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Whirlpool Dryer Won't Start

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My best friend's parents' Whirlpool dryer will not start. His mother simply placed a load in it and tried to

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-26-2009, 06:34 AM
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Question Whirlpool Dryer Won't Start
Model Number: LER5644EQ1   Brand: Whirlpool   Age: More than 10 years   

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My best friend's parents' Whirlpool dryer will not start. His mother simply placed a load in it and tried to start it, and it did nothing. They say 240V is properly coming to it. Also the timer still updates properly when put on a "Timed Cycle". And the door switch still clicks properly when pressed. Interestingly, I had them perform the "annoying buzzer" test and it didn't sound.

What is the "annoying buzzer" test? If you leave the timer after the end of a cycle (and forget to reposition it to a new cycle), then hit "Push to start", the buzzer will normally sound and scare the crap out of me. Well, hers used to do this as well -- but now it does not. This led me to believe the Push-to-Start button is the culprit.

But after reading a bit in this forum, I'm wondering if it could be the thermal fuse? Could the thermal fuse actually cause the dryer to not start AND keep the buzzer from sounding when the timer is placed after the end of a cycle and the "Push to Start" button pressed?

Of course, I have to speculate now because they live way out in the boonies 3 hours away, and I want to have the parts necessary to fix it BEFORE getting all the way out there -- but I also don't want to buy more than needed since most places won't let you return unused parts.

TIA!
-Tré


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Last edited by AboveTheBULL : 09-26-2009 at 06:39 AM.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09-26-2009, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AboveTheBULL View Post
My best friend's parents' Whirlpool dryer will not start. His mother simply placed a load in it and tried to start it, and it did nothing. They say 240V is properly coming to it.
And they say this based on what? Did they do a voltage check
at the dryer?

Quote:
Also the timer still updates properly when put on a "Timed Cycle". And the door switch still clicks properly when pressed. Interestingly, I had them perform the "annoying buzzer" test and it didn't sound.

What is the "annoying buzzer" test? If you leave the timer after the end of a cycle (and forget to reposition it to a new cycle), then hit "Push to start", the buzzer will normally sound and scare the crap out of me. Well, hers used to do this as well -- but now it does not. This led me to believe the Push-to-Start button is the culprit.

But after reading a bit in this forum, I'm wondering if it could be the thermal fuse? Could the thermal fuse actually cause the dryer to not start AND keep the buzzer from sounding when the timer is placed after the end of a cycle and the "Push to Start" button pressed?

Of course, I have to speculate now because they live way out in the boonies 3 hours away, and I want to have the parts necessary to fix it BEFORE getting all the way out there -- but I also don't want to buy more than needed since most places won't let you return unused parts.

TIA!
-Tré
So would a service tech.
But you need keep in mind that even a service man
would not necessarily have every part on hand that could cause
the trouble this person is having. Most only keep some of the
faster moving parts on hand. There are a whole slew of things
that could keep the dryer from running at all, but you are certainly
not going to want to spend the money to have all of those items
with you. The answer to your earlier question is "yes" the thermofuse
could very well be bad. However if so, there is a reason it went out.
They don't simply go out on their own. The reason could be anything
from excess lint to restrictive venting or a bad thermostat.
Given the distance I would check to see if there is a place in that
area who sells appliance parts. If not I would recommend referring them to
a service man who would carry many of the fast moving parts with
him in stock.
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Old 09-26-2009, 09:36 AM
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Default

Thank you for your response, Glen!

Quote:
Originally Posted by glen65 View Post
And they say this based on what? Did they do a voltage check at the dryer?
Yes, they had a friend with a multimeter check the voltage at the outlet. Of course, when I make it out there, I will check as well, but for now I'll trust their findings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glen65 View Post
So would a service tech.
But you need keep in mind that even a service man
would not necessarily have every part on hand that could cause
the trouble this person is having. Most only keep some of the
faster moving parts on hand. There are a whole slew of things
that could keep the dryer from running at all, but you are certainly
not going to want to spend the money to have all of those items
with you. The answer to your earlier question is "yes" the thermofuse
could very well be bad. However if so, there is a reason it went out.
They don't simply go out on their own. The reason could be anything
from excess lint to restrictive venting or a bad thermostat.
Given the distance I would check to see if there is a place in that
area who sells appliance parts. If not I would recommend referring them to
a service man who would carry many of the fast moving parts with
him in stock.
An area service man is entirely out of the question. Times are just too hard, and they cannot afford that on their fixed income. In fact, I only found out about the dryer failing because I called one day and heard all this noise in the telephone. When I asked what it was, I was devastated to find that she was hanging their clothes up on a clothes line outside and had given up on the dryer altogether.

Since I do all the work on my own appliances and vehicles, and service home/auto HVAC systems in my free time (certified), I figured I'd get it running for them and would also clean their lint exhaust lines of any obstructions. Plus, it's been raining all week, so the clothes line idea just is too sad. At any rate, I just wanted insight from you awesome professionals because I have no wiring diagrams or service manuals to reference.

So given the information I provided, could the thermal fuse blow on the Whirlpool LER5644EQ1 dryer and still allow power to reach the timer BUT somehow cause the buzzer not to sound when the timer's placed at the end of a cycle and the start button pressed? I was under the impression that the thermal fuse only cuts off power to the heating element since most motors have their own circuit breaker that would prevent overheating. I further am guessing that the "Push-to-start" relay is the only thing that would prevent starting -and- keep the buzzer from buzzing when the "Push-to-start" button is pressed with timer at end of cycle.

Again, these are all just educated guesses, so if anyone has a wiring diagram for this model, I'd really appreciate it. Or even if you could just look at it and tell me what all is protected by the thermal fuse circuit, particularly the push-to-start switch/relay and buzzer. Also, does anyone have a PDF of the service manual?

TIA again!
-Tré
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:30 AM
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Here is the schematic for the dryer. It includes both gas and electric
versions.
http://www.servicematters.com/docs/w...%203406692.pdf

I cant really tell you what all you are going to need to take with you
other than from the standpoint of one of the more common items to cause this.
The thermofuse is in series with the common wire (or 4M) on the motor.
If the thermofuse is bad the most common cause is bad air flow.
If this thermofuse is bad its not a bad idea to replace it and the 150 degree
operating stat as a pair. This is provided nothing else is bad. You need to
check and make sure the element is ok and is not shorted to ground.
Check "all" of the venting, if its plastic flex vent then get rid of it and install
aluminum. Also check the outside hood to make sure its opening properly,
many dryer vent kits include both.
You will also need to check for lint in the dryer itself. The worst place
is the bulkhead assembly that the lint filter slides into. It extends to the
bottom of the dyer and over top of the blower fan. You will most likely
have to take this loose and give it a good cleaning on the inside all the
way to the bottom where it covers the blower. Next make sure to clean
the filter screen itself. Take a brush with soap and water and give it a cleaning.

Last edited by glen65 : 09-26-2009 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:02 AM
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Thumbs up

OMG, I completely apologize for not returning with the results. I can't believe I actually did that! Sorry!

The problem ended up being the themofuse. In fact, she had pulled the dryer out from the wall to clean behind it, then she pushed it back too far, cutting off the exhaust passage. This overheated the dryer and caused the thermofuse to blow.

I ended up replacing the thermofuse and the thermostat, then cleaned out the exhaust lines. I also placed two bricks behind the dryer to act as spacers and ensure that she doesn't cut off the exhaust again.

At any rate, thank you for your help!
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