Locate the flame sensor by checking the dryer’s user manual. It is usually near the burner, so you will need to take apart the outer panels of your dryer to get to it. Once it’s located (near the igniter or burner), remove it from its assembly. Next, clean the area and install the replacement part by reversing the steps.
Flame sensors are typically made of metal rods that prevent the harmful buildup of gas by ensuring the gas valve is only open when there is an active fire.
In other words, it ensures that there’s a flame present before the gas is released into the dryer.
So, it’s a safety feature that monitors the heat that’s emitted from the igniter. If there’s no flame, the sensor will prevent the flow of gas.
- Many dryers, particularly those that run on gas, include a flame sensor as a safety feature.
- Flame sensors are designed to detect the presence of heat/flames, and if it senses the heat, only then it will open the valve.
- A flame sensor consists of a small rod that is typically located near the burner of the dryer. Moreover, the rod is made of material that is sensitive to heat.
- Before replacing the flame sensor it’s highly recommended to get it tested and check if your dryer is still under warranty as this part may be covered.
- Go through the user manual to locate the exact position of the flame sensor.
Table Of Content
- What is a flame sensor in a dryer?
- Why is a flame sensor important?
- Where is the flame sensor located in a dryer?
- How does the flame sensor wear out?
- Symptoms of a bad flame sensor
- How do you test the flame sensor of a dryer?
- How to replace the flame sensor in a dryer?
- Can you bypass the flame sensor?
- What is the cost of the flame sensor?
- How long does a flame sensor in the dryer last?
- Final Thoughts
What is a flame sensor in a dryer?
A flame sensor is a safety device that is usually installed in gas dryers. It is a thin metal rod that is located near the burner assembly, usually placed in the path of the igniter’s flames.
The main purpose of the flame sensor is to detect the presence of flames or heat, and if it fails to detect a flame, it will not open the gas valve.
In layman’s terms, the flame sensor senses the heat in the flame and once the temperature reaches a point sufficient enough to light the gas burner, it sends a signal to open the gas valve.
So, flame sensors are an important safety feature in gas dryers, and if they turn faulty, there could be a fire hazard.
Why is a flame sensor important?
A dryer’s flame sensor is an essential safety feature that helps to prevent fires.
The sensor monitors the flames and shuts off the gas supply once the igniter is turned off or it is not producing flames.
So, what this does is it prevents the gas from accumulating or releasing into the dryer when there is no active fire.
If there is a problem with the flame sensor, it can cause the gas valve to stay open even when there is no fire.
This can be extremely dangerous as it can lead to a gas leak and, eventually, a fire.
Where is the flame sensor located in a dryer?
The flame sensor is located near the igniter in the dryer, and it is hard to find it physically.
Therefore, reading the user manual of your dryer becomes necessary to locate them.
To find the flame sensor, you will also need to remove a few outer panels and, in most cases, the drum of the dryer.
How does the flame sensor wear out?
In most cases, the flame sensor is made of metal or ceramic, and it can collect a layer of dirt and lint over time.
This buildup can make it hard for the sensor to detect the flame, which can cause the dryer to turn off early or not heat up.
To clean the sensor, remove it from the dryer and use a soft brush or cloth to remove any debris.
What happens if a flame sensor fails? (Symptoms of a bad flame sensor)
If a flame sensor fails, in some cases, your dryer will not be able to start.
The flame sensor’s job is to figure out if there’s a fire or heat inside the dryer.
If the sensor does not detect a fire, it will not be able to send the signal to open the gas valve, and the dryer will not heat.
In other cases, if the sensor is not working properly, it can cause the dryer to overheat.
If this happens, you will need to stop using the dryer and call a technician to replace the sensor, or do it yourself if you are familiar with the process.
How do you test the flame sensor of a dryer?
To test the flame sensor on a dryer, first, make sure that the sensor is clean, and then make use of a multimeter to check for continuity.
Place the points between the two terminals on the sensor with ohm settings.
If there is no continuity, the sensor is defective and should be replaced.
In other words, if the multimeter shows a resistance of zero ohms, then the sensor is working fine. However, if the needle does not move at all, then the sensor is defective and needs to be replaced.
How to replace the flame sensor in a dryer?
If your dryer isn’t igniting due to a faulty flame sensor, it may be time to replace it.
Let’s take a quick look at a detailed step-by-step guide to replacing the flame sensor in a dryer.
Step 1: Unplug your drying machine
Unplug your dryer from the power outlet and move it so you can get to the back and side panels easily.
Do not forget to disconnect the other supplies, such as gas supply pipes and vents.
Step 2: Detach the required panels and the drum
Depending on the type and model of your dryer, you will need to locate the flame sensor and remove the appropriate outer or back panels, or both.
The best way to find the exact location of a flame sensor is to look in the user guide.
Once you have figured out the location of the flame sensor, remove the panels (outer/back or both).
In most cases, you will have to remove the back panel of your dryer by removing the screws that hold it in place.
You may also have to remove the dryer’s drum in order to reach the burner assembly and the flame sensor.
Step 3: Remove the faulty flame sensor assembly
Once you’ve found the flame sensor near the burner assembly, remove the wire connector from it carefully.
You can use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the two screws holding the flame sensor in place.
Your flame sensor is now ready to be removed from the dryer.
Step 4: Install the replacement flame sensor
Pull out the old flame sensor and insert the new one in its place carefully.
Make sure to clean the areas around it using a damp cloth.
Reconnect the wire connector to the new flame sensor and screw it in place with the Phillips screwdriver.
Step 5: Reassemble the dryer
Put the back panel back on your dryer and tighten it with the screws.
Next, place the dryer in its original location and plug it back into the power outlet.
Step 6: Run a test cycle for testing
Plug in the dryer and reconnect the required supplies to run a test cycle.
Can you bypass the flame sensor?
You can try cleaning the flame sensor instead of bypassing it.
Bypassing the flame sensor should be done only to see if that fixes the problem temporarily, but is not recommended.
You can try bypassing the sensor by jumpering out 2 of the 3 wires going to it.
But if you bypass a flame sensor, it will not be able to tell if the flame is active or inactive. Therefore, it won’t shut off automatically and will continue to release gas even if the flame is not lit.
This can lead to a dangerous situation where the dryer continues to release gas even if there is no flame.
What is the cost of the flame sensor?
The cost of a flame sensor can vary depending on the brand and model of the dryer. However, on average, a flame sensor costs anywhere between $20 and $50.
How long does a flame sensor in the dryer last?
There are many factors that can affect how long a flame sensor will last in a dryer.
The type of sensor, the quality of the sensor, the usage frequency, and the environment in which the sensor is used can all affect its lifespan.
On average, a flame sensor should last anywhere between 5 and 10 years.
It can be tricky to replace the flame sensor in a dryer as the most common problem is locating the sensor in the first place.
Once you know where the sensor is, it’s easy to take it off with a screwdriver.
Before you replace the flame sensor, you need to test it with a multimeter to make sure it is faulty.
This is because the symptoms of a faulty flame sensor can be very deceptive and common.
For example, symptoms of a faulty flame sensor may be similar to those of a faulty heating element or thermal fuse, i.e., the dryer will not heat.
So, always test the flame sensor before replacing it, and also check if your appliance is still under warranty.
If you are lucky enough to have warranty coverage, you may not need to self-troubleshoot.
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