Mailbag: Burning Smell in Dryer After Replacing the Heating Element

by Samurai Appliance Repair Man on July 18, 2005

in Dryer Repair

Jim H wrote:

I have a Kenmore Dryer with the lint trap in the door. I just replaced the heating element as it went bad. Once I reassembled the dryer and turned it on to check it out, it seemed to me that it smelled hot and that it was getting pretty hot. I took the bottom cover off again so I could see the heating element and the insides. I did not see anything unusual but did smell the heat. Smelled like something was burning. So, I unplugged it and am writing to you to ask what you think it might be. My only guess is that the thermostat is not turning the thing off like its supposed to. Ofcourse you are the expert, not I. So, what is your advice master?

Message sent from IP:

OH. MY. GAWD! Get out of there NOW! Your dryer is about to explode!

Or it could just be lint balls that got dislodged when you changed the heating element and were harmlessly incinerated when the element fired up. Hard to tell ‘cuz I’m, like, on the other side of your computer, an’ all.

Run the dryer for about 10 minutes while monitoring it. That’s plenty of time for the smell to dissipate… if it’s gonna. If it doesn’t, then there’s something horribly wrong, like a grounded heating element or a bad cycling thermostat.

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