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Kenmore is one of the most trusted appliance manufacturers around today, carrying a wide range of great products. Unfortunately, all machines are liable to break down sometimes. One of the most common problems with gas dryers is that the dryer won’t heat up.
The reason your Kenmore gas dryer is not heating might be due to a broken thermal fuse, gas valve coil, or thermostat. You should also check the gas supply and ensure that the exhaust ducts are not blocked with lint. To fix it, you will need to use a multimeter to check several components.
While the idea of checking multiple components with a multimeter might seem scary, it is quite a simple process once you get going. In this article, we’ll be going through the different steps to find out what is wrong with your dryer and what you can do to fix it. Let’s begin.
Checking the Ignition System and Exhaust Duct
- The first thing you need to check is whether the ignition system is working. You can do this by removing the small panel located at the bottom left corner on the front of your machine.
- If the ignition glows when you turn on the dryer, that means that the ignition and everything leading to it are working. Take note of what happened when you tested the ignition since this will guide you later on.
- Next, unplug the dryer from the wall, turn off the gas valve and detach the exhaust duct leading behind the machine. One common problem that may prevent your dryer from heating up is if the duct has become blocked with lint.
- Remove the lint, replace the duct, make sure that it is attached properly and has no kinks or holes. Try to minimize the right angles, since this makes the duct more likely to become blocked.
Now it is time to get out the multimeter and start checking the components. If you don’t have a multimeter already, the AstroAI Digital Multimeter available on Amazon is a great choice. The multimeter should be set to measure resistance, since this will allow you to test whether the current can flow through the component. If there is no continuity or if the resistance is 1 ohm, then the component will need to be replaced.
Testing the Key Components
- To check your components, you will first need to remove the back panel from the dryer.
- Before removing the panel, ensure that the supply of gas and electricity has been cut off and wear work gloves to protect your hands.
- You will need a ¼ inch nut driver like this TEKTON 1/4 Inch High-Torque Nut Driver to remove the screws which hold the panel in place.
Testing the Thermal Fuse
If the exhaust duct behind the machine was clogged with lint, you probably would have a blown thermal fuse. That is because the blockage causes the machine to overheat, and the thermal fuse breaks the circuit to prevent a dryer fire. The thermal fuse is located beside the exhaust duct, which can be found behind the back panel on the bottom left of your machine.
How to Fix It
- When you have located the thermal fuse, remove the two wires which are attached to it.
- With your multimeter set to measure resistance (Ω), touch the probe leads on the multimeter against the terminals on the fuse where the wires were attached.
- If your meter gives a reading close to zero ohms (0Ω), that means that the fuse is still intact. If this is the case, reconnect the wires.
- If the meter tells you that there is no current flowing or if it displays OL or the number 1, that means the fuse is blown.
Here is a video showing you how to replace a thermal fuse:
Testing the Gas Valve Coils
If the ignition glowed when you tested it and then went back out, but the burner did not ignite, that means you probably have a problem with the gas valve coils. Kenmore Dryer Gas Valve Ignition Solenoid Coil Kits are available from Amazon at a great price! Another sign that your gas valve coils are broken is if the dryer heats up initially but then stops heating.
You can test the coils with a multimeter in the same way you tested the thermal fuse. As always, make sure that the gas and electricity is shut off before you start.
How to Fix It
- Begin by removing the lint screen on the dryer’s top panel, then unscrewing the housing which secures the lint screen to the dryer.
- Next, push a putty knife like this Silverline 661661 Premium-Quality Expert Filler Knife under the dryer’s lid on either side to release the clips, then lift the lid off.
- Disconnect the wire harness for the door switch. You can do this by pushing a slot screwdriver into the locking tab on the wire harness.
- Now, remove the mounting screws that hold the front panel in place, then lift the dryer’s front panel.
- Remove the wires from the gas valve coils, release the mounting screws, and then lift the mounting bracket off the coils’ top. You can now remove and replace the coils.
Here is a video showing you how to replace the gas valve coils:
Testing the Thermostats
If the ignition glowed when you checked it, but didn’t turn off again when it should, that means you likely have a problem with your cycling thermostat. You can buy a replacement Cycling Thermostat & Thermal Fuse for Whirlpool & Kenmore Dryer on Amazon. To make sure you can use your multimeter to check the cycling thermostat’s resistance the same way you checked the other components.
You will also have to check the high-limit thermostat in the same way. A High Limit Gas Dryer Thermostat Replacement for Whirlpool Kenmore Dryer can also be found on Amazon.
How to Fix It
- Locate the thermostats. The cycling thermostat is located in the bottom left of the dryer if you are facing the front. The high-limit thermostat should be higher up and closer to the center of the machine.
- Remove the thermostat’s wires by gently pulling on them until the wire harness slips off the terminal.
- Test the connection with your multimeter by touching the probe leads against the two terminals. If the meter reads q or OL, then you will have to replace the thermostat.
- Remove the screws holding the thermostat in place and lift the thermostat out. Line up the replacement with the holes then replace the screws. Now, reattach the wires.
Here is a video showing you how to replace the cycling thermostat:
Here is one showing you how to replace the high-limit thermostat:
If none of the steps above fixed your machine, here are two more things you can try to:
- Test the continuity of the igniter using your multimeter and replace if faulty.
- Test the flame sensor in the same way and replace it if faulty.
Here is a video showing you how to test these two components:
This piece has shown you how to troubleshoot some of your Kenmore gas dryer’s most common heating problems. Once you know how to check a component’s resistance with a multimeter, it is just a matter of going through the parts one by one to find the break in the circuit. If none of that worked, you would have to call a repair professional.
Use the methods provided as a guide to help you with the problem. Good luck with fixing your gas dryer.