Testing 4 prong Dryer Outlet

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  #1  
Old 02-19-07, 07:13 AM
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Testing 4 prong Dryer Outlet

Hello, we've been having problems with our dryer running but not heating. And it happens once and a while - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Questions:
1) I suspect the power supply, but would it go off & on like that?

2) I plan to first test the 4 prongs with my voltmeter. Do I set it at AC or DC?
3) The reading across should be 220V-240V, and 110V betweent the 4 corners, correct?

4) If it isn't reading correctly, but the circuit breaker is putting out 240V, should I replace the outlet?

or should I stick a fork in the outlet and measure how far my body lands from the outlet to determine the voltage?

Many thanks in advance!!!!!
 
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  #2  
Old 02-19-07, 07:21 AM
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This sounds like a failing heating element in the dryer to me, rather than a power problem.

If you want to test the dryer receptacle, set your multimeter on 250 volts AC. You should get in the neighborhood of 240 volts between the two hot connections, and 120 volts between either hot and the ground or neutral.

Make sure your vent isn't clogged with lint. This is a common cause of poor drying and also of element failure, not to mention a fire hazard.
 
  #3  
Old 02-19-07, 07:29 AM
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I have the GE Harmony dryer and I consider myself a moderately skilled DIY'er. Do you think replacing the dryer heating element would be to difficult?
 
  #4  
Old 02-19-07, 07:35 AM
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Replacing a heating element is pretty easy. I'm sure you can do it.
 
  #5  
Old 02-19-07, 07:44 AM
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Okay, one more question (sorry). How do I go about testing the heating element to see if it is the problem???

Thanks for your help!!!!!
 
  #6  
Old 02-19-07, 07:56 AM
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Pull it and test if for resistance.


Or you could do the metal fork idea too. I like that one. Try it and post back.
 
  #7  
Old 02-19-07, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by burkej62 View Post
Pull it and test if for resistance.


Or you could do the metal fork idea too. I like that one. Try it and post back.
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
  #8  
Old 02-19-07, 08:01 AM
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This could also be the thermostat. This is located on the back of the unit aswell.Unplug it before doing any thing. T-stat is held on by a 1/4" sheet metal screw and has 2 stake ones (slip connectors) and cost about $1.50.

This worked my 14 yr old dryer. (same problem).

Clean the vent and vacuume it any way.
 
  #9  
Old 02-19-07, 08:20 AM
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On the GE Harmony, I believe there are 3 thermostats located around the drum itself. Man, I'm going to have to take the entire thing apart to get to these parts (heating element & thermostats). I'd get a repairman, but it would probably cost as much as just getting a new dryer....
 
  #10  
Old 02-19-07, 08:26 AM
FMD
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Had similar problem and it was an internal wire that had a loose connection
 
  #11  
Old 02-19-07, 09:04 AM
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""Or you could do the metal fork idea too. I like that one. Try it and post back.""

this one is very dangerous idea and i will not encorge it due the 120 and 240 volt and it will zap you hard

just get the test light and read the voltage if you are getting 120 and 240 volts

if so then possiblty sometime get loose connection inside the dryer or element burn out

what other suggest as i will remind ya again make sure you clean the vent pipe and check for any restrction as well


merci , Marc
 
  #12  
Old 02-19-07, 09:09 AM
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I have a GE Harmony. Unplug it and pull it away from the wall.Take the vent pipe loose from the back of the dryer. Clean out any lint buildup that is present where the vent attaches. I think there is a sensor pretty close to there that can easily pack with lint and may be causing your problem. Hopefully you can vacuum this area clean and forego the disassembly...
 
  #13  
Old 02-19-07, 10:05 AM
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Looks like I'll have a lot to inspect when I get home. They are all very good, valid suggestions (except for the fork - which I just might do if I can't fix it -> then my wife can yell at me all she wants because I'll be dead). I'll have to stretch before I get into the laundry room because you have to be a contortionist in that small, cramped room.
 
