Electrical Wiring in the Home/Repairing a 20 year old gas dryer
Expert: Will Babbitt - 12/19/2014
Question QUESTION: Hello. First noticed problem when I noticed dryer never stopped running on one occasion and the next time I used it, it never heated. Watched some videos. Bought a cheap analog multimeter at Walmart. Found lots of lint in bottom of dryer. (My lint trap is on the top). Dryer in basement with exhaust duct one level up and hose run vertically. Meter has 10, 100, and 1K setting for ohms. Ran tests and realized I was getting false reading because I had not disconnected the wires. Couple questions. Should I run ohms test at 10 or another setting. Videos gave different answers. Second spent at least 30 minutes trying to pry wires off of spades for the fuse and have nicks all over my hands. I still have to get the wires off the two thermostats in the back of the machine. Is there a tool to help in accomplishing this. Vacuumed out the hose and down under the lint trap as well as vent holes in back of dryer. Came up with 3 good handfuls of lint. Hoping that I don't have to replace anything in the front. Would sure appreciate any help/advise.
ANSWER: OK Cathy quite the project, you say it never stopped running? Then it had no heat?
Sounds like a thermal that is open or thermistor that is open, and not allowing the heat to turn on,
To get the wires off something like a button thermal, get a small spray bottle of WD-40 with a straw, and squirt just a drop on the connection where the outer spade is pushed on the inner or male spade, just a drop, then get a pair of needle nose pliers, grabbing the spade shank which is the part of the spade that is crimped on the wire, DO NOT PULL ON THE WIRE ITSELF<
Grasp the end of the spade after the wd soaks for at least 15 minutes overnight is better, rock it gently back and forth, with pressure pulling it off at the same time, of you can use a very thin blade of some type and push the spade off or at least loose by using a "prying motion".
As far as the ohms scale yes you will get false reading if you do not isolate the device you are measuring, to know what scale on the meter, first try and determine what the ohm value should be, say it is 100 ohms, depending on the meter, if you have a X 1 or X 10 scale either should work, try and get in the middle of the value if it is 50 ohms whatever scales you have that puts 50 ohms not micro ohms but OHMs, if the thermistor or thermal is a bimetal switch it will be a low value in the 10X or 1 X scale if it is a thermistor, it would be up in the thousands of ohms where you would use the times 100 scale, most of the time you are looking for an open no resistance or a short like touching both the tips together on the times one scale, 1 ohm use the times point 1 for 10 ohms use the times 1, for 100 ohms use times 10 for a thousand ohms use times 100 so on,
Then let me know what you find, either it is an open thermal very common failure, or a controller failure, or a thermocouple failure,
Always always look for the simple answer first, get a GOOD LIGHT and look for broken wire, wires with darkened areas, wires that have just vibrated off. Doing a good visual with plenty of light will avoid having hours of diagnostic time,
Cool you are doing this, use my personal email anytime and I will help you 50 times if needed and we will diagnose this dryer, make sure make danm sure there is no power or no way to get power on or to the dryer make sure the gas supply is off if there is a bleed off bleed it off, we dont want sparks causing a problem
Take a look at the thermal couple it should be a J couple and with a value at room temperature that could be measured with the cheapest of meters,
But let me know how you get along and if you need help with every single item, just ask,
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Looks like the culprit is the thermal fuse. Would it be worthwhile to consider a venting fan since the hose has to go up a floor?
Answer Good job in isolating the problem, as to the venting fan, it gets complicated, fans and blowers are two different animals, how would you figure CFM, what would trigger it, is there a reason to consider a modification to the machine other than it exits up 10 feet?
Heat also rises, If you think you have a lack of exhaust yes, but you need some research
Can you feel the exhaust at all? If you can feel it blowing out, it is probably better to leave alone, mods to exhaust are like mods to automobiles, a booster in line FAN isn't going to create too much draw, if any, but you don't want to create a problem where none exists.
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