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It is all automatic, when you press start the power is sent to the gas assembly (if the timer is set for heat). The power originates from the cord to the timer to the temp control (on the blower housing) to the fuse next to the control, and to the gas assembly. The solenoids ignitor and flame sensor are all energized at once. The solenoids cannot release the gas unless the ignitor drops out of the circuit. That is the job of the flame sensor. Once the sensors bi-metal bends and opens the circuit, no more power goes to the ignitor< hoever, once the ignitor is glowing it generats a signal and becomes a thermogenerator with holds open the solenoid (holding coil) If for some reason the gas did not ignite the glow coil will cool off and shut down the solenoid. So what can go wrong? Lint buildup in the blower housing cause the fuse to melt. No power can be sent to the gas assembly. The flame sensor is open and not allowing power to the ignitor, the ignitor is open and not glowing. Old timey dryers had a pilot light. You hold down on the red lever and light the flame. Then release the lever and the pilot stays lit. I doubt if yours has a standing pilot. How modern gas dryer work:
Shut gas valve off and let it air out. You can see the pilot with the little rod on it. Turn valve to pilot position and light a lighter to light the pilot. Hold the valve for a minute. If it stays lit, then turn valve fully to the ON position.
The pilot light has a thermal sensor above it to determine if the gas is burning or not. If the pilot light goes out, it cools and then the gas line automatically closes so that you don't get a constant stream of gas. When the sensor dies, the same thing happens -- no gas for the pilot.
Replace that sensor.
The pilot light lights? Then goe's back out? There is two stiff wires right in front of the flame. One of them is an ignightor, and the other one a thermocoupler. Or may just be one. That is the ignightor and thermocoupler. The thermocoupler is what detects that the pilot light lit. Its a saftey feature. It makes sure that there is fire before it turns on the main gas. So it wont blow up. It gets a film built up on it from the gas. Take some real fine sandpaper, or steel wool and clean it real good.
Then try again. It should work. If not then it needs to be replaced.
How old is your dryer? Only models from the 1980's and older have actual pilot flame lighters. If it's newer it will have either a spark igniter or an electric glow bar. If you have a large front access panel across the bottom, then you may have a pilot light. Remove the panel and look for the gas valve. (NOTE: Before lighting anything, make sure you do not smell gas. If you do, you'll need to air the room out before trying) There will be a burner coming out the back of the gas valve control and this control will have a red push button in the front or side of it to allow gas to the pilot only. Using a extended bbq type lighter, light the pilot at the pilot assembly and hold the button for about 60 seconds. The pilot assembly is connected to the gas valve control by a small diameter aluminum tubing with a copper thermocouple right next to it. Release and make sure the pilot stays lit. Before putting the access panel back on, turn on the dryer and watch for the burner to light. It should be a strong blue flame. Let us know if we can help you further. Not knowing why your pilot went out in the first place, there may be a unforeseen issue that may need attention. If you have a propane gas dryer and you ran out of gas, then it may take a while to get gas to the pilot, so be patient when trying to light it. Never hold the button down without the lighter lit at the pilot assembly, so there is not a build-up of gas. If you are not comfortable doing this, I recommend you call your gas co to light it for you, as many will do it for free! Good luck and be careful!
If you have a pilot light (small flame) you can try to re-light it by turning the knob on the gas valve to the pilot position and pushing the knob down while lighting the pilot, you may have to hold the knob down for up to 30 seconds before releasing it. The pilot should stay lit and then turn the knob to the on position. If the pilot will not stay lit or the main burner will not light it could be the gas valve or the temperature sensor.