Whats wrong with my dryer?

I have an old dryer, it overheated really bad so I unplugged it. Upon plugging it in, the element immediatly heats up, but the dryer will not start or anything else. I removed the push button start switch, and plugged it in…the element still begins heating up immediatley. So I know its not the start switch (and the element definetly is not broke!). My own WAG is that some kind of relay is stuck and causing it to heat up right away, but maybe someone with more knowledge on this can help…

Do you mean that the drum doesn’t start spinning?

The drum won’t start spinning (although the belt is fine) and the element comes on and will not turn off.

Dryers are very simple electrically. Yours may have the schematic posted on the back. If you understand enough about electricity, you should be able to figure out what relay or switch is broken.

You will have to trace the circuits to find the feed to the motor. Probably fried a wire or two. You should also check all ground wires and connections.
One more thing to check is the lint tube from the dryer, if it clogs up, the dryer can’t turn and will overheat. Might be why it overheated in the first place.

While this is great advice, be very careful. I once went to a friends house and was talking to him as he was working on the dryer. He followed the schematic, but must have missed something. I was slowly pushing the dryer back into place when he plugged it in. The initial shock scared the hell out of me, but my arms tingled for a while too.

Hate to see a doper wrestle electricity bare handed :wink:

Brendon Small

See if you can spin the drum by hand and that there’s not anything mechanical preventing it from spinning.

If you can spin the drum, then check for voltage on the motor when the dryer is on. If the motor is getting voltage but the drum isn’t spinning, the motor is toast.

From there, work your way backwards. Most dryers aren’t very complicated. There’s usually a cutoff switch in case the dryer overheats, but it usually shuts off the heater so I doubt it’s the problem. Other than that, about the only other part is the timer/controller unit. If there’s no output from it, then you’ll need a new one.

The way many dryers are wired, if the heating element comes on and the motor isn’t spinning, the motor’s toast.

True. You need to know when you are out of your depth…
And, it’s always possible for even an expert to make a mistake.

Which reminds me of a story - unrelated to the subject, but worth telling:
I’m an engineer / designer for a small company. One of our products is a remote-controlled relay. I was out in Florida with a contractor having him install one of these things for a demo. He was in the electrical box hooking everything up. For those who don’t know about this things, these boxes are always a HUGE mess, with unlabeled wires running everywhere. Anyway, he disconnects some wires, and connects them to our unit. We close everything up, and re-apply power. Everything looks OK. So, I send the signal to the unit, and there’s this HUGE BANG!. I look at him, and say “that didn’t sound good”. We open up the box, and it turns out he’d wired it wrong, so when our relay closed, it shorted hot to ground (240VAC, 100A). It blew the crap out of the relay board…
So, even the professionals screw up occasionally.

I discovered that if i turn the time dial off or to air only the element will turn off. when turned back to heated drying, it immediatly comes on without pushing the start button. In fact the start button appears toasted, i hooked my multimeter up to it and don’t get a reading. however when i bypass the switch and try to start it with the dial on heat, i hear a humming sound.

There’s an over-temperaure switch inside the motor. If it’s dead (failed open), the motor won’t start. If you can figure out how to get to it, you might want to check it.

Well i discovered the relay mounted on the element was fried and stuck open. Now I am just wondering about the motor. I can see the fan looking part, if i spin it the drum will spin, but I can’t tell how to get to the motor itself.

nevermind the broke part is a thermostat not a relay :smack: