You’ve done it by the book. You installed your Kenmore dryer correctly—used the right length exhaust vent, gave it plenty of ventilation, and cleaned out the lint filter.
Yet your clothes are still coming out sopping wet—or, more concerningly, scorching hot like the Mojave desert.
Maybe you’re worried about getting your clothes dry in time for a big event, or perhaps you’re concerned your dryer will catch fire when you’re not looking. Either way, thermostat resets are one of the first lines of defense against dryer heating issues.
Unfortunately, however, most Kenmore dryers lack a reset button or switch on the thermostat. This means you’ll need to turn to other methods, like replacing the dryer thermal fuse or dryer motor, to get yours to work again.
This post will share solutions to your common dryer issue of over- and underheating. It will also answer helpful questions about the Kenmore dryer’s reset button—or lack thereof—and what to do instead.
Kenmore Dryer Reset Button Location
The majority of tumble dryer models have a thermostat reset button or switch on the thermostat that you can press with your finger or flip using a pin.
However, it appears that most Kenmore dryers don’t come with a resettable thermostat. This means that you’ll have to turn to other fixes when it doesn’t heat properly.
Let’s go through this by model:
Where Is the Kenmore 80 Series Dryer Reset Button?
The Kenmore 80 Series dryer does not come with a reset button or switch.
How About the Kenmore 90 Series Dryer Reset Button?
Similarly, the 70 series, 90 series, and 100 series don’t come with a reset button either.
And the Kenmore 100, 500, or 700 Series Dryer Reset Button?
Unfortunately, these Kenmore dryers don’t have a resettable thermostat, either. You’ll have to inspect or replace other components in order to fix these machines.
Where Is the Kenmore Elite HE3 Dryer Reset Button?
You might think that a more advanced appliance would come with the luxury of a reset button.
Unfortunately, the Kenmore Elite HE2 and HE3 clothes dryers both come without a reset button or switch.
Kenmore Elite Dryer Not Heating: Reset Button Solution
Because the Elite series dryers don’t come with reset buttons or switches, you won’t be able to press or flip them to reset your dryer’s heating components like you could on most other dryers.
Instead, you’ll have to turn to the solutions listed below.
What Else Can You Do If Your Kenmore Dryer Is Overheating or Underheating?
Kenmore model dryers don’t have reset buttons or switches, and you probably still want a more straightforward solution than calling a repair technician.
For all you know, it could take weeks before they show up and cost hundreds of dollars when they do—and who wants to fork out that kind of cash if they can fix the problem themselves?
Luckily for you, there are several other components you can check on your own before calling in a professional.
Clean the Vents
You’ve likely already emptied the lint filter. But have you checked the exhaust and other vents?
If not—and you have a vented gas dryer—your vents could be obstructed by dirt, lint, and other debris. Because your dryer relies on airflow to manage the heat in your dryer drum, blocked ducts can create a disaster.
Not enough air into or out of the dryer drum can cause both underheating and overheating. Fortunately, cleaning out vents is a pretty simple fix. Just unplug the dryer and take a look inside. Pull out and throw away any debris you find.
Check the Gas Valve
In a gas dryer, the ignitor relies on a steady supply of gas in order to generate the heat that other components use to heat the dryer drum.
If your gas valve doesn’t let enough gas into the ignition assembly, your Kenmore dryer won’t be able to generate enough heat.
Inspect the gas valve and test the coils for electrical continuity. Misshapen or noncontinuous valves need to be replaced.
Test and Inspect the Dryer Heating Element
The heating element transfers heat generated by the gas and ignitor to your dryer drum using coils.
A couple of different problems can occur with the heating element: First, the component may deform. This misshaping can either press the heating coils too closely into the drum (causing overheating) or push them too far away from the drum to heat it up (underheating).
Second, the coils or other parts within the heating element itself can short out or break, leaving it unable to transfer any heat to the dryer drum. With insufficient heat, your clothes can’t dry effectively.
You can visually inspect the heating element to verify that it’s still in the correct shape. Assuming it is, you should then use a multimeter to test it for continuity. If there’s insufficient continuity, you’ll need to replace the part.
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How’s the Moisture Sensor?
How does your electric dryer know when your clothes are dry? Answer: the moisture sensor, a component that measures the amount of moisture left in the dryer drum.
Sometimes, however, this component over- or undercalculates the amount of moisture remaining. If it overestimates, your dryer may get excessively hot from trying to eliminate moisture that isn’t there—if it underestimates, your clothes may come out soppy.
Be sure to inspect this sensor using a multimeter and replace it if it’s faulty. You can find the moisture sensor in your Kenmore dryer underneath the lint filter casing. The sensor will look like a curved, white plastic piece with two curved metal bars inside it.
While your Kenmore electric dryer may not have a convenient reset switch or button to use when it over- or underheats your laundry, you can still try some other fixes to get it in working order.
Namely, you can try cleaning out any dryer vent tubes and testing or replacing the moisture sensor, heating element, and/or gas valve. A screwdriver and multimeter will come in handy for this. Make sure to pull the power cord from the power source before performing any fixes.
If you still can’t seem to get your Kenmore dryer to work correctly despite taking all these steps, it’s time to call in a licensed professional.