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Dryer References - Dryer Maintenance Tips - Frequently Asked Questions

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Grounded Elements On Electric Dryers

Every time I say " you may have a grounded element" they say...."huh, what is that?"...

A grounded element on an electric dryer is an element that has broken and the element heating wire has touched something metal, like the cage that is suppose to hold the element or the element metal housing around the element. What this does is, the element only heats on the section that is touching the metal part and usually this part of the element is only heating at about 1/2 heat output. An grounded element can also stay on even when the dryer is not in use!! Please see the pictures below.

A Whirlpool, Inglis and some Kenmore style element

A GE style element

Testing for this is easy with an ohm meter. Write down what color wire goes to what terminal on the heating element cage, remove power, remove the wires. Test from each element terminal to the metal element cage ( ground ). You should see no continuity between the element ends and the element cage ( no needle movement ), if you do, the element has broken and it probably touching the frame/cage. Picture help for this test.


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