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How To Repair A Broken Dryer | Fix It

How To Repair A Broken Dryer | Fix It

Helpful tips and clothes dryer diagnostic advice below with troubleshooting suggestions for the Do-It-Yourselfer. See photos of common Whirlpool and Kenmore clothes dryer repair techniques.

Some of the General Diagnostic Repair Tips presented below may also apply for your,
GE, Maytag, Amana, Magic Chef and Frigidaire electric clothes dryer.

Kenmore Dryer Repair Tips
Whirlpool Dryer Repair Help

Caution:

The diagnostic help out lined below is intended to be used only by professional appliance repair technicians.

If you are attempting to repair your clothes dryer yourself, be aware that you are working with potential dangerous electrical currents that can cause serious injury or death. Be aware that appliance parts have extremely sharp edges and moving parts that can cause serious injury or death.

Always remove/disconnect the power source from the unit you are working on. Unplug it! When unplugging or removing the power source, double check to make sure you removed the proper cord or turned off the proper breaker. When tightening or loosening parts make sure that if the tool you are working with or your hand slips, you will not be injured by sharp or jagged edges.

Always keep children and pets away from working area and disassembled washer parts. Be aware that there are other hazards involved in appliance repairs besides those listed above that may cause serious injury or death. Use extreme caution when installing or removing parts.

 

A common malfunction is the dryer thermal fuse – when it gets too hot it will cause the dryer to cease/stop running and will not start again. These thermal fuses are not on all clothes dryers, they are found on most dryers made since 1986.

Clothes Dryer Thermal Fuse 3392519

 

The information given below is general in nature and should not
be construed to be all inclusive nor necessarily applicable
toward your particular make or model electric clothes dryer.

Some of the dryer brands listed above may be made by a different
manufacturer in which case these general repair instructions
may not apply.

Disconnect The Dryer From It’s Power Source!

To access the inside of dryer cabinet – remove the two screws shown below,
then use a stout putty knife or regular wide screwdriver to pry the lid up.
Pulling the lid toward you while prying up will help,
then remove the two screws on the inside of the cabinet, one on each side.
See red arrow on the third picture below. These instructions apply to some dryers that do not have a kick plate on the bottom of the dryer.

If your Whirlpool dryer, Kenmore dryer has a kick plate,  this procedure may be different. Some parts can be accessed and repairs may be made after removing the kick plate. The kick plate can usually be removed with a stout putty knife by pushing in on the two retainer clips at top of the kickplate while gently pulling kickplate toward you. (some models since 1995)

Some newer models you may have to flip the console faceplate back to remove screws that allow you to remove the top and then remove front panel.

Disconnect the unit from it’s power source!

KENMORE DRYER REPAIR
WHIRLPOOL DRYER REPAIR

REP-DRY-TOP-150x150

REP-DRY-TOPFLIP-150x150

REP-DRY-INSIDE-150x150After removing the screws (red arrow) pull the panel toward you a couple of inches, then lift up.

Check breaker box in the house. Electric (220 volt) dryer has two 110 volt circuits,  the motor will run but will not supply voltage to the element if one circuit is not on. This is usually a 30 amp double throw breaker.  Flip off and on a few times to test even if it looks like it’s on.

This is a common problem, especially in the summer.

  • Dryer runs does not heat.
  • Dryer running, is not heating.
  • Dryer will not start.
  • Motor tries to start – makes a buzzing noise.
  • Whirlpool and Kenmore repair diagnostic tips.
  • Dryer runs – makes loud clunking noise.
  • Dryer motor runs – the drum does not turn.
  • Heating element stays on after the dryer shuts off.
  • Dryer takes too long to dry.

