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Kelly
Kelly, Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
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Experience:  Highly accurate diagnostician with over 30 years experience!
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I have a Kenmore heavy duty soft heat dryer that wont heat.

Customer Question

I have a Kenmore heavy duty soft heat dryer that won't heat. It's part of a set with a Kenmore Ultra Fabric Care washer. Any easy troubleshooting tips? I've checked the breaker. It looks like the serial number on the washer is XXXXXXXXX
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Kelly replied 2 years ago.
Hi, thanks for using JustAnswer.com. My name is Kelly and I am anxious to help you fix your appliance! Can you please double check the model number and repost it with spaces in between the numbers?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
On the washer, the model no. is 82681110. Where would I find model no. On the dryer?
Expert:  Kelly replied 2 years ago.
If you open the door of the dryer, it should be on a tag. It will start with 110. followed by 8 more numbers.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
96281100
Expert:  Kelly replied 2 years ago.
Great, thank you! Do you have a meter to test with? If not, that is not a problem, it just dictates how we proceed.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Don't have one and wouldn't know how to use it if I did. Can you tell that I have no idea what I'm doing?
Expert:  Kelly replied 2 years ago.
I can walk you through some very simple test, not an issue at all! Besides, if you knew how to fix it, you wouldn't need me! ;-)

Let's start with the simplest and one of the most common problems that could cause no heat, the power source. It is possible, and actually quite common, to lose one side of the breaker and still have the dryer run. Locate the breaker for the dryer, usually a 30 amp large or double breaker. Turn it totally off, even if it does not look tripped, and turn it back on. If you still have no heat, unplug the dryer and remove the rear cover panel. Let me know when you have the rear panel removed.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Did the breaker thing before I contacted you. Have back cover off.
Expert:  Kelly replied 2 years ago.
Excellent! In the picture below, notice number 1, the thermal cut off. With the dryer unplugged, remove the two wires from it and tape them together. Plug the dryer back in and see if it then heats.

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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I found it, bunt don't have elec. Tape, just duct tape. Will that work?
Expert:  Kelly replied 2 years ago.
Sure, just make sure you slide the wire connectors together good so they make a good connection.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hmm. Not coming out easily. Can you tell I'm slightly afraid of my dryer? Can I use pliers?

Expert:  Kelly replied 2 years ago.
Yes, that would be fine. If you have it unplugged, you have nothing to worry about. You can also use a flat screwdriver to pry the wire connectors off. They get pretty tight on there. You're doing great!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No heat :(
Expert:  Kelly replied 2 years ago.
That's okay, and actually better, because that means the heating element is likely faulty. The heating element is about half the price of that thermal kit! At the top of the element housing (number 5) is a clip (number 4) that holds the housing in place. There is a 5/16" screw that secures it in place. Remove that screw, pull the top of the element housing out and then lift it up to remove it from its resting position. You will then be able to remove the element housing from the dryer. You will need to remove the other wires from the thermostat and element to fully remove it. Once out, there is a 5/16" screw that secures the heating element in place. Remove that screw and pull the element and inspect it very closely for a break in the coil. Let me know what you find.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Not sure where this is. Can you be more specific?
Expert:  Kelly replied 2 years ago.
Above the red arrow at the top of the element housing is the clip.

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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Found it but my screwdriver isn't long enough yon go through the hole and too long to go behind gray cover. looking for longer screwdriver
Expert:  Kelly replied 2 years ago.
A little socket works best, but a flat screwdriver will work, too. Take your time, there is no hurry at all!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did it! And, I don't see any breaks. There is just major dust everywhere.
Expert:  Kelly replied 2 years ago.
Awesome, well done! Move the coils with your fingers, a break often times is not easy to spot without moving the coils.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Still no break.
Expert:  Kelly replied 2 years ago.
Okay, so if there is no break in the element and bypassing the thermal cut off did not restore heat, you either have trouble with the power to the dryer or a more in depth component issue. If you get a meter from any hardware store, I can show you exactly how to use it and we can nail this problem down quickly. A meter will run about $20 or so.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So now I will attempt to put this back together. Wish me luck.
Expert:  Kelly replied 2 years ago.
You won't have any trouble at all! You have done great! You will be the Whirlpool dryer expert when you are done!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
In my zealous attempts to remove covers, I took off the small cover where the bog power cord goes into the machine. There is a green wire attached to nothing. To I just leave it, or should it screw into the cover?
Expert:  Kelly replied 2 years ago.
That green wire should attach to the cabinet. There is a spot for it above the opening for the cord.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
On my way to hardware store. What do I ask for exactly? How do I get back in touch with you?
Expert:  Kelly replied 2 years ago.
A digital multimeter will be the easiest. They should run around $20 or so for a basic one. Just reply back to this thread and you will have no trouble.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
How hard will this be for me? I'm really afraid of electrical stuff. Also, I'm considering a new dryer. I have no idea how old this one is (it came with the house) but I know a service call will be very expensive as I live on an island. And, as you may have noticed, I'm not very handy!
Expert:  Kelly replied 2 years ago.
It won't be difficult at all. That dryer is probably 30 years old. A meter will tell us what the issue is. If you have all the power you need at the plug, you likely will need a timer, or possibly a motor, both of which are expensive (> $100). If you are leaning towards replacing it, now would be the time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yep, I think it's time to retire this one! Thanks for all your help. How does payment work? I know I put a deposit on my card.
Expert:  Kelly replied 2 years ago.
I believe we have ruled out all the inexpensive fixes, I support your decision. Thank you very much. Have a great weekend!

Kelly

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