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Thread: Heating element isn't working

  1. #1

    Heating element isn't working

    Model Number: Wed5310sq0
    Brand: Whirlpool
    Age: 6-10 years

    This morning, my dryer stopped heating. I checked the continuity on everything in the main back panel and it all beeps. The fuse, heating element, etc.. The dryer is getting 220 incoming, 110 at each post. I had it plugged in and the heating element is getting 110. The dryer turns on fine,
    Spins, everything is cleared out. Heating element doesn't glow...

    Any thoughts

  2. #2
    Can a heating element have continuity and still be bad?

  3. #3
    So i keep reading that the heating element is supposed to get 240v. Does this mean 120v from the top and 120v from the bottom? Mine is getting 120v from the bottom, but nothing from the top, even when the dryer is running. I'm new to this stuff, but the top wire routes through a couple of other things while gung back up and ending at the back of the main dial. Is there supposed to be 120v coming out of the dial and going down through everything and meeting the other 120v at the heating element?

    If I'm way off, sorry. Just trying to figure this out and most videos I've found are continuity test related.

  4. #4
    Try the following.

    Try flipping the breaker off/on slowly a couple times. Sometimes you can loose half the line without actually tripping the breaker.
    Check the voltage at the wall receptacle
    L1 to L2 should be 240 volts
    L1 to Neutral and L2 to Neutral, both should be 120 volts.
    If OK
    Unplug the unit and check the wires at the terminal strip in the machine to make sure none are loose or burned out
    If OK
    Check the power at the terminal strip.
    Do this with the heater off and on.
    Be careful as 240 volts is lethal !!!

    I cannot find a wiring diagram for this unit,
    You may want to look in the control console that is often where they put them.

  5. #5
    Thank you for the response! I've done all of that stuff. Everything checks out. I'm not understanding the 240 into the heating element. Is 120 supposed to come in from each side? Or is 240 supposed to come in on one wire? From the bottom? Or from the top through all of the thermal stuff? It's not coming in from the top.

  6. #6
    Is 120 supposed to come in from each side? Or is 240 supposed to come in on one wire?
    OK so I will try to give you some info on how most units are wired.

    First how 240 works just in case you do not know this.
    The unit has L1, L2 and Neutral.
    L1 to Neutral is 120 volts.
    L2 to Neutral is 120 volts but it is 180 degrees out of phase with L1.
    So when L1 is at positive 120, L2 is at negative 120.
    Therefore L1 to L2 is 240 volts.

    Now the wiring on most units.
    The L2 side goes to the centrifugal switch. It closes when the motor gets close to operating speed. Then it goes to one side of the heater.
    L1 goes through a set of timer contacts, then a thermal cut off (fuse), then the operating thermostat then a high limit thermostat, then the other side of the heater.
    The heater is not grounded or attached to Neutral so you get 240 volts across it if the timer contacts are closed, the thermal cutoff (fuse) is good,the operating thermostat's contacts are closed , the hi-limit thermostat contacts are closed and the centrifugal switch is closed.

    It can be confusing to troubleshoot this using ground or Neutral because you cannot tell which side of the line you are measuring.

    With the unit off (motor not running you get 120 at the heater you can assume that the thermostat/timer side's wiring/parts are good.
    You will also see this 120 at the other side of the heater.
    The trouble then is probably that the centrifugal switch is not closing.

    if you only see 120 at the heater when the motor is running then odds are the problem is on the thermostat side.

    I hope this helps and that I did not make it confusing.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by denman View Post
    Try the following.

    Try flipping the breaker off/on slowly a couple times. Sometimes you can loose half the line without actually tripping the breaker.
    Check the voltage at the wall receptacle
    L1 to L2 should be 240 volts
    L1 to Neutral and L2 to Neutral, both should be 120 volts.
    If OK
    Unplug the unit and check the wires at the terminal strip in the machine to make sure none are loose or burned out
    If OK
    Check the power at the terminal strip.
    Do this with the heater off and on.
    Be careful as 240 volts is lethal !!!

    I cannot find a wiring diagram for this unit,
    You may want to look in the control console that is often where they put them.
    Ok, so the 240 and separate 120s at the terminal strip are fine. No wires are burnt out.

    The terminal strip reads correctly with the dryer running and not running.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by denman View Post
    Is 120 supposed to come in from each side? Or is 240 supposed to come in on one wire?
    OK so I will try to give you some info on how most units are wired.

    First how 240 works just in case you do not know this.
    The unit has L1, L2 and Neutral.
    L1 to Neutral is 120 volts.
    L2 to Neutral is 120 volts but it is 180 degrees out of phase with L1.
    So when L1 is at positive 120, L2 is at negative 120.
    Therefore L1 to L2 is 240 volts.

    Now the wiring on most units.
    The L2 side goes to the centrifugal switch. It closes when the motor gets close to operating speed. Then it goes to one side of the heater.
    L1 goes through a set of timer contacts, then a thermal cut off (fuse), then the operating thermostat then a high limit thermostat, then the other side of the heater.
    The heater is not grounded or attached to Neutral so you get 240 volts across it if the timer contacts are closed, the thermal cutoff (fuse) is good,the operating thermostat's contacts are closed , the hi-limit thermostat contacts are closed and the centrifugal switch is closed.

    It can be confusing to troubleshoot this using ground or Neutral because you cannot tell which side of the line you are measuring.

    With the unit off (motor not running you get 120 at the heater you can assume that the thermostat/timer side's wiring/parts are good.
    You will also see this 120 at the other side of the heater.
    The trouble then is probably that the centrifugal switch is not closing.

    if you only see 120 at the heater when the motor is running then odds are the problem is on the thermostat side.

