Below I outline a step by step process to do this on the Frigidaire Affinity, but this guide may help with other dryers, as they basically all function the same way.
A WORD OF CAUTION: You will be handling a lot of thin sheet metal components. Be careful as it is easy to cut yourself on them.
First you'll want to unplug the dryer and shut off the water source.
Then disconnect the vent hose and the water feed (if applicable). Be sure and shut off the water valve first, or you'll have a mess!
|You can use a screwdriver, but a small socket makes life easier.|
|Larger pliers are better, but you can get by with a standard set.|
|Just a couple screws hold the lid on.|
Now remove all the screws holding the back piece on. Don't forget the ones in the middle, including the access panel.
|There are a lot of these guys.|
|A couple on the top and a couple in the back.|
|Leave the bottom screws in, for now.|
Now you'll want to remove the screw holding the vent tube in. It should be screwed in at a slight angle. After you unscrew it, push the tube in as far as you can to facilitate removal of the back.
|Unscrew and push.|
|I like to mark the wires before I remove them.|
|A bit of angle helps.|
|If you can't clear the water connection, |
try loosening the mount screw under the padding.
|Unscrew these sensors with the red wires.|
|Unplug these ones. I like to mark them for good measure.|
|You can unplug this one. No need to undo the bolt.|
Now that the unit is free, turn it so you can pull it out, It may take some doing, but it should come out without too much trouble.
Once free, if you have a multimeter, you can test the coils. Set the meter to the lowest ohms setting and test each coil. You can also do a visual inspection, although it might not be obvious.
|Note setting and what zero resistance looks like.|
|Good should read around 20-50.|
|Busted coil on the right.|
Reassembly is basically just the reverse of removal, however you may have trouble with the pedestal brackets when putting the back cover on. If you do, loosen the bottom screws on the bracket to give a little more wiggle room.
|A stubby screw driver, or small ratchet helps on the lower bracket screws.|
The new part will likely not have the mounting bracket attached, so be sure and not damage it when removing the heating unit.
|Shiny new unit.|
I had the same thought, but I figured I'd replace the whole unit anyways, since that's how they sell them.
But I did think: "Well, I might as well pull these good coils and stash them for later in case this happens again. Because I'm smart like that!"
But when I pulled the canister open, I quickly saw that the other 2 coils were also broken, but just in such a way that they still made contact to complete the circuit. It also became apparent that switching out a single coil would be no picnic, and probably not worth the trouble of keeping them around, even if they were intact.
So there you have it. Hopefully this has been some use to you and saved you a couple bucks.