DIY Electrics: Assessing Safety and Knowing When to StopDIY Electrics: Assessing Safety and Knowing When to Stop


About Me

DIY Electrics: Assessing Safety and Knowing When to Stop

When I bought my first home, I could only afford one that was a bit worn down. As we didn't have a lot of money to pay a contractor, my partner and I did a lot of the work ourselves. While we were keen to tackle drywall, rip up and replace flooring and paint everything, we were a bit scared of the electrics. The house was old, and it had suffered from water damage. I wasn't sure what was safe and what wasn't. However, I learned a lot about electrics along the way, and I fell in love with the topic. I want to help others in the same situation so decided to start this blog. My name is Kate, and welcome.

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What Kind of Electrical Fault Could Sideline a Clothes Dryer?

If you have a separate washing machine and dryer, you may be less than happy if the latter appliance does not work when you have a large load of soaking wet clothes in hand. In this case, you'll want to find out why the dryer is refusing to cooperate, or else your laundry day may take on additional dimensions. What should you be looking for so you can get to the bottom of the problem?

First Things First

The first thing to do is to check the fuse or breaker and ensure that the appliance is plugged in correctly. Assuming all is okay, there are two or three areas to look at in terms of potential electrical faults.

Heating Element Failure

If you have a multimeter in your garage, now is the time to break it out.

Firstly, check to see if the heating element is working. If it's malfunctioning, it won't be able to generate enough heat to dry the clothes or could, in itself, overheat, causing a failure. Look at the owner's manual to identify the element and place each of the probes on the wire terminals. If you do not get a reading, there is a lack of continuity, and the element will have failed.

Thermal Cut-Off Problem

Next, have a look at the thermal cut-off switch. This is a device that is meant to ensure the appliance doesn't overheat. Again, look at the owner's manual to find out where it is located at. It may be at the rear of the appliance, accessed through the back cover panel. If the machine has overheated, the thermal fuse can trip, but it can also become faulty and prevent the device from working at all. Again, you can test this using the multimeter to see if it is active or has blown.

Faulty Thermostat

You should also suspect a thermostat failure. Find out if your device has one or two thermostats as this can vary between different appliances. These devices are designed to regulate the temperature during normal cycles and when the dryer is working at maximum capacity. If they are working correctly, they are designed to turn off the heating element once it reaches a certain temperature threshold. If the thermostat does not do this, the heating element may also fail, leading to a premature shutdown.

Getting Professional Help

Of course, if you do not feel comfortable performing this type of work or cannot get to the bottom of the problem, contact an electrician. They will look at the problem and conduct a repair so you can continue with your laundry day chores. For more information about appliance repairs, contact a local electrician.