Author Topic: Whirlpool Duet Dryer REPAIRING Dryer Heating Element - DON"T WASTE $$$  (Read 31511 times)

Offline zhillsgator

  • VIP Member
  • Member Since: Sep 2011
  • Posts: 3
I have a Whirlpool Duet Dryer about 5 yrs. old.  My wife tells me that the dryer is not working - rrrrrrr.....!!    Just spent last Thursday diagnosing and replacing a throttle actuator on my daughters scion tc  to the tune of $450, so really did not want to hear this.

I checked dryer, everything seemed to be working properly, only prob dryer not heating up.  i think heating element or circuit that powers it.  Ok i get an online repair manual from this site.

First checked the dryer circuit breakers - flipped off, then back on - seemed fine.  Next from information gleaned from these sites, I UNPLUGGED THE DRYER!!!! then i crack open the front of the unit.   Info in the repair manual is great for technical instruction, so first i checked the thermal fuse.  I used a multimeter to check, but you could have used continuity tester to diagnose these issues.  The thermal fuse showed continuity (it tells you exactly how to do it in the repair manual), so the next thing to check was the dryer heating element (again, specific instructions in the repair manual).  Following the repair manual, i pulled one wire off of the terminal of the dryer  heating element (you have to pull pretty good to get it off) check it, Uh oh no continuity - (all this means is that there is a break in the circuit somwhere, in this case it means that the heating element has a break in it somewhere). Before taking the heating element out, i tested the heating element about 1/4 of the way down, had continuity, but 1/2 way down i had no continuity.  i then was positive, even before pulling the element out that it had a break in it.  Please do not feel in any way that you cannot do this, because you can -  all you need is a multimeter or continuity tester and the ability to read, and a few very basic tools.

OK, so i pull the heating element out (again read the repair manual, making sure you remove the screw and give it a good tug) - i find the break, which  was caused by a flat piece of the aluminum within the framework of the heating element cracking (i suppose from being heated and cooled about 5000 times) and kind of laying down onto the coils of the element. i think that the piece of metal (which is directly grounded to the dryer frame via the element houseing) grounded out the heating element causing it to burn through.  Other than the one place the element is fine.

 I start thinking, really all i need to do is put the two ends of the heating element back together (create continuity).  Solder would just burn through, so maybe a crimp on electrical connector would work (google -electrical connector butt splice).   I get the smallest butt splice connector i have.  It is insulated, so i should probably remove the  insulation. i really don't have to, but if i don't, when it is burning off while my wife is drying clothes, she will smell it and freak out.  I do this by getting a lighter and burning the insulation off of the connector.  So i can access the broken area better, I carefully remove the broken section of the element from the ceramic holders.  You want to be careful not to compress the coils of the element, or it may short out if compressed to the point of touching.  i put the splice on one end, crimp, then do the same to the other.  Make sure you crimp both ends down really good.  About 15 minutes later (and about 15 cents), we are back in business drying clothes again. 

I read in another forum some guy said the connector could start a fire, by coming loose and falling down in some lint.  I argue back that the brittle piece of aluminum that came loose and fell onto the glowing coils and shorted my OEM heater element could have done the same thing.  Also, with the aluminum housing completely surrounding the heating element, the worst it could do is burn through and fall on the bottom of the housing, which after 5 years of heavy use contained less lint than my bellybutton. 

Anyway, just my opinion.  Also, i am getting more and more determined to not just replace parts, to try and fix as much as possible.  Good luck and hope this helps someone.

Offline wildimaginations

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 618
  • Country: us
Re: Whirlpool Duet Dryer REPAIRING Dryer Heating Element - DON"T WASTE $$$
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2011, 10:37:38 PM »
Thanks for the info.  I'd like to hear from you again in about a month to let us know how it's doing.  It's interesting how you thought this out.  O0
Appliance Service Technician
Authorized servicer on LG appliances.
About 45 mins east of San Francisco

Offline tgoods

  • Technician
    Moderator
  • Member Since: Jul 2010
  • Posts: 1513
  • Country: us
    • Buy me a beer through paypal
Re: Whirlpool Duet Dryer REPAIRING Dryer Heating Element - DON"T WASTE $$$
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2011, 11:08:37 PM »
Yeah, not a good repair.  You're better off fixing it right and replacing the element.

