Counting on the sun and pinning our clothes to a line outside has been the traditional way of drying wet clothing. This old-school style of drying may be financially costless, but is undoubtedly time-consuming. This natural method also makes housework a bit more unpredictable, since we surely can’t command sunny days to come by with just our fingers!
Whirlpool has become one of the most established names when it comes to electronic machines. However, while this brand has proven itself reliable in delivering durable electronics, some of its products can break over time.
Your Whirlpool dryer may stop heating up because of a broken heating element, blown thermal fuse, faulty thermostat, lint obstructions, or electrical failures in the circuit board.
Your time matters, especially nowadays in such a fast-paced world. Fortunately, there are ways you can save yourself time, cash, and stress by troubleshooting your own appliances at home.
If the Whirlpool duet dryers are as sturdy as their reputation claims, then what can explain them not performing their main function: heating? Inevitable wear and tear plague any appliance brand, and an appliance’s lifespan can also be affected by how they are treated.
There are a few mechanical culprits to consider and observe if your Whirlpool dryer won’t heat up. This comprehensive list is proof that no piece is too small not to be investigated.
To add a nice touch, we’ve also included how you can fix them. Yes, you!
Reasons for a Cold Whirlpool Duet Dryer
1. The Heating Element
Electric dryers are generally equipped with a heating element responsible for warming the air inside the drum. In a gas dryer, the heating element’s counterpart is the gas burner assembly.
Unfortunately, like every other component in a machine, the heating element may wear out or experience damage from power surges. A busted heating element will not heat up the air in the dryer, leaving your clothes damp at the end of a cycle. You’ll know that it’s time to replace a heating element when it has damaged or broken metal coils.
No Warmth? No Worries!
These unfortunate instances completely defeat the purpose of owning a dryer. Economically, it’s recommended to remedy this problem rather than purchasing a new appliance altogether. Before beginning, though, unplug your machine so as to prevent electrocution and other injuries.
The heating element is located at the dryer’s back panel or behind the drum. Remove the heating element from its housing. Bring out your multimeter to test the heating element and its continuity.
For the Whirlpool dryer to warm up, the electric path of the component should not face any interruptions. If the multimeter test shows no continuity to the heating element, it’s time to replace it.
You may also inspect the heating element for burned-out coils or any detached wires. The presence of damaged coils is a clear indication that the heating element needs to be replaced.
Here’s a video you can play as a guide while you troubleshoot your Whirlpool duet dryer.
2. The Thermal Fuse
This seemingly minor component plays a significant job when it comes to safety. What we see as simple and small (compared to the big appliance it is in) actually keeps the dryer from getting too hot and setting clothes on fire. By sending a signal to the control board, the thermal fuse can regulate the temperature inside the drum to prevent overheating.
Understandably, a damaged thermal fuse will not heat your Whirlpool duet dryer, as the dryer won’t be able to heat up without the go-ahead from the thermal fuse. So how do you fix it?
Fixing the fuse
A defective fuse will show no continuity under a multimeter test – no continuity means it’s time to replace the fuse. The process of replacing it can be done independently, but never hesitate to call a professional for expert service.
Thermal fuses in some dryer models can be found in the heating element, while others are located in the blower housing. First and foremost, assess the user manual to know where the thermal fuse is located.
If located in the blower housing, unplug the machine from its power source and access blower housing by unfastening the screws from the panel covering it. Then unscrew the fuse from its position and replace it with a new thermal fuse. Finally, piece back together everything you removed or disconnected, such as wires or screws, and close out the back panel as well.
Now for the test! Check on the newly installed fuse by using your trusty multimeter and ensure that it has continuity. If the thermal fuse is indeed causing the inconvenience, a replaced fuse will now heat your dryer.
3. The Thermostat(s)
Another small part with a big responsibility, the thermostat, is found near the thermal fuse. Often, a dryer has two types of thermostats: the high-limit thermostat and the cycling thermostat. Both of these may play a substantial role when it comes to a dryer not heating.
The high-limit thermostat hinders electrical flow from reaching the heating element once the dryer reaches a high temperature. To illustrate its importance, a busted high-limit thermostat that’s open for too long will cause the heating element to emit heat that rises to alarming levels, which is a fire hazard.
The cycling thermostat manages the heating element (or the gas burner assembly for a gas dryer) and switches it off as a maintenance mechanism for safety purposes. This way, the cycling thermostat gets to stabilize the temperature inside the drum. A defective cycling thermostat would cause cold air to be released instead of heated air as a safety precaution.
If either of these thermostats malfunction, it would be impossible for your dryer to heat up. In this case, it’s time to replace the thermostat(s) at fault.
Two For Two?
A sure and recommended way to troubleshoot damaged thermostats is to have them both replaced at the same time. Before anything else, unplug the dryer from its outlet. Then remove the panels to access these thermostats.
For the High-Limit Thermostat
Disconnect the wires from the heating element terminals and the terminals connected to the high-limit thermostat. Remove the busted thermostat and install the new one bought to replace it. Secure the wires properly so that the newly purchased parts will be kept in good condition. Lastly, put the panel back to its original place. To test whether the high-limit thermostat is replaced correctly, use the multimeter to test for continuity.
