How to Replace Heating Element in Dryer

Fred's Appliance
December 11, 2023
Dryer Repair

A faulty heating element will prevent your dryer from, you guessed it, heating. This will make it completely useless as pumping hot air through the dryer drum is its main purpose! But there is no need to stress; replacing a dryer heating element isn’t as difficult as you might think.

While replacing a heating element can vary depending on your appliance’s specific make and model, this guide will provide you with a general overview that will help you understand the steps involved. If you are unsure about a certain instruction, we advise you to consult your dryer’s manual. If you become stuck, seek professional assistance from a qualified technician.

Before we go through the steps to replace the heating element, we will start by discussing some of the main signs a dryer heating element needs to be replaced. We’ll then follow that by giving you instructions on how to check if your element is faulty.

Signs a dryer heating element needs to be replaced

The heating element in a dryer will need to be replaced when it becomes faulty. If you’re experiencing any of the issues listed below, your heating element is likely the cause.

  • There is no heat in your dryer. If your dryer is running, but there is no heat, it’s a strong indication that the heating element may be faulty. This could be due to a break in the coil or other issues preventing it from generating heat.
  • Not enough heat in your dryer. If the dryer is producing some heat, but your laundry is not drying as quickly as it should, the heating element might be partially malfunctioning. If you determine the heating element is the cause of the problem, it will need to be replaced.
  • The cycle keeps turning off. If the drying cycle turns on and off frequently, it may indicate a malfunction within your appliance. This can contribute to inefficient drying and potentially lead to premature failure of the element.

How to check a dryer heating element

Dryers, like any appliance, have a finite lifespan. If your dryer is quite old and you’re experiencing heating issues, consider a replacement rather than just replacing the heating element. However, if you want to replace the heating element and give your dryer a new lease on life, we recommend you first check it to ensure it is faulty. 

Follow the instructions below to check the heating element in your dryer:

  1. Inspect the heating element. Locate the heating element and inspect it for damage. It will need to be replaced if you find visible signs of damage, such as breaks, burns, or discoloration. If the heating element isn’t damaged, it must be tested with a multimeter.
  2. Test the heating element. Use a multimeter to perform a continuity test on the heating element. If the test indicates an open circuit or no continuity, it must be replaced. If the heating element passes the test, consider getting a technician to inspect it before replacing it.

Steps to replace a dryer heating element

If you have determined the dryer heating element is faulty and needs replacing, follow the instructions below. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable with any of these steps, consider consulting a professional technician or referring to your dryer’s manual for model-specific instructions. Safety should be the top priority when dealing with electrical appliances.

Before you start, make sure you have the following tools and equipment:

  • Replacement heating element
  • Screwdriver
  • Nut driver
  • Multimeter (for testing)
  • Safety gloves

Step 1 – Unplug your dryer

The first step is to ensure the dryer is unplugged from the electrical outlet. This is crucial for your safety during the replacement process.

Step 2 – Locate the heating element

Depending on your dryer model, you may need to remove the front or rear panel to access the heating element. If you’re unsure, refer to your dryer’s manual for panel removal instructions. Once you have access to the internal components, locate the heating element. It’s typically a coiled wire housed in a metal chamber.

Step 3 – Remove the old heating element

Once located, carefully disconnect the wires connected to the heating element. Take note of the placement or take a picture to ensure correct reconnection later. The heating element is usually held in place by mounting screws which will need to be removed with a screwdriver or nut driver. Once unthreaded, place them somewhere safely for when you install the new element. When removing the element, it’s important to be cautious not to damage any surrounding components. We also recommend you wear a pair of safety gloves when handling the element.

Step 4 – Install the new heating element

Now that the defective heating element has been removed, the next step is to install the new one. Once you have carefully removed the element from its packaging, place it in the same position as the old one and secure it with the mounting screws you removed earlier. You can then reconnect the wires to the new heating element. Ensure that each wire is connected to the correct terminal before proceeding.

Step 5 – Test the new element (optional)

Before reassembling the dryer, it’s a good idea to use a multimeter to test for continuity across the terminals of the heating element. This step helps ensure that the new element is functioning properly. You can skip to the next step if you don’t have a multimeter. If you find the new element doesn’t pass a continuity test, you will need to get a technician to inspect other components within your dryer.

Step 6 – Reassemble the dryer

Once the new heating element is securely in place, the next step is to assemble the dryer by reattaching any panels or covers you removed. Ensure everything is securely in place before plugging your dryer back into the power.

Step 7 – Test the dryer

The final step is to test the dryer to ensure the new heating element works correctly. This can be done by turning your dryer on to a cycle and ensuring heat is being generated. If your dryer still doesn’t work correctly, consult a professional technician.

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