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element hot, no motor sound

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The element gets hot when the timer is on. Drum doesn't turn, motor does not turn. I checked for continuity

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Old 04-08-2013, 01:34 PM
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Default element hot, no motor sound
Model Number: 110.86880800 68808   Brand: Kenmore   Age: More than 10 years   

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The element gets hot when the timer is on. Drum doesn't turn, motor does not turn. I checked for continuity between all 6 terminals on the element shroud to ground, and got continuity from all of them. So i figure the element is grounding out and getting at least partially hot using the the metal shroud or something as its neutral. But mustn't something else also be wrong for the element to heat w/o the motor turning... the switch that senses that the motor IS running? Does it seem likely that both would fail together?


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2013, 05:40 AM
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Here are your parts
Parts for Kenmore Dryer 11086880800 - AppliancePartsPros.com

I cannot find a wiring diagram for this unit.

I am guessing a bit but there should only be two connectors that are the heating coil. the wires to it have to be disconnected to check it properly.

So i figure the element is grounding out and getting at least partially hot using the the metal shroud or something as its neutral. But mustn't something else also be wrong for the element to heat w/o the motor turning... the switch that senses that the motor IS running?
No.
Normally the heater runs off of 240 volts.
One side goes to the centrifugal switch on the motor to L2 side of the line.
The other side goes through the thermostat's and a set of timer contacts to L1 side of the line. So if that sides parts are closed voltage will go through them and part of the element and then to ground/frame/Neutral. Then part of the element heats up but it is 120 volts.

Does it seem likely that both would fail together?
I do not think both have failed.
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:39 AM
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Well the 6 wires I referred to are what I see from the outside, that have terminals on the metal shroud that covers the element. Two at the top, two at the bottom, and two that go through a thermostat/switch. One of them is actually a loop that goes from one terminal to another. Tough to decipher w/o a diagramI know. If I disconnect them all, which two do I check for an element test? And what is allowing even a partial heating of the element without the motor running?

Last edited by spaldini101 : 04-09-2013 at 06:48 AM. Reason: error
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:39 AM
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I cannot find a wiring diagram so cannot say which two wires it is.
Here is the part. Click on the picture to get more views of it, you can then click on them to expand then so you can see what the connector end looks like.

If you start disconnecting things be sure to either mark the wires or make yourself a diagram so they go back on the correct connectors.

Part number: AP3109438

Part number: AP3109438
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:29 PM
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I determined that both the element AND the thermal fuse were bad. But still don't understand why the shorted element could still get current when the motor was not turning. Isn't there a sensor/switch that prevents power from reaching the element, if the blower is not operating?
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:15 AM
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Isn't there a sensor/switch that prevents power from reaching the element, if the blower is not operating?
Yes, this is the centrifugal switch on the motor.
It closes when the motor/blower is running.

The circuit is usually:
L1---timer contacts---thermostat, hi-limit and thermal cut off contacts---heater coil---centrifugal switch ---L2
L1 and L2 are two 120 volt supplies with a common Neutral/ground.
They are 180 degrees out of phase, so when one is positive 120 the other is negative 120. The difference between the two then gives you 240 volts to run the heating coil.
You will notice that Neutral/ground is not part of the heater circuit.

What can happen is that the heating coil can break or sag is such a way that it touches the case/Neutral/ground.
Now the circuit is:
L1---timer contacts---thermostat, high limit and thermal cutoff contacts---part of the heater coil---Neutral/ground.
So now the heater gets 120 volts across part of it and that part heats up.

Since the main control thermostat is on the blower housing, it's contacts always stay because the motor is off so there is no heat getting to the thermostat.
The heater then runs off of the hi-limit thermostat but it' is just a safety device so it's contacts are not made to continually switch the power on/off and eventually they fail/weld together and then the thermal cutoff blows.

I hope I explained the above OK.

It is a good idea to replace the hi-limit thermostat is the thermal cutogg blows.
On many units they come as one part number.
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:49 AM
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That must be what was occurring. When testing I did get continuity to the shroud from to the coil connections. So at that point the centrifugal switch is out of the circuit, but the circuit is still completed by the ground? Is that it?
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:55 AM
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I already ordered the parts. The motor thermal fuse and the element. I don't think the "high limit" thermostat IS included. Is it likely that it has fused? It tests closed, but that doesn't tell me if it functions.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:59 AM
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Is it likely that it has fused? It tests closed, but that doesn't tell me if it functions.
I cannot find a wiring diagram so do not know how it is wired in therefore I cannot say if it is welded shut.

For a rough check you can put it on a stove top element or use a soldering gun and heat up it's metal face. Then check it with a meter to see if it opens.

Usually you can hear a faint click when it opens but this does not mean that the actual contacts opened.

Just be careful not to burn yourself.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:03 AM
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It's function is to prevent overheating of the dryer?
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