You press the button on your Kenmore dryer to start the appliance, but it’s not heating up. What can you do in this situation? We researched this concern for your convenience, and here’s what we found.
If a Kenmore dryer isn’t providing heat, it could be due to various underlying issues, including an overheated fuse, an igniter malfunction, or a damaged heating element. The first step is to troubleshoot and diagnose the source of the problem.
Continue reading as we discuss the different reasons why your Kenmore dryer isn't drying your laundry. We'll also talk about the potential solutions that can help you fix the dryer.
What Causes A Kenmore Dryer To Run But Not Heat Up?
A Kenmore dryer may function but it might not heat up because of varous reasons. Some of the potential causes are:
A dryer typically reaches temperatures of around 125 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s the role of the appliance’s thermal fuse to help prevent the machine from overheating. However, this particular component can still overheat, causing the dryer to fail at providing sufficient heat.
Failure to rectify this concern may cause the thermal fuse to blow. Also, a blown thermal fuse can be a tell-tale sign of a clogged exhaust vent.
You’ll also know if the thermal fuse is the source of your Kenmore dryer not heating with the help of a multimeter. Connect the tool’s probes to the fuse and the appliance’s wires. If the multimeter doesn’t show a reading, it means that the dryer has a blown thermal fuse.
As its name implies, the igniter helps produce the flame by combusting the gas from within the dryer. That also means that this assembly is generally exclusive to Kenmore’s gas dryer range. But the igniter can malfunction in instances like:
- Blown thermostat
- Sensor failure
- Faulty gas valve
Also, the igniter can burn out because of old age. If your Kenmore dryer encounters this particular problem, perhaps the best option is to replace the assembly. Otherwise, you may need to change your old Kenmore dryer for a new model.
Burnt Out Heating Element
The typical dryer heating element usually lasts around 8 to 18 years. On the other hand, a clothes dryer, even one from Kenmore, generally lasts about 10 to 13 years. So the heating element can encounter serious issues before the dryer needs significant repairs or replacements.
If the heating element breaks down, the dryer won't heat. You can use a multimeter and attach its probes to the heating element and the appliance’s wiring. This will allow you to test if this component is the main reason why the dryer refuses to provide sufficient warmth for your laundry.
Tripped Circuit Breaker
Clothes dryers generally need a 30-amp 240-volt circuit breaker to function well. But some electrical setups may provide sufficient power to a Kenmore dryer by using two 120-volt breakers. If one of these circuit breakers fail or trip, the appliance won’t receive adequate power to heat the clothes.
Faulty Main Control Board
The main control board of your Kenmore dryer can also be the reason why it’s not heating. You can determine if the control board is the source of the problem if troubleshooting the other components in the appliance doesn’t yield the results you need.
Keep in mind that some of Kenmore’s replacement control boards are quite expensive. Certain models may even rival the price of buying a new Kenmore dryer. You should evaluate your spending options so that you get the best value for your money.
You can also watch the video below if you need additional help in troubleshooting your Kenmore electric dryer:
How Do You Fix A Kenmore Dryer That Is Not Heating?
After troubleshooting your Kenmore dryer and finding the reason why it's not heating, you should now have an idea of how to repair it. In this section, you’ll learn some possible solutions based on the results of your troubleshooting.
Replace The Thermal Fuse
First, check your Kenmore dryer’s owner’s manual to find out if you need to go through unique steps to gain access to certain assemblies and parts. Also, make sure to wear safety gear, like a good pair of gloves and glasses to prevent your skin from coming into contact with dirt buildup.
Once you're prepared for this procedure, continue by following these steps
What You’ll Need
• Flat-head screwdriver • Socket wrench • Replacement dryer thermal fuse
Step #1: Disconnect The Power
Unplug the Kenmore dryer to prevent problems like electrocution while you’re working. If you can’t gain immediate access to the dryer’s electrical cord, cut off its power supply from its connected circuit breaker.
Step #2: Open The Bottom Panel
Use a flat-head screwdriver or a panel remover to take out the dryer’s bottom panel. Set the casing aside temporarily on a flat, level surface. Then, remove the exhaust vent by unscrewing it. Once done, you should be able to gain easy access to the thermal fuse.
Step #3: Remove The Old Thermal Fuse
Disconnect the wiring that connects the thermal fuse to the rest of the dryer. You may need to move the wires out of the way with the flat-head screwdriver. Remove the fuse with the help of the socket wrench.
Step #4: Install The New Thermal Fuse
Install the new thermal fuse to the same location as the old model. Make sure that the part that you’re going to install is the same model as the old one. Secure the new installation by following the previous steps.
Reinstall the exhaust vent and the bottom case. Then restore power to the appliance and turn it on to test if the problem persists.
Watch this video if you need additional guidance in completing this process:
Replace The Gas Igniter
Make sure that you have a compatible replacement gas igniter before proceeding with this task. Once you have that assembly, continue by following these steps:
What You’ll Need
- Putty knife
- Replacement gas igniter
Step #1: Unplug The Appliance
As with other dryer troubleshooting and repairing methods, ensure that you unplug the Kenmore unit first. Disconnecting the appliance from its power supply should allow you to perform the next steps with minimal risk of safety hazards.
Step #2: Remove The Lint Screen
Locate and take out the lint screen. Set it aside in an easy-to-find location. Then remove the screws that became exposed after removing the lint screen.
Step #3: Take Out The Top
With the help of a putty knife, pry open the main top portion of the Kenmore dryer. Make sure to open the lid carefully. Otherwise, applying significant force while opening the top can damage the attached wiring. Disconnect the wires from the top portion afterward. Then remove the screws securing the front panel.
Step #4: Remove The Front Panel
Pull out the front panel slightly. Then pull it upward to release it from the rest of its assembly. Set the front panel aside temporarily.
Step #5: Take Away The Belt
Look at the bottom of the inside of the dryer to find the belt tension. Depress it and unthread it from the pulley and motor shaft assemblies.
Step #6: Lift Out The Drum
Remove the dryer drum by securing a rope or belt around it. Lift it and take it out of the appliance.
Step #7: Release The Old Igniter And Install The New Unit
Disconnect the wires connected to the old igniter and unfasten it from its mount. Next, install the new igniter in the same location. But be aware that you shouldn't touch the igniter—it's fragile and you may risk damaging it.
Once the new igniter is secure, reinstall the other parts. Then restore power to the appliance to test its performance.
You can also watch the video below if you need help with this process:
Are Whirlpool And Kenmore Dryers The Same?
Kenmore and Whirlpool dryers aren’t the same. However, Whirlpool often makes appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators, and dryers with the Kenmore badge.
If a Kenmore dryer can’t supply heat, it generally means the appliance has an underlying problem. The possible sources for this issue range from an overheated fuse to a defective main control board. Make sure to troubleshoot your Kenmore clothes dryer properly so you can take advantage of the correct repair and/or replacement on it.
If you liked this post and want to know more about how to fix dryers from other brands, check out these great reads: