23 January 2013

Theory Of Dryer Maintenance

Here's the theory.

My dryer is quite old.

The leads for the thermostat heater being plugged into the blower box thermal fuse may be thus.

When the thermostats die, they take out the fuse.

The thermostat and thermostat heater are part of a variable heat system in my dryer.  What the little heater does is trip the thermostat.  It's just a bi-metal switch in there.  What this does is cycle the heating element off and on giving allowing the temperature to be adjusted.

My theory is the thermostat croaked, and took the thermostat heater and fuse with it.

Previous owner bought a new thermostat, but not the heater.  He had wires left over and plugged the heater leads into the dead fuse and when things still didn't work, twisted the ends of the fuse leads together.  Function restored!  All better!

Bypassing that fuse is a common repair I've seen now.

It's also possible that the fuse was bypassed first and the heater was omitted later and the leads were just parked where it was handy.


  1. I always cringe when I read about someone bypassing a fuse or breaker. There may be times when it's okay, but realistically it's almost always a Bad Idea. Especially in a device that's designed to generate heat, and more so in an appliance that pulls the power that dryers do.

    If you can get the parts, I would suggest restoring it to factory configuration ASAP. If you can't get the parts, replacement may be the best option.

  2. The fuse on the heater box is the important one, and that's intact.

    From what the appliance repair place says, the second fuse is a tertiary back up. First the main thermostat cut-off on the heater box must fail in the on position, then the thermal fuse on the heater box must fail to pop then the thermostat cut-off on the blower box must fail in the on position then the bypassed thermal fuse... They say that whomever specified the pop temperature made some assumptions about the operating range. In a basement in New York it's fine, in a Florida garage without air-conditioning they pop.


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