We have a 22 year old GE dryer (model DDE7900BALWH) which has non-functioning
Automatic Cycles (both regular and permanent press) but the timed cycle (you
set the number of minutes works fine). To use the automatic cycles, one sets
the dial between more dry and less dry and the dial is supposed to move to
the less dry end until the clothes are dry and the the dryer automatically
stops. In our case, the dryer timer dial is not moving for the automatic
I have a somewhat generic GE (from GE) dryer repair model. It mentions that
some models have humidistats by the lint filter (either inside the drum or
underneath the lint filter). Our dryer doesn't have a humidistat in either of
these places. There are two thermostats there (I assume that both are
thermostats) but no humidistat. The thermostats are about 1" inch round
devices mounted on the inside front wall of the dryer.
Any ideas on how to fix this dryer would be appreciated. I always assumed
that there would be a humidistat somewhere in the dryer since it seems to be
drying based on humidity.
David L. Hanson
Ye MUST be born again.
What you have (in all probability) is what I like to call a "fake" auto
dry. One of your thermostats will power the timer motor in "auto" mode
until it cools back down, then it will power the gas burner/electric
element. Once it heats back up, the process is repeated.
Have you looked inside the control console for a wiring diagram? That's
generally where they're found in GEs. That may give you a starting
point. If you find it, feel free to scan it and e-mail it to me.
Dryer Basics - timers and how they work: Timed dry cycles on a timer
are the simplest timer cycle. The timer motor receives 120 volts and
just advances all the way from where you set it to the off position.
Example- You set it for 50 minutes, it will run for 50 minutes and shut
off. The AUTO cycle is a little different. The operating thermostat
cycles off and the power is redirected to the timer motor to advance
the timer to the off position. There is no power to the timer motor
until the thermostat cycles the heat off and then that power is
directed to the timer motor. If your timer will not advance in timed
and auto dry...probably a bad timer or wire. If your timer will not
advance in AUTO dryer but will advance in timed dryer...problem is
normally not your timer.
Not needed or used on your dryer. The power is shunted through one of
the 2 heating elements through a resistor to the timer motor when the
auto cycle is used. Check the heating elements, resistor, wiring to and
from and the operating thermostats.
Dryer thermostat assembly, L145-15
Dryer thermostat, L135
Heating element kit, two coils and hardware
Appliance Repair Aid
Clean the vent that comes off the back of the dryer and goes to the outside.
The auto cycle will most likely work then and the clothes will dry faster
and more efficiently.
A quick check to see if the vent is the problem: disconnect it from the back
of the dryer and do a load of clothes. If it works, it's your vent filled
with 22 years worth of lint and dirt.
The vent is fine - we have only lived in this house for 3+ years (the house
is 7 years old). But after doing some more troubleshooting, I found out that
the resistor has the correct resistance but one of the heating elements is
open. I ordered a new belt and new rear bearing since I will be pulling the
drum to replace the heating elements. The current belt and bearing are
orginal 22 year old parts. I have only changed two parts - the motor and the
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