Took a guess, fixed my dryer for $30 but don't understand why.

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My gas dryer had been acting up recently. The clothes would almost dry, but with a front load washer they are not all that wet anyway. Still, it didn't seem like the heat was staying on very long.
The other 2 symptoms were these:
1 - On the Timed settings, both heated and air fluff, the timers would advanced normally. However, on the Auto-Sense settings (high heat or low) the timer would advance to about halfway through the range on the dial and then stop. The dryer would then run continuously with no heat, even for hours at a time, until we manually shut it off.
2 - Regardless of what setting we would use, we always had to wait at least 15 minutes after the dryer shut off before the burner would come on. If we tried to start the dryer right after the last load, the drum would spin, the normal click would be heard after about 15 seconds, but the "whoosh" of the burner coming on wouldn't be heard. If we let the dryer sit for about 15 minutes, we'd get the 15 seconds of spinning and then "click-whoosh" as the burner came on.
A little research seemed to point to the gas valve solenoids as a possible cause. If the gas turned off too soon, the clothes wouldn't dry completely so the Auto-Sensing mode might not trigger the dial to advance. However, in Timed mode, the timer would advance normally since that setting doesn't care if the clothes are dry or not. That makes sense.
A local parts store had the solenoid pair for $30, so I swapped them in and the dryer worked perfectly after that.
Everything seems to make sense except for the 15 minute wait time between cycles. What in the gas valve solenoid circuitry, or in a solenoid itself, would cause the dryer to need 15 minutes of rest before the gas would come back on? In either mode, Timed or Auto-Sense, the dryer had more than enough time to cool down since the gas turned off soon after the cycle started. So why did the dryer have to be completely off for 15 minutes before the gas would turn back on?
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Congrats on the good fix.
I don't know why that is, can't help. But, I'm cheering for you.
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 9/24/2013 3:32 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

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Wow I am jealous

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On Tue, 24 Sep 2013 19:32:08 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03

The solenoid failed hot and had to cool down before it regained continuity.
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If it failed hot, would it retain the temperature for the entire time the dryer was running with no heat? When the problem first started we weren't monitoring the dryer very closely and it would sometimes run for hours. Early on I put a load in before I went to bed and it was still spinning when I got up. If nothing else, it kept the clothes from wrinkling. ;-)
Shouldn't the 'noid have cooled off by then or did the power alone keep it hot?
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On Tue, 24 Sep 2013 21:49:26 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03

Safety? If the fire goes out it won't relight until recycled??? Don't know, but it sounds good.
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On Tue, 24 Sep 2013 20:56:33 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Sounds good to me too. When every feature required a piece of machinery to implement it, stuff like that was a lot of effort to include.
But now, assuming this dryer has some ROM with logic, it's no trouble to include extra logic like this.
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On Tuesday, September 24, 2013 3:32:08 PM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Safety. It wants to make sure that if because of some other failure the area filled with gas it wouldn't just try to ignite it and blow up your dryer.
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Thanks, but I doubt it. Using time as a means to ensure the gas has dissipated doesn't seem like a very safe method.
Besides that would imply more intelligence than my very basic dryer has.
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On Tue, 24 Sep 2013 22:06:38 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03

I think it's as much or more the age of the dryer as how basic it is. If the high end models have this kind of logic, if it's been developed and used, they should use it in all their models, even the cheap ones. For the sake of safety, morality, and avoiding lawsuits.
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Most likely because there was nothing wrong with the solenoid. More likely you had a problem with the hi temp limit switch. Either the switch was failing, or there was enough lint in the vent that the burner was causing the switch to trip. Mucking around with the solenoid either tapped the switch enough that it started working again, or you cleaned the vent as a part of changing the solenoid. Either way, you're likely to see the real problem recur.
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I wonder if his dryer has a self resetting limit switch? Some are fusible links, and don't reset in 15 mins.
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 9/24/2013 7:11 PM, Arthur Conan Doyle wrote:

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The ohmmeter reading on one of the old solenoids vs. the matching new one was different.
One pair matched, one pair didn't. That was enough to tell me that something was wrong with the solenoid.
While I did clean the innards of the dryer around the burner and motor while I had the front off last night, the venting and internal ductwork was cleaned weeks ago when the problem first started. That is something I do on a roughly annual basis.
We'll see if you're right but obviously I hope you're wrong.
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On Tue, 24 Sep 2013 23:50:46 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03

I think this is a good use of the word "obviously". Even though we can't read your mind, a normal person would hope the dryer is fixed.
But watch the tv news and a lot of other people who use "obviously". They use it when things aren't obvious at all. More often these days than they use it correctly, IMO.
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First, please let us know in a week or so, if the dryer continues to run. I sure hope that was the needed part. I haven't heard of any self resetting thermal cut out for clothes dryers.
Second, there need to be a big sign. "Abandon obviously, ye who enter here".
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 9/24/2013 10:06 PM, micky wrote:

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A half a dozen loads later and she's still running strong.
BTW, since replacing the solenoids, I found this at an appliance repair site...
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Darn...forgot to include the URL and now I can't find it.
It was from an on-line parts supplier that had comments from users. One guy posted the same symptoms as me, including the 15 minute wait before the gas would come on again. He said he tried the hi temp sensor and the thermal fuse but the problem wasn't fixed until he replaced the solenoids.
I'm going to keep looking for that URL.
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Check your browsing history, on your PC?
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 9/28/2013 10:35 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

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I found the site on my work PC, I'm home now.
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Excellent. I'm pleased to hear of success. Thanks for writing back.
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 9/28/2013 9:43 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

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