It’s amazing when you start thinking about it how all the different components of machines like dryers depend on each other to function.

Because of this interconnected nature, a problem with just one of the parts can mess up other parts as well as the machine as a whole.

Therefore, it is important that you know how each of those pieces functions as well as how to check and fix them if something goes wrong.

Take the dryer drum, for instance.

It is such a fundamental part of the dryer, yet it is linked up with many other devices that need to work for it to function.

One such piece instrumental to the dryer drum and thereby the dryer as a whole is the heating element. Given the heating element’s critical role, you should know how to check it for trouble in the case that something goes wrong with the dryer.

What is a Dryer Heating Element?

Heating Element

Photo credit to Instructables

A dryer’s heating element’s exact design varies between brands, but they can be identified in general by the nickel and chrome alloy wiring strung around them.

The purpose of the heating element is to provide the heat necessary within the heating drum when drying the clothes. This is done by having the wires heat up when exposed to an electrical current, thus generating the heat for the dryer.

Sometimes, the heating element is designed to apply the heat as air travels through the lower section of the dryer, while other dryers have the heating element apply the heat within the drum itself. Either way, your dryer’s heating element is essential in adding the heat that is the centerpiece of the whole drying process.

If the heating element goes bad, the heating will fail and thus hinder your laundry work.

How to Find the Heating Element

Heating Element

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Because your heating element can reduce the heat in the dryer when it is not functioning properly, it is a key possibility to consider when your dryer isn’t generating enough heat. That said, since there are so many different components within dryers, it could be something else entirely. That’s why it’s important to check the heating element for damage.

First, though, you need to find it in your dryer.

As noted here on SF Gate, heating elements can be positioned in a couple of different spots within your dryer, generally either a panel in the back of the machine or in a dryer cabinet behind the drum.

Check with your manufacturer to see which of the places contains your heating element. If you aren’t sure, look for a rear panel, as that is an indicator that the heating element is there.

Testing the Heating Element

Heating Element

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Once you know where to find the heating element, it’s time to begin the testing.

Make sure you have the dryer unplugged from its power source, and in a position where you can readily access the heating element’s location.

There should be a thermostat connected to the heating element, and according to SF Gate, that should be the main focus of the test.

Pull a couple of wires from the thermostat terminal and then link up the terminal to a wire for a continuity tester.

Once the tester’s needle touches the terminal, watch for a light to appear on the tester unit.

Light in the continuity tester signifies that the heating element is running smoothly, but an absence of light indicates that the heating element is defective and needs to be replaced.

Replacing the Heating Element 

Heating Element

Photo credit to Rainy Day Magazine

If the testing proves that your heating element no longer works, you need to know how to replace the device as well.

Fortunately, the whole process of removing and replacing the heating element should be fairly easy. You will have likely already disassembled parts of the dryer to access the device for the test so this saves you from the trouble of doing it again.

Following the instructions are given on PartSelect, remove the screws that are holding the heating element in place to dislodge it from its place in the dryer. Once you have removed the old heating element, simply take the new heating element and place it back into the dryer. After that, put everything back together, plug in the dyer, and proceed with your laundry.

All the Help You Need for Fixing Your Dryer

Room with Dryer

Photo credit to Reader’s Digest

The heating element is just one of the many parts that can malfunction in your dryer. Each issue requires its own steps to resolve the problem.

By knowing about as many of the components as you can as well as how to fix and replace them, you can better handle the many potential mechanical challenges you may one day face with your dryer.

There’s a lot to take in just for a dryer, but is here to help.

You can find how-to’s, repair hacks, and all the other tips you need to keep your drying running. Check out our website to learn more.