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My electric dryer will run but wont heat. I'm not very good at electrical work, so I've spent a lot of time researching and did some testing last night.

My High-Level thermostat basically fell apart in my hand with the slightest touch. My Thermal cut-off also seemed to be tripped (reading open with my Ohm meter). I checked the lint in my vent piping and it didn't seem bad, so that was a little concerning because I figure these parts wouldn't just fail without a reason.

So I also checked my element, wondering if maybe that was burned out as well. The reading I got on it was 4 ohms. The things that I read vary wildly, but most of them say look for a 10 ohm reading. I removed the element and inspected it and there are no cracks or breaks visible in the coil. What does 4 Ohms tell me? Do you think my element is OK, or should I replace that too?

Basically I don't want to replace the high-limit thermostat and the thermal cut off only to have them blow again right away because the element is the culprit.

  • Is there a schematic somewhere in the unit? If so, it may tell you what the element is supposes to be. What is the make and model of the unit? Are there any markings on the element? – Tester101 Aug 21 '15 at 14:53
  • I haven't found a schematic. The Dryer is an Inglis Super Capacity Plus. I think the model number is IV8700, but this is from looking online, not on the dryer itself because I happen to not be home ATM. Didn't notice any markings on the element itself, but I will check again. – Dan Aug 21 '15 at 15:04
  • I did find the part number on the element. 3398064. – Dan Aug 21 '15 at 17:16
  • One final update. I think I'm going to replace the element. From what I'm seeing, lower Ohms means more heat. So four Ohms, when the ideal I'm reading pretty consistently is 9-12 Ohms might be the reason I blew the high-temp breakers. That's my theory right now, until someone smarter than me on the subject (pretty much anyone with an electrical background) sets me straight. – Dan Aug 21 '15 at 18:24
  • I'm curious if the 10 Ohms is based on the element after heated. Heat adds more resistance. – Kris Nov 20 '15 at 11:35
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Was your breaker tripping? Did you disconnect the element before taking your resistance reading? If you put 4 ohms on 240 volts you get 60 amps. So I suspect your heating element has some inductive quality you are not measuring with your meter or it was still connected in the circuit. Otherwise, your 30 amp dryer breaker would be tripping.

Resistive elements don't normally drop in resistance. They usually open up. This would mean you would get a reading of infinity (open) with your meter if the element is broke. I would more suspect something in the controls, like your low temperature thermostat is not closing to turn the element on. (is that what you called the Thermal cutoff?) Or the contacts on it are burned beyond usefulness.

Sounds like you are getting good experience at troubleshooting electrical here. 😊

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I would replace the element -- I seriously doubt a 4 ohm reading on a 10 ohm element is anywhere within specification, and it certainly would explain the dryer overheating due to the excess current draw.

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