element is just a wire, and it is either intact or it isn't. I don't think the element itself is your problem.
I am going to base my ideas here on your dryer being a Kenmore with the lint screen up on the top. These dryers have very good airflow traits, and the design is one of the best on the market. You need to eliminate certain problems. Check for airflow outside your house, at the termination of the exhaust. Disconnect the dryer from the venting, and check for good airflow out the back of the dryer. The velocity should be somewhat the same as what was coming outside your house. Look inside the drum and make sure that the light lens (if there is a light) is not missing. Unplug the dryer and check for corrosion on the prongs of the power cord. Remove the little access panel on the back and check for discoloration or melting of the wires at the terminal block. Now, remove the whole rear panel, and plug the dryer back in. Turn on the dryer and look for the element to glow red when it is on. When the element turns off, and using a multimeter set to volts, check that you have a voltage drop (ie: a reading of...).across the operating thermostat (on the blower housing) of approx. 240v, as this should be the component that is turning the element on and off. If there is 240v across the operating stat when the element is off, and it is still running around 90 degrees, change the stat. If the elements turns off and there is no voltage reading of 240 at the stat, then you have a more exotic problem, and I would need some more information to be of help.
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