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A fairly common problem! The official instructions are
Before using your dryer, wipe the dryer drum with a damp cloth to
remove dust from storing and shipping.
1. Load clothes loosely into the dryer and close the door. Do not
pack the dryer. Allow space for clothes to tumble freely.
2. Turn the Cycle Control knob to the recommended cycle for the type of load being dried. Use the Energy Preferred Automatic Setting (,) to dry most heavyweight and medium weight loads. See "Drying, Cycle, and Temperature Tips."
3. Select a temperature setting on models with a Temp/Fabric selector. The cycle descriptions include temperature setting suggestions.
4. Push the START button.
Stopping and Restarting
You can stop your dryer any time during a cycle.
To stop your dryer
Open the dryer door or turn the Cycle Control knob to OFE
NOTE: The Cycle Control knob should point to an Off area when
the dryer is not in use.
To restart your dryer
1. Close the door.
2. Select a new cycle and temperature (if desired).
3. Press START
Pull the center knob strait off. I
suspect the center shaft of the knob is broken. If it is order a new knob but
before replacing it make sure the shaft on the timer does not have a metal
sleeve from the knob remaining on the timer shaft. Temporarily you can try to
use needle nose pliers to turn the shaft to see if the washer works.
The cycle selector is not engaged onto the timer shaft. Need to remove the on/off knob by removing the plastic "U" clip. Remove the cycle selctor knob and check that the steel spring clip on the selector is fully seated. Re-install the cycle selector onto the timer shaft aligning the selector key with the with tthe notch on the timer shaft. Re-install the on/off knob.
The cycle selector and on/off combination is a poor design. Users press the on/off knob in and turn clockwise to set the wash cycle. If you're not gentle this action wears the teeth on the timer shaft and the user has to press harder and harder to set the wash cycle. This pressing causes the cycle selector to be pushed off the timer shaft and you can no longer operate the machine.
Stop using the on/off knob to set the wash cycle. Press on the cycle selector to set the wash cycle. Use the on/off knob only for starting or stopping the machine. Don't press or pull too hard on the on/off knob or you will wind up pushing the cycle selector off the timer shaft.
We have a GE WJRR4170 washer, with the same problem. At first I
thought I might have to unscrew the entire control panel just to
replace the knob. However, replacing the knob turns out to be easy.
Right behind the knob, holding it in place, is a nylon/plastic retainer
clip. If you pull out the knob (into the "start" position), you will get easier access to the retainer clip. You can
use a flathead screwdriver to push the clip out. The knob then will
slide easily off the metal stem. A GE replacement knob costs $9 or
$10, depending on the source.
Shame on GE, but the knob is designed terribly. The part of it that
engages the dial has eight, flimsy plastic teeth. At any time, four of
these are supposed to engage four little slots in the dial. However,
the way the knob is designed, there will be a lot of wear and tear on
these plastic teeth, so they'll wear out on every single machine.
Good luck to the many people who will have this problem!
I believe the selector knob on a Whirpool just has to be turned counter-clockwise with the selector pushed in. It will spin off the shaft and then the outer indicator dial will pull off. The shaft also has a keyed slot that will only allow the dial to be removed and installed one way, so there should be no question as to how it goes back on.
Was there a reason as to why you are removing the washer selector knob? If this is a simple matter of replacing a broken water temperature selector, you shouldn't have to remove any of the control knobs to gain access to the selector. The entire front panel comes off by removing the screws holding it in place. That way you can access the broken selector from behind the front panel much easier. Just remove the panel right above the washer top (under the dryer) and it should expose the front panel mounting screws. Remove these screws and the front panel comes off. Just make sure the unit is unplugged before you begin. I hope this helps you. Let me know if you need further assistance.