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Dryer stop heating.

An older whirlpool clothes dryer that was in a home I just purchased stopped working shortly after the home was purchased. It still tumbles but no heat is present. Is it possible it is just the "snap thermostat" located on the housing surrounding the heating element or would the element be faulty as well. The snap thermostat appeared to be "fried" by visual inspection. I used a circuit tester on the snap thermostat and on the element. I received a positive indication on the element only. Should the snap thermostat read positive only when warm or at all times. Should I replace the snap thermostat only or both the snap thermostat and the heating element as well.

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First of all, please include your model number when posting questions as all dryers are not configured the same. I'm not sure what a "snap" thermostat is, but I do know that almost all electric dryers come equipped with either a thermal cut-out, thermistor, or thermal fuse that can cause the heat to fail if blown. These components generally have a low resistance reading (close to a short) and must be replaced if bad. They cannot be reset as many consumers often ask.

A reading of the heating element is about 15 ohms or less on most dryers. NOTE: Make sure you UNPLUG the dryer before servicing, as dangerous voltages are still present even with the dryer turned off. In addition, make sure you disconnect any wire leads connected to components you are testing to isolate them from parallel resistance paths.

For a Whirlpool that still runs, but does not heat, this problem is usually attributed to a defective Thermal Cut-Out (TCO). If the TCO is bad, it is strongly recommended that you replace the Hi-Limit Thermostat along with it. The manufacturer often sells these two components together as a set. If you choose not to replace both components, it may lead to premature failure.

Now...if the TCO has failed, it's generally for a reason. This component protects the heating circuits from an overheating. Most heat related problems are attributed to poor ventilation. Eventually the unit will overheat to the point of failure. If you cannot remember the last time you had your vent ducting inspected or cleaned, I would recommend doing so before you replace any defective components. Leaving a dryer in a clogged condition will result in poor drying or premature failure of replaced components. The following link may be used for assisting you in determining the cause of your dryer heating problem:

If you have questions, or require additional assistance, please let me know. I hope this helps you resolve your problem.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009


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