whirlpool electric dryer stops early, restarts easily

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Old 04-08-08, 04:57 AM
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whirlpool electric dryer stops early, restarts easily

My 9-year-old Whirlpool electric dryer (model LER3624EQ1) starts to run perfectly normally, but since last week has consistently begun to stop early, after anywhere from 10 to 35 minutes. It then restarts easily (no hum or moan from the motor) when I press the push-to-start switch, without waiting for anything to cool down, and will again run 10-35 minutes (perhaps somewhat less than the first time) before stopping early again. I thoroughly cleaned lint (there wasn't much) from the exhaust vent and throughout the interior of the dryer, and currently have it pulled out a bit from its closet so that the vent is as straight as possible, but that seems to have made little difference. I also tested continuity of all thermostats and thermal fuses (though at room temperature, with current disconnected), and found no problem.

Last night, while listening closely, I noticed that the dryer occasionally sounds as if the power is temporarily cut off, then restored (a similar sound occurs if I open the door and immediately close it), and may continue running through several of these incidents, but eventually stops completely. This led me to wonder if there's a problem in something called a "pluggable drive motor switch" at the bottom of my wiring diagram (http://www.servicematters.com/docs/w...203406688.pdf), which may also be known as a "centrifugal switch" (I get rather confused at this point). It is (or includes ?) the wiring block on the top of the picture at Partselect.com - Whirlpool Dryer Parts And All Brands of Appliance Parts
but apparently cannot be purchased separately from the motor. Is there some way to test that this is indeed the problem? If I took the motor out, could I determine that this switch isn't functioning correctly? Or is there some other likely cause of the symptoms I've observed? (Hmmm, it just completed a full cycle with no stopping for the first of many times I've tried it since Thursday. Must be a coincidence.)
 
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Old 04-08-08, 07:24 AM
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Has the timer run the full cycle before it shuts off? dose it sound like the motor is stopping when you say it quits and starts? Sounds like motor going bad but usually won't start again until after it cools
 
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Old 04-08-08, 07:49 PM
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No, the dryer stops before the timer finishes the cycle. Yes, I believe that when it sounds like the power is temporarily cut off, the motor is beginning to stop, but then (sometimes) it sounds like power is restored (the centrifugal switch unsticks, and activates again?), and the motor keeps running. And, of course, sometimes the power fully cuts off, and the motor stops completely, just as if I'd opened the door. (But there's no problem with the door switch or a thermal component because it starts immediately when I press the push-to-start switch.)

I'm beginning to conclude that this dryer does have a centrifugal switch integrated into the motor, and that that is what my wiring diagram calls a "pluggable drive motor switch". I wonder if, at present, only this switch is having (occasional) problems, and the motor itself is functioning fine. It seems that if either this switch or the motor is bad, I have to replace the full motor unit. How can I tell for certain that the motor needs to be replace, short of replacing it?

I ran the dryer through a 50-minute cycle tonight to hear what it sounded like when it lost power, but it completed the full cycle again! So perhaps I'll put it back in the closet until it starts shutting off mid-cycle again.
 
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Old 04-09-08, 05:00 AM
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I have never had that switch go bad on me. (belt switches yes)
check for a loose wire that plugs into motor.
 
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Old 04-26-08, 02:14 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion. I finally got back to checking on it a week or so after your suggestion (considering my two full cycle runs to be unfair, since they were almost empty), and even though the connections all seemed sound, I decided to remove the motor and look it over. That required removing the "Lint Chute Assembly" to disconnect the blower fan. I hadn't removed it before when removing built-up lint because my Time Life "Fix-It-Yourself Manual" hadn't suggested it (you can tell I'm an amateur). Anyway, at that point the problem was apparent, and easy. There was a great deal of lint built up down around the blower fan. The fan had scraped out a bowl-shaped space in the lint, packing it down, but clearly the lint was slowing the fan down enough to disconnect the centrifugal switch, shutting off the dryer cycle. Since this was a mechanical, not a thermal, problem, the dryer would always restart immediately. I just removed the lint, put things together, and the dryer functions great.
 
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