Mailbag: Electric Dryer Runs but Doesn’t Heat

by Samurai Appliance Repair Man on December 20, 2003

in Dryer Repair

AL wrote:

I followed your instuctions and cleaned out the vent system. But my Kenmore 70 series dryer continues to run with no heat.
Do I just replace the heating element or do I replace the thermostat? I’ve yet to pick up A ohm meter, but I will today.

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For an electric dryer that runs but doesn’t heat, follow this repair roadmap:

  1. Flip the circuit breaker off and then back on. Electric dryers run on a two-pole, 240v breaker. A common problem is for one of the legs to break which cuts the 240v that the elements need to heat up but it still supplies the 120v for the motor. The result is that the dryer runs but doesn’t heat.
  2. If the breaker checks out, then it’s time to do some surgery. Unplug the dryer and open it up. Disassembly instructions are here for all common brands.
  3. Use your ohm meter to test the thermostats. All should show continuity.
  4. Measure the resistance of the heating element with your ohm meter. Normal readings are in the neighborhood of 30 ohms.
  5. In rare cases, the centrifugal switch in the motor can fail which breaks the power circuit for the heating elements. If this is the case, then the entire motor must be replaced since the centrifugal switch is built into the motor.

If you need more help, post your question in the repair forum at the Samurai School of Appliantology.

To learn more about your dryer, or to order parts, click here.


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