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Cycle selector loose...broken... - Dryers

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  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 30, 2010

    This is a common problem with some of the Sears/Whirlpool dryers. If you can get me
    the MODEL number of your dryer, I can refer you to where to get a replacement knob.
    Best, Mark


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Dryer Diagnosis & Repair Before we start with any diagnosis or any repair, we must give you an URGENT WARNING. Your dryer is hooked up to either a 240 volt(electric dryer) or a 120 volt(gas dryer) electric source. Either source can easily shock you and KILL you! Use extreme caution and make sure to unplug the appliance or remove the electrical power to the dryer! Another thing to keep in mind. More and more appliances, including dryers, are going to electronic controls with digital readouts. These types of appliances usually have the capability of giving you an error code. These error codes can then be looked up in either the owner's manual, tech sheet(somewhere on or in your appliance) or on-line. This error code can save you or the technician time in diagnosing the problem with the unit.
One other thing to remember before calling for dryer repair, is make sure the dryer is getting power. That it is plugged in and the breaker is fully on. We hate charging for a service call when the problem was a tripped breaker.

Dryer Won't Start
1st check to make sure your dryer is getting the proper voltage by using a voltage meter or multi-meter. Electric dryers should have 220-240 volts while Gas dryers will have 110-120 volts. You can either check the wall receptacle or at where the cord comes into the dryer. This should be always your 1st test to diagnose a problem. If you do not have the proper voltage, then your dryer will not start or possibly just not heat.
For example, on a electric dryer you have either a 3 wire or 4 wire plug coming into the dryer. No mater what, the 2 outside spades are your hot leads(the red wire & black wire), the other one or two spades are your neutral/ground or your neutral & ground separated. Take a voltage measurement across the black & red leads on the back of the dryer and you should get 220-240 volts. Measure either the black or red leads to the white or ground leads and you should get 110-120 volts.

cycle selector loose...broken... - j0320184.jpgNow back to the dryer itself, depending on the brand dryer, say a Whirlpool, the black wire runs both the motor and the heat element, and the red wire only runs the heat element. So, if your breaker to your electric dryer is only partially tripped(1 of 2 breakers) you could see your dryer either run with no heat, or it would not start at all. That is why it is so important to check your voltage before starting any other diagnosis.
Now unplug or remove the power to the dryer to check other causes. Your door switch could be open, not completing the circuit. This can be checked by a resitance/OHM test. Your Thermal Fuse could be open which is usually located on the blower or heat element housings. That again can be tested with an OHM tester. The Push-to-Start button may not be closing, again test with OHM tester. Your timer may not be sending the voltage out, this is a little more complicated test to do. You have to be able to read the wiring diagram and test for voltage coming out of the timer to the motor, use extreme caution on this test. The motor start switch or motor itself could be open, again read the wiring diagram and perform an OHM test on the correct wires with the unit unplugged. Lastly, check the obvious for any broken or loose wires and/or connections.
Dryer runs, but does not turn
This problem is usually pretty easy. If you here your dryer motor running and the drum is not turning, most of the time you need a new drum belt. Other causes could be a broken drum belt idler or pulley, a stripped pulley on the motor, or something jammed between the drum and dryer cabinet keeping ot from spinning.
Dryer runs, but timer does not move
Another fairly easy one. Most of the time, you have a stripped timer, especially if you are using it on the timed drying cycle. Other causes could be a thermostat problem in the auto-dry cycle or the sensors inside the drum are not reading properly.
Dryer runs, but does not turn off
These causes are just like the last topic, but most likely is in your timer.

j0391100.jpg Dryer door does not close or keeps popping open This is a simple latch problem. It is usually in the receiver part of the latch, but replace both sides when you get the kit. Also on matching front load washers and dryers wher you have 2 latches, it is extremely important you put the right latch in either the top or bottom. The Whirlpool latch kit specifies which color(strenth of hold) latch receiver either goes in the top or bottom.
Dryer runs, but produces no heat(non vent problem)
Most of the time, this is caused by either an open heat element, hi-limit cut-off switch, or operating thermostat. Occasionally your timer or control can be the cause, and also don't forget to check for those loose, broken wires or connectors.
Dryer runs, but seems to be cycling too often(non vent problem)
This problem is not to common if your dryer vent is good. The main cause of this is usually an operating thermostat or your timer/control reading the info it gets wrong. Usually when a thermostat goes, it just opens and no heat is produced.
Dryer runs, but gets too hot, never cycles off(non vent problem)
This problem usually means you have a short somewher in your dryer. Most likely the heat element. A lot of times, when this problem occurs, your dryer can even heat up when it is off. The element has either broken off and welded itself to the element side or something has gotten into the element. We have seen metal underwires from bra goe through the holes in the back of the drum and lodge themselves inside the element. This creates a dead short and always heat situation.
Dryer runs, but sounds like tennis shoes inside or scraping noise
Let us state this first, Whirlpool and Maytag dryers use roller supports in the back and either rollers or a slide/seal for support in the front. One noise you will always get with these type of dryers is a constant "thump" noise. This noise is caused by the seam of the drum going over the roller support. Nothing you can do about this thumping noise, and depending on how smooth this seam is, depends on the sound level of the noise. Whirlpool and Maytags also use felt drum seals that are attached to their drums.
GE and Frigidaire drums have a center support in the back of the drum and a system of slides or felts in front to support the drum. No seals are actually attached to the drum itself. Now back to the problem.
The tennis shoe noise is usually associated with a bad roller support and will be more common on the Whirlpool and Maytag brand dryers. When replacing the Whirlpool back support rollers, make sure the support axle is coming out straight from the back bulkhead. A bent axle will cause premature failure of these rollers. A lint buildup will also cause premature failure of the bearing part of all rollers. These rollers are held on by either a triangular plastic clip or a spring clip.
The scraping noise may be caused by either something getting stuck in either a dryer seal, felt or slide, or the noise can be from worn drum seals, worn front felt/slides, or a worn center back support. To fix any of these problems, you must know how to get into the front of your dryer and disassemble the drum. Inspect all rollers, seals, felts, slides, or supports. Replace the defective part.

Dryer repair is not rocket science. It can be done by many, if you think you can do it and need some more help, just drop us a line and we will do what we can. We will also be offering DIY Manuals shortly. If dryer repair is not for you, and you would like to schedule service, just click here and fill out the request form and we will get back to you as soon as we can. If you would like some maintenance tips to prevent dryer repair, click here or go to our dryer vent issue page. The dryer vent is the life blood of your dryer.
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Posted on Dec 30, 2010

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