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How To Repair an Electric Dryer

Electric dryers are one of the easier appliances to repair. The hardest part of repairing an electric dryer usually is gaining access to the inside of it. Electric dryer repairs fall into a few categories. We will deal with the most common breakdown here. No heat is the most common complaint. This usually is caused by either a partially obstructed dryer vent or a burned out electric heating element.


  1. If your dryer has stopped drying clothes, check to make sure the dryer vent is clear of lint and that the drum is turning. Check the vent termination on the outside of the house to make sure that lint has not blocked it and that no shrubbery or other items obstruct it.
  2. Hold the door switch down with the door open and the dryer running and feel if there is air blowing inside the drum.
  3. If everything is free and clear of obstructions and lint, and air is blowing in the drum, then you have a burned out electric heating element.

Gain access to the heating element

  1. Unplug the dryer from the wall outlet.
  2. Disconnect the dryer vent from the back of the dryer.
  3. Pull the dryer out away from the wall far enough so you have a lot of workspace.
  4. Unscrew all the screws that hold the back panel in place and remove it. This may involve loosening the screws holding the top control panel and the side panels, as well.
Electric dryers are one of the easier appliances to repair.

Electric dryers are one of the easier appliances to repair.

Replace the element

  1. You will see a long oblong or rectangular enclosure in the back of the dryer. This is where the heating element is located. Disconnect any wires leading into this element housing after marking them so you can reinstall them correctly.
  2. The element housing may be held together with either screws or clips. Remove the screws or clips and separate the housing.
  3. The heating element will be a loop with both ends of the loop attached to terminal screws. Loosen the terminal screws and remove the element.
  4. Install the new element and tighten the terminal screws firmly

Replace panels and reinstall dryer

  1. Reinstall the element housing. Take advantage of this opportunity to vacuum accumulations of lint from the element housing and the inside of the dryer.
  2. Replace the wires leading into the element housing.
  3. Reinstall the back panel on the dryer.
  4. Move the dryer into place and reinstall the dryer vent.
  5. Plug the dryer cord into the dryer outlet.
  6. Turn the dryer on and test your installation.


Make certain that you unplug the dryer before beginning work. 220 volts will kill. Carefully inspect the inside of the dryer while you have it apart. You may be able to lubricate the dryer drum bearings, and clean out the motor housing. You may also want to replace the drum belt at this point. Inspect the door gasket if you can see it from the back. Repairing your electric dryer is a fun and interesting project. If you clean, inspect, and repair anything that you can see that is defective, you will have a long-lasting, efficient electric dryer and save yourself an expensive repair bill.

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