Electric Clothes Dryer with No Heat? How to Find and Fix the Problem

Posted on: 25 February 2015

Is your electric clothes dryer giving you problems? Does it seem to work but doesn't produce any heat? If this is a problem you are having, there is a good chance that the dryer is not getting an adequate amount of power or has a failing heating element. Below, you will learn how to test and diagnose the heating issue to make the necessary repairs.

Test for Electrical Supply Problems

Unplug the dryer and use a voltmeter to test the wall outlet. If the voltmeter is reading less than 240 volts, then you have an electrical problem within the home. You will have to contact an electrician to have the necessary repairs made. Don't attempt to use the dryer until an electrician has inspected the problem.

If the home electrical connection is not the problem, examine the dryer's pigtail plug. Look for any signs of damage on the cord and corrosion on the connections. If you find any damage, take the cord and go to your local appliance store to purchase a replacement. Connect the new cord and test the dryer.

Test the Dryer's Heating Element

If you are unfamiliar with the internal components of your dryer, you will need the owner's manual to proceed. If you do not have a paper copy of the manual, you can go online and find an online version by entering the make and model number of the dryer.

Once you learn where the heating element in your dryer is positioned, remove the access panel to expose the element. Test the element using a multimeter. Touch both ends of the element with the probes of the multimeter. If the display reads "infinity," the element is bad and must be replaced.

Tip: Take a few seconds to take a few pictures of the element before removing it and as you work to remove it. You can use these pictures as a reference when you go to install the new element. If you do not connect it exactly as it needs to be, you could cause damage to both the element and your dryer.

Replacing the element is generally an easy job. Disconnect the element and remove the screws holding it in place. Look on the side of the element for a stamped part number. Use this number to contact your local appliance store to find a replacement.

Install the new element and replace the access panel. Run the dryer on high-heat while empty for several minutes. This will help any residue that is on the new element to burn off without damaging clothing inside the dryer.

This repair process is easy enough, but if you do not feel comfortable completing it, contact your local dryer repair technician.