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Why won't my dryer start?

Why won't my dryer start?

I've got a Kenmore Elite electric dryer, that just cut off on it's own last night, and won't cut back on. I've tried unplugging and plugging back in, and checked the breaker to see if it had tripped. Any ideas on what might be going on?


"Drive Belt

How it Works:

Every dryer has a belt, and if the belt breaks the dryer won't turn. The belt is usually a very long, slender belt that wraps all the way around the dryer drum, around a tension pulley, and then around the drive motor. Over time the belt will break from normal use. A quick way to see if the belt is broken is to reach into the dryer and try to spin the drum by hand. If it spins very easily the belt is probably broken. Some dryers have a belt switch on the idler pulley arm that will not let the dryer start if the belt is broken. When a dryer won't turn, this is the first part to check.

Drum Roller

How it Works:

If the dryer won't turn, and the belt is not broken, the next thing to check are the drum rollers. Every dryer has either 2 or 4 drum rollers. Over time these rollers wear out and can prevent the dryer from turning properly.

Drum Roller Axle

How it Works:

Over time the drum roller axles can wear out, causing the rollers to bind. If the dryer won't turn, check these axles to be certain they are not worn out. If the rollers spin freely without wobbling, the axles are still fine. If the roller wobbles, replace both the roller and the axle that is worn out.

Drum Bearing

How it Works:

The drum bearing supports the rear of the dryer drum. Over time this bearing will wear out and may cause several different problems. If the dryer won't turn during the cycle it may be that this drum bearing has worn out.

Drum Support Roller & Axle

How it Works:

This dryer has drum support rollers. There will always be two supporting the rear of the drum, and on some models there may be two supporting the front of the drum. The rollers must spin freely to work properly. If they are worn out or start binding the motor can get overloaded and the dryer won't turn. If the dryer stops mid-cycle, check to be sure the drum turns freely with the belt removed. If not, check the rollers. Do not lubricate the rollers or roller shaft, lubrication will attract lint and cause the roller bearings to wear out faster. If the rollers don't turn freely, replace them. The roller shaft can often be reused, unless it has worn down. Clean the shaft thoroughly before installing the new rollers.

Drum Support Bearing

How it Works:

The drum support bearing is at the rear of the drum. If the dryer won't turn check this bearing. If it is worn out, replace the entire bearing.

Drum Slide, Glide, or Pad

How it Works:

The drum slides or glides support the front of the drum. As the drum rotates over the years, the glides wear out and then the dryer won't turn. Replace all of the glides as a set if they are worn out.

Drive Motor

How it Works:

The motor should spin freely when the belt is disconnected. If it doesn't, check to be certain there isn't anything caught in the blower wheel. If the blower wheel is clear and the dryer still won't turn, the motor may be defective. All dryer motors have sealed bearings and can't be lubricated. Replace the motor if it doesn't turn freely."

"seabol4, it will help if you can give us the exact model number. these instructions are for the Kenmore Elite HE3 Dryer. Here is what the service manual says to try first. Check to see if you can get in the diagnostics mode

""The Diagnostic Tests will test and verify all of the inputs to the machine control electronics board. These tests are an overall check of the dryer electronics and the related components. The tests should be run prior to making any of the troubleshooting tests.


1. Make sure that the dryer is in the “Standby” mode (plugged in and all of the indicators are off).

2. Press the following control panel keypad sequence all within 5 seconds:

More Time—Less Time—More Time—Less Time.

3. All indicators on the console should nowbe illuminated with “88” showing in the “Estimated Time Remaining” display, if this test mode has been entered successfully."" Also, check to make sure that ribbon connectors P3 and P4 are inserted all the way into the machine control electronics board. The service manual also suggest that, if your unit should not power up, to:

"" 1. Check the 120 VAC electrical supply.

2. Check the wiring harness connections.

3. Check the control electronics.""

The attached image is the wiring diagram for the dryer. You can clearly see that the door switch and the thermal fuse are a definite possibility. If your door switch is not functioning, your drum light will not come on. Hope this helps, good luck."

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