Whirlpool gas dryer - heats erratically

Old 10-27-05, 08:38 PM
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Exclamation Whirlpool gas dryer - heats erratically

Our 1995 Whirlpool gas dryer has recently taken to heating unreliably. I've taken some of it apart a few times; vents seem unclogged. The symptom seems to be that the igniter does not always get hot and release and ingite the gas. I've been told that the igniter either works or fails, it won't work 'sometimes'. Is there some component before the igniter that could prevent it from working when it should?

Sometimes when I hit the "Push to Start" button the igniter will glow a healthy orage, the gas clicks on and I get a flame. The flame usually goes out too soon and the dryer never really heats up completely. Other times, after starting the cycle, the igniter stays dark and naturally nothing heats up.

Any ideas - are there any thermostats or other temperature controllers that could cause some or all of these symptoms?

Thanks in advance.
Old 10-28-05, 04:30 AM
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Hello joefar5. Welcome to my Gas Appliances topic and the Do-It-Yourself Web Site.

Totally remove the exhaust vent system from the back of the machine. One that's done, test dry a load and note the difference, if any. If the clothes dry properly, the venting system somewhere is clogged or restricted. Also check the exhaust hoods inner flapper door. Must be free to open and close.

Other Possible Causes:
Defective Solenoids.
There are two...both are on top of the gas valve. Solenoids also supply voltage to the glow coil and are part of the electrical loop. All terminals on both solenoids must have continuity. If not, you'll need to remove them from the top of the gas valve by removing the entire gas valve assembly first.

Remove both solenoids off the gas valve body by removing the holddown cover plate and replace them both if defective. They are sold only in pairs. Or take the entire gas valve unit to your local appliance parts store and have the entire assembly and all the parts tested individually and as an assembly.

Defective Gas Valve:
Remove entire unit as an assembly. Take the entire assembly to your local appliance parts store for testing. Gas valves are not repairable. Replacement is the only option if defective.

CAUTION: Do Not attempt to repair the gas valve! This is a non repairable item!

Defective Glow Ignitor:
It's a rare possibility but worth noting here. The glow ignitor may glow but just be too weak to allow current to continue to flow to the coils. The solenoid coils are also part of the electrical loop and may effect proper glow ignitor operation or functioning.

Control center for all functions. The timer has internal contacts and as it advances through the cycles, one of those contacts can become burned out, stuck opened or closed for any one of several reasons.

Timers also have cams <lobes> that open and close those contact points. If the timer hangs-up on a lobe, it may or may not advance to the next cycle.

If the timer or any other selection switch, on the front control panel, is suspected of causing the existing problem you're having with the appliance, be sure all selections are correctly set.

If they are, the timer or other function selected switch may be defective. Timers are a non repairable item. Any or all of the control panels switches can be removed and taken to the local appliance retail parts store for testing.

Timers and switches can also be checked for continuity using an ohm meter or continuity tester. However, do not rely soley on a continuity test for proper timer functioning. Timers and switches are a non repairable items.

A Fuseable Link:
Check for continuity across this part. It will be located in the exhausts venting system prior to the discharge outlet. If there is no continuity, replace the part. Not all dryers have this part.

Flame Sensor:
This part is located on the burner housing. If it's defective, it will cause the glow coil to not function or cause the problem your discribing. You can test this part with a continuity tester or an ohm meter.

However, do not rely on the continuity test to prove the part is functioning correctly. The only proof positive method to be sure the part is functioning correctly, is to carefully remove the part and have the local appliance parts store person do the testing.

Dryer help info: http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=159481

Whirlpool's Home Web Site:

Advertisers & Sponsors Web Sites:
Appliance Parts, Pictures & Help:

Appliances Parts & Help:

Appliances Parts:

Kitchen Appliance Parts:

Repair Manuals:

Safety Reminder:
ALWAYS be positive you have unplugged the electrical power and turned off the gas supply to the appliance prior to attempting any repairs!

The do-it-yourself person can do electrical tests and continuity tests on several of the parts. There are parts such as flame sensors, timers, solenoids, gas valves, etc. when neither of these tests will provide proof positive the part is actually functioning correctly. Therefore, do not rely solely on either test.

Best method is to determine if any part is funtioning correctly is to carefully remove the part or parts you suspect to be the potential culprit, and have the local appliance parts store person run the required tests.

Additional Suggestions:
Read the manufacturers online web site for product information, problem possibilities, causes, solving methods, part locations, disassembly, reassembly methods, repair procedures, pictorials, schematics, downloadable repair and or owners manuals which may be available online.

Retail appliance parts dealers can also help determine what the most likely possible problem may be. They will need the make, model and serial numbers. Appliance parts dealers are an excellent source for original replacement parts and problem resolving matters. Dealers are listed in the phone book under appliances.

Be sure the electrical power to the appliance is turned off, before attempting any repairs or services. Always check for gas leaks whenever moving the appliance and/or a service or repair includes any connection of a gas part.

Read the existing questions on the subject of dryers. Doing so will quickly provide you with answers to questions & provide additional information on how to resolve the problem.

Use the reply button to add additional information or ask additional questions. Doing so will automatically move or keep your question to the top of the forums list of questions.

Regards & Good Luck.
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Old 10-28-05, 05:09 PM
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Check the motor centrifical switch as the circuit has to complete throgh it also when it is not coming on remove the quick disconnect at burner and check for 120 volts when you start machine,if no power there then you dont have to worry about any burner problem,you have the problem going back which could be the switch I mentioned or timer or thermosts,

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