I have a 1 yr old frigidaire dryer that suddenly has no heat. I replaced
the 40amp breaker with a new Siemens 40amp but still no luck. I've
acquired a analog multi-meter and the voltage is correct on the outlet
as it should be. This is an older house with a breaker panel and no fuse
box so what else should I be looking for at this point?
Where you should have looked first...( :) ) --the heating element(s).
That's the first thing to check. While one year is a little early for
failure, certainly not unheard of particularly if have a high usage
factor. Also, my wife's favorite way of burning them out was to miss a
straight pin or two in something she was sewing on and threw in the
dryer for fluffing -- all it takes is one of them getting loose and
into the heating element, and poof!. GE (which is all I've ever
actually had) uses two elements in parallel which makes for high/low
and possibility of some heat if only one goes, but I've been told there
are some w/ only one element so it's all or none.
If that isn't it (but I'll bet it is), the next thing is, of course,
the controls like the timer, etc., ...
No, there are small holes in the drum rear for air circulation and the
deflector shield behind the drum over the elements has several
good-sized openings for the same reason so it is possible for small
objects to find their way through there. Straight pins were quite
effective at doing so. In 40 years (man, I've been married _that_
long!!!???--I am approaching geezerhood!) they're the only thing that I
now recall ever finding in there that caused a problem, but I've
replaced several sets of elements for that reason over that time, most
within a time span of probably 10-15 yrs or so when the kids were
small/growing and she sewed a lot more...
As I said, that's for GE (and I suppose Whirlpool) -- that's all have
ever had but I'd certainly expect others to be very similar, but
haven't ever had reason to inspect any other that closely.
Not much detail to go on! For example does it still spin?
If you have little electrical knowledge and/or skill be careful. The
heater circuit is most likely 240 volts!
You are dealing with what is in fact a large heater (some 3000 watts or
more) plus, heat sensor, thermostat, timer, motor and motor start,
If it's only one year old it might be under warranty?
But what is that warranty really worth?
For example parts only?
Or even if parts and labour; but you have to take it to a designated
Or pay for the repairer to visit you.
There may be a circuit pasted to the back of the dryer; but you most
likely will need someone who can read that and trace the voltages
through to determine if and where the fault is.
Some possible causes include; an open overheat sensor, faulty
thermostat, depending on the circuit possibly a door or other switch
(although most often dryer won't spin if door switch is faulty), the
heater element has gone open (some dryers have more than one heater,
btw) or maybe a wire just fell or broke off?
Some dryers have electrical contact points 'inside' the motor that do
not close until the motor is running the idea being that the clothes
do not get burnt up if the motor stops (or doesn't start) for any
reason. That can be very tricky to fix or can necessitate buying a new
Was a good idea to check that the panel voltages are reaching the
socket into which the dryer is plugged. But much trouble shooting can
be done very simply (And often in less misleading manner because of the
high sensitivity of even cheap digital test-meters) with a test
Your analog meter therefore probably a good choice; although they can
also be too sensitive!
It is not usually productive and often very expensive to keep changing
parts until someone stumbles on the actual problem which could be
something as simple/cheap as a $3 over-heat sensor, buried somewhere
inside! Or, at the other extreme, a special motor costing $150!
Right now we have a 40+ year old Kenmore dryer out of service due to a
faulty motor; we have spare motor out of another scrapped Kenmore. But
it's a different length and it would be necessary to modify the
physical motor mounting which is welded (or something) to the bottom
plate of the dryer!
In the meantime had acquired (free) another Kenmore of a different
pattern (manufacture) again, that only needed a small drive belt (About
$4). So pressed that into service well over a year ago and it's working
fine. Mention this to illustrate that dryer models even of the same
supplier (Frigidaire) are not necessarily identical.
Just a quibble, but I'd go at it _expecting_ the element to be gone and
only when that turns out not to be the case go to anything else.
W/ the electric dryer, when symptom is no heat but drum turns---don't
recall it ever being anything else over some 40 years.
Since you already know that you have 240, unplug the unit then...
1. Pop the top by inserting a putty knife a few inches from outer edge
along top, and depressing clips.
2. Disconnect both wiring connectors at top right.
3. Remove yellow thing in the middle top front.
4. Remove screws holding front to sides; they are about 5 inches down
on boths sides. You may need a square bit.
5. Pop the front out and up off its clips at the bottom and set aside.
6. Unload belt from idler pulley. You can do this through access panel
7. Using belt to assist, lift drum out of cabinet. It is connected at
back by a ball and cup arrangement. You'll need to lift rear of drum
about an inch up before the drum is free to go forward and out. It
does take moderate pressure to get it out of the cup.
8. Using your multimeter, check for for any obvious open components.
Thermostats and thermal fuses should be almost 0 ohms, while element
should be 10 to 15 ohms or so. If the element is open, then you will
see an obvious break. Replace whatever component is open. It is
highly unlikely that it will be anything other than the element, but
thermal fuses do open if you have poor venting.
Some dryers use only 120 volts for the motor and the controls and the full
240 volts only for the heating element. Before you take the dryer apart to
check the element etc, use a volt meter across the hot legs of the 240 volt
outlet. If you read 240, fine. If nothing, check each hot leg against the
neutral. One will show 120 volts and the other zero. If that's the case you
probably have a loose connection at the outlet. BTW a 40 amp circuit for a
dryer is unusual. If the wire is 10 gauge going out of the panel, which is
typical for a dryer circuit, you should reduce that breaker to a 30 amp.
Otherwise in an overload situation you risk overheating the wires before the
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