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Kenmore dryer model 96273100 no heat.

It runs, but no heat. Heating element, or is there an overload fuse?

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  • sehjones Oct 06, 2008

    Our Kenmore 417 dryer would heat for about 5 minutes but then would only blow air, no heat. Sears repairman was just here and said we need a new control thermostat and also feels that the grease is drying up, requiring a new shaft assembly. The labor charges seemed outrageous, so I declined the repair and would like to attempt it ourselves. I watched him remove the drum, but would welcome any advice in doing these repairs.

  • Anonymous Apr 06, 2009

    No heat

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  • 5,911 Answers

If the dryer turns on, drum spins, but you have no heat, any of the following components could be bad:

Heating Element
Thermal Cut-Out
Hi-Limit Thermostat



If the dryer isn't blowing ANY air at all, but the drum still turns, you may have a bad blower fan assembly inside the dryer. Or, the blower fan assembly may be clogged.

All dryers need proper air flow in order to dry properly. If the ducting becomes clogged, the heating circuits will actually overheat and eventually fail. This usually results in the Thermal Cut-Out (TCO) blowing or the Heating Element failing or BOTH. When these components fail, they must be replaced. Remove the dryer hose from the back of the dryer and inspect it thoroughly from where it leaves the dryer to where it exits your home. It should be clear with no kinks or clogs. If your vent line runs under a crawl space make sure it is suspended above the ground and has no sags where lint could collect. RULE OF THUMB: The SHORTER and STRAIGHTER the vent duct, the BETTER. After you inspect the vent ducting, turn the dryer on and make sure you have forceful air flow coming form the dryer. This will prove that your blower fan is working properly or not. Since you stated that your dryer is not currently heating, the air will be cold, but you should still have some force behind it. If the air flow is weak, you need to clean the duct work INSIDE the dryer. It is important to keep a dryer checked routinely. I recommend once per season (that's 4 times per year). Dryers are the cause of many house fires. These fires are due to lint accumulations inside the unit catching on fire. A little preventive maintenance can prevent significant problems in the future.

Getting to the heating circuit to determine if the components are good or bad is the next step. If your dryer has the lint screen on the top of the unit, you will need to remove the back panel of the dryer to expose the heating circuits. If the dryer has the lint screen in the door, you will need to remove the lower kick panel under the door by using a putty knife to release the retaining clips. They will be located along the seam in the front about 2 inches in from each side. If this is a Kenmore Elite or Whirlpool Duet, the lower lick panel comes off by removing the screws under the bottom edge of the panel. (HINT: placing a block of wood under the front feet of the dryer can make access much easier). If your dryer has no lower kick panel, you have to remove the entire front panel on these models. This is accomplished by lifting the dryer top and removing the screws that hold the front panel in place.

Based on the model number you provided, I'm assuming this dryer can be accessed by removing the back panel.

NOTE: The heating circuit should be troubleshot with the dryer UNPLUGGED. Dangerous voltages are still present with the dryer turned off. Resistance readings are as follows:

Heating Element (located inside heater box) – remove the two RED leads from the ceramic terminals on the heating element and take a reading across the terminal points. It should read 9 - 13 ohms.

Thermal Cut-Out (TCO) (mounted to the heater box.) - unplug wires and take reading across connector tabs. Reading should be 0 ohms.

Hi-Limit Thermostat (mounted to the heater box, closest to the heating element leads) - unplug wires and take reading across connector tabs. Reading should be 0 ohms.

If any of the above readings are abnormal, replace the component. NOTE: If the TCO or Hi-Limit Thermostat is defective it is highly recommended by most manufacturers to replace BOTH components at the same time. They are often sold as a set.


I hope this information is helpful to you. Post back if you have any further questions, or need assistance in finding replacement parts.

Posted on May 08, 2008

  • Vince Wolf
    Vince Wolf Nov 22, 2015

    Very understandable assistance and diagnostics

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