Friday, March 22, 2013

How to troubleshoot and repair an electric clothes dryer that will run but not heat up.

      Our Kenmore clothes dryer would run but did not heat up. This problem can result from either a household power problem or will be in the dryer itself. A dryer needs a full 240 volts to fully function. The loss of one phase of 120V will result in a cold dryer. This post will cover troubleshooting the drying circuit and replacing an open heating element.


Troubleshooting and dis-assembly

1) Unplug dryer and move it into position where it can be worked on.

2) Remove back lower cover (7, ¼” hex-head sheet metal screws).

3) Move the lower back cover and exhaust duct out of the way.

4) Trouble shoot components with an ohm meter to find.fault. Components are easy to identify using electric schematic attached to the back upper cover of the dryer. The four elements in the 240V heating circuit (the thermal cutoff, operating thermostat, hi limit thermostat and the heater) should all have a low ohm reading. If all the components check out fine, there may be a problem with the incoming power. A person experienced and able to work safely with a 240V live circuit may be needed to troubleshoot the supply circuit.

The four components on the bottom line make up the 240V heating circuit



 The heating element should measure around 8 to 10 ohms.  The heating element is open.
FSP heater 696579  is burned open



5) Unplug two spade connections for each of the three components on the heater housing. Don't worry about polarity of the wires. Just make sure to plug each back with the correct set of wires when re-assembling.

6) Remove the electric mains cover from the middle of the top back cover. Observe through the opening the mounting bracket and screw at the top of the heater housing. ( 5/16 hex-head sheet metal screw)

 7) Remove 5/16” hex head sheet metal screw and the mounting bracket from above the upper heater housing.

8) Wiggle the heater housing while pulling it toward you, until it comes free. Lift it up and off the lower housing holders that it rests on. Now it can be twisted and set down, held to the machine only by the two sets of heat sensor wires.

8) Remove the 5/16” hex head sheet metal screw at the bottom of the element that holds the element in the housing.

9) Remove the heating element

Install element


1) Slide the new element into the housing and fasten at the bottom with the 5/16” hex head sheet metal screw. 

2) Put the little mounting bracket in the slot at the top of the heater housing. Rest the housing in the lower holder slots and push the housing into the dryer. Fasten the housing bracket with the 5/16” hex head sheet metal screw. It is helpful to look through the electrical mains opening  to help with the screw and bracket.

Hold the mounting bracket in place as the housing is mounted with the new heater
I'm working on Kenmore model 110.96220100
3) Plug the wiring back into each of the three components on the heater housing.

4)  Mount the electrical mains cover with a ¼” hex-head sheet metal screw.

5) Install the back cover with 7  ¼” hex-head sheet metal screws.

6) Test the dryer and start drying clothes again.

Here is a link to a good quality OEM replacement heating element:


About the "Original Mechanic"

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