Offline RegUS_PatOff

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Dec 2007
  • Posts: 1410
  • Country: us
Re: Whirlpool Duet Dryer REPAIRING Dryer Heating Element - DON"T WASTE $$$
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2011, 09:41:13 AM »

Yeah, not a good repair.  You're better off fixing it right and replacing the element.
... I agree..
also should use hi-temperature connectors ..
also, as Dryer Heating Elements age, they tend to sag, and will eveltually short again, soon
After leaving this Earth, "Do you want the smoking or non-smoking section?"

Offline JWWebster

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Jan 2008
  • Posts: 8781
  • Country: us
  • SublimeMasterJW
    • Buy me a beer through paypal
    • JW's Sublime Appliance Advice
Re: Whirlpool Duet Dryer REPAIRING Dryer Heating Element - DON"T WASTE $$$
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2011, 10:17:27 AM »
They also get brittle with age. Go ahead and order a new element now and have it when the heat goes out again in a month on a sunday night before school..
May the hinges of our friendship
        never grow rusty.

About the icons: The beer is tip link, if a tech saves ya some money buy em a 6 pack. The small green square=personal message. The green dot is a link to my web page on appliance repair and other general BS I love to post. The letter sends me email.
I love fan letters! LOL

Offline zhillsgator

  • VIP Member
  • Member Since: Sep 2011
  • Posts: 3
Re: Whirlpool Duet Dryer REPAIRING Dryer Heating Element - DON"T WASTE $$$
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2011, 09:56:25 PM »
Yeah, you guys are right i should probably go ahead and order a new heating element just in case,  but i will tell you that this fix is still working -  I have a 5 person family with two teenage girls at about eight loads/week.  I suppose i might order one this week.   just hate the idea of our totally disposable society.  Also this is one way to get the dryer going again while you are waiting on the new element to come in. 
I did consider using the high temp connector but i only had regular ones.  Also this element failed because of a failure of the internal aluminum piece within the framework  (which i noticed some of the replacement elements do not contain), cracking and not the failure of the heating coils.  If it does fail again it is pretty easy to get to.  I bet i can do it in much faster next time!

One thing that i failed to mention is that i pushed both ends of the broken coil all the way through the butt connector so that the broken ends of the coil overlapped, and poked out of each end of the  connector.  i think this kind of fused the coils of the element together along the overlap when it heated up. Its still holdin' - hope my next post is in a year tellin you the same. haha

Offline JWWebster

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Jan 2008
  • Posts: 8781
  • Country: us
  • SublimeMasterJW
    • Buy me a beer through paypal
    • JW's Sublime Appliance Advice
Re: Whirlpool Duet Dryer REPAIRING Dryer Heating Element - DON"T WASTE $$$
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2011, 10:08:24 PM »
I been there and done that too. It holds fer a while. Depends on how brittle it is and how much BS yall want to go through till the new one gets in there. LOL
May the hinges of our friendship
        never grow rusty.

About the icons: The beer is tip link, if a tech saves ya some money buy em a 6 pack. The small green square=personal message. The green dot is a link to my web page on appliance repair and other general BS I love to post. The letter sends me email.
I love fan letters! LOL

Offline tgoods

  • Technician
    Moderator
  • Member Since: Jul 2010
  • Posts: 1513
  • Country: us
    • Buy me a beer through paypal
Re: Whirlpool Duet Dryer REPAIRING Dryer Heating Element - DON"T WASTE $$$
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2011, 12:39:05 AM »
If it's your own dryer I don't see any harm in trying it.  As a professional, I can't be doing anything like that on customer's machine.  I have to make sure it's fixed right.

Offline JWWebster

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Jan 2008
  • Posts: 8781
  • Country: us
  • SublimeMasterJW
    • Buy me a beer through paypal
    • JW's Sublime Appliance Advice
Re: Whirlpool Duet Dryer REPAIRING Dryer Heating Element - DON"T WASTE $$$
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2011, 10:25:06 AM »
Absolutely!
May the hinges of our friendship
        never grow rusty.

