If you get a call about a dryer that’s not heating up, the heating element probably shorted. A short in the element can cause either low heat or no heat at all, but it can’t be repaired or partially replaced. For Whirlpool dryers, order a replacement element with a part number 279838 and follow these instructions.
1. Unplug the dryer.
Every step of this process involves electrical components. Disconnecting the appliance from its power source should definitely be your first step to keep everyone safe.
2. Access the back panel.
Once the machine is unplugged, pull it away from the wall so you can reach the rear of the machine. Loosen the screws around the back panel so you can pull the cover away and access the rear components.
3. Remove the element.
First, remove the wires from the thermostat. In order to be sure that you return the wires to the proper ports after you install the new element, take a picture of the wires that clearly show where each wire goes. Pry the wires away from the blocks with a flathead screwdriver. Once the wires are out of the way. Unscrew the element from the heat tube and pull the element down and away.
4. Install the new element.
Before you put the new part in the dryer, remove the thermostat from the previous part and transfer it to the new one; a new thermostat is not included. Just pry the terminal free, pull the thermostat free of the tab, and slip it into position on the new element. The snap the terminal into place.
Slide the new element into position so it fits smoothly into the gap and the screw holes line up. The retighten the screws.
5. Reassemble the dryer.
Using the picture you took earlier, reattach the three wires to the thermostat and element. Screw the back panel into position and then push the whole dryer back into position.
For more dryer repair tips and how to replace specific parts, go to Fred’s Appliance Service here.