Question about Whirlpool Dryers

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Whirlpool gas dryer does not heat, Motor works drum to go around; timer seems to work also. Repair person said it was the controls on the motor; replaced motor but still have no heat. Cleaned out vent duct and removed flexible vent and still no heating. Checked igniter; looked ok but after nearly 20 years could it possibly be bad?

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  • famgrp Jul 15, 2009

    I plan to check the igniter with an ohm meter first. Is the Safety Thermostat the same as the Thermal Fuse (located on back of air vent duct)? If not, I do not know where it is located and how to specifically test; would need detailed instructions.

    I did not smell gas while operating the dryer in the dry mode. I let the dryer run for 5 minutes three consecutive times after I reconnected the gas line (yes the gas line valve is open) to purge the air. The igniter (2 wire glow type) did not glow.

    In another web site I learned that the gas valve coils could be weak or not functioning; don't know how to test for this as well.

  • famgrp Jul 16, 2009

    I checked the igniter with a multi tester using the ohms and it read 70 ohms (within the range of 50 to 600 ohms indicating it was ok). Then I tested the Thermal Fuse in the back; it measured 5 ohms (not sure if this is acceptable).

  • famgrp Jul 22, 2009

    I checked the 2 and 4 prong safety thermostats after removing the lead wires on the back of the gas dryer. The 2 prong gave an ohm reading. The 4 prong gave an ohm reading on the red and blue leads but I could not get an ohm reading on the other leads with purple lead wires. I replaced this 4 prong safety thermostat. Dryer still did not heat. A local appliance repair person suggested I check the coils and the flame sensor. The 2 prong coil had an ohm reading and at the 3 prong gave a reading with the 2 outside leads but not when the center was matched with either outside lead. then I removed the flame sensor (easier to work with). I got no ohm reading. The repair person suggested to connect the 2 lead wires for the flame sensor. After doing this, I started the dryer and watched the igniter. Presto, the igniter started to glow. Have part (#338906) ordered. Hope this solves the problem.
    After-thought;I may have had 2 problems and this could have caused difficulty in solving the problem.

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I do believe the repair man hosed you on the motor. Most of my experience is with electric dryers but I can try to shed some light on the subject. I would test the safety thermostat if it is open you can temporally short the leads together to see if it heats up. It is about $70.00 so you do not want to just swap it out, do not run for a long period of time if you short the leads out (Fire is Bad). Next check the Sensor on the burner unit which turns on the Electronic gas valve ($200.00 Ouch) or it could be a clog it the orifice. Do you smell Gas by the burner unit? Next is the Igniter which you should hear click. A volt meter is recommended to test the components and an Ohm Meter to test the Safety Thermostat. I wonder if your repairman even took his out of the truck.

Posted on Jul 15, 2009

  • Stephen Yanowich Jul 17, 2009

    Excellent, your process of elimination is great. Try No gas could be positive since the igniter is not glowing. Typically there is only one Safety Thermostat which will not reset. Once it blows it is bad and must be replaced. The Safety Thermostats function is to stop the heat when the unit is to hot because of inadequate ventilation from a clogged filter or vent. I usually find the Safety Thermostat on the back of the drum since it will not rotate. It should look similar to a Power Transistor shaped like a disk with two mounting holes where it is screwed to the drum and two lead wires attached to it. The Schematics in the dryer pocket will tell you if there are two Safety Thermostats. Make sure when you check the resistance of the Safety Thermostat one lead is removed to isolate it from the rest of the circuit. If it reads open (no continuity) it is bad and needs replaced. If you touch the removed lead to the other lead you have bypassed the Safety Thermostat and the dryer should get hot to temporarily test the dryer. To test the Gas Valve use the volt meter to measure the voltage going to the coil. If it has voltage gas should flow and if you do not smell it and you have no glow on the igniter my bet is you will not see any voltages. This is good because the valve will be an expensive part. So I am leaning towards the Safety Thermostat and you checked in circuit giving you a false positive. Or two Safety devices are used one on the drum and one on the vent. I do not have the schematics so I am guessing and believe the valve is good but the Igniter is not glowing which should be on at all times Igniting the gas when the valve opens and closes throughout the drying cycle.

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