About the icons: The beer is tip link, if a tech saves ya some money buy em a 6 pack. The small green square=personal message. The green dot is a link to my web page on appliance repair and other general BS I love to post. The letter sends me email.
I love fan letters! LOL

Offline zhillsgator

  • VIP Member
  • Member Since: Sep 2011
  • Posts: 3
Hey guys, i forgot to ask  - where is the best online source to get these elements from?  The element is still holding, but i do need to order one and have on hand.   Thanks for the response, this is a very informative site.    Any help greatly appreciated.

Offline AJ

  • Technician
    Administrator
  • Member Since: Jun 2007
  • Posts: 9436
  • Country: us
    • ApplianceJunk.com - Appliance Repair
Re: Whirlpool Duet Dryer REPAIRING Dryer Heating Element - DON"T WASTE $$$
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2011, 07:51:11 PM »
Hey guys, i forgot to ask  - where is the best online source to get these elements from?  The element is still holding, but i do need to order one and have on hand.   Thanks for the response, this is a very informative site.    Any help greatly appreciated.

Websites & companies ApplianceJunk are affiliated with.


RepairClinic.com

AppliancePartsPros.com


What's this mean?

If you click on a text link, banner, image or search button on our site that takes you to one of the affiliate sites listed above and then make a purchase from that affiliate we receive a small commission from the sale.


We appreciate your support.
Hope you find our site helpful.

Offline AJ

  • Technician
    Administrator
  • Member Since: Jun 2007
  • Posts: 9436
  • Country: us
    • ApplianceJunk.com - Appliance Repair
Hows your heater repair holding up?

Did you ever end up replacing the element?
Hope you find our site helpful.

Offline Thorning

  • VIP Member
  • Member Since: Jun 2013
  • Posts: 16
Re: Whirlpool Duet Dryer REPAIRING Dryer Heating Element - DON"T WASTE $$$
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2013, 04:51:05 PM »
I read this info about repairing a broken heating element using a crimp type connector. In a pinch it may last a while but it is risky. The material in usually nichrome wire , brittle after years of use, and repairing it  using a crimped connector may cause a short and sparks before it trips a breaker or causes a t-stat to trip off. I have been working on dryers the last several years and it amazes me how much lint accumulates in the lower section. All that lint and a spark are all that is needed to start a fire.

Offline JFCshadow

  • VIP Member
  • Member Since: Oct 2013
  • Posts: 1
Re: Whirlpool Duet Dryer REPAIRING Dryer Heating Element - DON"T WASTE $$$
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2013, 10:11:24 AM »
for $24 bucks online replace the element :cheers:

Offline Brent@CanBC

  • Technician
  • Member Since: Sep 2008
  • Posts: 114
  • Country: ca
Re: Whirlpool Duet Dryer REPAIRING Dryer Heating Element - DON"T WASTE $$$
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2013, 03:42:49 AM »
Belts, idler pully's,  elements,  got to be replaced with "new", only.

 

279816 Whirlpool Thermal Cut-Off For Dryer Heating Element

Started by AJ

Replies: 0
Views: 5478
Last post March 22, 2009, 08:38:14 PM
by AJ
3387747 Whirlpool Electric Dryer Heating Element

Started by AJ

Replies: 0
Views: 5008
Last post April 11, 2009, 11:12:02 AM
by AJ
Video: Testing and Replacing Whirlpool Dryer Heating Element.

Started by AJ

Replies: 0
Views: 1314
Last post December 13, 2011, 08:26:10 AM
by AJ
Whirlpool Dryer Not Heating

Started by TechnicianBrian

Replies: 0
Views: 4439
Last post March 29, 2008, 05:33:22 PM
by TechnicianBrian
WHIRLPOOL DRYER NOT HEATING

Started by lowhook

Replies: 10
Views: 6299
Last post May 26, 2009, 02:37:08 PM
by AJ
Broken dryer heating element

Started by nivard

Replies: 2
Views: 5156
Last post April 19, 2008, 08:10:20 PM
by BrntToast