  #14  
Old 02-20-07, 03:46 AM
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Well, last night I checked the outlet with my voltmeter - the power is fine. The ducts are clear and I blew out the dryer itself - so it is free of lint, which leaves the possiblities of either: bad heating element, bad thermostat, or loose wire. I was able to take off the top panel on the dryer, but the only thing I can access from the top is the drum itself. I assume that I need to take off the back panel, but it looks like I have to remove the side panels first. What a mess! So, I broke down and made a repair appt with a GE technician...
 
  #15  
Old 02-20-07, 06:57 AM
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Be sure to let us know how it comes out.

Pick up a copy of one of those general home repair books. Readers Digest makes a good one, and there are others. These books give basic diagnostic procedures for your common household appliances (furnace, water heater, washer, dryer, stove, dishwasher, etc.).

Yes, the element is most commonly reached by removing the back. And you can usually do so without removing the sides. The home repair book will show you how.

There are two appliances that I really hate to try to fix, the washing machine and the refrigerator. So I usually call a repairman for those. Most of the other appliances in your house are easier to deal with. A dryer is a pretty simple appliance without too many parts.
 
  #16  
Old 02-21-07, 09:23 AM
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Results from repairman visit:

He told us that the "blower" doesn't work, and that it would cost $300+ to fix. I guess at this time, this problem doesn't belong in the "electrical" forum
 
  #17  
Old 02-21-07, 09:46 AM
jn
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YIKES!
I wonder what exactly he found to justify that price. A whole new blower motor for an electric GE Harmony is only $67.50
You may want to check out one of the many GE parts places available online before deciding how to continue.
for instance:
www.GEApplianceparts.com
 
  #18  
Old 02-21-07, 10:14 AM
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Where did you find that? I see that the housing is ~$102 and the blower wheel is $59.

BTW, the technician just came in and hooked up a computer to it and ran diagnostics - didn't even open it up. He quoted $300+ in parts and, of course, the same in labor = $700+ total. I can buy a new machine for that.

Since this is a newer model, does anyone know where I could at least find a schematic, or instructions, on how to just access the blower so I can check it myself for a loose wire or something? Like I said in the original email, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't - so maybe I'll luck out.
 
  #19  
Old 02-21-07, 01:12 PM
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What is the Model Number?

I would proceed with taking it apart...what do you have to lose at this stage of the game?
If it is intermittant, you may VERY well find a simple fix once you get access.

I know the top control area of the washer and dryer are easily removed and reversible because we wanted the washer to the right and dryer to the left. The top panels were quickly taken off and swapped by the installers.
You may see all kinds of things just by taking the top loose and looking inside.
That is where I would start anyway...
Let me know what you find!
 
  #20  
Old 02-21-07, 03:20 PM
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model# DPGT750EC

I managed to get the top panel off. All that I have access to is the actual drum. Upon further investigation, it seems that the side panels have to be removed before the back panel can.
 
  #21  
Old 02-25-07, 08:33 AM
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Update:

After much work, I was able to access the blower motor and fan. I actually had to remove the top panel, then the front panel. The blower/fan is located under the drum in a very-hard-to-reach place. Everything "looks" okay. Now, I am having a hard time trying to find a replacement blower on the web....
 
  #22  
Old 02-25-07, 10:47 AM
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Try here--http://www3.sears.com/

you need the part# on the blower. and model #
 
  #23  
Old 02-26-07, 03:59 AM
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Thanks! Found the blower motor!!!

And on a whim, I tested the thermostat just outside the blower. With my voltmeter on RX1, I am getting an "open" reading. From what I've been researching, it should show "zero" at room temperature. Is this true? If so, a thermostat is only a $5 fix (and I'll need to cancel the order for the $120 blower motor)
 
  #24  
Old 02-26-07, 04:40 PM
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And on a whim, I tested the thermostat

Why did you wait six (6) days? Don't you trust us?
 
  #25  
Old 02-27-07, 03:37 AM
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Yes, but I misread the reading results. I got the "zero" and "infinity" readings backwards on the resistance setting - so it's back to the dang motor again (or the circuit board that controls it)
 
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