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So I've read that I should get about 10-50 ohm reading on my dryer element. I do get a reading of around 10(jumps around alot) on my element, but this is with the multimeter set to 200(the lowest setting), so the reading is around 2,000 ohms. The guide I read just said set the meter on the lowest setting, but that could make a big difference depending on what one reader's lowest setting is versus another, so I wondered if "10" is the readout, or if they really mean 10 ohms.

So if I'm getting a reading of around 2,000 ohms (readout of 10 on a 200 scale) on my heating element, does that mean the element is bad?

I have confirmed the thermal cutoff fuse is bad, and shorted it to verify the the dryer works(don't worry, I did this only for a few seconds, I plan to replace it).

What I am wondering, is why did the thermal fuse blow. Is the heating element going bad, and the higher resistance causing it to overheat?

I don't want to only replace the thermal fuse and have it blow again because I didn't find the cause of the problem.

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I don't think you should ever multiply by 2 when reading a multimeter. Is this an analog or digital meter? If analog, the scales should have ranges from 0-2<some zeroes>. If digital, the appropriate multiplier should be displayed on screen. Please give more details on what the meter displays. –  Kevin Reid Feb 9 '12 at 11:46
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Agreed with @KevinReid, usually the settings are just for selecting the correct range to measure, but the value displayed is usually the actual value, at least on the digital multimeters I've used –  Steven Feb 9 '12 at 15:11
    
What is the make/model of the ohmmeter you are using? maybe we can tell you for sure if you're reading it correctly. –  Tester101 Feb 9 '12 at 15:45
    
@Steven Thanks, that makes alot of sense now. The scales do not show ranges. They show only a single number. Under the ohms section it goes 2M, 200K, 20K, 2K, 200. The readout does not display any multiplier, but the decimal is usually in a different place. –  AaronLS Feb 9 '12 at 16:39
    
FYI Just to follow up for anyone else coming here. Replaced the thermal fuse, and also replaced the vent ducts, as they were all flexible instead of rigid tubing, thus lots of low spots accumulating lint clogs, which was likely the cause of the buildup of hot air that caused the thermal fuse to blow. Also cleaned out lint from all the other venting paths in the back of the dryer to ensure proper airflow. Didn't replace the heating element since I'm sure now that the reading was indicating 10 ohms of resistance. Has been working great for a week. –  AaronLS Feb 17 '12 at 22:13
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

As others said, you need to tell us more about your readings, meter type.

I'm thinking your reading is probably 10 ohms. 120 volts / 10 ohms = 12 amps, sounds about right. Check the nameplate rating on the dryer, see if its close to that. What is the thermal fuse rating?

Check the wiring, see if the circuit measures a low resistance to the dryer case, indicating a short. If all checks are good, it could be a stressed fuse that went over time. If you have a clamp on ammeter, check the running current against the nameplate rating on the dryer with a new fuse in place. If the thermal fuse is expensive or hard to get, then substitute a temporary fuse of the same rating just to test with before replacing the OEM fuse.

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The thermal fuse may be exposed to greater heat if there is a loose or corroded connection near it. –  Skaperen Feb 10 '12 at 0:55
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