When is a dryer not a dryer

Answer: When it has no heat.

One morning my wife mentioned that the clothes she put in the dryer the night before were still damp. I though this was strange since I had just changed the thermostat and the heating element in the dryer about 2 weeks prior. I started the dryer and looked at the Sense App and sure enough it was only pulling a fraction of the wattage from the days before. I did a few other tests to confirm and decided I would replace the heating element and the thermostat again. Once I removed the the thermostat, I tested it and found it was no longer passing current. The heating element did appear to be in good shape, but since I bought both of them (online),I decided to go ahead and replace with OEM parts I had just bought from a local appliance repair shop. Ten minutes later, the dryer is a dryer again, and I re-learned the lesson of you get what you pay for. No more cheap replacement parts.

Here is the screen shot from the dryer power meter, before, during, and after the thermostat failure,


@Keef71, how do you get such power readings for you dryer from Sense? I doubt Sense has learned this is your dryer…or maybe your experience with Sense’s multi-component device detection is much much much better than my experience…so I assume you have a modified HS110 that is monitoring 240V (must be 240V given the high power draw) of the dryer?

Sense detection of resistive element dryers is probably reasonably good these days. The on/off cycle of a “heater” is somewhat of an easy target for Sense. Especially in summer when it’s less confused by space heaters (I suspect)! I’m in the process of quantifying how good the detection is. I have a combined 120V washer/dryer that’s on a Wemo so I can do a correlation. I’m about to switch over a spare Solar CT to monitor the circuit directly so I’ll have more data.

Meanwhile, @Keef71 good find. I’m doing the above because I have been wondering whether there is any degradation in my dryer … which is an LG evaporative (i.e. low power) one that takes 2-4 hrs for the dry cycle. I intend replacing it (now around 15 years old) with a Miele heat-pumped dryer.

Sense learned about the dryer all on it’s own and yes it is 240V.

Sense has done a good job identifying some of the larger items in my home such as the fridge and furnace. I’ve had to merge heat sources in the oven and stove to account for the separate components it picked up. I’ve had Sense installed since December 15th and now I’m up to 30 devices identified.

1 Like

I wish Sense was able to detect my electric dryer. It has 2 heating elements, one of which cycles on and off, the other which is on the entire time (until the last 5 minutes of tumble), at least for the drying “program” that we use 90% of the time. Here is a power profile from the other night of the dryer running, when otherwise my home’s electricity profile was mostly flat (other than fridges and undersink hot water heater cycling on/off a few times):

Sense has not detected the tumble/blower motor, nor either of the 2 heating elements…no component of the dryer has been detected for 2.5 years.
I wonder if because both heating elements are turned on at the same time, but thereafter they cycle on/off at different times, is contributing to Sense not being able to detect the heating elements. I would forgive Sense for not detecting the tumble/blower motor, as its power is much smaller at ~100W.