The heating element in a dryer is vital component of the appliance. If the element is just slightly malfunctioning, your dryer will be much less efficient. It will take longer to dry your clothes, spiking your electric bill in the long run. Furthermore, if your dryer does not heat up at all, your dryer will not work at all. It will power on and tumble, but the clothes will not dry. This article explains how to replace a malfunctioning heater element in an electrical dryer.
Accessing the Dryer Compartment
The dryer compartment that houses the heating element is easy to access. First, you need to unplug the dryer to safely work on it. There are a few screws on the backside of the compartment that need to be loosened to remove the access panel. You will probably need a power drill to loosen the screws because it might be too hard to remove them with a handheld screwdriver. Once you remove the panel you might need a flashlight to see inside. The heating element is easy to find. It has several rows of aluminum coils mounted on an aluminum plate. Some elements have a cover plate that hides the coils. However, it is still easy to identify because there is an electrical power cord leading into element.
Removing the Heating Element
Removing the element usually only requires the removal of a few screws. The plates are mounted to brackets attached to the main wall of the dryer. As you loosen the plates you need to remove the electrical wire.
Installing the New Heating Element
Installing the new element is equally simple. However, you should use new screws to ensure they create a strong hold. If you use old screws that are stripped, you may not be able to fully tighten the plate. This is a serious issue because the vibrating from the dryer operation could cause the plates to become loose over time. Make sure you replace your element with a replacement that is made by the same brand as your dryer. You are more likely to run into problems if you try to use a generic heating element. Be sure to reattach the electric wire before closing up the access panel.
Finally, you can plug your dryer back on and do a test load. Put it on high heat and check to see if the clothes are getting hot. Replacing your heating element is much cheaper and simpler than buying a new dryer. Contact a contractor, like J & M Appliance, if you need more help.