Frigidaire Dryer Repair Made Easy: No Heat
Frigidaire Dryer How to gain access
Click here to review and follow dryer safety precautions. Unplug the dryer.
This dryer is manufactured so that all components are accessed from the front. Only the bearing has two hold down nuts on the back. The belt has an access panel from the back on the bottom as well.
Use your putty knife to depress the clips between the top and case. Located about 3 inches in from the side on both sides and lift the top. Position the dryer a bout 12 to 15 inches from the wall so that when you lift the top, you can lean it against the wall.
Remove the front door panel. It is held on with two screws accessed from inside the dryer at the front. One on each side about couple if inches down from the top.
Before you remove the front panel determine if there are any wires leading to the front panel. Sometimes a Frigidaire has the controls on the front of the door. Usually this is in a full size stack set. If this is the case, then the top of the dryer may come apart differently as well, if could be held down with screws rather than spring clips.
Unplug any components attached to the front. Move the top of the panel away from the dryer, the drum rides on the door panel and may drop. Lift the door panel, it is attached by clips to the bottom. Set it aside.
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Release the belt and Remove the Drum
Remove the access panel in the back of the dryer. Reach inside and move the idler pulley to release the belt. Observe the belt and how it is threaded, this may be confusing when reassembling. If you are already confused, don't feel bad, just make a pencil sketch to help you remember.
The tumbler drum is held in place on the front with a plastic clip halfway between the sides on the top on a rail. Remove the screw that holds the plastic clip and set the screw and clip aside. The rail that goes across the front top is relatively weak and is not meant to do much more than be a spacer.....do not lean on it, you will damage it! On the back, the drum is held in place with a large central bearing that looks like a knob, it rides in a socket assembly attached to the back. You can release the drum by lifting the drum in the back about 1 1/2 inches. You may need some help here, someone to lift the front while you or the stronger of the two of you lifts the back of the drum. Although it is designed to lift fairly easily, it may take quite a bit of force to get it out. Once the drum is lifted off the back bearing, the drum can be removed through the front opening of the dryer.
Heating Element Enclosure and Bearing Kit
Inspect the parts of the Dryer
You now have access to all the mechanics of the dryer. Start by cleaning the inside, I use a large paint brush and a shop vac. Remove all the accumulated lint and loose change. Use the paint brush to knock the lint down and vacuum it up.
First, inspect the belt for cracks, threads coming off, pieces of rubber about to come off. If it is damaged, replace it.
Next, inspect the bearing on the back of the drum. It should be slightly greasy, not dry. If it is dry and black, clean it with penetrating oil (WD40) and inspect it for scratches and ridges. If is has deep ridges or flat places, replace it. This might be a good time to make a list.
Now look at the door panel, part of the bearing system is a felt and plastic slide on the front that the drum rides on. This felt part is glued to a ridge around the door opening. The plastic slides should be rectangular pieces that are about 2-3 inches length and a couple of inches wide. These plastic glides should be about 1/8 inch thick. Thin worn glides should be replaced. They don't have much life left. The replacement must be glued in place. That means that the old one needs to be removed and the area cleaned thoroughly to accept the new felt.
Next inspect the heating element.
Frigidaire Related Photos
The Heating Element
The element is generally known as a halo element, it is placed in a circular enclosure (the enclosure is often called a can) that resembles a garbage can lid. If you were to look inside, you would see an element that runs parallel to the circumference about 4 inches inside the enclosure (can). It is called a halo because it heats up and provides a halo of heat to the drying clothes.
Look at the element carefully to determine if there are any breaks or points of resistance. The element should be strung from one connector around the inside of the enclosure and go back to another connector. The wire element should have no breaks, and should not terminate at any place beside the connector. If the element string is broken, or in contact with the enclosure, the element is bad and must be replaced. It cannot be repaired.
You have two choices: you can get an element assembly, or you can get a re-string kit and put the new element in your old enclosure. The second option will cost far less.
In order to install the new element, you need to remove the enclosure. Although it is obvious to a technician, placement of the enclosure could be confusing to the handyman. Take a moment before removing it to mark with a pencil left, right, top, bottom. A high limit thermostat and a thermal fuse may be attached to the enclosure. You need to pull the wires off of these terminals before you remove the element can.
The can is attached to the back of the dryer with 4 screws/nuts. Remove these leaving one of the top ones until last so that the can does not twist and fall when the top fasteners are removed.
Take the can out, remove the old element using caution to protect the connectors and the insulators that are needed for the new element.
The new element will come with some brief instructions. The most important of these instructions is the stretching of the new element string. If you stretch them to far, the element will be loose. If you don't stretch them enough, they will be too tight and hard to handle. Use a tape measure and stretch the new element out to 2 inches less that the instructions call for. If the instructions are to stretch the element to 52 inches, stretch it to 50 inches. Believe me, I have done a lot of these, this will work the best.
Next install the new element in this manner, connect to an insulator about midway between terminals half way along the element string. Then lay the rest of the string around the insulators and connect it to the insulator closest to the terminals on each end. Then connect every other one. Then connect to the remaining insulators.
Put the Dryer back together, it should work. Then dance up and down and yell, "Yippee!"