You Can Do It Yourself Electric Clothes Dryer Repair Made Easy

Whirlpool/Kenmore Electric Dryer

Timer control of Whirlpool Dryer
Timer control of Whirlpool Dryer

Kenmore Kirkland Roper made by Whirlpool

Whirlpool makes the following brands: Kenmore (model numbers beginning with 110.), Kirkland, Roper, Estate, and various other little known brands. You can always tell a Whirlpool product because they have the lint filter through the top of the dryer. (One exception has the lint filter in the door. Check the Model Number, the small Kenmore stack set washer dryer made by Whirlpool has a filter inside mounted on the back of the dryer).

My Clothes Dryer is Dead Common Causes

Follow all safety precautions.  These are the simple components that need to be operational in order for the dryer to operate. I can tell you that many service calls over years resulted in a problem the owner could easily have resolved.


1st Power. You have to make sure that the power is turned on to the dryer. You need to check the circuit breaker and make sure that the breaker is turned on. Sometimes the breaker will shut off. The breaker is designed to protect the circuit from shorts or overuse and will shut itself off. Sometimes the breaker is weak or nearing failure and so it shuts itself off due to resistance. My experience is that from time to time the breaker is not on. The dryer will not run.


To reset a breaker, turn it off making sure that it is pushed all the way to the off position. The dryer breaker is a double throw switch. It may have two knobs or two knobs tied together with a connector of some sort. This is because the 220 Volt circuit needs to have two links to the power in the box, one link to each side of the panel box.


Then turn it on all the way, making certain that the switches are both pushed all the way to the on position. If the breaker turns itself off immediately, it will click and drop back from the full on position, then you have a short. Do not try to turn the breaker on again.





Operation Components

Door Actuator
Door Actuator
Lint Cover and Start Switch
Lint Cover and Start Switch

Timer Door Switch

2nd Timer. The timer on the dryer must be turned to a selection on the drying cycle. For testing purposes, it is common for repair to set the timer to 30 minutes on the timed cycle. Turn the timer clockwise and listen to the action. Do you hear clicks and it appears that the timer knob is actuating the timer? If not, pull the knob off and inspect it. Sometimes the knob is broken and will not turn the timer mechanism. Normally the timer knob is reinforced with a metal clip, check to see if the metal clip has fallen off or if there is a crack in the plastic where the timer connects to the mechanism. This is a great problem to discover because it fixes your dryer for about 15 dollars.


3rd Start Switch. The start switch is the switch that is activated to start the dryer. Most commonly, the switch is activated by pressing a button or turning a knob. If your dryer starts by turning a knob, pull the knob off and inspect it carefully. A broken dryer start knob is a great discovery because the knob can be replaced inexpensively and without a service call.

4th Door Switch. Closing the door activates a door switch by depressing a lever. Make sure the lever is operational by pressing it with your finger, it should feel spring loaded and you should be able to hear a clicking sound as you depress the lever. If the lever is loose or missing, is not spring loaded, or does not make a click, the problem is with the door switch or activator. They need to be replaced.


Safety Cautions Warnings

Observe all safety recommendations. Never work on an appliance until it has been disconnected from the power by unplugging it. Shutting the circuit breaker off is not enough, since a bad circuit breaker could allow electricity through to the appliance or you may have turned the wrong breaker off. Mistakes happen all the time and circuit breakers are labeled incorrectly all the time.

To be safe, unplug the dryer before working on it. This applies to electric dryers only. Gas dryers must have the gas supply turned off as well.

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Comments 19 comments

Allan Douglas profile image

Allan Douglas 6 years ago from Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Oh, well, let me be the fisrt! Our dryer isn't dead (yet) just screeching at us, but this is good diagnostic information to have in the ol noggin should it decide to go on strike. Um, that would be if the dryer goes on strike. If the noggin goes on strike, information contained within would be useless anyway.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

A screeching dryer can indicate a simple problem to repair. However, gone unrepaired, it can cause damage that will be way more expensive to repair. What kind of dryer do you have? I would be more than happy to help you diagnose the problem and help you with it.


tony 6 years ago

hi there got a creda simplicity working fine but no heatting idetafined from the machine , could you help me find the problem thanks tony


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@tony I don't know much about Creda, but typically the element is located in the back and the enclosure has a couple of high limit switches on it. Check to make sure there is power to the dryer. Test the limit switches for continuity. They should both show no resistance. If they show no continuity, then one or both need to be replaced.

