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Electric Dryer troubleshooting - I'm stumped

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[OP]
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Oct 24, 2008
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Electric Dryer troubleshooting - I'm stumped

Our house has a whirlpool washer and dryer unit, I'm assuming these are probably around 15 or so years old now.

Yesterday our dryer stopped working. When the start button was pushed, nothing would happen.. but it wasnt long before I could smell something. I looked at the back and could see all the coils were on so I immediately unplugged the dryer.

I tried googling the issue without much luck. Most common fix seems to be a belt, but I couldnt hear anything when the dryer was turned on (im assuming I'd hear a motor). Also when I tried turning the drum by hand there seemed to be some resistance (I read this was a quick way to check the belt), which hints to me that the belt is still connected to the motor - I'm going to try pulling the top off later to confirm.

Anything else I should check? I'm a noob when it comes to appliances. I don't really want to call someone in as it appears dryers are pretty affordable brand new, vs spending a couple hundred on someone fixing our old one. If the motor is cooked then would it still allow the coils to heat up? That seems like a bit of a hazard...

model YLEQ5000KQ1
29 replies
Deal Fanatic
May 1, 2012
9870 posts
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Markham
Motor or belt or both are shot, basically the drive is shot somewhere. If you call a guy they'll charge you a diagnostic fee ($50) then whatever repairs he may do. It's not uncommon to be out $250 - $500, depending on part. If it's the drive, replacing that is not gonna be smart.

Protip, it's already old and at 15 years you had a great run. Just get a new one.
Sr. Member
Mar 19, 2013
696 posts
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Prince Albert, Sask.
I agree with Anikiri. 15 years out of a dryer is awesome. I been down this road, you could be in for world of hurt to try and fix it, your wallet. At times you have to let go and move on. It has served you well.
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Oct 24, 2008
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Unfortunately it didn't serve me well, just the previous owners :) we've only been in the house about a year.
The washer was acting up a bit so we assumed the day would come soon where we'd replace both.. but I guess the dryer decided to kick the bucket first.

I'll pull the lid off tonight and see if I can see anything easy (like the belt) out of place. otherwise I guess its time to start shopping.
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Feb 29, 2012
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Richmond
When you push the start button, you should hear a loud hum. Pushing the start button sends power to the start coils of the motor. They operate at high current to provide the torque to get the drum turning against the starting resistance. The high current generates a high magnetic field, causing a loud 60 Hz hum. But that much current heats the motor coils up quickly, and they would overheat and start smoking and melting after about 10 seconds if they stayed on. What's supposed to happen is that the drum starts turning, and as soon as the motor reaches operating speed, a centrifugal switch operates that turns on the lower-current run coils and latches the relay in place. You can then let go of the start switch and the motor will keep on running.

If you press the start switch, and you don't hear a hum, then you have an electrical fault in the switch or the start circuit that is failing to send current to the start coils. Get a multimeter and check the switch and the start relay. If you do hear the hum, but the motor doesn't start turning, the resistance is too high, and the motor/drum need cleaning. If you hear a whirring noise, the motor is turning, but the drum drive belt has broken.

The dryer should be designed so that the heater coils operate with the run relay. In other words, you won't get any current to the heater coils until the motor is running, and if you stop the motor the current to the heater coils should shut off immediately. Otherwise with no airflow they would overheat if you opened the door and took your time about adding/removing clothes.
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May 17, 2012
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definately not worth fixing. replace with new or you can find used electric dryers for cheap online. no such thing as high efficiency in dryers they all chew up about the same amount of hydro. spend the cash on a new washing machine if you must.
[OP]
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Oct 24, 2008
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Thanks for the input. Checking out washer/dryer combos now and seeing what deals are out there.
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bpcrally wrote: Thanks for the input. Checking out washer/dryer combos now and seeing what deals are out there.
Measure the current units and the space you have - if that would be an issue. Particularly the depth. It is with us.
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Dec 26, 2005
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bpcrally wrote: Thanks for the input. Checking out washer/dryer combos now and seeing what deals are out there.
Sorry, can't help much with the technical side of the repair but many of us got the best deals price matching HD/Lowe's against http://www.canadianappliance.ca

Good luck.

bjl
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[OP]
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Thanks for the tips.. I've been looking online and also looked at a couple in stores. I noticed some stores will have the floor units on clearance as well.
Hopefully tomorrow will bring some new sales:)
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t3359 wrote: Sorry, can't help much with the technical side of the repair but many of us got the best deals price matching HD/Lowe's against http://www.canadianappliance.ca

Good luck.

bjl
I noticed that Canada Appliance has a lot of "rebate" offers in addition to their fairly aggressive prices.. do you know if HD/Lowes will price match including the "rebate" mail ins?

EDIT: I just called HD and asked them about price matching an identical set at Canadian Appliance Source.. They said they do not price match them..
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bpcrally wrote: I noticed that Canada Appliance has a lot of "rebate" offers in addition to their fairly aggressive prices.. do you know if HD/Lowes will price match including the "rebate" mail ins?

EDIT: I just called HD and asked them about price matching an identical set at Canadian Appliance Source.. They said they do not price match them..
Probably depends on the customer service rep. I did this over the Christmas holidays both in store and over the phone for two different appliances. They beat the price by 10% in each case.

bjl
What we do in life echoes in Eternity... and in Google cache.
RFD discounts for Schluter products
[OP]
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t3359 wrote: Probably depends on the customer service rep. I did this over the Christmas holidays both in store and over the phone for two different appliances. They beat the price by 10% in each case.

bjl
You were right. I went to the store and they had no problem with matching. I haven't decided what I want yet but it will be a great tool.
We had good experience with LG at our last place, bad exp with Samsung.. Any thoughts on brands? Is GE any good?
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bpcrally wrote: You were right. I went to the store and they had no problem with matching. I haven't decided what I want yet but it will be a great tool.
We had good experience with LG at our last place, bad exp with Samsung.. Any thoughts on brands? Is GE any good?
Personally, we bought an LG pair after brief research. Washers/dryers have so many features (that no one ever uses) that it really doesn't matter what they feature. I would suggest just going for reliability at your price-point.

bjl
What we do in life echoes in Eternity... and in Google cache.
RFD discounts for Schluter products
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Aug 2, 2001
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bpcrally wrote: Thanks for the tips.. I've been looking online and also looked at a couple in stores. I noticed some stores will have the floor units on clearance as well.
Hopefully tomorrow will bring some new sales:)
Costco West has a Samsung dryer for 399.97 - check out the weekly thread. Might be a nationwide deal.
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Dec 13, 2011
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buy a new one. it is cheap these days. home depot always have specials
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Feb 29, 2012
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I despair for the environment when people think it's better to junk their old appliances because they don't know how to do a small repair, and instead rush out to buy crappy new Korean-made models that have short lifespans and are not designed to be repaired. Just a counter-opinion! :)
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Dec 13, 2011
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I forgot. this is rfd :) his dryer is 15 years old, past lifespan.

This!

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[OP]
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I still haven't had a chance to open it up yet. I'm going to this afternoon and see if I can figure something out.
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Also thiis!

link.

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