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Frigidaire Dryer FER231AS0 Runs - No Heat

MMO

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
15
Location
Vermont
Model Number
FER231AS0
Brand
Frigidaire
Age
6-10 years
About a year ago the dryer would cycle on and off too quickly for anything to get hot enough to dry clothes. I tested continuity on the fuses and ended up replacing a bad thermostat and a bad hi-limit. Been working fine since.

Today, it stopped heating completely. It runs fine, but the heating coil is stone cold. I opened it up and all of the fuses have continuity, and the heating coil itself shows continuity. Is it possible for the heating coil to show continuity but be bad?

There are no visible shorts in any of the wiring or fuses, and the coil itself looks fine and has no breaks.

The lint trap and ducts are completely clear. The breaker is fine and I'm getting a full 240V at the outlet. I tried running it on all the settings - high heat, low heat, timed dry, more dry, less dry, etc.

The coil just doesn't get hot.

Could it be something in the main panel? What else should I look for?
 

rickgburton

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Set the timer on timed dry and the fabric select switch to regular. Unplug or remove power from the machine. Use a DMM to check for continuity between terminals #1 and #2 on the fabric select switch. Check for continuity between A and B on the timer.

Always remove at least one wire from the component when checking for continuity.

If everything checks good, remove the wires from the heating element that goes to the motor. Restore power and start the machine. Measure the voltage from the wire you just removed, to cabinet ground (any cabinet screw). Then measure from the wire still connected to the element to cabinet ground.
 

MMO

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I currently only have a pretty basic analog multimeter. Can I check what I need to check with that? Or do I really need digital?
 

MMO

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All I have is a basic analog multimeter, but I think it will do what I need it to do without digital.

This machine does not have a fabric selector switch. It only has a High/Low/No Heat switch, a start button, and a Timed Dry/More Dry switch. So, I could not check for continuity on a fabric selector switch. There IS continuity between A and B on the timer.

On the heating coil, there is a connector for a black wire that runs down from the panel, I left that one connected. The other end of the element is a yellow wire that runs down from the panel and continues on to the motor. I disconnected that one.

With the machine running, with one end of multimeter on the connected black wire and the other end on a ground, I got continuity.

With the machine running, with one end of the multimeter on the disconnected yellow wire and the other end on ground, the needle on the multimeter was jumping erratically, but stayed very low, close to zero (no continuity).

So what does that tell us? The wire between the motor and the element is shot? The motor itself is the issue?

I look forward to hearing next steps so I can continue to troubleshoot! Thanks in advance for your help.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Your not suppose to ohm test when power is connected to the dryer, unplug the dryer, then do what Rick said.:)


Here's the heating element for your model you can order here, if needed:
Heating Element Assembly 131553900


Jake
 

MMO

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Messages
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Location
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Your not suppose to ohm test when power is connected to the dryer, unplug the dryer, then do what Rick said.:)
Rick said, "If everything checks good, remove the wires from the heating element that goes to the motor. Restore power and start the machine. Measure the voltage from the wire you just removed, to cabinet ground (any cabinet screw). Then measure from the wire still connected to the element to cabinet ground."

Restore power and start the machine, and test voltage. That's what I did.

Regardless, I got it working again. I unclipped and reclipped the wires running to the element and all the switches. Turned the breaker off and on again. Whatever it was, it's working now.
 

rickgburton

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With the machine running,.... I got continuity.
OK. never check continuity with the machine plugged in. You'll damage your meter and you can get zapped.
Restore power and start the machine. Measure the voltage from the wire you just removed,
I could not check for continuity on a fabric selector switch.
Look on the back of the switch. There are 4 wires. The terminals are marked on the switch. Terminal 1 is an orange wire. Terminal 2 is a red wire.
 

MMO

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Jan 23, 2021
Messages
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Location
Vermont
I got it heating again. My best guess is there was a connectivity issue with the wires leading to the high-temp thermostat, the one that is attached directly to the heating element casing and faces the heating element.

One side of the thermostat has two wires coming together into one connector - one gray and one black. The other side has a single wire coming to the connector, orange and black. When I jiggled these two wires the heating element finally kicked on.

The orange/black wire looks to have some burning at the end where it meets the connector, and the connector itself is looking brittle and bent. My plan is to cut off the existing connector and an inch or so of wire and get a new connector to reattach the wire.

I checked and the thermostat itself has continuity.

My question is - do I need a special kind of connector for that thermostat? Are they all the same? If I get the same size is that enough? Or does it need to be some kind of special 'high temp' connector?

