2-Yr Old Samsung Dryer Heating Failure-Lousy Customer Service

Jun 4, 2011 (Updated Jun 5, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Helpful Review

Pros:High Tech, electronic sensors, looks great.

Cons:High Tech, electronic sensors, lousy tech & repair support.

The Bottom Line: I would not recommend Samsung appliances based on my experience. My next dryer will be a cheap simple unit with two settings, heat & off:-)


Samsung appliances look sharp, appear innovative and my guess is that most new owners are rating these pretty high on their initial reviews. However, the real test is how do they hold up over the long run? My Samsung washer & dryer just went over two years and both have crapped out on me, but this is about the dryer. It shuts off with an error code of "HE." This indicates that there is a fault with the heating element, thermostat, thermistor, etc. and there is no heat. Since it's out of warranty, I tried calling Samsung to get a local repair option. The closest one is 52 miles away (I live in no man's land apparently - near Harrisburg, PA).  The Samsung service rep kept reminding me that I was out of warranty as though I were out of luck! In all fairness to Samsung though, heating problems (not to mention fire hazards) may develop when lint filters and exhaust hoses aren't cleaned on a regular basis (Problems can also arise when the exhaust hose is too long as well). This can cause the heating element to burn itself out and that's probably what happened in my case. The dryer was great until it died! The good thing here though is, it's easy to fix yourself (if I can do it, anybody can). Based on my post-warranty experience with Samsung's customer supportless, I cannot recommend Samsung appliances. If you do buy one, I highly recommend an extended warranty. Squaretrade.com provides a great warranty service value, just be sure to obtain a 20 or 30% coupon code online to save some $$$.

This concludes my review of the Samsung DV218AEW dryer. As an extra bonus, I'm including the following technical advice on how to replace the heating element, based on my recent experience. One of you unlucky (or lucky) reviewers will buy this dryer anyway and the heating element will eventually go bad, probably right after your warranty expires and now you 'll know how to fix it:-) 


I fixed the dryer myself and it was so easy a caveman can do it! The error code 'HE' would come on, indicating a heating problem, then the dryer would shut down after 1 minute or so. This was telling me the heating element was going bad. Then no error code but no heat either (the heating element totally crapped out). I ordered a new heating element online from appliancepartspros.com for $42 (incl shipping) & received the part the very next day!! I then Googled info on taking the dryer apart and watched a couple Youtube videos.

CAUTION: UNPLUG THE DRYER BEFORE BEGINNING THIS PROJECT.
1. The heating element is housed in a metal 'box' at the bottom right of the dryer drum as you're facing it. The housing has four electrical connections & one lone screw securing it in front. The objective here is to disconnect the four wire connectors to the housing, unscrew the 1 screw in front, pull the complete heating element housing out from the rear exhaust opening & then replace the defective heating element in the housing. If not for one lone screw in front of the box, you could do all this by simply by unscrewing & removing the exhaust plate at the bottom back of the dryer! But you're going to have to do some work for that one lousy screw!

2. Remove the top cover by unscrewing two screws in the back & then sliding the top rearward (may have to wiggle it a bit). Unscrew the control panel (4 screws) & set it on top, leaving the wire connected & sit it on top out of the way. Unscrew 4 screws at top front panel and 2 screws in front of lint filter. Remove front panel, complete with door (disconnecting one wire at top).

3. Unscrew the one screw holding the heating element housing unit in place & unseat it by pulling it slightly forward. Don’t bother trying to remove the housing from the front (I know you were thinking it because I was).

4. Now, clean out all that dust while you’re in there to prevent any fire hazards later on. Then, move to the rear of the dryer and unscrew the exhaust plate at the bottom. Pull out the exhaust plate and exhaust tube and set it aside.

5. Reach in from the rear exhaust opening and disconnect the four electrical connectors from the housing unit. Just wiggle them a bit & they’ll disconnect eventually, I promise. Remove the complete heating element housing from the rear exhaust opening. By the way, I’m making up all these official sounding nomenclature names as I go!

6. Take the housing unit to your favorite easy chair, grab a beer and remove the heating element from the housing unit. First, disconnect the two wires attached to the housing unit. The metal connectors will slide thru the insulator, but you’ll have to first unbend a piece on the outside of the metal connector with a small pair of needle nose pliers. Compare with the new replacement element and you’ll see what I mean. Unscrew four screws holding the old element in place and remove!

7. Reverse steps to put everything back together. Plug it in, turn it on and feel the warmth of a job well done and approx. $100 service call savings!

Keep your exhaust and lint filter clean and your new heating element should last a little longer than mine! Total cost was $42 and I spent approx 45 min. on the project (not knowing what I was doing but a repairman can probably do it in 15 minutes). I know I may have contributed to my dryer's early demise by having a longer than normal stretch of exhaust hose, but I'm giving Samsung the benefit of the doubt here. My less than steller review is based mostly on the lousy post-warranty service. I'm also now gun-shy of uber high-tech electronic sensors out the ying-yang dryers. Just give me a simple no-frills dryer next time and I'll be happy!


Recommend this product?

Read all comments (4)

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!