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

  1. 01.

    Shut off the power

    Unplug the dryer to disconnect electrical power.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.
  7. 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.

  8. 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: door switch failure, lack of power, broken belt, blown thermal fuse, bad drive motor, control system 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: bad gas valve coils, broken heating element, tripped safety thermostat or fuse, bad operating thermostat, control failure
Main causes: bad timer or electronic control board, door switch failure
Main causes: lack of electrical power, bad power cord, wiring failure, bad control board, blown thermal fuse, bad door switch
Main causes: clogged exhaust vent, bad motor relay, loose dryer door catch, bad door switch, control system failure, faulty drive motor
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.

August 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dryer blower wheel

A rattling noise or lack of air flow through the dryer could indicate that the blower wheel is damaged. Follow the steps in this repair guide to replace the blower wheel in your dryer.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 60 minutes or less
August 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to install a dryer gas valve coil kit

If the dryer heats initially but then stops heating, the problem is usually the gas valve coils. This step-by-step guide explains how to replace the gas valve coils in a gas dryer.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 90 minutes or less
August 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dryer drive belt

If the drive belt breaks, the motor runs but the drum won't rotate. These step-by-step instructions guide you through the repair process.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 90 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.

November 4, 2016

Electric dryer won't heat troubleshooting video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

These easy tests will help you check the heating element, high-limit thermostat, timer, thermal cut-off fuse and operating thermostat.

October 26, 2016

How to repair broken or damaged wires video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to repair broken, frayed or damaged wires in your appliances.

June 20, 2016

Electric dryer won't start troubleshooting video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn what four things to check if your electric dryer won't start or run.