Electric Dryer Heating Element Keeps Burning Out – What to Do?

If your electric dryer stops heating every few months or so and on investigating the cause, find that the heating element is faulty again then it’s about time you got to the bottom of the cause of premature failure.

This post looks at the likely reasons why the heating element may be failing frequently and suggests fixes that can get it working longer.

Signs that the Heating Element is Faulty

#1. If the heating element is faulty, the dryer will not heat at all.

#2. Measurements of heating element resistance will show an “open circuit”. Disconnect the dryer from the mains outlet then proceed to measure the heating element resistance in ohms using a good-quality multimeter.

The resistance of the heating elements (coil-like springs supported by ceramic mounts should have finite resistance – an open circuit or infinity reading from the multimeter from the coils is confirmation that the heating element has failed.

Reasons Why the Heating Element Keeps Burning Out

If the heating elements keep failing, it is quite likely that the underlying fault has not been addressed. Check the following:

#1. The blower fan may have failed. Is the blower fan working? A faulty fan will not be able to blow air over the heater elements which then causes them to overheat.

Confirm that the blower fan works before replacing the heater element otherwise it’s likely to blow again soon.

#2. The electric dryer’s vent pipe may be blocked. The heating elements may overheat if the vents are clogged and the dryer is unable to vent out the hot air to the outside.

The vent pipe needs to be periodically cleaned to remove any lint buildup that may be obstructing the flow of hot air to the outside.

To confirm if the vent is clear, check that there’s air flowing out of the hole where the vent pipe releases air to the outside of the house.

Should you Replace the Electric Dryer

No, you do not necessarily have to replace the dryer – you can replace the heating element and get the dryer working again.

You can purchase the spare parts from an appliance repair parts store. Make sure to obtain the part no from the service manual of the electric dryer.

Closing Thoughts

If your electric heater element keeps burning out it might be that the dryer vent is clogged with lint, leading to overheating of the heating element.

Plan to clean out the vent from time to time to ensure free flow of air over the heating element.

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