Whirlpool Duet Dryer Won’t Start – What To Do?

It's alarming when a full load of wet laundry is sitting in a dryer that won't start. We've all come to rely on pushing a simple button and having an appliance dry and fluff our clothes. What can you do when your reliable Whirlpool Duet dryer doesn't start? We've done the research and have some solutions for you. 

If your Whirlpool Duet dryer won't start, it could be due to a few different issues:

  1. Lack of power
  2. Defective door switch
  3. Problem with the dryer settings
  4. Bad starter switch
  5. Faulty motor
  6. Bad thermal fuse

Many of these issues can be resolved with a few troubleshooting steps.

Now that we know what could cause the dryer not to start let's discuss some basic troubleshooting steps to take to diagnose the issue and hopefully avoid a costly repair bill. We'll answer some other questions you might have as well. Please keep scrolling!

Two white duet dryers inside a laundry room, Two white duet dryers inside a laundry room

What To Do If Your Whirlpool Duet Dryer Won't Start

1. Lack of Power

If your dryer isn't getting power, it naturally won't work. This is the most straightforward issue to diagnose and generally the easiest to repair. Open your dryer door. Does the light come on? If it doesn't, ensure the appliance is still correctly plugged in.

If the cord is plugged in and doesn't seem to be in ill-repair, check your household fuses or breakers. Ensure the breaker controlling the dryer is flipped "on" or that the fuse isn't blown. If the breaker was off, turn it on, or replace the blown fuse. This should resolve the issue and allow your dryer to operate as usual. 

2. Defective Door Switch

A defective door switch could be your issue. Ensure the door is closing and latching properly. If it feels loose or doesn't seem to latch, the door switch needs replacing. However, before replacing it, ensure there are no clothes in the way preventing the door from latching.

Additionally, If you hear a "click" from the dryer door when trying to start the dryer, then the door switch likely isn't defective as the click indicates it is engaging as it should. If there is no click, the door switch needs to be replaced. 

View this door switch on Amazon.

3. Dryer Settings

Ensure your dryer is on the proper setting/function if it doesn't immediately start when pressing the start button. If the dryer is set to "wrinkle reduction," it won't immediately start, as this cycle fluffs the clothes every few minutes to prevent wrinkles. 

The Whirlpool Duet has a control lock/unlock button that might be engaged as well. Find the lock button on the control panel and hold it down for at least three seconds to release the lock. When this function is operating, the dryer will not start, and options can't be changed on the control panel.

4. Starter Switch

To determine if your start switch is at fault when the Whirlpool Duet won't start, listen closely when you press the start button. If you hear a humming as the dryer attempts to start, then the start switch likely isn't at fault.

If nothing at all happens, it could be the start switch. The only way to know for sure is to use a multimeter, a device that measures if electricity is present. If the multimeter indicates no continuity, then the start switch is at fault and needs replacing.

View this multimeter on Amazon.

5. Faulty Motor

A motor is arguably the most critical part of the dryer. The drive motor ensures the drum turns and the blower wheel moves air. Checking the motor would be a last-ditch attempt after troubleshooting all the other options, such as the door switch, start switch, and thermal fuse. Before replacing the full motor, ensure nothing is obstructing the motor's blower wheel. If all options are exhausted, replace the motor to resolve the issue.

Are you worried about keeping the stiffness out of your towels since you're going to have to hang-dry them until you can get the dryer fixed? Check out our post about keeping them nice and soft!

6. Bad Thermal Fuse

The thermal fuse is currently at fault when a dryer won't start. The purpose of the thermal fuse is to keep the dryer from overheating. A thermal fuse is located near the dryer's heat source and has a continuous electrical path when it is working correctly.

This means a multimeter can quickly detect if the malfunctioning component is the thermal fuse. It's important to note if the thermal fuse has blown, that means the dryer got too hot, so you could have a venting issue. Be sure to thoroughly clean the venting system and ducts after replacing a thermal fuse.

View this thermal fuse on Amazon.

How do I reset my Whirlpool Duet dryer?

To clear an error code or refresh the display on your dryer, press and hold the "start" or "power" button for at least three seconds to reset or clear the code. If this fails, try unplugging the appliance for at least a minute before plugging it back in and restarting the machine.

Where do I find the error code on my Whirlpool Duet dryer?

If your dryer has detected an error, it will display a diagnostic code in the appliance's main display. A list of potential error codes and their meanings can be found in your owner's manual supplied by the manufacturer.

For example, any code beginning with "F" means you'll have to get the appliance serviced. If you can't locate the owner's manual, search your model number on the manufacturer's website. This will allow you to download a PDF copy of the manual. The owner's information also contains a lot of useful troubleshooting steps. 

Is my Whirlpool appliance under warranty?

Most Whirlpool appliances come with a standard 1-year manufacturer's warranty. Some appliances come with a more extended warranty, which would generally be advertised as a selling point. If you're unsure if the appliance is still under warranty, find the model number located on the appliance.

For a dryer, this is generally just inside the dryer door. Call Whirlpool customer service, give them your model number, and they will able to tell you if the manufacturer's warranty is still in effect. 

How long does a Whirlpool Duet dryer last?

A well-built dryer should last a minimum of about ten years but can last several years longer if well-maintained. If you're pretty handy, many minor repairs can be made with some simple tools and parts and can significantly extend the life of your appliance. 

In Closing

Just because your dryer won't start doesn't mean you're in for a costly repair. Many issues can be resolved with minimal effort, and the more in-depth repairs can generally be completed with a few replacement parts. 

Do you have laundry on your mind? Check out our post How to Keep Your Laundry Basket Smelling Fresh

One comment

  1. Hi, I have whirlpool duet steam dryer in white. Everything working except not heating. We checked and removed the accumulated lint. Still not heating. Could you tell me what seem to be the problem?

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