Replacing a Dryer Heating Element Safely: Step-by-Step Guide

Ever wondered if you could tackle replacing a heating element in your dryer? Picture this: you’re in the middle of laundry day, and suddenly, your dryer stops heating up. Fret not, as we’re here to guide you through the process.

In this article, you’ll discover the satisfaction of fixing your dryer yourself. Say goodbye to waiting for repair services and hello to saving time and money. You’ll be surprised at how straightforward and rewarding this DIY task can be. So, are you ready to roll up your sleeves and give it a shot?

Understanding the Heating Element in a Dryer

The heating element in your dryer is a crucial component responsible for generating the heat needed to dry your clothes. It usually consists of a coiled wire that heats up when electricity passes through.

Types of Heating Elements

  • Coil Element: Found in older models, these are easily recognizable by their spiral shape.
  • Flat Element: Common in newer dryers, these are more compact and efficient.

How It Works

  • When the dryer is turned on, electricity flows through the heating element, causing it to heat up.
  • The heat is then transferred to the air that circulates through the dryer drum, drying your clothes in the process.

Signs of a Faulty Heating Element

  • Clothes taking longer to dry.
  • Lack of heat in the dryer.
  • Burnt smell during the drying cycle.

Replacing the Heating Element

  • Safety First: Always unplug the dryer before attempting any repairs.
  • Locate the Element: Refer to your dryer’s manual or online tutorials.
  • Installation: Replace the old element with a new one by following the manufacturer’s instructions.

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  • You save money on repair costs.
  • It’s a convenient and empowering skill to have.
  • You’ll have your dryer up and running faster.

Remember: If you’re unsure or uncomfortable with the process, it’s best to seek professional help to avoid any accidents or further damage.

Signs that Indicate a Faulty Heating Element

If your dryer is exhibiting certain signs, it could be a faulty heating element causing the issue. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Clothes Taking Longer to Dry: If you find that your laundry is taking longer than usual to dry completely, the heating element might be the culprit.
  • Lack of Sufficient Heat: Are your clothes coming out damp or not as warm as they should be? This could signal a problem with the heating element.
  • Visible Damage: Inspect the heating element for any visual signs of damage such as cracks, burns, or breakage.

Regularly checking for these signs can help you identify a faulty heating element in your dryer early on.

Tools Required for Replacing the Heating Element

When it comes to replacing the heating element in your dryer, having the right tools will make the process much smoother. Here’s a list of essential tools you’ll need:

  • Screwdriver (typically Phillips or flathead)
  • Nut driver
  • Multimeter
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Work gloves
  • Replacement heating element kit

Before starting, always remember to unplug your dryer to ensure safety. Double-check the model-specific requirements in your dryer’s manual for the exact tools needed.

Step-by-Step Guide to Replace the Heating Element

Here’s a simple guide to help you replace the heating element in your dryer:

  • Step 1: Safety First

  • Unplug the dryer before starting.
  • Put on your work gloves for protection.
  • Step 2: Access the Heating Element

  • Using a screwdriver, remove the dryer’s back panel.
  • Step 3: Locate and Remove the Old Heating Element

  • The heating element is usually at the back of the dryer.
  • Unscrew the old heating element from its housing.
  • Step 4: Test the Replacement Heating Element

  • Use a multimeter to check continuity on the new heating element.
  • Ensure it is functioning properly before installation.
  • Step 5: Install the New Heating Element

  • Carefully place the new heating element in the dryer.
  • Secure it by screwing it into place.
  • Step 6: Reassemble the Dryer

  • Put the back panel back on and screw it in.
  • Make sure everything is secure before plugging the dryer back in.
  • Turn on the dryer to see if the new heating element is working correctly.

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Important Tips
Always refer to your dryer’s manual for specific instructions.
If unsure, seek professional help to avoid any safety risks.

Testing the Dryer After Heating Element Replacement

Before using your dryer again, it’s crucial to test it to ensure that the new heating element is functioning correctly. Here are some simple steps to help you verify that everything is in working order:

  • Plug in the dryer and turn it on to a drying cycle.
  • Wait for a few minutes to see if the dryer is producing heat.
  • Feel the air coming out of the dryer – it should be warm.
  • If you notice that the dryer is running but not heating up, double-check the connections of the heating element.

Remember, safety always comes first! If you encounter any issues or concerns during the testing process, it might be best to seek professional assistance to ensure everything is working safely and efficiently.


You’ve learned the essential steps to successfully replace a heating element in your dryer. Remember to prioritize safety throughout the process and test the dryer post-replacement to ensure it’s functioning correctly. If you encounter any difficulties during testing, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance for your peace of mind and the efficiency of your appliance. Happy repairing!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I access the heating element in my dryer?

To access the heating element in your dryer, you typically need to remove the back panel of the dryer. Make sure to unplug the dryer first and follow safety precautions to avoid any accidents.

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How do I test the replacement heating element?

Use a multimeter to test the continuity of the replacement heating element. Set the multimeter to the Ohms setting and touch the probes to each terminal of the heating element. If there is continuity, the reading should be zero Ohms.

What are the steps to reassemble the dryer after replacing the heating element?

Reassembling the dryer involves putting back the back panel and any screws or clips that were removed during disassembly. Ensure all components are securely in place before plugging the dryer back in.

How should I test the dryer after replacing the heating element?

Turn on the dryer and run a test cycle to ensure the new heating element is functioning properly. Check for proper heating and listen for any unusual noises that may indicate a problem.

What should I do if I encounter issues after replacing the heating element?

If you experience any issues after replacing the heating element, such as abnormal heating or no heat at all, it is best to seek professional help. A certified technician can diagnose and fix any problems to ensure the safety and efficiency of your dryer.

Charlie Thomson is Appliance Mastery's expert on laundry appliances. With a degree in mechanical engineering and over 8 years of experience in the appliance repair industry, Charlie is a go-to resource for homeowners who want to tackle common issues with their washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.

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