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How do I test a whirlpool heating element?

Andrea Bell

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test a whirlpool heating element

Electrical appliances with heating capabilities make life easier for us. With one by your side, you can use your time more productively and evade hassle.

It doesn’t matter whether you have a toaster or a dryer; this type of machine uses the same kind of heating mechanism. When this mechanism malfunctions, you will suffer due to inconvenience that heads your way. Just imagine having to deal with damp clothes because the dryer didn’t fully heat them. In other words, you must make sure the clothes dryer is back in action.

Without any prior knowledge about dryers, it may be overwhelming to read detailed articles about them.

A combination of mechanisms coordinates with each other to achieve effective drying action. However, one essential part that impacts the performance of the machine disproportionally is the heating element.

I have simplified the matter in this blog to make it more digestible for you. The more knowledge you have about the appliance and its components, the more able you’ll be to fix the issue.

With knowledge at your disposal, identifying when the heating element isn’t working will be easy. In other words, you will be able to save time and report issues to service members without ado. You can expect to have quick results which protect you from unnecessary delay in repairing the dryer.

What is a Heating Element?

A heating element uses the Joule heating process, which converts electrical energy into heat energy. Appearance-wise this component is a strip of wire that is arranged in either a coil or ribbon form. To ensure that energy conversion takes place and heat is also duly released, electricity must pass through the heating element.

Always remember that every heating appliance has a heating element. When it comes to the electric dryer, the air inside the drum will not be warmed unless the component works.

Usually, the heating element consists of an alloy, which is either nickel-based or iron-based. The most common alloy used for this component is called Nichrome. This alloy consists of 80 percent nickel and 20 percent of Chromium. This material has a few admirable qualities like having a high melting point, never oxidizing, and having adequate resistance.

Due to these fantastic qualities, Nichrome is a popular alloy used in producing appliances.

You can usually find heating elements at the dryer’s back panel. However, they may also be positioned somewhere else depending on the make and the model.

Telltale Symptoms of a Bad Heating Element

You should keep an eye out to identify symptoms that indicate that there is something wrong with the heating element.

Understanding how you can identify issues with the heating element is beneficial for you. After all, if you know what is wrong, you can work towards a solution.

The installation of this component occurs in different ways in different models. When it functions correctly, for a short while, the air inside of the drum gets heated. However, at times this does not happen. If the dryer is taking an unusual amount of time to heat the air, there is something wrong with the heating element.

The dryer does continue to spin during the cycle, but it isn’t heating up as much as it should. Due to this situation, you will end up with clothes that are both damp and moist.

Deterioration of the heating element is to blame when this happens. However, negligence could also be equally at fault for causing damage to the component. People often forget to clean the lint screen, which halts proper ventilation.

Other issues may center around the continuity of the heating element. Continuity refers to a state where the current finds a complete path to flow without interruption. So you need to figure out the resistance between two points.

If this is also not the case, there is a possibility that the heating element is defective. It is frustrating to deal with a dryer that doesn’t function as it should. Be positive and work towards a solution. A positive attitude will ensure that you emerge victoriously with a proper solution!

Testing a Heating Element

Testing a heating element isn’t as complicated as you may believe. Reading up a bit on the process will help you in the long-run.

Here are the steps you must follow to test a heating element thoroughly:

  1. Before you begin any test on the electric dryer, unplug it. You could even switch off the circuit breaker if you want extra safety.
  2. Use a screwdriver to remove the heating coil panel slowly.
  3. Carefully attach the red and black multimeter wires to the heating coil leads.
  4. Set the multimeter to 200 ohms of resistance. If you receive a numerical reading, there is no need to replace the leads.
  5. If there are any breaks in the heating coils, pinch the broken ends of the wires together and secure them tightly with a bolt.
  6. Remove the back panel of the dryer and test the thermostat to ensure it gives a proper reading. Replace it if it doesn’t!
  7. Assemble the dryer and plug it back in.

How To Fix The Situation?

If you have identified that there is something wrong with the heating element, be prepared to get another one. Thankfully, it isn’t tough to get your hands on the components of a clothes dryer. In fact, you can even get your hand to a top-notch whirlpool heating element, if you know where to buy it.

Perhaps you need to replace the heating element. Do so, and you will benefit from it greatly. However, if you unfortunately still have an issue with the dryer, you may need professional intervention. I suggest you contact a professional as expertise is necessary to find the best way out of this situation.

The Final Verdict

The heating element is a vital component that gives appliances heating capabilities. Knowing more about it ensures that you reach the correct solution.

Don’t rush into the matter and acquire knowledge about the heating element. Take proper precautions and test the component to figure out if it is functioning correctly. You will be able to replace it without much to do if that is needed.

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