Most common

Dryer runs but does not heat – Problems
KENMORE DRYER REPAIR    WHIRLPOOL DRYER REPAIR
  1. Dryer heating element is shorted.  (has a break in the coil.)
    Replace the element (dryer heating element should show continuity with ohm meter.) Looking at the back, the element is located on right hand side in a long metal housing (on most older models). The housing must be removed from unit and element must be removed from the inside of the housing for  inspection. The heating element housing has a 3 1/2″ metal strap at the top that secures it to the dryer, The strap must be removed. Most common element part # 4391960.
  2. Thermal fuse is blown. Located in the back. The back cover must be removed. This thermal fuse should show continuity when checked with an ohm meter. Dryer replacement part # 279769.
  3. Dryer hi limit thermostat may be blown. This t-stat should show continuity with an ohm meter provided it is cool. Most of these limits are either 250 degree shut off (L250) or 290 degree (L290) older models. T-stat limit part is located near bottom of heater housing.
  4. 01REP-DRY-FUSE2Operating thermostat may be blown. This t-stat should show continuity with ohm meter provided it is cool. This t-stat limit is located on blower housing. If there is only one limit it is usually a 145 degree limit (L145). Older units may have two or three limits. These are usually dryer repair parts (L135), (L145), (L155). Dryer thermostats.
Less common problems – Dryer is running but not heating

 

WHIRLPOOL DRYER REPAIR   KENMORE DRYER REPAIR

  1. Dryer timer is defective.
  2. Switch on the dryer motor is defective.
  3. Temperature switch on the console is defective.
  4. Solid state circuit board is defective. (dryer main control board).
  5. Dryer power cord is defective.
  6. Terminal block (where the power cord is connected to the dryer) is shorted out.
  7. Wiring shorted at the terminal block, or elsewhere.
  8. Improper voltage supplied to the power cord (house current).

02REP-DRY-HILIMIT-150x150

Dryer will not start

Most common reasons

More Whirlpool And Kenmore Dryer Repair Help

 

Make sure the dryer is plugged in and has proper voltage.

  1. Operating thermal fuse is blown – This thermal fuse should show continuity with an ohm meter, oval type part # 3390719. rectangle type Part # 3392519. located in back of the dryer on the blower housing, this picture shows the (rectangle) type.  Older models have the (oval) type, both types are made of white plastic.
  2. Door switch defective. Replace with part # 279347. Switch is on the right hand (front). Older models may be located in center.
  3. Lever that actuates dryer door switch may be broken or bent. Replace with part # 279347.

03REP-L145-150x15004REP-DRY-FUSE-150x150

Less common reasons
  1. Dryer is not plugged in.
  2. No voltage at wall socket.
  3. Dryer power cord is defective.
  4. Terminal block shorted or wires shorted else where.
  5. Wires shorted at the terminal block. (where power cord connects to the dryer).
  6. Dryer timer is defective.
  7. Solid state circuit board defective. (Main Control Board).
  8. Dryer  motor defective.
  9. Push to start switch defective. Note: This is probably the least likely reason dryer will not start. If the switch is made of clear plastic and you can see residue inside where the points have been arcing, this is normal and does not signify a bad switch. The switch when depressed should show continuity with an ohm meter.

05REP-DRY-LEVER-150x150

Motor tries to start – makes a buzzing noise when the Push To Start Switch is activated.

Whirlpool and Kenmore dryer repair diagnostic tips.
  1. Dryer motor may be defective. (most probable).
  2. Blower fan may be obstructed.
  3. Defective timer.
  4. Seized idler pulley or drum rollers.
  5. Defective switch on the motor. (bad motor switch)
  6. Rear drum seal is shredded, hung up on the rollers or elsewhere.
  7. Improper electrical house current.
  8. Shorted wiring or bad terminal block.
Dryer runs – makes a loud clunking noise
  1. Drum rollers are worn. – (most probable cause). Part # 349241t.
  2. Idler pulley is worn. Part # 691366.
  3. Front or rear drum seals is defective. – (rare).

06REP-DRY-SWT-150x150

More pictures that show the inside and back of your Whirlpool or Kenmore clothes dryer.

Dryer motor runs – but the drum does not turn.

Your Whirlpool or Kenmore dryer may be easy to repair.

  1. Belt broken – (most probable).
  2. Dryer idler pulley broken or dislodged.
  3. Idler pulley installed in the wrong position.
  4. Extremely stretched belt.
  5. Dryer motor pulley is loose.
  6. Dryer belt installed improperly.
Heat element stays on after the dryer shuts off.
  1. Defective motor switch.
  2. Heater element coil touching heater element housing.
  3. Wiring shorted (least probable).

07REP-DRY-ROLLER31-150x150

 

Dryer takes too long to dry.

