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How to fix a none heating Whirlpool or Kenmore gas dryer

December 27th, 2006 · 31 Comments

We will talk about most popular dryers, made by Whirlpool (it also could be sold under “Kenmore” name with the 110 prefix in model number). Assuming the gas is connected to your dryer and the gas shut off valve is open (do not laugh, I’ve seen it many times), it consists of only four parts which can make your dryer stay cold. These parts are: igniter, radiant flame sensor, thermal fuse and set of coils for the gas valve. Also, because you are going to take your dryer apart, it is a good time to clean it from lint built up inside. Such cleaning has to be done at least every other year. You would not believe how many dryers I’ve seen catch on fire.
All these dryers could be divided it two major groups (difference is location of the parts we are talking about).Group A: the lint screen is located at the right rear corner on the top panel.Group B: the lint screen is located inside the door frame. Tools needed: 1/4” and 5/16” nut driver or socket wrench, putty knife, Philips #1 screwdriver, continuity meter
ALWAYS UNPLUG THE POWER CORD before attempt any repairs! 
Let’s start with group A:
Step 1. How to find, test and/or replace the thermal fuse:
a). Pull out the dryer and squeeze behind.
b). Disconnect the vent hose from the dryer, unscrew and remove the back panel.
c). Locate the fuse on the blower housing.
d). Remove the wires from the thermal fuse and check for continuity across the terminals. Replace the fuse if there is no continuity. The part number for the most common Whirlpool fuse is 3392519.

According to the manufacturer instructions if the thermal fuse is open, you have to replace the operational thermostat together with the thermal fuse. The operational (or the cycling) thermostat is located next to the thermal fuse and it is not an universal part. It has to be ordered by the model number. To get the right replacement part just click on the link AppliancePartsPros, then type the model number of your dryer (it is located on the door frame) in the search box, click on the “search” button and in the new window type the word ”thermostat” in the “search by keyword” box and click the “search” button.
e). If there is continuity, then go to Step 2.
Step 2. How to find, test and/or replace the igniter, the radiant flame sensor and/or the coils for the gas valve:
a). Remove the lint screen and the two screws next to it.
b). If there is a kick panel on the bottom, remove it using a putty knife.
c). Using a putty knife, unlatch the top panel from the front on both sides and lift it up.
d). Unplug the wires for the door switch and remove the two door springs. Then unscrew the four screws (two screws if it is no a kick panel) and remove the front panel.
e). Remove the belt from the idler pulley (which is located under the drum) and pull out the drum together with the belt.
On the left side you will see the burner assembly, which includes all the parts we are talking about. Unplug the wires to the igniter and check for continuity. Replace the igniter if there is no continuity. The part number for the Whirlpool igniter is 279311.

You can also use the igniter made by Maytag. The Maytag part number is 304970. They are absolutely the same, but Maytag sells them for a lot less.
The radiant flame sensor is located on the left side of the burner tube. Remove the two wires from the sensor and check for continuity across the terminals. Replace the radiant flame sensor if there is no continuity. The part number for the Whirlpool radiant flame sensor is 338906.

If your dryer does not heat intermittently forget all the parts we were talking before. The problem is bad gas valve coils located on the top of the gas valve . Unscrew the two screws holding the coil bracket and replace the coils. The part number for the Whirlpool gas valve coils is 279834.

Look for Group B in the next post.

Tags: Whirlpool and Kenmore gas dryer repair

31 responses so far ↓

  • Durwin Sharp // May 28, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    I have a Whirlpool LGN2000JQ0 gas dryer. It starts and runs normally (heat, tumble, etc.) for the first short while, but when the flame cycles off it stays off. After this first time, the igniter cycles on – glows red/orange and draws about 3.2 amps (I understand that a simple continuity test isn’t sufficient but that a current test should be between 3-4 amps). The solenoid coils are energized. The main coil seems to be energized all the time and the auxiliary coil is energized when the igniter is on – a screwdriver held near the top of the coils vibrates.

    Is there something wrong with the way I’m thinking about how this works? If I put all of this together, it seems as though all of the safety/sensor components are working (fusible link, over temperature sensor, timer, temperature controller) so all I am left with is a weak solenoid coil or a sticking gas valve. I don’t see how a coil could weaken – a bad internal connection or short would more likely burn it out. So I seem to be left with a sticking gas valve.

    The one confusing part – hopefully more information for you – is that, although intermittent, it seems to be intermittent in a repeatable way. After the dryer has sat idle for 30-45 minutes, it fires up when started. It’s only after it warms up and gets into its temperature control cycle (it seems to be after the first cycle) that the igniter cycles and the solenoids buzz, but the gas does not come on.

