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Bryan, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 12156
Experience:  15 yrs. experience as a certified appliance technician.
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What do you think is causing overheating in this dryer dryer

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What do you think is causing overheating in this dryer dryer? Upper rear gets extremely hot to the touch--not top of machine though. It seems more or less localized to an area right behind where the element is mounted: seems about a 3" x 3" area and I don't like how hot its getting. Can touch it for about a second when dryer is on high or medium: doesn't seem right to me.

Cleared vent, although there wasn't much lint in there. I use rigid aluminum and the dryer blows hard to outside. Tested both thermostats and circuits are closed (0 impedence on hi limit thermostat and operating--though the operating one has 4 terminals...went to appliance staore and checked findings against simialar 4 prong T-stat: part man said my operating t-stat should be okay since it has exact readings (infinite impedence on terminals in the center and 0 impedence on terminals on side), checked the emergency cut off thermostat (or whatever its called) and circuit is closed, heating element is not grounded and has continuity (0 impedence) at terminals. Removed all connected wires during tests. Blower wheel turns and pushes a lot of air. Ran dryer with door open and coouls see the element going on and off as I switched heat settings. The element turns off when I switch to no heat/air only. What else could it be? Uniot is over 10 years old--got it as a housewarming donation: GE model DBL333EB3WW. Should i call an exorcist, replace part by part, or just dump it and bite the $400-500 bullet?

Hi,Welcome to Just Answer, My name isXXXXX will be helping you with your appliance issue today.


It seems like you've covered most of the bases on this as far as electrical goes, strange problem, when you had this apart you obviously took the front off am I correct? How was the front glide system on the front door assembly number 1220 on this diagram specifically and the plastic ring around the drum itself that rides on this? When these wear the drum can tip forward slightly leaving a slightly larger gap at the back top of the rear of the drum, this may be causing an issue also how was the rear bearing assembly? Is that worn? Any of these things can contribute to more heat escaping the top of the heating element assembly and cause it to get hotter, have you checked those things? Also these used to have a felt heat resistant piece on the back top above the heater was there one there when you opened it up? I'm not seeing one on the diagrams but sometimes they don't put all the parts on the diagrams,

Sorry I forgot to send the diagram,
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Hey Bryan,


The entire unit is acceptable temp and the hot spot is about 6-8" from the top of machine (do not include the area where all dials and switches are housed). Basically right where the element is housed and very close to the hi limit therm.


I must admit that the drum may not be positioned perfectly when I ran it last, but the same problem existed before I took it apart. THere seems to be no prob w/ part 1220. Unit is disassembled now.


THe rear bearing assembly seems fine: it tilts upwars slightly, but seems like the play on the assembly is by design. The drum operates, turns fine, and I don't believe any heat is being trapped in the machine, other than that one spot on the element.


The unit does not have a felt heating pad...but the unit is not hot at all ot the top, just the back towrads the top. The entire unit is acceptable temp and the hot spot is about 6-8" from the top of machine (do not include the area where all dials and switches are housed). Basically right where the element is housed and very close to where the hi limit therm sits.


Sorry it took so long, but a lot to write...Look forward to hearing from you again.



That's okay Mark, well it has to be one of the thermostats or the heating element itself has a hotspot, which basically means a good portion of the element doesn't get as hot as the 6 to 8 inch section you're talking about, there are no relays in this that can stick, and the thermostats especially the high limit thermostat would shut the element down before it could overheat, at least if the whole element overheated, I have seen elements that have hotspots where the element wire hasn't burned out as much is the rest of the wire so you can have a spot that is actually hotter than the rest but other than that I just don't see what the problem could be, that's the reason why I think it may be a hotspot on the heater, I would rewire the heater, I would replace the entire heater because that is expensive, but you can buy a restring kit for that although they don't advertise it and you're not a technician so you don't have access to this information but the part number is,(NNN) NNN-NNNNand $49.45 rather than $175.00 for the whole heating element assembly, you can order the restring kit at this following link, if the heating element is not heating evenly all the way around you can have a hotspot, I hope this helps, thanks and well wishes, Bryan

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Hi Brian,


That's pretty much what I thought. Can't be the thermostats, and heating elements do strange things--so I'll just have to decide if I want to take a chance on restringing the element and having it make no difference, or me messing it up since it's my first Dryer adventure. (I did diagnose and repair room AC units in college, but never a dryer..) Glad I didn't buy the thermostats first...actually learned a lot on sites out there and have seen the website w/the parts you attached....Needed you to confirm I interpreted things correctly. I may go with a new unit anyway: what do you own?


More importantly, can i safely use the dryer temporarily? If I do, should it be closely supervised, or do you think it is okay? The unit actually has a sort of brown tinge to it, in the general area on the back--unit is white. I don't know how long it has been back there, and quite frankly the unit may have been this hot all along and i didn't notice it until recently. Also, I cleaned every inch inside the unit, so there's no dust/hair/lint/socks etc, in the machine. Vent's clear, said my prayers, etc. Or should I keep it unplugged and disassembled? I may be able to get a part tomorrow, or in a day or two: there are a few local ma and pa appliance stores w/ service techs and parts, but if I have to wait, whadda ya think?


Just tell me your final thoughts on the above questions/concerns and I'll certainly accept your answer. You've been very helpful.



Whirlpool, a basic whirlpool dryer is one of the best on the market the most reliable, don't buy anything with any fancy crap you don't need, just get one with the dial that you turn that has automatic and timed dry on it,, if you decide to go ahead and try the restring the Mom and Pop appliance stores may have this but I would call before going over there, I give you the correct part number so you can give them the part number directly that is the original factory part number, it's really a matter of whether you want to do it or not, they may charge more money at a small appliance store than that, that's another thing you want to look at get a price before going there, I wish you well, thanks and best wishes, Bryan
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

So I shouldn't use it until I repair it? Or....? If you can't reply because of liability--I get it.


Also, thanks for the detailed responses, and I'll definitely accept + tip if you reply..


One more thing: always buy analog AC room units too my friend-don't buy led/digital stuff: circuit boards in units that have condensation inside...totally an after warranty failure that costs as much as the unit to fix. Good luck finding any nowadays, though.

Now you can use it I'm sorry I didn't catch that part of it you write a lot and I have to read it through more, at any rate it shouldn't be a problem there are two pieces of metal between that and any part of the wall or anything you can just leave out away from the wall if you feel more comfortable and your hose will reach, I would just put it back together and use it, the most it's going to happen is eventually the heating element in the hotspot may break which of course then you'd have no heat, but like a said and I agree with you stay away from the digital stuff it's junk, you almost can't nowadays though but they do still make dryers with regular timers in them, it's been a pleasure speaking with you I wish you luck and hope it lasts a while longer for you, thanks and well wishes, Bryan
Bryan and 2 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX help. Have a great evening.

Tried to keep it short. Peace.



You welcome Mark, have a great evening yourself, thanks, Bryan