The igniter is located on the burner assemly inside the dryer cabinet under the dryer drum. You can view it by removing the lower toe panel directly below the dryer door. This is accomplished by inserting a putty knife along the seam where the dryer front meets the toe panel. About two inches in from each side is a retaining clip that you must push down with the the putty knife, while pulling out on the toe panel. Repeat this on the opposite side and the pane will come free.
The way the ignition system on your dryer is supposed to work is like this:
1. Press the start button.
2. The igniter on the burner assembly begins to glow.
3. Once the igniter reaches the required current potential, the gas safety valve opens.
4. Gas is introduced into the manifold and you have ignition.NOTE
: It can take roughly 30 – 90 seconds
from the time you press start to the time it takes for the gas to ignite.
This is a built in safety feature that prevents free flowing gas from entering the dryer cabinet without ignition. Such a situation could lead to an explosion.
There are two basic types of igniters:
Carborundum (Cylindrical in shape) – needs to produce 2.5 to 3.0 amps for the gas safety valve to work.
(Rectangular in shape) – needs to produce 3.2 to 3.7 amps
for the gas safety valve to work.
I believe your dryer takes the Norton type igniter. The part number is 279311 and can be purchased at pcappliancerepair.com for about $22. NOTE: Just because your current igniter may still glow, does not mean it is good. Igniters will wear out with age and the current potential will decrease to the point where it no longer will open the gas safety valve.
Now...another cause of poor heating quality and longer dry times is poorly istalled, kinked, or clogged dryer exhaust ventilation ducting. If you have not checked the dryer ducting from where it exits the dryer to the point where it leaves your home, now may be a good time to do so. A dryer needs proper ventilation in order to dry efficiently.
You can easily replace the igniter by performing the following steps:
1. UNPLUG the dryer and remove the lint screen from inside the dryer door.
2. Insert a putty knife along the front seaam where the top panel of the dryer meets the dryer front. Locate the retaining clips and push down while lifting on the top panel. The dryer top will lift up.
3. Unplug the door switch connector plug and any ground wire that may be installed on the casing and disconnect the door hinge springs.
4. Locate and remove the dryer chute that covers the blower fan assembly and disconnect the auto dry sensor plug.
5. Hold the door closed and locate the four screws that hold the front panel in place. There should be one screw on each side at the top and at the bottom.
6. With the door shut, lean against the front panel and remove the four screws. Once removed, hold the top of the drum as you pull the front panel away and remove.
You should now have complete access to the dryer interior. You do not have to remove the drum, but if you have to for better access, release the belt
tension on the drum. While the tension is released, remove the belt from the drive motor pulley. Leave the belt wrapped around the drum and lift the entire drum with it to remove from the cabinet. You now have full access to the burner assembly to replace the igniter. All you should have to do is disconnect the connector plug and a couple of mounting screws.
Once you have the igniter installed, you need to re-install the drum and belt by following these steps:
1. With the belt still looped around the dryer drum (grooved side facing the drum - try to line the belt up with the wear marks already on the drum from the belt) lift the drum with the belt and insert the back rim of the drum onto the support rollers in the rear of the dryer first.
2. With the drum resting on the rollers, slowly turn the drum clockwise until the rollers seat into the rear drum groove. You should feel the drum drop into place once it seats correctly.
3. Hold the drum in place (you can do this by resting it against your shoulder so you have both hands free). Loop the belt over the drive motor shaft first.
4. Then, with the tensioner in your right hand, pull the wheel to the right and place the belt on the idler wheel with your left hand.
5. Release the tensioner and the idler wheel will tighten up the drive belt against the drum.
If this does not explain it well enough, you can also verify by going to repairclinic.com. Click on the Repair Help link and look for the "Dryer Belt Diagrams" link under the Special Features section on the next page. Look for Whirlpool
and refer to diagram K.
Once you have the belt installed, re-install the dryer front panel by lifting the front of the drum slightly and placing the drum support wheels under the drum. Lift the entire front panel with drum in place and insert the front panel in the side panels. Hold the door shut so it doesn't fly open and line up the screw holes on the bottom edge of the front panel and then align the top. Reinstall the door springs, the auto dry sensor plug, the dryer chute that covers the blower fan housing, followed by the door switch connector plug and ground wire. Lower the top panel back in place.
I know this is rather lengthy, so take your time and read thoroughly. This is not a difficult repair at all. If you still have questions, please let me know. I hope you find this helpful.