Dryer Not Heating - How To Fix

If you have a dryer not heating you have come to the right place. The information in this article is designed for the do-it-yourselfer or homeowner and requires only basic hand tools. A clothes dryer that will not heat is actually one of the most common complaints for both gas and electric dryers.

In this article we will talk about how to fix an electric dryer that is not heating. If you are not familiar with our basic rules of appliance repair for do-it-yourselfers and homeowners, you should definitely read and follow those basic instructions before you begin to repair any electric clothes dryer that's not heating. The basic rules of appliance repair information has been assembled by experienced technicians who have made many mistakes over the years. Save yourself the aggravation and follow those basic rules before you begin. Appliance Repair Basic Rules

Once you familiarize yourself with the basic rules of appliance repair you should know that you need to check the voltage at the receptacle and verify that the dryer controls are set properly. Many a dryer has been disassembled only to find out that the dryer heat selector switch was set to air fluff.

Obviously different dryer manufacturers put dryer heaters in different places so we won't be able to cover all the different locations where you're going to find a heater on a specific brand. However when it's time to check the dryer heating element it is very important that the dryer is disconnected from the electrical service.

When you are ready to check the dryer heater you need to disconnect the wires that supply the power to the dryer heating element. If you find one of the wires burned off the terminals you have found the problem. The heater is not defective because the two things that will cause the wires to burn up and separate are excessive heat or current flow. The heating element must be intact for both those to happen. After you repair the wire check for a vent restriction or other airflow obstruction.

You can check a dryer heater resistance using an ohmmeter. Today ohmmeters are incorporated in multimeters. The meter sends out a small amount of electricity from its battery and measures how resistant the circuit is to the flow of electrons. The resistance to the flow of electricity is measured in Ohms. The higher the resistance a circuit has the higher its Ohm reading will be.

The typical dryer heater resistance is around 20 Ohms or less. Dryer heaters work by resisting the flow of electricity. This resistance to the flow of electrons creates friction and that generates heat. All dryer heaters must have a resistance to the flow of electricity. A wire (conductor) has little or no resistance therefore it does not get hot.

If you can not read resistance on the dryer heater then it is an open circuit and needs replaced. Also if your meter indicated an electrical path between either of the heater terminals to the heater frame (ground) then it’s bad. The heater must be isolated from its mounting frame.

If you find that the connecting wires and heater are good, then you need to check the dryer thermal fuses and high limit thermostats. If you find either defective, you need to check for a vent restriction or airflow issue and correct that.

If you still have not found the problem you will need to check the dryer wiring schematic to find the next control in the circuit. This will vary depending on the dryer manufacturer and model. There may be a heat control board, heat selector switch etc. For help with those items, click on our dryer repair help.