Whirlpool Dryer Won't Start But Has Power? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

Chad Kilpatrick
by Chad Kilpatrick
Whirlpool dryers are easy to depend on, but they can still run into operational errors. It is common for Whirlpool dryers to fail to run despite having power if there is a blown thermal fuse. Whether it be the start switch or belt switch, let’s take a look at what you should do when your Whirlpool dryer won’t run even when it has power.

We rely on our appliances, to help us get through the day. Sometimes though, they break down, and that can be extremely frustrating. We know that feeling all too well, so, we are going to show you some solutions, for when your Whirlpool dryer won’t start but has power.

When a Whirlpool dryer won’t start but has power, the cause is usually the thermal fuse, the start switch, the door switch, or the belt switch. If none of these are the issues, it could be something more serious, such as the drive motor.

When your clothes are wet, and you’re in a hurry, having your dryer work properly, is an important part of your routine. Whirlpool dryers have a few common issues, that we are going to explain, as well as give some of the solutions.

Most of the problems are easy to fix, however, you may run into an issue that will take extra troubleshooting, testing, and work.

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Troubleshooting A Whirlpool Dryer

You will need to start, by troubleshooting your Whirlpool dryer. When troubleshooting, you should always start with the easiest and most common problems, and work your way down to the advanced problems.

By starting with the easiest problems first, you avoid replacing expensive parts, that may not have been the issue. This method of troubleshooting works for any kind of appliance and can save a ton of time and money.

You will also need some basic tools to help you change out parts, test problems, and find the solutions. You will need to have a screwdriver set, a socket set, and a multimeter for testing electronic parts. When working on the dryer, or testing parts, make sure that the dryer is unplugged.

Common Problems

We’ve put together a list of common problems, with a Whirlpool dryer, that could be causing your dryer not to turn on, even if it has power. When troubleshooting, start with the top of this list and work your way down.

  • Reset button
  • The start switch
  • The door switch
  • Belt switch
  • Blown thermal fuse
  • The drive motor

When troubleshooting common problems, I like to write them down in a notebook, as a checklist, and check each one off as I go. This helps you to be more thorough, so you can make sure you didn’t miss anything.

Does a Whirlpool Dryer Have a Reset Button?

Whirlpool dryers do not have a reset button, however, there is still a way to reset it. When it comes to technology, Whirlpool has a lot of bells and whistles. There are a set of codes, that the machine will show, that could be potential problems. These error codes may call for you to reset the machine.

PF error code. This code will show if your machine has had a power failure. This can happen for several reasons and will require you to reset the machine.

AF error code. The AF error code will show up if there is an airflow problem. This could cause your machine to not dry your clothes. You can clear this code by pressing any part of the keypad.

L2 error code. This code will show if there is a problem with the power supply. To clear this code you will need to do a reset with the instructions below.

Since there is no button to reset these machines, you will have to manually reset it by unplugging the dryer. Wait 10 minutes and plug it back in. This should reset the machine, if the codes still come up, and it is still not working correctly, you will need to do more troubleshooting.

Check the Start Switch

The first easy fix on the list is the start switch. If the start switch is faulty, it will cause the dryer to not run, even if it is getting power. To test this, you will need to press the start switch. If there is a humming sound, but the dryer does not start, then the switch is not bad.

If you press the button and hear nothing, and there is no movement in the dryer, then there is a chance that the switch has gone bad. You can then test the switch with your multimeter. If you find that it does not have continuity, then you will need to replace the start switch.

Whirlpool Dryer Door Switch

Every Whirlpool dryer has a door switch. The door switch will keep the dryer from starting, if the switch is bad, or if something is keeping it from closing. You should be able to hear, or physically feel a click with your hands, if the door has properly closed.

On some machines, the click will happen after you close the door. This will then allow the machine to start. If you close the door, and you hear the clicking noise when you hit the start button, then it is most likely not the door switch.

If you do not hear the clicking sound activate, then you will need to test the door switch for continuity, with your multimeter. If you are not getting continuity, then you will need to replace this part. You can find the part number in the user’s manual.

The Belt Switch

Every dryer has a belt that makes the dryer tumble. If this belt breaks, the machine will still have power, but it will not work properly. On most Whirlpool dryers, the belt has a switch, that will cut the power if something is wrong with the belt.

However, if the switch itself is bad, then it will also cut the power to the machine, whether or not the belt is broken. You will need to look in the user’s manual, for your Whirlpool dryer, to find out if your particular machine has a belt switch.

If you find that your machine does have a belt switch, you will need to test the switch for continuity. If you find that there is no continuity on your switch, you will need to replace the belt switch.

How Do I Know if the Thermal Fuse is Blown?

The thermal fuse is a device that is used to shut the dryer off if it is overheating. This is a safety precaution. However, if the thermal fuse is blown, the machine will not work, even if it is not overheating. You can locate the thermal fuse, at the heating source. This will be either at the blower housing or near the heating element.

To know if the fuse is blown, you will need to test the fuse with your multimeter. The fuse should have closed continuity. This means it will have a continuous electrical path. If there is not a continuous electrical path, then the fuse has blown.

When these fuses blow, it usually from air restriction. You should check the air vents, to make sure that nothing is blocking them. Lent will get stuck in this vent and can become a fire hazard.

The Drive Motor

The last thing on our list is the drive motor. This problem is more advanced and will require you to replace one or more parts. The drive motor turns the belt, that tumbles your machine. If this motor goes out, your dryer will not work, even though it has power to it.

First, remove the belt to make sure nothing is obstructing the belt. The motor should make a humming noise. If you have concluded that there are no problems with the belt, and you do not hear the humming noise, then there is a chance the motor is defective.

You will most likely have to replace the drive motor, and in some cases, the entire housing assembly as well. If you are unsure of which parts need to be replaced, you may need to get assistance from a service professional.

Tips for Working on Appliances

Working on appliances can be a pain, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips that should help you, when working on your Whirlpool dryer.

Always unplug the machine. If you are testing parts or replacing a part, always make sure you have unplugged the machine. You will still be able to check parts for continuity, even if the machine is unplugged. Safety should always be your first concern.

Have patience when you are troubleshooting. If you let your frustration get to you, you may give up before you have found the actual problem. Have patience and work through the list, eventually, you will find the solution.

Don’t be afraid to call in a professional. You may not be able to find the problem with your machine. Or you may not be able to replace the part if you are not good at working on appliances. Don’t hesitate to call in service professional, to save you from having to buy a new machine.

In most cases, if your dryer is new (within 5 years) it is cheaper to have your dryer fixed, instead of buying a new one.

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Related Questions

What causes a thermal fuse to fail?

The thermal fuse will fail if something is blocking the air vent. You should locate the exhaust vent to your dryer, and make sure you feel the heat coming out of it. If there is no air or heated air, then there is something obstructing the vent.

Where is the fuse on a Whirlpool dryer?

The thermal fuse is located near the blower housing, or near the heating element. If your Whirlpool dryer is gas-powered, the fuse will be located near the gas source. You will need to check your user’s manual for any other types of fuses.

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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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