Whirlpool Dryer Not Heating – Diagnosing Common Issues
Today we are looking at a roper style dryer, Whirlpool, Roper, Amana, Admiral, anything made with the mechanical dial models. It’s the one that makes noise when spinning around. What we’re looking for is why the drier’s not heating.
So what you’ve got is a situation where you hear the motor running, you see the barrel tumbling, but you’re not getting any heat to your clothing. And what you’re going to need for this repair is really just a multimeter, if you have one, it’s really it is important to have one, and then also a ¼” nut driver. Most everything you’re going to be looking at for the heat problem in this style dryer is in the back. And then you’re really just going to need to take the ¼” stuff off of the back. The plate has ¼” bolts and screws. Before you do this you need to remove the vent hose and unplug the plug.
Before we start with looking into this we do want to check one thing and that is the voltage to the machine. Sometimes you can just have a problem with voltage. On electric dryers you have two types of outlets; you have a three prong and a four prong. If you’ve got two live lines and they put out 110 apiece more or less, and then a neutral. So we want to double check. You should be getting somewhere between 220 and maybe up to 240 volts. That should run the dryer fine. Put those in here and search around for your 240. Here each line will be 110 to 120 typically. And again, with the neutral and the live it should be 110 to 120. On the newer style you can also have a four prong which works the same way. Basically your two live wires are here on the sides. That should be 240. Here should be around 220 to 240. This should end up around 110 to 120, and there is a ground. So you know you could check there if you wanted to. There shouldn’t be any voltage between your neutral and ground, and then 110 should follow through as well. But anyway, what we’re really looking for is to make sure that this has a 220 to 240 live voltage. So just be careful if you’re not used to working with live voltage.
Now when you go back to the machine, you need to have the machine unplugged. So you’re looking at things on the heat circuit. You’re looking for zero ohms on the thermostats. This will be the high limit. Generally you always want to remove one when you’re doing an ohms test. Next check the operating thermostat. Check both ends of it. We do the same thing with the heating element. Rather than pull too hard on this what you want to do is pry this off. The easiest way so you don’t damage the terminal ending, you don’t damage the wiring, and on some of these the heat can make these terminal endings stick, and you don’t want to be yanking at the wire. You can twist a flathead screwdriver back and forth to pry it open. An 8” pry bar works best for this. Good ones are made by Stanley, Irwin, Proto, and Tech Team https://techteamproducts.com/. We like Tech Team’s 5 piece Pry Bar set the best https://www.amazon.com/Mechanics-Prybars-Chisel-Angled-Rolling-Head/dp/B07CSBZ4ZM/ref=sr_1_11?s=power-hand-tools&ie=UTF8&qid=1540409708&sr=1-11&keywords=pry+bar+set because it gives a choice of 5 different length high quality bars. And then we’re going to test for ohms. It’s going to be a little higher because there’s a heating element in there, it does have some resistance. Now this one’s around 10 ohms so that’s normal. If you don’t find any open circuits on these three, then you’re going to move on.
Before we move on it’s a good idea to make sure your ductwork is cleaned out. There is a high temperature thermostat that also works with temperature. It is usually 40 to 50 degrees lower. It opens and closes as it reaches that temperature. This is just for protection. So if this one’s blown it’s a good idea to replace both thermostats. This one may be acting weird and not opening on time. So we typically replace these in pairs if you find this open. Now there’s another thermostat involved. It’s got four wires to it, and so on this one we want to pull this off and check, and there again we find zero ohms. There’s no problem with heat there.
Now we’re gonna move to the timer. They cause this heating element not to get hot. If you look on the back there’s two screws, you’ll need to loosen those up. Now we’re looking at the timer. Every timer is different, but typically on these you’re going to look for the big fat wires, and the 240 volts that runs through the heating element are commonly the black and the red. It’s not always the case so we can’t tell you this for certain, but on this one it’s the black and the red. What you want to do to test this is turn your timer to somewhere where it’s heated. We’ll use the high heat at twenty five minutes. That will close the switch. It’s going to allow voltage to pass through. Again we want the black and the red. We’re going to test for ohms, zero ohms because this is just a switch inside the timer. And we’re not getting anything so that’s the problem. It’s the timer. If that was zero, there wouldn’t be a problem with the timer. We tried on one more setting just to be sure. And yeah, this is what’s causing the problem. Again that’s open so there’s no live voltage to go through down to the heating element.
All right. So on these older dryers with a mechanical timer, going back through everything step by step, you want to check for the heating element, the other side of the thermostat, make sure you’re reading the wiring diagram so I don’t miss anything. You’ve also got the timer; again you’re going to look for the black and red typically. Check for the closed circuit, then that will eliminate the timer as the problem. And then ultimately there’s one piece that’s really difficult to test, and that’s at the motor itself. There is a centripetal switch that when the motor is running, it will close, and that allows the voltage to get up there. It’s a failsafe to keep the machine from heating when there’s no blower wheel turning. So if the motor is running, that switch is closed. It’s very difficult to test while you’re trying to look through it. If there’s a problem with the motor then you need to replace the motor. But again, that’s not very common at all. So again for a dryer not heating, if it’s a Whirlpool, Roper, Amana, State Admiral all these older ones with the mechanical dials, this is the way to look for problems with not heating.