Most common causes:

Clogged Clothes Dryer Lint Screen/Trap

  1. Vent hose has kink in it.
  2. Vent hose too long.
  3. Vent hose clogged.
  4. Interior house vent pipe clogged at roof or elsewhere.
  5. Flap on exterior vent is stuck or clogged.
  6. Lint filter has build-up residue on screen. (use wire brush to clean.)
  7. Lint filter not cleaned after each load.
  8. Dryer door not closed properly.
  9. Door seal missing.
  10. Back drum seal defective.
  11. Defective operating thermostat, (L145) is most common.
  12. Defective hi-limit thermostat, (L250)  (L290)  are most common.
  13. Defective timer – defective temperature select switch.
  14. Defective dryer motor switch.
  15. Intermittent operation of above electrical parts.
  16. Restricted air flow, interior cabinet air flow system.
  17. Washer not spin-drying clothes properly.
  18. Heater element housing loose from bulkhead.

This is not a complete list of causes

WHIRLPOOL DRYER PARTS

Some of the dryer brands listed above may be made by a different
manufacturer in which case,  these general repair instructions
may not apply.

Dryer drum rollers & idler pulley.

Dryer part number # 439206509REP-DRY-BELT-150x150

 

My Dryer Runs But Will Not Heat

My Dryer Runs But Will Not Heat

Your dryer may not need any new parts to restore the heat or require any tools for this dryer repair.  You might be able to get your electric dryer heating again with just the flip of a switch.

Thermal Fuse

Let’s try this before opening your dryer’s cabinet and dragging all of your tools out.  Here’s what you will need to do.  You will need to locate your home’s breaker box.  Locate the breaker switch that is designated to supply electrical power to your clothes dryer.  This is usually a 30 AMP double throw breaker.  You will need to flip the breaker off and on to test even if the switch looks like it is in the on position.  The electric dryer has two 110 volt circuits, the dryer motor will run but not supply voltage to the heating element if one circuit is tripped or not on.  This is a fairly common problem especially during the heat of summer.

Clothes Dryer Heating Element

If this did not fix the problem you will need to test the heating element, thermal fuse, thermostats and timer to see if they are all functioning properly.

How The Heating Element Plays A Major Role In Most All Household Appliances Today

How The Heating Element Plays A Major Role In Most All Household Appliances Today

 

Did you know that most all major electric household appliances in your home use a heating element for their source of heat?

REFRIGERATOR – That’s right!  Even your refrigerator and icemaker use a heating element.  The refrigerator uses a heating element/defrost heater assembly for the defrost cycle and the icemaker uses a heating element to heat up the icemaker tray so the ice will loosen and can be kicked out at the end of a cycle.

OVEN – Your electric oven uses two different heating elements, it uses a bake element for the bake setting and a broil for the broil setting. The bake element is located on the bottom of the oven’s interior and the broil element is located on the top of the oven’s interior.

STOVE – The electric range, stove or cooktop uses surface element burners or radiant elements.  The coil surface element is a coiled circle shaped heating element that can be accessed from the cooktop of your stove.  The radiant element is underneath a sleek smooth ceramic glass cooktop, only accessible from under the glass.

CLOTHES DRYER – The electric clothes dryer would take days to dry your laundry if it were to just tumble the clothes dry without the help of the dryer heating element.  The dryer’s fan draws in fresh air over the clothes dryers hot heating element then into the drum and circulates the heater air throughout the laundry while it tumbles, the moist air is blown out the clothes dryer exhaust vent in a continuous cycle.

Clothes Dryer Heating Elements

DISHWASHER – The dishwasher has a heating element which helps aid in heating the water for the hot wash and rinse cycles and helps aid drying the dishes in the drying cycle.

HOT WATER HEATER – Your electric hot water heater uses heating elements to heat the water in the tank so you can have warm or hot water ready on demand for showers, baths, washing laundry or just brushing your teeth.

Heating elements do have a life span just like an incandescent light bulb filament will simply burn out with no warning signs at the flip of a switch, so can the heating element in your house hold major appliances.  You don’t have to start looking for a new appliance just because the heating element has burned out.  They are fairly inexpensive to buy and may be replaced fairly easy on some make and models of appliances,