Dryer Heating Elements
Most tumble dryer heaters or elements are easily changed, I say mostly as there are a few that can be best described as "awkward" to get into.
With most though you will invariably find a removable metal plate on the rear panel of the tumble dryer that allows access to the element and the thermostat or thermostats that control the heater. Do be aware that there will often be another one, maybe tow, thermostats or temperature sensors tucked away somewhere else.
In recent times there has also been an increase in tumble dryer heating elements that have the thermostats supplied with a new heater element only. We don't like this at all as it pushes up the cost of replacing both the heater and the thermostats. This practice, to our knowledge, started with some Zanussi tumbler dryers in the nineties and is still being used today on many dryers from the Electrolux Group (AEG, Electrolux etc.), Indesit Group (Ariston, Hotpoint etc.) and others.
The good news is that, if you are not stuck with one of these unique elements there is often a cheaper way than buying the original part but, the copies we use are usually the genuine item, without the manufacturer's packaging and this saves a considerable amount of money at times.
As usual you do need to be aware of the fact that there are some less than good copy elements floating about these days, especially when it's a very common heating element and they can be pretty shoddy. We avoid them, we would advise that you do too.
Testing Tumble Dryer Heating Elements
Before you go ordering an element for your tumble dryer it is prudent to check that it is actually faulty. You would be amazed at how many people order up an element, often at a considerable cost, only to find that it was a thermostat that was wrong at a fraction of the cost. Thankfully checking a heating element is pretty straightforward.
Just about any tumble dryer heating element is a simple affair with, at most, two heating elements in one package. If there are two terminals only, it is a single heat element and, if there are three or more, it will almost certainly be a two heating stage element.
If it's two terminals on the element just do a simple continuity test with a normal multimeter, if you have a circuit then chances are the element is okay. If you don't have a circuit and the element appears to be open-circuit then it will almost certainly have failed.
Three terminals and there will likely be a common neutral to both heating elements within the element as a whole. If either is open circuit then the whole element will need to be replaced.
Four terminals is just two live, two neutral connections normally, one of each for each heating element.
This simple check can save you a lot of time and money.
Saving Money Buying A Tumble Dryer Heating Element
There are, as I said, a lot of heating elemetns that are available for a lot less cash than the part supplied in a nice box or bag with a manufacturers part number on it and, very often, this is the only difference between many of the original parts and the "pattern" ones.
Sadly however there are also a lot of absolutely rubbish, cheap and very nasty drain pumps out there. We can get those easily if we wanted but, we don't want to and we refuse to sell them to people. Most often this is because they can be awkward to fit, the quality is rubbish and they are often cheaper because they skimp on the build quality to get a cheap price. So, cheap but rubbish and often prone to failing again, fast.
The golden rule is that, if the price looks to good to be true, it probably will be and somewhere there will be a compromise on quality.
But tumble dryers are a strictly Northern European thing (and the USA/Canada) so there may well be a lot of brands out there selling tumble dryers but, in the main, there's a lot of crossover in them as to make them cheap you have to have volume. What happens is that, in order to boost production volumes to reduce costs, you will normally find that a lot of tumble dryers are just rebadged versions of another and, the good news when you're looking for a spare part, is that the price variation in parts can be massive.
Good examples of this are the likes of a Whirlpool tumble dryer element which costs over £70 from Whirlpool, we sell it under a different part number for about £20. A whopping £50 saving!
Same thing with Bosch as Gorenje and Crosslee make most of their dryers so, a common Bosch tumble dryer element can be bought via a different route for £30 less than the one with a Bosch part number, in a Bosch box. The last time we checked a cardboard box and a sticker didn't cost £30!
So, you can save a fair bit if you buy smart and at the same time get a pukka part.
If you are unsure or need any help please just ask.