Hello. I've got a Whirlpool gas dryer, Ultimate care II with the
moisture sensor, about 15 years old. I've read some troubleshooting
messages and I've looked at some online parts ordering websites that
give me diagrams of my specific dryer.
Problem: The dryer works but is very slow to dry clothes. There is
absolutely no obstructions in the ductwork or the internal, dryer
ductwork. I've laid the dryer down on the front side and removed the
back panel. I've opened up the internal ductwork and can see that it
By the way, although it seems it's getting warm while running, it
definitely is not getting to normal heat temperature.
Looking at the diagrams from online, I see a few items that may be the
culprit but I don't know for sure.
First, there's a fuse (white, sealed plastic). I checked continuity
and it's fine.
There's a safety high heat thermostadt on the heat duct coming from
the gas heat source and then there's another thermostadt on the fan
blower housing that I think is the 'regular' thermostadt. I've
checked continuity on both of these. The safety thermostadt indicates
good but the regular thermostadt only moves the continuity meter over
half way. Hmmm.
There's a moisture sensor that totally confuses me because there's
only one wire going to it. I don't understand that logic.
Finally, theres talk on line about a gas supply valve or something. I
haven't been able to find that.
Any ideas on what I should replace first? I've got a local parts
supply house and none of the parts seem very expensive. The dryer
works great (except for now) and I hate to throw it out and spend $500
to $600 when it's only a $20 part to fix it.
By the way, the gas supply line is providing gas at normal pressures.
I checked to make sure none of the shutoffs were partially closed.
One more question please. Am I able to bypass any of the thermostadts
or moisture sensor temporarilly in order to try and isolate the
The moisture sensor's second wire(if necessary) is provided I would assume
by it being grounded to the chassis. A common problem with this dryer is
the moisture sensor becoming covered with a waxy substance from the use of
dryer sheets. It then doesn't sense the moisture in the clothes and the
dryer goes into cool down phase. Cleaning off with alcohol solves that
problem. I would think you could check it by checking for continuity
between the sensor surface and that wire . Otherwise, I would be suspicious
of one of the thermostats...the fact that it is getting some heat rules out
the white sealed fuse..when that goes the burner won't come on at all.
Is it true that the moisture sensor switch you're referring to would
only be applicable if I was using the moisture sensor setting? If I
set it to a standard time setting on the dial, wouldn't that disable
the moisture sensor even if it was broken? I hope I'm wrong because
that would be an easy fix.
Also, if it's the moisture sensor, could I disable it by simply
grounding the wire and then not use that setting?
If you use a timed setting, the moisture sensor would be out of the loop.
If it still is taking a long time to dry and not getting hot, then the
problem is not with the moisture sensor. I would look at one of the
thermostats being the culprit...not letting the dryer get up to temp..or
perhaps the temp control on the console.
In the timed cycle, the moisture sensor circuit is out of the loop.
Other posters suggest that you look at the thermostats. Well, it is
highly unlikely that the stats are your problem. Think about it: a
thermostat just doesn't wake up one day and decide that he will stop
working at 100 degrees instead of 165. It either works or doesn't.
I would suggest that the coils on the valve are your culprit. There
are two. Replace them both. There should be a bracket that holds
them to the valve. Remove the bracket, and the coils come off
freely. But, if you have a really old style of burner where the coils
and wiring are integrated and hard to remove, you'll need to change
out the whole assembly.
AE Todd, you are right on. I called a local appliance parts supply
shop and he said the same thing you did.
For others reading this who may benefit, here's what he said to do:
There's a little access hole (about as big as a quarter) on the front
dryer panel on the bottom left. Pry it off. It is an access hole to
enable you to see the gas flame in operation.
He said, turn on the dryer and patiently watch inside the hole. First
you'll see the orange glow of the igniter, then the gas flame will
ignite. Watch while the gas flame burns and then shuts off. That
means the thermostadt is operation and is shutting off the gas at the
proper temperature. Continue to watch this cycle and he guessed at at
the third or fourth cycle, the igniter will turn on with the bright
orange glow but the gas will not turn on and you will not get a
flame. After a few seconds of glowing, the igniter will shut off and
the dryer continues to run but the gas flame never came on.
He said, if that happens, it is the coils. $20 to replace both and AE
Todd, you are right, they simply unplug electrically and there's a
very simple bracket that holds them in place. They slide right off.
Quite frankly the most difficult time I had was trying to figure out
how to get to the coils. I ended up taking the top of the dryer off
and then the front panel (with the door).
Thanks again for the help!
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