How to fix a broken dryer element on an Indesit WIDL126

Apart from periodically cleaning lint filters, the Indesit model WIDL126 tumble dryer is designed to offer years of maintenance free service. However, like many dryers, one of the most vulnerable components on this machine is the heating element -- especially if you’re in the habit of opening the door while the machine is still running. Nevertheless, Indesit dyer elements are readily available, and replacement is a straightforward procedure that takes less than half an hour.


If your dryer stops working altogether, the first thing to check is your household electrical panel. Ensure that all circuit-breaker switches are in the “on” position; if your panel is fitted with old-fashioned fuses, trip the main switch, inspect visually and replace any blown fuses you find. If the machine runs but fails to heat up, you either have a defective dryer element, or one of the double thermostats has blown. Indesit recommends replacing all of these parts at the same time, so they are assembled in a single easily accessible component.


The first thing you must do before working on your tumble dryer is unplug the machine and move it away from the wall or out of the recess between laundry cabinets. This gives you access to the top, back and right-hand side panels. Remove the top and side panels by undoing the Philips head mounting screws on the back of the machine. Unplug the single wiring harness socket leading from the back of the machine the main wiring harness on the right of the side opening. Next, strip off the remaining two panels on the back of the machine. You’ll find the heater element assembly on the inside of the lower panel.


Place the lower back panel on your workbench and remove the two heater element mounting screws on the back. Grip both sides of the small white nylon plug protruding through the panel with a pair of pliers. Squeeze the sides together and push the plug through the panel. Turn the panel over and lift out the square heater element/thermostat assembly. Clip through the cable tie attached to the white nylon plug with a pair of side cutters and discard it, then remove the defective element. Lift the replacement out of its container carefully without touching the element or the element cover plate. Lower the component into its recess and replace the mounting screws. Loop a new cable tie around the wiring harness. Tighten it around the wires and push the nylon plug into its mounting hole until you feel it click into place.


Despite filter screens and airtight connections, a surprising amount of lint settles on the inner surfaces and working parts of your dryer. This accumulation acts as an effective insulation barrier and eventually causes overheating. Spend as much time as necessary vacuuming all the lint out from the insides before reassembling the dryer.


Simply reverse the procedures carried out during the disassembly process. Once you’ve tightened all the relevant screws, plug the machine’s power cord back into the wall socket and manoeuvre the dryer back into position. Insert a load of damp washing and test the dryer to make sure everything is working properly.

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About the Author

After graduating from the University of the Witwatersrand and qualifying as an aircraft engineer, Ian Kelly joined a Kitchen remodeling company and qualified as a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD). Kelly then established an organization specializing in home improvement, including repair and maintenance of household appliances, garden equipment and lawn mowers.