August 1, 2014

How to replace a heating element in an electric dryer

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a heating element in an electric dryer

This step-by-step dryer repair guide explains how to replace the heating element in an electric dryer. Because the heating element generates the dryer's heat, check it if the air in the dryer doesn't get warm. You can inspect the heating element for damage or breaks in the heating coil. If the heating element is damaged, replacing it with the manufacturer-approved replacement part.

Use these steps to replace the heating element in Kenmore, Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, Roper, Crosley and Estate dryers with a lint screen housing located in the top cabinet panel.

Quick links
Tools required
1/4-inch nut driver
Slot screwdriver
Vacuum cleaner or shop vac
Work gloves
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Replacing a heating element in an electric dryer

This video explains how to replace the heating element in an electric dryer.

Instructions

01.

Shut off the power

Unplug the dryer to disconnect electrical power.

02.

Remove the back panel

Move the dryer forward and use a 1/4-inch nut driver to remove the screws from the back panel. Remove the back panel from the dryer and set it aside.

Tip: While the cabinet is open, vacuum the dust and lint from inside the dryer cabinet.
Remove the back panel screws.

Remove the back panel screws.

Remove the back panel from the dryer.

Remove the back panel from the dryer.

03.

Disconnect the wires

Locate the heating element near the bottom of the dryer.

Mark the location of wires connected to the heating element and high-limit thermostat or take a digital photograph, so you know how to correctly reconnect them later.

Disconnect the wires, using slot screwdriver to pry the wires off the spades if necessary.

Pull the wires off the heating element.

Pull the wires off the heating element.

04.

Remove the heating element

Remove the mounting screws from the heating element using a 1/4-inch nut driver and pull it off of the heater box.

Remove the heating element mounting screws.

Remove the heating element mounting screws.

Remove the heating element.

Remove the heating element.

05.

Transfer the high-limit thermostat to the new heating element

Remove the high-limit thermostat from the existing heating element and install it on the new heating element.

Transfer the high-limit thermostat to the new heating element.

Transfer the high-limit thermostat to the new heating element.

06.

Install the new heating element

Position the new heating element on the heater box and line up the mounting screw holes. Insert the mounting screws and tighten them firmly.

Properly connect the wires to the new heating element, following the labels or digital photograph.

Warning: For safety and to avoid damage to the new element, the wires must be properly connected. If you are unsure how to connect the wires, have a service technician complete this repair.

07.

Reattach the back panel

Position the back panel on the back of the dryer. Line up the mounting screw holes. Insert the mounting screws and tighten them firmly.

08.

Plug in the dryer

Plug the dryer into the wall outlet to restore electrical power.

Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.
Symptoms common to all dryers

Choose a symptom to see related dryer repairs.

Main causes: bad gas valve coils, broken heating element, tripped safety thermostat or fuse, bad operating thermostat, control failure
Main causes: clogged exhaust system, heating system failure, deposits on moisture sensor, control system failure
Main causes: bad drum support roller, damaged idler pulley, broken blower fan blade, worn drum glide bearing, bad drive motor
Main causes: door switch failure, lack of power, broken belt, blown thermal fuse, bad drive motor, control system failure
Main causes: clogged exhaust vent, bad motor relay, loose dryer door catch, bad door switch, control system failure, faulty drive motor
Main causes: lack of electrical power, bad power cord, wiring failure, bad control board, blown thermal fuse, bad door switch
Main causes: bad timer or electronic control board, door switch failure
Main causes: damaged door strike, worn door catch
Repair guides common to all dryers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your dryer.

How to replace a heating element in an electric dryer

The heating element in an electric dryer generates the dryer's heat—it's one of the first things to check if the air in the dryer doesn't get warm. If it's damaged, this repair guide will show you how to replace the heating element.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to replace a thermal fuse in an electric dryer

When the air in the dryer overheats—usually because the vent is clogged—the thermal fuse blows, stopping the dryer. You can't reset the fuse; you must replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to install a thermal cut-off fuse kit in a gas dryer

The thermal cut-off fuse shuts off the heat if the dryer overheats when the high-limit thermostat fails. The thermal cut-off fuse kit includes both parts.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Articles and videos common to all dryers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your dryer.

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