I have a dryer, it's an electric Whirlpool, approximately 5 years old
and a "common" consumer model. It's not top-of-the-line or anything
of that nature.
Last week the heat in the dryer just stopped working. It would
continue to spin but there was no heat. I checked a few places online
to troubleshoot what was going on, and eventually discovered that one
of the two thermal cut-offs was open (blown). I went to my local
appliance parts store, purchased a new set of thermal cut-ffs (a high
and a low came in the same package for about $25. I installed the low
cut-off, which was the one that went out, and things seemed to be
While I was at the appliance parts store I asked the attendant if
there were any common causes for this going out, and she said the
majority of the time it is due to some kind of airflow problem.
So I checked the lint trap, the intakes/blowers inside the dryer
barrel, etc, etc. I then had my girlfriend start the dryer while I
was outside so I could check the airflow to the vent outside.
to be working perfectly. If there was an
airflow blockage, I certainly couldn't tell it via convential means.
In any case, I used the low heat and medium heat settings for a few
loads that I had to do, and everything worked fine. I then ran some
jeans last night and needed the "high" heat setting. I went back
downstairs after the buzzer sounded to discover my jeans still pretty
much soaked. Once again, it appears the heat has gone out. I haven't
pulled it back apart yet, but I'm going to assume that once again the
low thermal cut-off went out again.
My main question is if anyone knows why this might be occurring? The
exhaust vent to the outdoors is actually quite long, so I have no good
way to "look" into it to see if it's blocked, but as I mentioned
above, it honestly seems fine.. plenty of air is reaching the outside
vent, which indicates to me that there's no significant airflow
Also, it seemed to me that after I repaired the thermal cut-off last
time, when I used the "low" heat setting the first time, that the heat
seemed pretty warm. I can't say whether it was much warmer than it
had been previously, but it just seemed warmer than a low-heat setting
should be. Once again, I have no real evidence saying this was the
case, it's just a suspicion.
Are there any other common parts that may be causing a problem here?
The heating element appears to be in good shape. I didn't replace the
"high" thermal cut-off while replacing the low, because it wasn't
broken. Could that have anything to do with it? Anything else to
look at or check?
Last question might be: Any good places online to buy these parts? I
didn't think $25 was too bad for getting the low and high thermal cut-
offs in the same package, but then again, that's pretty expensive if
I'm going to be replacing it more than once.
Thanks for any replies.