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Busted Dryer

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Our dryer shit the bed on Saturday. Rachelle was trying to dry the 3rd load and it was acting like it was set on air-fluff, no heat at all. This is a pretty old dryer, it came with the house when we bought it, so I have no idea about its history. We've been using it for about 3 years now and have so far had no problems at all with it. At least she got Claire's stuff dry, if her woombie wasn't ready for bedtime it would have been a catastrophe.

After poking around online a little I figured out how to take the thing apart properly to get access to all the components I needed to test. Obviously there was something wrong with the heating system, but there were a few parts that could cause a no-heat situation. I checked all the thermostats and fuses for continuity and they were all good. I had voltage at the heating element too, but no continuity across it, which made me think the coil was broken somewhere even though it looked pretty good. I figured out how to remove the heating element and sure enough the coil broken right at the back inside one of the insulators.

broken heater element coil

broken heater element coil 2

I was really hoping it was a simple thermostat or fuse problem because the heating elements for these dryers are pretty expensive, ranging from $50-$100! I found one on eBay for like $32 shipped but there was a discrepancy in the auction, the seller had it listed as about 5/8" too large. I asked the seller if this was the right element for my dryer but I'm still waiting for him to get back to me.

Rachelle found that they sell a coil re-string kit for these elements! This was July 4th weekend, so of course no appliance parts stores were open. I did actually find a couple open on Monday, but none of them had this kit. I finally gave up and just ordered the re-string kit on eBay for like $13. In the meantime, I reconnected the coil by overlapping it a few turns and then squeezing them together with a bolt and 2 washers. I don't really expect it to solve the problem for very long, but it seems to be working; hopefully it'll hold until that re-coil kit arrives.

broken heater element coil 3

Comments (4) Subscribe

#1 - Jul 7, 2010 at 5:23 PM
The Woombie looks horrifying! It's like my worst nightmare.
#2 - Jul 8, 2010 at 7:45 AM
lol the woombie scares me every time I see claire in it!

In other news: Way to McGuyver your dryer!
#3 - Jul 9, 2010 at 4:59 AM
The Woombie is the best thing ever! We had to upgrade to that when she started busting out of the SwaddleMe. On that note, when I went to change her diaper this morning at 620am she had gotten out of it (or at least unzipped it).

I never actually got to use the jerry-rigged coil, the new coil kit arrived yesterday and it's all fixed.

#4 - Nov 18, 2015 at 6:23 PM
Well this new element broke recently too. I guess $20 every six years isn't bad for keeping this thing going.

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