Kenmore Dryer Not Heating? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

Chad Kilpatrick
by Chad Kilpatrick
Kenmore dryers are easy to count on, but no dryer can work properly if it won’t heat. Your Kenmore dryer may not heat properly if there is a bad fuse, defective timing motor, or worn heating element. Whether you need to replace the heating element or clean the dryer vent, let’s take a look at what you should do when your Kenmore dryer won’t heat.

When a dryer will not heat, our clothes and our routines suffer. We are going to show you how to troubleshoot the problem, and perform tests, that will help you figure out how to fix it.

A Kenmore dryer, that is not heating, may be fixed by replacing a faulty heating element, a bad fuse, or a thermostat that is not working correctly. If these quick fixes do not solve the problem, you may have a bad timer motor or something else that needs testing.

Appliances are things we count on, day to day, to help us maintain our routines. When something stops working, we must troubleshoot the problems, and test things, to find the solutions. If your Kenmore dryer is not heating, then we have put together this guide to help you figure out why. Take a deep breath, and put your thinking cap on. Chances are, you may be able to find an easy solution.

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Kenmore Dryer Troubleshooting

When you have a problem with something, you have to start by troubleshooting it. This may also require some testing. Kenmore dryers have some common problems, that you can start with first. By choosing the easiest problems first, you may be able to fix the dryer without having to replace any unnecessary parts, that could be hard to work on.

Common problems:

  • Heating element
  • Thermal fuse
  • Dryer vent
  • Thermostat

You should start with these first, however, if none of these is the problem, you may have to replace the timer motor. Or you could have another problem, like not enough power going to the dryer.

To test some of these problems, you will want to have a few tools on hand. Such as a screwdriver, some work gloves, and a multimeter. When working on appliances, it helps to have a complete set of tools handy. Always unplug your dryer, when you are testing for continuity, or working on any of the electrical components.

Do Kenmore Dryers Have a Reset Button?

Unfortunately, Kenmore dryers do not have a reset button. Reset buttons can be a quick fix, however, there is one more option that may help. You can locate the two breakers that the dryer is on, and reset them a couple of times, then try to run the dryer again.

If this does not fix the problem with the dryer not heating, then you will have to go down the list of common problems that we have provided, to find a solution. The best thing you can do, when troubleshooting, and testing, is to keep in mind that not everything is going to be a simple fix.

Incoming Power Problem

Sometimes, the problem could be, that there is not enough power going to the dryer. Your dryer needs 220 volts of electricity to heat. If your dryer is getting 120 volts, the motor will still run, but there will be no heat.

Next, you should make sure that there are no problems with the power cord. Inspect the cord to make sure there is no damage. You will also need to check your breaker box. There should be two breakers that power your dryer. Check to make sure that one of the breakers has not flipped. If you see that one has flipped, flip it back on, and try the dryer again.

Kenmore Dryer Heating Element

One of the most common issues, with a Kenmore dryer, not heating, is that the heating element could have gone bad. The heating element is the part of the dryer, that is responsible for warming the air before it enters the dryer.

To find out if your heating element is doing its job, you will need to test it. You can do this with your multimeter. Test the heating element with your multimeter to see if it is getting continuity. If you are not getting at least 15 ohms of resistance, then the heating element will need to be replaced.

If you have replaced the heating element, and your dryer is still not heating, then you will need to continue troubleshooting.

How Do I Know if my Thermal Fuse is Blown?

The next issue, on your Kenmore dryer, is the thermal fuse. The thermal fuse protects your dryer from overheating, and if it is blown, it will cause your dryer not to heat properly. The thermal fuse is located at the blower housing, or near the heating element.

Use your multimeter, to test if the thermal fuse is getting continuity, with a full electrical path. If the multimeter reads that the path is broken, then you have a blown fuse on your hands. You will need to change out the fuse, and test if the dryer is now heating.

If the fuse is blown, there is a chance that the dryer is not getting proper ventilation. You will need to check the vents, to make sure there are no blockages.

Check the Dryer Vent and Lint Screen

Not having the proper ventilation, can cause your dryer to not heat correctly. You will need to check for any blockages, within the vent. You can test this, by turning on your dryer, and then going outside where the vent exhaust is located, and check that heat is coming out of the vent.

If there is no heat, then there could be something blocking it. Many people forget, that you need to clean out the vents, now and then. A vent that is blocked, can be a fire hazard, so you should make a routine out of checking on it.

Your lint screen, being completely blocked by lint, could also cause the heat to not properly disperse. Check that the lint screen is not blocked. You should clean the lent screen out after every time you use your dryer. You can soak it in hot water with dish soap, and use a soft cleaning brush, to scrub it clean, if it is extra dirty.

Test the Thermostat

The thermostat regulates the temperature of the dryer, if the dryer overheats, the thermostat will shut off the heat. This can happen even if the dryer is not overheating when the thermostat goes bad. There are a few ways, to test if the thermostat is not working.

First, you will want to test the thermostat, with your multimeter. Check that there is continuity, and if there is not, then something is wrong. You will need to replace the thermostat at this point. Check your user’s manual for the correct part number.

Another way to test, that the problem is coming from the thermostat, is to unplug your dryer, and then remove the two wires from your thermostat. Join these two wires together with some electrical tape. Now with the thermostat bypassed, turn the dryer back on. If the dryer heats, then you know the thermostat is cutting off the heat, and it needs to be replaced.

The Timing Motor

If you have tried troubleshooting all of the above common issues, with no luck, you will arrive at the timing motor. This is perhaps, the hardest part to fix. You will want to use your multimeter, to test the timer, and timing motor, for continuity.

If there is no continuity, then you will either need to replace the entire motor assembly, or just the motor itself. You may want to contact a service professional at this point, so they can look at the motor for you. If they can replace the motor only, and not the full assembly, it may save you a few dollars, in the long run.

Tips for Working on Appliances

Working on appliances can be a pain, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools and mindset, you can be prepared for just about anything. Here are some tips, that we have put together, to help you work on your dryer, and other appliances.

Have access to a good set of tools. You will need a few small hand tools, and testing tools, to work on a dryer, or other electrical appliance. If you do not have any, consider buying or borrowing a socket set, a multimeter, and a good set of screwdrivers.

Not everything is going to be easy. You aren’t going to be able to fix everything, just by resetting the dryer or changing out a fuse. Be prepared to troubleshoot your dryer, thoroughly, and do the proper testing, to find the root of the issue.

Unplug the dryer when working on it. You will want to unplug the dryer, or any other electronic appliance when working on it. Safety should be the main concern when you are working with an electrical appliance. You will still be able to check for continuity, with the dryer unplugged.

Do be afraid to call in a professional. If you have done all of the troubleshooting, and testing that you can do. You may need to call a service professional. We have all faced a problem that we cannot solve, and by bringing in a professional, you can save time, and in some cases, money.

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Related Questions

Is it safe to run a dryer without a thermal fuse?

You should not operate a dryer, with a bypassed thermal fuse, unless you are doing it for only a few moments to test it. Running your dryer with no thermal fuse can be dangerous, and could damage other parts within the dryer.

Do all tumble dryers have a reset button?

Not all tumble dryers have a reset button. Most Kenmore dryer models, do not have a regular reset button. You will have to try other options, such as unplugging the dryer, and turning the breakers on and off, then plugging it back in.

Chad Kilpatrick
Chad Kilpatrick

I'm a writer that is passionate about home improvements, remodeling, and renovating. I enjoy learning new skills and techniques and sharing them with others.

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