    I’ve posted this problem several places and will be calling my local appliance store tomorrow. Wherever I get the best answer is likely where I will order the parts.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.
    Durwin Sharp

  • Gene // May 28, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    Hello Durwin
    If the igniter cycles on and off then most likely (95%) the problem with your dryer is bad gas valve coils and only 5% chance is sticking gas valve. Moneywise is much better to replace the gas valve coils first($16.18 – part number 279834) compare to the gas valve assembly ($109.84 – part number 279923). If the igniter stays on all the time, then the problem is welded terminals inside the flame sensor. In that case the flame sensor has to be replaced ($27.78 – part number 338906). Based on my experience replacing the gas valve coils will solve the problem.
    Good luck. Thanks for stopping by. Please, keep me updated.
    Gene.

  • Durwin Sharp // May 30, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    Gene,
    Thanks for your comments – they were right on track. Unfortunately, since we had been without a dryer over the long weekend (our household does 12-15 loads of laundry each week) we were desperate for a working dryer. When I got the same advice from our local parts dealer, I bought the coils from them, installed them, and the dryer now works. BUT I have not forgotten your timely advice so will bookmark your site and be back to you with other questions and parts requests.

    Now that I think of it, we have a Dacor W305 “convection plus” wall oven. The oven works as well as it is designed to work (I would NEVER buy another, but that’s a different story) except as it relates to setting time and temperature. The controller has a knob that you turn to dial the digital indicator up and down – but it is highly erratic. One click up can change set temperature up (or down) by hundreds of degrees, or only 5. My wife goes nuts every time she has to reset temperature and even I find it quite annoying, although some persistence will eventually result in “happening upon” the right temperature. I suspect that the only solution is to replace the entire controller (and given the overpriced nature of the oven, I’m sure it’s ridiculously expensive), but your thoughts and perhaps a price on the replacement controller would be appreciated. Since we’ve lived with this turkey for many years, the urgency for replacement isn’t what it was for the dryer.

    Thanks again for your advice,
    Durwin

  • Gene // Jun 1, 2007 at 2:55 am

    Hi Durwin,
    It does not matter were you bought the part. My main goal is to help people and I’m glad to hear from you that my advice was right.
    About your oven: sounds like the problem is bad control board. You were absolutely right – it is very expensive, especially because the new control board is a retrofit kit. It comes with a new, redesigned glass panel and completely different control board. Also, it comes with complete installation instructions and I believe it’s not going to be a complicated job for you. Because you did not mentioned the color of your oven I will give part numbers and prices for both white and black. The part number for the white kit is 86600W and you can buy for $ 478.93 here: http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=SrmyP8LkIos&offerid=122738.579804753&type=10&subid=
    The part number for the black kit is 86600B and you can buy it for         $ 401.54 here: http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=SrmyP8LkIos&offerid=122738.579804757&type=10&subid
    Thanks for stopping by. I’m always ready to help.

    Gene

  • mike // Feb 18, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    if flame sensor reads cont., should’nt that change when flashlight is shined onto it?

  • Gene // Feb 19, 2008 at 5:43 am

    Hi Mike,

    No, it should not because the flame sensor sensing the temperature, not the light.

    As soon as it heats up to the proper temperature the circuit through the flame sensor opens and the current redirects in a different way.

    Thanks for stopping by. I’m always ready to help.

    Gene.

  • Steven Chase Spurgeon // May 12, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    I’ve got a Kenmore gas dryer that is making me crazy. It fires intermittently and works fine for a few minutes, then shuts down. I have yet to check the fuse, but will do so when I get back to it in the morning. Any ideas of what’s going on? I’d sure love to save some time and money.

  • Gene // May 12, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    Hi Steven,

    The problem with your dryer is a bad gas valve coil. No doubt about it. It has nothing to do with the thermal fuse, because if the fuse is blown the dryer would not fire at all.

    Replacing the coil should solve the problem. The part number for the gas valve coil kit is 279834.

    Thanks for stopping by. Please, keep me posted.

    Gene.

  • Steven Chase Spurgeon // May 13, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Gene:

    Your diagnostic skills are amazing. I replaced the gas valve coils and the dryer fired right up and is performing perfectly.

    I regret I didn’t have time to get a part from you, but will bookmark your site and will happily do business with you when the next need arises.

    You are a good man and I’m proud to know you.

    Steven

  • Gene // May 13, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Steven,

    I’m glad you were able to fix it.

    I’m always ready to help.
    Gene.

  • Scott // Jul 22, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    Gene,

    My dryer will go through a few cycles of the ignitor comming on and then a flame (roughly 10 to 15 min) before all I get is the glow of the ignitor. If I am reading the above advise correctly it sounds like the coils, is that correct?

    What I don’t understand is why they work for a few cycles then stop?

    Scott

  • Gene // Jul 23, 2008 at 1:17 am

    Hi Scott,

    You are absolutely right, the problem with your dryer are a bad coils. They work as long as they are cold.

    Replacing the coils should solve the problem. The part number for the gas valve coil kit is 279834.

    Thanks for stopping by. Please, keep me posted.
    Gene.

  • Scott // Jul 23, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Gene,

    That did the trick! At least I am assuming it did, I am now 1/2 hour into the cycle and it is still getting a flame!

