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WED5540SQ0 - Whirlpoor Dryer has trouble with thermal fuses...


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#1 Centurion13

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 12:12 PM

Hey, I'm a new guy here.

 

I have a dryer/washer pair I recently purchased from a couple that had gotten married and 'consolidated' their worldly belongings.  These units are lightly-used and no more than five years old.

 

I eagerly connected my new dryer but did not check the exhaust hose - and so did not catch the ball of fuzz wrapped around part of a bird's nest.  Shortly thereafter, my dryer ran but had no heat.

 

Well, I took off the back and had a look with a VOM.  The heating element thermal cutoff was the only unit with an open circuit, so I called the local shop and picked up a kit.  I rewired everything, put it all back together and pushed the start button.

 

The new heating element thermal cutoff exploded!  The house went dark.

 

It seems, in my arrogance, I had not considered actually looking at the wiring diagram that came with the new parts, and had neglected to connect the actual heater to the rest of the parts.

 

Well, that was a fifty-dollar lesson in humility.

 

SO... with that in mind, I bought another kit, connected it properly, installed a new exhaust hose and made sure the outside exhaust flap was wide open.  Started the dryer, no problems.  The 10W light bulb was burned out, so I replaced it with one of those LED lights.

 

I ran a load of clothes, they dried fine.  However, this morning the boy came to me and asked how to run  the dryer.  It would not start. The interior light was fine so I knew it was getting power.  I disconnected everything, then got the VOM going again.  The new temperature fuse and sensors were fine, it was now the thermal cutoff switch that was open.  Yeah, the long skinny white one.

 

It's a Sunday and I doubt I will be able to find a shop open.  Fifteen bucks will fix it, but the fuse is just a symptom.  With verified airflow and new fuses, why is the dryer tripping off the line?

 

(1) Did I damage the old thermal cutoff switch with my stupidity the first time around, and it failed prematurely?

 

(2) Is there still some possible airflow problem in the dryer that could be causing a restriction that would affect that sensor?

 

(3) Could it be that the system requires a 10-watt incandescent light bulb to 'balance' everything?

 

Any help you folks could provide would be most appreciated.  I am not very experienced with major appliances.

 

Regards,

 

Steve


Edited by Centurion13, 24 March 2013 - 12:14 PM.


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#2 applianceman97

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 12:36 PM

You said you re wired everything? It should have been a plug and go part. No re wiring needed. Aside from that. The thermal cutoff and thermal fuse blow usually from an air flow problem. Check to make sure the flex hose from your dryer to the wall is not getting crushed when you push the dryer back into its space. Fuse problems can also be caused by too long of a vent line. How long is your vent line?

I would also put the incandescent bulb back in.

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#3 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 12:39 PM

... The thermal cutoff and thermal fuse blow usually from an air flow problem.

yes, and also if the Heating Element is partially shorted to chassis / ground
(caused by the move) ?
 
http://www.repaircli...sp?R=154&N=2438

 

Heating-Element-Assembly-279838-00631722
 
 
http://www.repaircli...sp?R=154&N=2986

 

Thermal-Fuse-3392519-00882790.jpg


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#4 Centurion13

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 01:50 PM

You said you re wired everything? It should have been a plug and go part. No re wiring needed. Aside from that. The thermal cutoff and thermal fuse blow usually from an air flow problem. Check to make sure the flex hose from your dryer to the wall is not getting crushed when you push the dryer back into its space. Fuse problems can also be caused by too long of a vent line. How long is your vent line?

I would also put the incandescent bulb back in.

 

The wiring changed because they changed the shape of the high-limit thermostat.  I had to put new plugs on some of the wires.  It is electrically identical to the original now.

 

The flex hose is brand new and no more than three feet long.  If that.  I checked the airflow from outside while the machine was running last night, and it seemed pretty brisk, but that is relative.  I will make sure the dryer is not squashing the hose at all when I put it back.

 

The incandescent bulb... unless I order from the company, the socket is the same as a nite light's and the current is only 4 watts, not 10.  Would that really make a difference?  Not drawing as much current, the bulb might actually cause an imbalance and too much current flows through the heater coils?



#5 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 02:06 PM

 The heating element thermal cutoff was the only unit with an open circuit, 

 

 

The wiring changed because they changed the shape of the high-limit thermostat.  I

 

 

The thermal cutoff is a different part from the high-limit thermostat.  Maybe you replaced both.  What's the part numbers of the part or parts that you replaced?



#6 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 02:15 PM

I would also check/replace the cycling thermostat.   If bad, then the dryer may not heat or may get too hot. If it gets too hot, the dryer would "cycle"  on the hi limit thermostat instead of the cycling thermostat, causing it (hi-limit) to fail and eventually lead to a blown thermal fuse.   

 

Testing procedures:

 


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#7 Centurion13

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 02:20 PM

@RegUS_PatOff:  Not sure if the unit is grounded or not, will check with the VOM.

 

Very little resistance.  No grounding.  I would have to check with the digital, though.  But the coils look fine.  A little dark, but not damaged or crossing in any way.



The thermal cutoff is a different part from the high-limit thermostat.  Maybe you replaced both.  What's the part numbers of the part or parts that you replaced?

 

I replaced both - there's the heater coil cutoff, which is black and round on a metal plate.  The high limit thermostat is also round on a metal plate, but larger.  Kit #279816.

 

The open circuit is on another part, the thermal cutoff that is white and held in place with a single screw.

