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Author Topic: GE Dryer Temperature not Hot Enough  (Read 10774 times)

Offline TechnicianBrian

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GE Dryer Temperature not Hot Enough
« on: September 06, 2008, 08:03:40 AM »

Model #DBXR453ET0WWicon the customer was concerned that the dryer was not getting hot enough to dry the clothes and required extra time in order to dry properly. Knowing from experience that the dryer venting is most likely restricted preventing proper airflow for drying, I started to get my "how dryers work" speech ready for the customer, but out of habit, figured I would check the unit out first just in case I was jumping to a conclusion.

As technicians, we often have a good idea of where we are going to start troubleshooting (if not the solution) just from our conversation with the customer. But every so often, we will miss some little detail the customer said, because we know what appliances can and cannot do. Dryers for example, we will lump the no heating calls into two categories. The first is no heat and once verified, we start to look for which electrical component has failed. The second is to long to dry where we first verify there is heat, and then go looking for the airflow restriction. This works in many cases, but because of this practice, we often dismiss the not hot enough call because if the element is heating and the vent is clear, the clothes should be drying.

I would have walked down this usual path myself, but as I said out of habit, I will always ask the customer if any of the drying cycles were working, and which ones seemed to be having the problem. This two part question goes a long way to preventing a call back because if the dryer is working on certain cycles and not others, its not an airflow issue, which means we need to find which electrical component is causing the problem.

My usual practice is to place the temperature probe from my meter into the blower outlet and check the exhaust temperature (often while I am still talking with the customer) during operation. In doing so, you should be able to detect the cut-in and cut-out temperatures of the thermostat (or electronic board) as you select different drying cycles. In the case of this dryer, I found the high heat and medium heat were giving me the same temperature high and low, which told me either I had a temperature selector problem, or an element problem.

Taking a look at the wiring diagram, we see the basic path of current depending on the temperature selected. Unlike most mechanical timer dryers these days that use one element and just manipulate the thermostat bias heater to achieve different temperatures, this dryer uses two elements and two thermostats to give multiple drying temperatures.  The selector switch changes the current path depending on the temperature selected.  Low temperature from the lower wattage element, medium from the higher wattage element, and high from both elements together.

Once I knew I was dealing with a temperature issue and not an airflow issue, I pulled the front panel off and removed the drum (the only real way to get to things) and was visually able to see one of the element coils was broken creating an open circuit.

This dryer needed a new element and GE has given us two ways to get that done. The usual path is to replace the element assemblyicon and be done with it, but if you want to same the customer some money (and enjoy jigsaw puzzles) there is also a heater coil kiticon available. The customer opted for the lower cost option, and after I got the new coils installed, this dryer was again heating correctly on all temperature settings.  

If there is one moral to this post, it's don't jump to conclusions.  I know most poorly heating dryers are the result of problems with airflow or customers not understanding how to properly use their appliance.  But just to be safe, make sure you have all your ducks in a row before throwing the problem back to the customer.  It might save you from the taste of a foot in your mouth.

Offline JWWebster

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Re: GE Dryer Temperature not Hot Enough
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2008, 08:44:36 AM »
That is the kind of repair job I enjoy doing. I always tear down a dryer no matter what. You never know what you might find inside it. I found a gold ring and a diamond earing in one folding money all kind of coins. Just for fun I went on line and got that "we buy gold" kit. I sent that ring in and they sent me $5. Momma always said "stupid is as stupid does"!
« Last Edit: September 06, 2008, 08:47:22 AM by JWWebster »
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