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
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 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
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 15:04
  • I did find the part number on the element. 3398064.
    – Dan
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 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
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 18:24
  • I'm curious if the 10 Ohms is based on the element after heated. Heat adds more resistance.
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 11:35

3 Answers 3


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. 😊


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.


There should be a power rating stamped on the heating element like 5300W (watts). Then calculate current (amps) by dividing power 5300W by voltage 240V = 22Amps. Then to calculate resistance (ohms) by deciding Voltage 240V by current 22Amps = 10.9Ohms.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.