 

 

@DurhamAppliance: I just did a continuity check on the cycling thermostat.  It reads continuity between the two large, outside terminals.  Ambient temperature is about 65-70 degrees.


Edited by Centurion13, 24 March 2013 - 02:28 PM.


#8 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 02:35 PM

after replacing the Thermal Fuses, try running a few Dryer cycles, or loads of clothes

with the Vent disconnected from the Dryer


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#9 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 03:48 PM

@DurhamAppliance: I just did a continuity check on the cycling thermostat.  It reads continuity between the two large, outside terminals.  Ambient temperature is about 65-70 degrees.

 That does not mean it is good....didn't watch the video huh? I gave up dinner, a movie, a date with my wife, watching march madness games, walked 10 miles in the snow with no shoes, just to post it for you.   ie  make sure that thermostat opens at about 120 to 160 degrees to cycle element off.  If it does not switch off then it will run on the hi limit subsequently tripping cutoff. Test it using a hot plate as shown in the video that I gave up dinner, a movie, a date...etc


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#10 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 04:07 PM

 walked 10 miles in the snow with no shoes,

 

Uphill, both ways.  In North Carolina.    :angel:

 

Where is the justice?  Where be the peas?  

No justice, no peas!  



#11 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 04:11 PM

all I pray for is whirled peas


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#12 Centurion13

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 08:13 PM

No, no!  I did note the temperature test, just hadn't the time to remove the unit and test it that far.  I was just giving information to let you all know what I'd gotten so far.   It is a $25 dollar part and I plan to replace it tomorrow in the AM.  

 

I also disassembled the remaining places where the air flowed (the lint filter, etc) and there was nothing stuck/stuffed back in there.  The fan looked fine and dandy, turned without a lot of resistance (it was turning the drum at the same time) and had no visible damage.

 

Again, am wondering if those stupid pills I took (and the resulting BOOM!) are to blame for this additional misadventure.  Routing the current straight through it all  without the courtesy of passing it through the heater coils?  Mmm.

 

Thank you all for your help, and please, have some peas!  Gomenasai!



#13 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 02:27 AM

when the Dryer is running, check the Vent temperature at the back of the Dryer

 

Dryer Vent 4" diameter

Vent should be rigid metal.
Short lengths of flexible metal may be OK, if not crimped when moving the Dryer into place.
NO plastic
NO PVC
NO screws
Foil Duct Tape is OK.
With an empty load, Timed Dry, High Heat, the vent temperature should cycle somewhere between 135F and 160F
Check / clean the Dryer Vent
Disconnect the Dryer Vent and check for good air-flow there and where it exits the house.
Check the Vent air temperature at the back of the Dryer.

 


 

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#14 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:11 AM

If a dryer is constantly blowing thermal fuses, you have to be careful doing the vent heat check or you may blow another fuse. Under this situation, If after you replaced all fuses and double checked them , checked for element grounding, checked venting and the heat exhaust from the dryer is within normal operating parameters, and you blow another fuse, you either have an electrical problem or your venting isn't as good as you think it is. Either test your venting with something like a lint alert device or run your dryer a few days using one of those in house dryer vent kits. If all goes well, venting problem if not, then an electrical problem. BTW always change thermal fuse and hi limit in tandem, despite one seemingly good. Also check for lint buildup near the element, if there is charred lint near the thermal fuse, it can ignite, tripping the fuse directly without the fuse being protected by the high limit.

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#15 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:12 AM

Simple and inexpensive gadget for testing dryer vent airflow:

 



#16 Centurion13

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:22 AM

Simple and inexpensive gadget for testing dryer vent airflow:

 

 

Wonderful video, though I suspect that is more an investment for an applicane repairman than a casual tool for the average homeowner.  Love the lights!



#17 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:35 AM

Wonderful video, though I suspect that is more an investment for an applicane repairman than a casual tool for the average homeowner.  Love the lights!

I love blinking lights on cool tools as well...but for the homeowner you may consider www.lintalert.com

 

worth the investment, especially in  your situation   http://appliantology...+is +your +lint


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#18 Centurion13

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:23 PM

Well, I installed the new parts. Checked the final obstacle, the flapper door to the exhaust. There was a lot of lint built up around it, so I cleaned that and re-attached the flapper door to it's hinges. I think the flapper door and outside exhaust might be too small a diameter. It appears to be about 3.5 inches, even though the inside metal has been crimped to fit the 4" hose. There's room behind the dryer for the hose to lay unkinked and with about a 90 degree turn. It is about 3' long, total. I put it on cool and tested the airflow. The flapper opened all the way (no lint to jam it) and the airflow seems fine, but I am gonna run it on 'cool' for now. Just to see if we can keep it going for a few days. I want to get a cheap airflow tester - http://www.sears.com...=3&blockType=G3 Does anyone have experience with this? It's a lot less expensive, but I know that you get what you pay for. Also... I put it on 'Fluff' cycle but still felt heat when I went outside to check airflow. Thoughts on this? Steve


Edited by Centurion13, 25 March 2013 - 01:27 PM.


#19 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:34 PM

If you have hot air doing fluff cycle then once again I would check the cycling thermostat. That thermostat has a bias heater that comes on in fluff mode to fool the cycling therm into thinking the dryer is at temp and thus opens the contacts earlier. Apparently the contacts are not opening meaning your cycling therm keeps continuity when it should not.


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#20 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 03:45 PM

there shouldn't be any heat during air-fluff

Test again for a partial short or the Heater Element to chassis / ground.

That would also be a cause your original problem.


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