    However another issue seems to have worsen. about 6 months after we got the dryer, we had to start proping my Workmate up against the door to keep it running. I was working at Sears at the time so I asked the repair guy and he said “There isn’t really anything that I can do, becuase the door opens down any type of pressure on it takes it out of alignment”. Well after doing this repair, I have had to re-prop a few times. It may be becuase the dryer is not back to it’s normal location so it may not be level, but was he correct? Can this issue not be fixed?

    Scott

  • Gene // Jul 23, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Scott,

    I’m glad to hear you are back in business.

    Regarding the door problem it could be a bad door latch or the door itself is bend and/or out of alignment. When you close the door, the door latch should make a clicking sound and the door should stay firmly closed.

    Gene.

  • Vinny // Oct 13, 2008 at 4:11 am

    Gene,
    I have replaced the igniter, flame sensor, and gas valve coils, and the dryer still does not heat. i am running out of ideas what do more can i do to fix my issue?

    Vinny

  • Gene // Oct 13, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Hi Vinny,

    Most likely the problem is a bad thermal fuse. For more accurate advise and part numbers I need the complete model number of the dryer.

    Thanks for stopping by.
    Gene.

  • Lauren // Sep 10, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Hello Gene,

    I read over your VERY helpful troubleshooting article on gas dryers not heating up after I had already taken in the thermal fuse and thermostat to be tested (they were fine). I wish I had found your article first, then I would have known that it was the coils that needed to be replaced. I was quite intimidated and had no idea what I was doing at first, but was brave enough to try to fix it with the help of your photos and step-by-step instructions. My dryer is in perfect working order now, heating up like it should. I’m a stay home mom with 3 kids, so I use the washer and dryer almost every day. Thanks again for your clear and understandable online help. I will be back anytime I have appliance issues, and I’m more knowledgable and confidant to tackle problems myself before calling for an expensive repair that I could do just as well. Best wishes to you.

  • Gene // Sep 14, 2009 at 1:06 am

    Thank you very much for your good words! I’m glad it helped you get back in business.

    Gene.

  • Tom DesEnfants // Mar 3, 2010 at 1:56 am

    Thanks,
    The website and your comments led me to replacing the gas coils and they work perfectly.

  • Gene // Mar 3, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    You are welcome Tom,

    I’m glad you were able to fix your dryer.

    Gene.

  • Chris // Apr 6, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Ok, my dryer is running again, the issue was a broken pin/connector from the radiant flame sensor, I just screw then again and now it´s workingm thanks for this page Gene, it really helped me to detecto the root cause.

    Kind Regards

    Chris

  • Gene // Apr 6, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    I’m glad you are back in business and the repair was that simple with no cost to you.

    Gene.

  • Larry // May 11, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Boy, am I glad that I found your site with all the answers to my dryer problems. The igniter would come on and the gas would light, but after a few moments the gas would quit lighting. The thermostat would make an awful noise while trying to do what it was designed for. But all the symptoms were adding up to a bad gas valve. I went ahead and replaced them and ran 2 loads of
    laundry with no more problems. Thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction to fix
    my dryer problem. Just as soon as I read where
    the dryer wasn’t heating intermittently, I knew that I had a bad gas valve. Thanks for being there for us do-it-yourselfer’s. Take care and thanks again, Larry

  • Gene // May 11, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    You are welcome Larry.

    I’m glad it helped you to fix your dryer. Thank you for your good words.

    Gene.

  • Brad Stribling // Aug 3, 2010 at 1:52 am

    Gene,
    Thanks for your postings, replaced my coils on my Whirlpool with the new part and everything is great.
    When removing the front panel on the unit with no kick panel (2 screw description), the door springs do not need to be removed. All else is well described. Thank you!

  • Gene // Aug 3, 2010 at 5:21 am

    You are welcome Brad.

    Thank you for the feed back and good luck with your dryer.

    Gene.

  • Eric // Sep 10, 2010 at 1:51 am

    Gene,

    I just wanted to report another success story with replacement coils. It has been said before, but it bears repeating: thank you! You have done a great service by posting this information.

  • Gene // Sep 10, 2010 at 3:20 am

    You are welcome Eric,

    I’m glad it helped you to fix your dryer.

    Thank you for the feed back and good luck with your dryer.

    Gene.

  • Ryk McCarty // Sep 14, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    While I never posted a question about my dryer problem (not heating) I quickly had an idea,based on other readers problems, and good solid advice from “Gene”,what my problem was and ordered my parts which arrived in within 2 days. My dryer is repaired and working and I would like to thank you for the confidence this “Gene” forum provides for the DIY. Ryk

  • John // Jul 25, 2013 at 8:38 am

    I hope someone still may be checking this post. I have a dryer and the ignitor is staying lit and never going out. But the gas is never being released to light the flame. I think it may be the flame sensor? Does this sound correct?

  • Gene // Jul 25, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Hello John.

    You are on the right track. The problem with your dryer is a bad flame sensor. Looks like the contacts inside got welded. If your dryer is made by Whirlpool then the part number for the flame sensor is 338906

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Gene.

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