Something like this:

Or this:
 

rickgburton

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I have the best luck with the solderless high temp terminals. Cut the wires back far enough the copper wire strands are shiney and and not dull.
 

MMO

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I have the best luck with the solderless high temp terminals. Cut the wires back far enough the copper wire strands are shiney and and not dull.
I got these, one insulated one not. I assume either will work?
 

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MMO

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Use the one on the right. The plastic will melt on the other one.
I asked the person at the hardware store that very question, if the insulated one would melt, and her response was 'No, it would be bad insulation if it melted'. But, since the original wasn't insulated I assumed it was for good reason!
 

MMO

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Messages
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Use the one on the right. The plastic will melt on the other one.
Hey all. Back at square.

I replaced the quick connector on the orange/black wire going to the high temp thermostat thinking that was the issue. While I had the drum out I went ahead and rechecked continuity on all the thermostats, the heating coil, the fabric selector. and the timer. I even turned the breaker off and on again, and checked voltage at the plug. All have continuity and the plug is getting 240V.

I hooked everything back up and started the dryer. No heat. No heat on High or Low. No heat on Timed Dry or More Dry. Nothing. The motor runs, but the element doesn't get hot.

I traced all the wires and looked at all connections for shorts or any other issues. I don't see anything out of the ordinary.

Could the high temp thermostat show continuity but actually be bad?

What am I missing?
 

rickgburton

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looked at all connections for shorts or any other issues.
You really can't tell anything by just looking. Use your meter to look for shorts or open connections.
Could the high temp thermostat show continuity but actually be bad?
It's possible. Temporarily bypass the thermostats by shorting the two wires together and see if the dryer heats.
I hooked everything back up and started the dryer. No heat.
Read post #2 again. You're basically back to where you started. use timed dry, high heat. First measure the voltage and check for 220 VAC at the element. If there is no voltage, remove the yellow wire from the heating element and check for 120 VAC from that wire to ground. Do you have 120 VAC? Check for 120 VAC from timer terminal "A" to ground. Do you have 120 VAC?
 

MMO

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You really can't tell anything by just looking. Use your meter to look for shorts or open connections.

It's possible. Temporarily bypass the thermostats by shorting the two wires together and see if the dryer heats.

Read post #2 again. You're basically back to where you started. use timed dry, high heat. First measure the voltage and check for 220 VAC at the element. If there is no voltage, remove the yellow wire from the heating element and check for 120 VAC from that wire to ground. Do you have 120 VAC? Check for 120 VAC from timer terminal "A" to ground. Do you have 120 VAC?
Thanks for your continued help on this.

You're suggesting that I remove the two sides of the high limit thermostat and put them directly together and then run the machine to see if the element heats? If so, then it's an issue with the high limit?

To clarify #2. I plug the dryer in, and set my multimeter to VAC and put each end of the MM on each end of the heating coil while it is plugged in and see if I get 240V passing through the element?

If I do not show 240V running through the element, then I unplug the yellow wire from the element and check the voltage at that wire and ground to see if I get 120VAC coming to that wire? And then also check if I'm getting 120VAC from the timer to ground?

And that will help diagnose if the issue is in the wire coming to the element, or if the issue is in the timer?
 

MMO

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Well, here's an update.

Dryer on high heat, timed dry. Everything plugged in and connected as should be. No heat.

I set my MM to VAC and put each end onto the connections on the high limit thermostat with the dryer running. The element started to heat. By placing the MM across the high limit thermostat, I think I essentially bypassed that thermostat and got voltage to the element, which kicked it on. As soon as I removed the MM the element turned off.

So, the issue is with the high limit thermostat.

Yes?
 

MMO

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One more update. I removed both quick connects from the high-temp thermostat and put them together to bypass that thermostat completely. Ran the machine and got heat!

So, that basically confirms the issue is with the high temp thermostat. I just ordered a replacement on Amazon for $11. Hopefully that does it.

Anything else I should check or trouble shoot while I'm at it?
 

rickgburton

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I set my MM to VAC and put each end onto the connections on the high limit thermostat with the dryer running.
You can't measure voltage by putting your meter leads on the same wire...Lol

frigidaire-thermostat-3204267-ap2131477_01_m.jpg
 

MMO

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Not on same wire. One MM lead on to the gray/black wire going to one side of thermostat, and one MM lead onto the orange/black wire on the other side of the thermostat.
 

rickgburton

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It's the same wire. The thermostat is inline with the L1 side of the element. To measure voltage, one meter lead needs to go to + (L1) and the other lead needs to go to - (N). Since the thermostat is on the L1 side of power, both t-stat terminals are + (L1).
 
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