I have a 10 year old Whirlpool electric clothes dryer and I had it
operating this morning. I heard it shut itself off and when I went
over to it the control dial was in the middle of the drying setting.
Pushing the start button had no effect as did opening/closing the
The breaker for the unit was not tripped so not sure what happened
When I get home this evening I'll need to do some trouble shooting. I
was planning on taking my voltmeter to the rear contacts to make sure
power is still applied.
Does an electric dryer have an internal 'fuse' that might have
Anything else I can look for?
Thanks for any assistance.
Probably two of them, one electrical and one thermal.
My guess would be the thermal circuit breaker tripped. On my previous
dryer due to poor design the internal ducts quickly became clogged
with lint and the thermal breaker would trip every few loads until I
vacuumed it all out. If you have the manual look for how to reset it
or search online. On my old one there was a tiny red button that
would pop out the back near the top when the thermal breaker tripped
and after the dryer had cooled off you could press it and get it going
Hopefully someone who knows more than me will get back to you, but the
samething happened to me a couple years ago.
A fuse in the back had blown. A new one was a couple bucks at an appliance
parts store. Sorry, but that's about all I remember.
a) No, not really...I find them quite satisfactory.
b) No, if the elements fail it is highly unlikely to stop the drum; even
more frequently only one element fails so the heat output is just reduced
There are two basic Kenmore electric dryer designs, both made by
Whirlpool, and starting with 110 in the model number. One has the
lint screen on top, with the rear panel coming off to give access to
most of the components. The other design has the lint screen inside
the door area, with the bottom panel coming off to give access to
relevant components. Based on getting the appropriate panel off, you
can then check for an open thermal fuse using a multimeter; diagnosis
and replacement is the same for both types of dryers. You need to
check for ohms across the thermal fuse on the blower housing; the fuse
is usually white and is either long (3398218 is the most common) or
more rectangular (3390719 is the most common). On the inside lint
screen model, take off the lint screen housing to get more accress
(remove the screen, then remove screws at the upper corners and
usually a bracket at the lowest edge). There is also another thermal
fuse on the element and this is less common to open on the top lint
screen model, but more common to open on the other type of dryer. I
am thinking, though, that this particular fuse controls the heat and
not the motor and shouldn't be your first target for testing.
I had one do that. The thermal breaker popped because the stupid
bushings on the motor shaft bound up. That's right, not bearings,
bushings. They were really tight even after cleaning and oiling. They
were over 10 years old so I finally bought a new set. No telling what
was going to crap out next. The washer was having trouble staying
balanced also. It would bang for a while then stop.
Jump out the door switch to confirm thats not the problem.
Also check if the belt broke. If I recall some dryers have a safety
switch so if the belt breaks, it shuts off and will not turn on again
until belt is replaced.
Poor venting will impact the thermal fuse on the element, but
generally not the one on the blower housing. However, check that the
element is not grounded to the element housing. This can cause either
thermal fuse to open. Keep in mind, though, that an open thermal fuse
can often just be wear and tear.
True, a broken belt will keep a dryer from starting if there is a belt
switch, but broken belts are highly uncommon compared to open thermal
fuses. A door switch can break, but just press the actuator and if
there is a click, you are generally ok.
Check these. First includes part pics & part locations. Novice & sub-novice
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.