    I hope this helps and that I did not make it confusing.
    I'm not 100 that I'm seeing our testing this right, so here goes.

    When the dryer is plugged in and i take my multimeter and touch red to the bottom hot, that goes from L1, under the back of the dryer and up to the heating element, and ground the black on the multi meter...i get 120. If i tough the black to the other post on the heating element, the multimeter zeroes out.

    Using the red on the multimeter and black on ground, i get 120 on everything thermostat, or thing on the back and connectivity on everything too. That 120 that goes through the heating element goes all the way back up through everything and up into the timer.

    The other side of the heating element comes out into another red wire that passes through just about everything else on the back and goes all the way up to the back of the main timer dial.

    The L2 black, goes all the way Down the back with L1 and under the dryer to something else that i can really see or get to. Not sure how to get in there. Here's a picture of it. And the back of my dryer.Click image for larger version. 

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    Lots of rambling and randomness, but that's where I'm at.
    Last edited by Cossackred707; 11-18-2019 at 08:10 PM.

  9. #9
    Sorry but you lost me.

    Unplug the unit and both wires from the heater element.
    Measure across the heater element, most units are in the 8 to 12 ohm range.
    The first test where you see 120 on one side of the element but 0 volts on the other seems to indicate an open heater element.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by denman View Post
    Sorry but you lost me.

    Unplug the unit and both wires from the heater element.
    Measure across the heater element, most units are in the 8 to 12 ohm range.
    The first test where you see 120 on one side of the element but 0 volts on the other seems to indicate an open heater element.
    Thank you for hanging in here with me. Haha

    When the heater element 's wires are both plugged in, i get 120 on either side and when both wires are unplugged from the heater element, the continuity test beeps and I get a reading of 9 during the continuity test.

  11. #11
    The test where i saw 0 on the other side of the heating element was with the wire on the top end unplugged and me just testing that wire. With both wires plugged into the heater element 120v passes through from one post to the other and continues through everything else that the same line passes through all the way back up to the timer.

  12. #12
    My guess would be that the centrifugal switch on the motor is not closing.

    Take a piece of 14 gauge wire (about 6 inches will do)
    Strip the insulation off from each end (1/2 inch).
    Unplug the unit.
    On the motor connector there should be two larger red wires.
    Use this wire to jumper those two wires.
    Make sure it is secure and cannot short to anything else and not com in contact with any moving part.
    Now plug the unit in set to a heating cycle.
    Or if you can get the connectors out of the motor plug short them together.
    Start the unit.
    If you have heat then the centrifugal switch is the culprit and you will have to replace the motor.
    Do not let it run very long with the jumper in place.
    .

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by denman View Post
    My guess would be that the centrifugal switch on the motor is not closing.

    Take a piece of 14 gauge wire (about 6 inches will do)
    Strip the insulation off from each end (1/2 inch).
    Unplug the unit.
    On the motor connector there should be two larger red wires.
    Use this wire to jumper those two wires.
    Make sure it is secure and cannot short to anything else and not com in contact with any moving part.
    Now plug the unit in set to a heating cycle.
    Or if you can get the connectors out of the motor plug short them together.
    Start the unit.
    If you have heat then the centrifugal switch is the culprit and you will have to replace the motor.
    Do not let it run very long with the jumper in place.
    .
    Ok, thank you!!!

    I'll give that a shot tonight. Just so I'm hearing this right. Bridge a connecting to the red wires in this picture. Right?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Cossackred707; 11-19-2019 at 04:34 PM.

  14. #14
    Yes the two heavier gauge reds

  15. #15
    I bridged the wires, wire was a little longer and thicker than 14. But there was a connection. I didn't put the drum back in, just started it, it ran for 10-15 seconds on a high heat setting and i didn't feel any heat or see a glow. How long should i let it run before i should expect heat?
    Last edited by Cossackred707; 11-19-2019 at 11:57 PM.

  16. #16
    You should have heat as soon as the motor starts.

    Also you cannot run it very long with the drum out as there is poor air flow over the heater and the thermal cutoff can blow.

    Without a wiring diagram I cannot help you anymore. Everything seems OK so the only way to find the fault is point to point testing with a meter and to do that you need a wiring diagram.

    Perhaps ask for it on this site. There is a fellow there that has helped many others get wiring diagrams.
    https://www.appliancejunk.com/forums/index.php

  17. #17
    Ok. Thank you very much for your time and helping me! Have a great rest of your week!

  18. #18
    I kept digging and I think the attachment is your wiring diagram.

    So lets give this a shot.
    Set the timer to mid cycle high heat.
    Unplug the unit.
    Set your meter on the most sensitive ohms scale.
    One meter lead attaches to the black at the terminal strip and stays there.
    Before starting short the meter leads together so you know if there is a zero offset in the meter.

    All the following should be 0 ohms.
    BK at the timer,
    R at the timer,
    both sides of the thermal cutoff on the heater,
    both sides of the operating thermostat on the blower (this is a 4 wire thermostat you want to measure the two heavier wires),
    both sides of the hi-limit thermostat on the heater
    and one side of the heater.
    The other side of the heater should be the 9 ohms you measured earlier.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  19. #19
    Awesome! Thank you!

    Ok, so, when i touch the multimeter lead to the black on the terminal switch and the other lead to things, this is what i get.

    Bk (the black one on the timer) : 000

    Everything else: 1999

    This is when i have it on the continuity test setting on the ohm side of the mm.

    When i touch the leads of the multimeter to both sides of the heater element, that's when i get 9.

  20. #20
    Timer switch 2 is not closing in the timer.

    Replace the timer.

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