GE electric dryer overheating, shutting down

ftm-1September 17, 2012

I have a GE Electric clothes dryer, model DX4500EGOWW. About 4-5 years old.

My problem started out a few months ago, as clothes taking longer than normal to dry, then progressed to overheating, thermal breaker shutting it down. This was on high heat settings, had to resort to running medium heat long, long drying time. I have checked and re-checked, my duct work. Its open, took the dryer apart for inspection and thorough lint cleaning, went ahead and replaced the heating elements and metal element retainers, good thing, they were brittle from being overheated, broke like potato chips. So put it all back together, same thing.

Then kept experimenting, the dryer will run on high heat/normal cotton setting, only with the duct venting straight from the rear of the dryer, hook the duct work up, it will shut down in 5 minutes. This metal duct work has served 3 dryers and 32 years of use. I could fire a cannon ball though the duct work, flipper is opening all the way on the door out side the house, it is clean as well.

Sorry for the book, just trying to get all the details on here.

Could my drive motor be failing and not spinning enough RPM to flow the air through the system and on out the duct work? I did not see any oil slinging, and its still quiet. All ideas welcome.

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when it is running and hooked up, how much air is coming out of the vent at the outside of the house?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 7:28PM
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It feels like a good amount of air is coming out. Blows against your hand good. But I do notice when the duct work is hooked up, and listening outside, it sounds like the air flow pulses, hear it speed up, slow down, in quick successions, I'm guessing from the rotation of the drum and fan on the motor. But I never listened before, when things were OK.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 10:00PM
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Sounds like a thermostat malfunction to me.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 8:20PM
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Thanks for the reply,

I just did an RPM check. The info sheet hidden in the top part of the dryer said the drum turns at 47-51 RPM. I got 49 RPM.

I saw there is a "cycling thermostat" which would be what you are talking about, I'm guessing, and a "high limit thermostat" which I'm guessing is the one that's shutting me down totally.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:53PM
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Per the part diagram, there are three thermostats and one (presumably) thermal fuse.

One thermostat (L135-10) is on front of the blower housing. The other two (L210-30) and the fuse are on the element pan.

I don't know GE operating theory well enough to be clear on how the three thermostats work together to provide the choices of heat selections.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:40PM
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Thanks for the reply, Yes I saw them on geappliances . Was sure hoping to fix this myself.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:46PM
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UPDATE, got the dryer fixed. It was the "inlet biased thermostat" on the element pan, that was bad. I replaced the "cycling thermostat", on the blower housing, no go. Ran it a while again. Got tired of the med heat drying, tore it back down, just sat and visually ran the wires, saw the biased thermostat was tied to the high heat element. Freshened it up with new drum glides, and that felt strip the drum rides on and a belt, while I was in there. Don't want to pull it down again for a piddly part. I appreciate the responses I got. Thanks

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 4:06AM
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