Appliances fail. It’s an inevitability of life, and sometimes a function will turn out to be a malfunction. For example, when a Frigidaire dryer won’t heat up but is otherwise working.
Heating failure in a Frigidaire dryer can be related to the heating element, heater relay, motor centrifugal switch, thermal fuse, thermostat, or thermistor sensor. Heating failure may also be caused by human error, such as overloading the drum.
It’s quite inconvenient when your dryer refuses to heat—clothes may take an eternity to dry, or not even dry at all! However, before you seek an expensive appliance repair service, there are a few things you can check to figure out why your Frigidaire dryer isn’t working, and some solutions you can try.
1. Burned Heating Element
Heat eliminates dampness from your laundry and dries it. Therefore, all dryers contain some heating element.
The heating element may be separate from the drum based on its design. On most Frigidaire dryers, it should be at the rear of the dryer as an oval-shaped component with metal coils.
The heating element receives electricity whenever you start a drying cycle. The metal coils will then produce heat, which is then blown by the blower through the drum and eventually out the dryer vent.
Related: Dryer Smells Like Its Burning
Repairing A Burnt Heating Element
First, turn off the power source to the Frigidaire dryer to prevent burn and electric shock injuries. Then look through the user manual or other documents provided by Frigidaire and find the section about the heating element. You can also look this up online.
First, using a screwdriver, you’ll need to remove the access panels and dryer drum.
Then, separate the electrical contacts and replace the screws for the heating element.
Once you’ve replaced the screws, reattach the electrical contacts the same manner they were set before you installed the new heating element.
To give you a clearer picture of fixing your Frigidaire dryer’s burned heating element, you can watch this video.
2. Failing Heater Relay in the Control Board
A relay is simply an electric switch that opens and closes as needed. The control board in your Frigidaire dryer enables the heating element to receive electric current and produce heat.
When the air temperature is too high or the drying cycle is completed, the heater relay will close, cutting off the electrical current. A failing relay may mean worn connections.
Fixing The Control Board’s Heater Relay
Consult an appliance site or the Frigidaire user manual for the correct replacement component. You can also call Frigidaire’s customer service line to receive technical support.
First, unplug the power circuit to the Frigidaire dryer to prevent electrocution and other injuries. Next, locate the heating relay and remove the access panel to the relay.
Remove the old heating relay and replace it with a new one. Reattach the electrical wires in the same manner as the original installation.
3. Blown Thermal Fuse
Sometimes, the power circuit itself stops working. The Frigidaire dryer’s thermal fuse prevents the appliance from getting too hot—if that fuse gets overloaded, then it may fail.
You can find the fuse on the blower’s housing or at the heat source of the dryer. On an electric dryer, this would be the heating element; on a gas dryer, this would be the burner.
Fixing Blown Thermal Fuse
First, use a multimeter to verify whether the fuse is functional. If so, make sure to block the electric current before you continue.
You can then replace the blown fuse. Keep in mind that a worn fuse may be a symptom of a clogged exhaust vent, which can be found on the outside of the dryer. Once you’ve fixed your blown fuse, take a look at the dryer vent just in case.
4. Broken Cycling Thermostat
The cycling thermostat regulates the air temperature by cycling the warm air on and off. If the dryer overheats, the high-limit thermostat regulates the temperature and switches off the burner. Sometimes the thermostat may malfunction even if the dryer temperature is normal. When the cycling thermostat broken, the washer will not be able to dissipate heat.
Fixing a Broken Cycling Thermostat
First, check all of the parts that fail most often, since a broken cycling thermostat is uncommon. If all is well elsewhere, use a multimeter to verify whether the thermostat is receiving electric current.
This is a harder fix, so if your thermostat isn’t receiving electricity, call an appliance repair service to replace it properly.
5. Failing Centrifugal Switch
A centrifugal switch is a safety mechanism that only activates the heating element when the drum is whirling.
Assume, for instance, that the drum is not spinning for some reason. The centrifugal switch would cut off electricity to the heating element to prevent overheating the garments inside the drum and setting them on fire. If the drum is spinning, a functioning switch will allow current to go to the heating element.
If the drum is rotating but the dryer isn’t heating, the centrifugal switch may have failed.
Fixing a Failed Centrifugal Switch
A centrifugal switch is close to the dryer’s motor, so only repair it yourself if you are confident that you can do it properly.
First, completely disconnect any power source to prevent electrocution or other injury.
Then, find the access panels to the motor and remove them. Remove the drum as well.
Use your hand to verify if the centrifugal switch will open and close without obstruction. If any dirt, lint, or other debris is present, carefully clean the area.
If the area is clean, use a multimeter to check if the switch is receiving electric current. If not, the switch itself must be replaced. Once you’ve done so, place the drum and access panels back in their original positions.
6. Broken Thermistor Sensor
Thermistors respond to heat and regulate the electrical current via the circuit by raising or lowering its resistance. The thermistor is generally positioned where the heat flows since it works closely with the control board.
Fixing a Broken Thermistor Sensor
A thermistor is difficult to replace, so only do so if you are confident that you can do it properly.
The thermistor often rests near the air vent. Once you’ve located the thermistor, open the back panel to access it. Remove the thermistor from any power source while disconnecting its fasteners.
Work backward after installing the new thermistor. Reconnect the wiring, tighten the mounting screws, and reattach the back panel.
7. Overloaded Dryer
Sometimes, the problem isn’t mechanical—it’s human! You may be cramming your Frigidaire dryer with far too many items at once. When your dryer is overflowing with damp clothing, there isn’t enough room for adequate air circulation. Your Frigidaire dryer simply can’t dry effectively if there’s not enough air to dry with.
Fixing Overloading the Dryer
When we have a lot of laundry and not enough time to do it all, it’s tempting to try to cram too much into the appliance to save time. However, this is counterproductive: drying a wet heap of clothes will require more time than just doing separate loads of laundry. Try loading your appliance with fewer clothes to see if it does the trick.
Fixing an appliance can burden the household and require hours, days, or even weeks of waiting. But when you can troubleshoot the problem yourself—like with a heating element, thermal fuse, centrifugal switch, or overloading—you can get past much of the time-consuming labor of fixing your Frigidaire dryer in only minutes. And if you’re able to replace the parts yourself, you’ll save even more money, time, and sanity.