For the Cycling Thermostat
Unplug the dryer. Remove the wires connected to it and pull out the thermostat. Screw in the new cycling thermostat to replace the one that was previously malfunctioning. Reattach the wires onto the new thermostat and install the panel back to position. Test the new thermostat’s continuity through your multimeter.
4. The Power and the Circuit Breaker
Perhaps the Whirlpool duet is not the issue! If you see it turning but not heating, it’s also likely that the problem could lie outside of the appliance itself. An electric dryer requires two circuit breakers, seen clipped together, to function fully. On the other hand, gas dryers need only one circuit breaker to turn the heat on.
So if you find your electric dryer turning but the clothes inside the drum remain wet due to faulty heating, one of the two fuses may be broken. To supply the gas dryer, it only asks for one thing, and you guessed that right: gas!
Electricity and a Generous Gas Supply
Search the dryer’s power source to ensure that the power cord is plugged in all the way. Next, see if the two circuit breakers needed by the dryer to function are switched on.
If you own a gas dryer, the appliance won’t heat up without turning on the gas. Check the gas supply to the dryer by examining where gas enters the dryer, leaves your home, and gets switched on and off.
Electric difficulties can be fixed quite quickly and with little stress by resetting the circuit breaker. In fact, check on this first before diving into more complicated parts of the machine. If the problem persists and the breaker continues to trip, then you might have to call on a service technician to work on its repair.
5. The Lint Screen
Much like everything in our homes, the dryer also needs some deep cleaning once in a while. As mundane as it might sound, the simple task of clearing out the lint trap can do a lot in appliance repair. As the name suggests, this screen traps all the junk that has entered the drum. Unfortunately, the constant use of a dryer without cleaning it can create a pile debris that gets in the way of airflow into the drum. Clothes will consequently tumble, but not dry out.
Limit the Lint
To address the lint buildup, remove the excessive lint from the screen by soaking it with hot water and dishwashing soap. You can even use an old toothbrush to help you remove extra dirt and debris from the screen. Finally, regularly maintain your Whirlpool duet dryer and keep it in a clean state to avoid experiencing this issue again. By far, the easiest one!
6. The Vent
Speaking of clean conditions, vents need some cleaning, too. Of course, there will be debris here and there; however, too much debris in the vents can limit airflow just as it does in the lint screen. Without a clear path for decent airflow to push through, clothes cannot dry. In addition, a blocked vent can affect the thermal fuse and cause further damage.
Prevent the Vent from Clogging Up
To sustain a good working dryer, try to clean out the vent pipes at least once a year. Inspect its conditions and watch out for wear and tear.
7. The Timer
As expected, a faulty timer will interfere with the dryer’s functioning. When the timer malfunctions, the cycle will not receive the signal to advance to the next stage. This can cause the heater to keep running until it becomes excessively hot – or, conversely, it can cause no heat to be released at all.
In this situation, your dryer will continue spinning, waiting for the signal to switch to the next cycle, which never arrives. Test the wires to and from the timer with your multimeter, and if it shows no continuity, then the timer motor is defective and should undergo some replacing.
An Error in Timers
How do we repair a broken timer? First, as usual, disconnect the power cord from its outlet. Then, remove the knob and open the panel to access the timer.
If your dryer has a dial timer, a damaged push-to-start switch can prevent the machine from operating correctly. Check for continuity through a multimeter.
If the cables connecting the switch and the motor do not have continuity, remove the push-to-start switch and place a new one. Make sure that the replacement corresponds to your machine’s model number. Have the timer checked by a service professional if you don’t have the wiring diagram or if this task seems too difficult to complete on your own.
8. The Control Board
The control board manages all the components of a Whirlpool dryer, including the heating components like the heating element, thermostats, and thermal fuse. Of course, an unresponsive control board will cause a glitch in one component and interfere with the performance of the entire dryer.
Access the control board through the main control panel. Examine the control board and be on the lookout for areas that have burned out or other shorted-out sections. If the circuit board is faulty, it’s preferable to leave the repair to a service technician for reliable appliance repair.
9. The Gas Valve Coils
In a standard gas dryer, the gas is allowed to enter the dryer through the valve. This valve is directed to open by an electrical coil, which guarantees that the gas will reach the dryer at the appropriate time. Unfortunately, one or more coils that burnt out will not open the gas valve; a sure sign that this has contributed to why your Whirlpool duet dryer is not heating.
Only good valve coils allowed
To test whether this needs to undergo some replacing, remove the coil(s) from the gas valve and test them with a multimeter; if you receive a resistance rating of 1000-2000 ohms on the meter, remove the coil and replace it.
Don’t Waste a Whirlpool!
It must be disappointing to load clothes in the dryer only to find them still damp after the cycle. However, it would be a waste to throw your machine away when you can attempt to go for your own appliance repair and fix the mishap. Assure yourself that a malfunctioning piece doesn’t mean it’s irreparable. Most of these solutions are something you yourself can do, so keep your head up and your wallet happy!