heating element inside a dryer

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by tpny, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. tpny

    Thread Starter Member

    May 6, 2012
    216
    0
    Hi my dryer heating element does not get very hot. I measured the V+ and 0V leads of the heating element and they are 110VAC when the dryer is powered ON. I removed the heating element and continuity tested V+ ends (3 in total) and the 0V leads and they are open. I would think they should be closed (shorted) in order for current to flow thru and thusly produce heat. the sandwich layer in the middle (red arrows pointing in photo) seem to be causing the continuity to break. Is this by design? Or is my heating element faulty? Thanks!
     
  2. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,446
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    What do you mean by "not get very hot"?

    If the circuit were open, it would not get hot at all.
     
  3. elec_mech

    Senior Member

    Nov 12, 2008
    1,513
    193
    I've found RepairClinic to be a wealth of info whenever I've needed to troubleshoot appliances. For dryers, check here and look at the topics Dryer Doesn't Heat and Dryer Takes Too Long. They'll take you step-by-step on what to check and how to check it.
     
  4. MMcLaren

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2010
    759
    116
    I've used RepairClinic's diagnostics to repair our old gas clothes dryer three times over the last twelve years. Last time it was one of the two gas solenoids. I picked up both solenoids (they're located here in southeast Michigan) for something like $6 each and returned the one I didn't use.

    Good luck. Regards, Mike
     
  5. tinkerman

    Member

    Jul 22, 2012
    136
    34
    I wonder too. This is confusing. Has the dryer lost one leg of the 230 supply perhap?
     
  6. tpny

    Thread Starter Member

    May 6, 2012
    216
    0
    Well it's warm when I put my hand close to it. This is when I open up the dryer and removed the drum and left the electricals connected and the heating element exposed. (But apparently this is not hot enough to dry my clothes.)

    So when the power is removed and I test the 110V and 0V leads (from prior photo) for continuity, it's open. When the power is ON and I test again for continuity and I hear beep beep beep, pause, beep beep beep on the multimeter, like it's a pulse thing.

    From this observation I'm guessing the heating element is internally open when no voltage is applied and becomes internally closed circuit when voltage is applied. Is this correct? Like some kind of an induction thing because the leads are physically discontinuous in this particular heating element (unless it's currently faulty).. So do you suppose my heating element is behaving incorrectly from this description? thanks!
     
  7. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,313
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    Do you mean you interrupted the air flow from the heating elements, through the drum, to the fan, and then the exit?:eek:
     
  8. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,446
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    Ouch! says the meter.

    You are testing for continuity while 110VAC is on?

    I am surprised you still have a working meter!
     
  9. tpny

    Thread Starter Member

    May 6, 2012
    216
    0
    ha, is that why it beeped? is it supposed to have fried my probes?

    so meters aren't designed to shunt a little bit current from the test points to give a continuity reading?

    Yes, so I guess the physics of this heating element is such that when power is applied it conducts, when power removed it's open. Does this sound working? And yes I tested it again and the element gets hot so maybe it's ok afterall, but my clothes still don't dry..
     
  10. tpny

    Thread Starter Member

    May 6, 2012
    216
    0
    I just gutted my dryer by removing the drum in order to expose the electrical, so the heating element is sitting exposed and and motor is spinning unattached when I plug in to power ON the thing.
     
  11. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    With no air flow, nichrome wire heaters will melt in a matter of seconds.
     
  12. JohnInTX

    Moderator

    Jun 26, 2012
    2,347
    1,029
    To add to #12, if your exhaust is clogged with lint, even a good element will heat a bit then be shut down by one of the overtemp limit switches due to poor airflow. That may account for your 'warm but not hot' dryer.
     
  13. sheldons

    Active Member

    Oct 26, 2011
    616
    101
    continuity of your heater or lack of it means throw the element away and replace it with a new one-should come pre assembled with all wires needed etc dependant on make and model-most of them also include the thermal cut outs as well
     
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