Proper Operation
Learn how your appliance is supposed to operate so you can determine if it is malfunctioning.

This page contains affiliate links. For more information visit our
FTC disclosure page.

  • Visit our sponsor for parts:

Sears and Whirlpool Electric Dryer

Whirlpool manufactures most Sears Kenmore dryers. Those product's model number will start with 110... The only difference between the Sears and Whirlpool dryers is the control console configuration and markings and some features.

Problem Diagnostics

Check Mark

Will Not Heat

  • The fault may not lie with your dryer; check the power outlet.
  • There may be a problem with the main terminal block.
  • The heater element coil may have broken and need to be replaced.
  • The operating or high limit thermostats may have burned open.
  • The timer contact for the heater circuit may be damaged.
  • The motor switch's heater circuit contacts may be defective.
Check Mark

Nothing Happens

You have set the cycle and other control selections and engaged the start button but nothing happens.

  • Make sure you have completely closed the door. Locate the door switch actuator lever in the upper right hand corner of the door opening. If it does not click, you may have to replace the door switch.
  • One circuit in the circuit breaker for the wall power outlet may have tripped.
  • Did it smell like something was burning and when you checked the dryer plug, one of the metal prongs was charred.
  • There is a thermal fuse in the rear of the dryer that may have opened up.
  • The start switch may have failed.
  • The drive motor thermal protector may have tripped. If the motor doesn't run correctly after it has cooled off, it may have to be replaced.
  • The broken belt switch (if so equipped) may be defective or the belt broken.
Check Mark

Dryer Stops Running Before Timer Advanced to OFF

Check Mark

Dryer Never Stops

  • If the dryer never stops and the timer advances past the off position to the next cycle, the start switch may have shorted contacts.
Check Mark

Dryer Runs as Soon as Timer is Set

  • If the dryer starts running as soon as the timer is set and the door is closed, the push to start switch may have shorted contacts.
Check Mark

Dryer Only Runs While Start Button is Pressed

  • The motor switch may be malfunctioning.
  • The broken belt switch (if so equipped) may be defective or the belt broken.
  • The Even Heat control system (if so equipped) may be malfunctioning.
Check Mark

Dryer Makes Unusual Sounds

  • If you hear a loud rumble from the rear of the dryer, you may have to replace the drum rollers.
  • High pitch squeaks and squealing may be caused by a failing idler pulley
  • A loud whine from the rear may be caused by something stuck in the blower fan.
  • A clinking and clacking from inside the drum is usually caused by coins in the drum baffles.
Check Mark

Hot Inside but Dries Slow

  • Check for blockage in the dryer vent hose.
  • Make sure the lint filter is clean.
  • If the drum is not turning, the belt may be broken.
Check Mark

Gets too Hot

  • Check the high limit and the operating thermostats.
  • If the lint filter is not completely seated, cool outside air will enter via the lint filter chute and cause the operating thermostats to demand more heat.
  • If the cabinet gets hotter than normal but clothes are still not drying, check the dryer venting all the way from the dryer to the outdoors.
Check Mark

Won't Turn Off in the Auto Dry Cycle

  • Dryers need heat to complete auto cycles. Go back to the "Will Not Heat" section to look for the cause.
  • If the operating thermostat fails open, the auto cycle won't complete. Check the operating thermostats.
  • Check the power resister for being open.
  • If your dryer is out in the garage and it's freezing cold out there, your dryer may not finish an auto cycle.