Check for continuity in the heating element. If there is no continuity, then the element needs to be replaced.

Creda also has a cooling fan attached to the heating enclosure, make sure that it is operating.


Bill 6 years ago

What do we do when the plastic post breaks off on the start switch and temp selector switch?

Can we buy new switches relatively cheap?


Bill 6 years ago

What do we do when the plastic post breaks off on the start switch and temp selector switch?

Can we buy new switches relatively cheap? It's a GE 5 cycle automatic.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

The switches can be replaced but are not too cheap. I would go to a rebuilder or a place the sells used appliances and see if they can sell you the switches you need.

If the post is broken, you have little else you can do but replace them. However, if the knob is broken, you can replace that at much less cost, I have been able to find good used knobs at a recycle place and at a metal recycler.

Try Amazon for parts, I was able to locate a start switch for about 20 bucks, just search for 'start switch for GE dryer' Good Luck


diane 5 years ago

My Maytag is screeching. Not all the time, but all through out the run. Ideas for fixing this?


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 5 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@diane The best bet is that it has a bad roller. Maytag rollers are ususally very sturdy. It may only need lubrication. Remove it and clean it thorougly with penetrating oil and then lube it and the post with a silicon based heat resistant grease.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 5 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@diane The best bet is that it has a bad roller. Maytag rollers are ususally very sturdy. It may only need lubrication. Remove it and clean it thorougly with penetrating oil and then lube it and the post with a silicon based heat resistant grease.


roxanna 5 years ago

I have a question, I have a kenmore stackable unit and the dryer makes a clicking noise (sounds like it's coming from the back of the inside) after it heats up, it quits. almost sounds like something got in there.


Paula 5 years ago

The GE dryer 'just quit' heating today - did 2 loads of laundry fine, 3rd got partly dry and subsequent attempts to run dryer on other cycles failed. Breakers are tied together and fully 'on', and lint trap area and exhaust hose gets vacuumed out regularly so there's good airflow. Suggested next step?


david-op 5 years ago

I have a Maytag Atlantas dryer. I pulled the knob to start it, but it made a whirling sound (like a spring unwinding) and now does not start when I pull the knob. Any clues on what happened and how to fix it?

Thank


hank 5 years ago

my dryer is a newer GE and when it heats up it starts to clunk and vibrate a lot. I have a new top bearing and teflon pads installed as well as a new belt. All that is left is the bottom felt and the rear bearing. Runs fine cold.


when1276 5 years ago

My Kenmor Dryer runs but doesn't heat.


robin peppin 4 years ago

my dryer comes on while i'm pressing the button, it bangs in the back really loud. as soon as i let the button go it stops.


Lillian 3 years ago

My Maytag dryer lint filter is not collecting all the lint, i have always cleaned the screen after each use, we took exhaust tube off, emptied that out, that was full, under the lint filter was filled with lint, lint filter didn,t have much lint on it. How do I access under the filter to clean it out


Connie 9 months ago

I have a Maytag dryer that was running well then just decided to cut off. It must cool completely down before it will restart. Now it turns on for about 5-10 seconds, smells a little hot, shuts itself off, then won't restart till it's completely cool, then starts process all over again. Any ideas? Heat sensor? Malfunctioning heating coil that gets too hot?


Evelyn 6 months ago

I have a Whirlpool dryer that works, heats fine, dries fantastic but the switch you push to start the dryer squeals or groans...is it something that can be fixed? By me or someone else? If I use it will it ruin it? I have not a clue what to do. Sometimes when I push on it it takes off and sometimes not. I am scared of a fire.

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