GE Dryer Overheats

by casey on January 5, 2006

in Dryer Repair

My GE dryer is overheating. I just replaced the element about 6 months ago, and ever since then I cannot dry my clothes properly. The element was bad and had been for a while. I have since moved twice and check my ventilation regularly.

Now if I run the dryer on high (which I don’t) my clothes come out smoking. I mean it, my clothes are smoking and smell burnt. I clean my lint trap after every use and have vacuumed out the duct work (both inside the dryer and from the dryer to outside the house). I am sure my ventilation is good.

Even on medium, the clothes get too hot. I cannot touch them to take them out of the dryer and fold them.

So I run the dryer on low, and it takes almost two hours to dry a regular size load of clothes. I don’t dare try to fill my washer because my dryer cannot dry a large load in a reasonable amount of time.

Yes I now know that GE is not the appliance to buy. I have had this dryer for an amazing 8 years. The matching washer died about 6 years ago and was repalced with a Whirlpool. Unfortunately, I just can’t afford to replace my dryer at this time so I must fix it myself.

I appreciate any and all help I recieve.

Thank you!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Samurai Appliance Repair Man January 5, 2006 at 10:37 am

The culprit is most likely the cycling thermostat and/or the safety thermostat. I would replace both, they’re inexpensive. Post your model number and I can get you direct links to the parts you need to replace.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man January 5, 2006 at 11:05 am

One additional comment after re-reading your post. The excessively long dry times you describe is almost always a result of a restricted vent. Try running the dryer with the vent disconnected. And read The Ultimate Dryer Venting Guide.

casey January 5, 2006 at 12:21 pm

My model number is DBXR453ET3WW.

Thank you for responding.

I know that venting problems can cause other major problems. I am not sure the cause for the element going bad (it’s been a while ago). But it was burnt through on one end (similar to when a light bulb burns out). I ran the dryer for probably two years with the bad element. It was taking long to dry then too. But now it only takes long on low, and unfortunately it burns things up on high.

I have checked my ventilation and I have great air flow outside. But after reading The Ulitmate Dryer Venting Guide, I have a question about that. I have that metal foil-like flexible duct that is so common. Am I not supposed to use that stuff? If not, why do they sell it as dryer vent duct material? I understand the business dollar, but shouldn’t that be a safety concern? On the plus side, I have run my duct as straight as possible and I am prepared to make the necessary changes.

Thank you, again. :)

casey January 5, 2006 at 12:57 pm

OK, now I know that I do have a ventilation problem (I unhooked the dryer). I only thought the vent was good.

The trick here is the wording. The instructions state flexible metal (which I thought I bought because the package stated it was for a dryer vent and it was shiny metal-like), but it meant something different (which I now know). Of course I did buy it 8 years ago and I was much younger then too. No excuses, it is my dryer. I am making those changes to my dryer vent today, and I will post again in a day or two about the drying time.

Guess wisdom really does come with age.

Thank you.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man January 6, 2006 at 9:08 am

The spiral wound metal flex hose has it’s place: used sparingly and to make off-set connections to two ducts. 90 degree turns and bends should all be made with rigid aluminum fittings– flex collapses and restricts air flow.

All dryer’s do two things: heat the air and blow hard. Lacking either of these conditions, and the clothes stay wet. 😉

casey January 6, 2006 at 11:04 am

My drying time has decreased significantly. Thank you for making me look again at my ventilation.

My clothes are still coming out with a bit of burnt smell though if I leave them in too long. I don’t remember having this problem before if I left clothes drying too long.

I am concerned, I don’t want to burn my house down. I think I would like to replace those thermostats just in case and maybe extend the life of the dryer a few more years.

Thank you.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man January 6, 2006 at 3:47 pm

Might just be lint burning off on the heating element. You should still replace thermostats and thermal fuse:

Safety thermostat:

Cycling t’stat, lo temp:

Cycling t’stat, hi temp:

Hi limit t’stat:

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