home appliance maintenance - repairman repairing dishwasher in kitchen

Your dryer is a heavy use appliance that needs to be properly maintained. Keeping up with lint filter cleaning, regular external ducting cleaning and replacement of worn components can keep it operating reliably for years.

Many common dryer problems require a technician, but some can be easily fixed by the homeowner. The door switch, for example, can be repaired by replacing a bent latch strike with a new one.
Motor Relay

Unlike circuit-breakers and fuses, which shut off power when currents reach dangerous levels, relays can sense a lower-level fault condition (like a short to ground) but still operate the equipment. This allows equipment to continue running until the problem is addressed before extensive damage can occur.

The motor relay in a dryer is responsible for enabling the start capacitor to draw high starting currents which allow it to overcome initial inertia and begin to accelerate. It also controls the voltage across the auxiliary winding, which is connected in series with the start capacitor.

If the lint trap is blocked or the door switch isn’t working correctly, the motor relay may not be enabled to energize the belt drive. This is a fairly simple repair, but homeowners should be comfortable getting inside the back of a dryer to remove and replace the motor relay. It usually costs between $50 to $150 to do so. (This is not the same as replacing a dryer’s main electronic control board, which costs an average of $300). The relay has different terminal widths depending on its application but they are all compatible with standard female blade crimp terminals.

If you pull a load of laundry out of the dryer and it’s still damp, or if the dryer won’t start at all, then it could be because the cycling thermostat isn’t working properly. This part regulates how much heat is used in the drying process.

Thermostats are easy to replace. They install with metal slip on connectors and can be pulled off by grabbing the connectors with a pair of needle-nose pliers. Thermostats are available online and at many hardware stores, and the one that fits your model should be a genuine manufacturer’s replacement.

However, if your dryer is having other issues such as a clogged exhaust vent duct or a tripped circuit breaker (or unsteady gas flow if you have a gas dryer), it’s best to schedule an appointment with a Sears technician to diagnose and repair these problems. Attempting to repair these other problems may result in more serious damage. See the Appliance Troubleshooting Guide for more information.
Thermal Fuse

The thermal fuse helps to ensure that your dryer does not overheat by monitoring the heat inside of it. When it reaches a certain temperature, the thermal fuse breaks the circuit to electricity so that your machine will shut off.

The fuse is easy to replace when it does inevitably trip. To do this, simply unplug the machine and shut off the power supply. Open the back panel of your dryer to access the thermal fuse. It is a small part that has one screw holding it in place. Remove the screw and the wires connecting the fuse.

Using a digital multimeter, test the new thermal fuse for continuity. Touch the left lead on the multimeter to one side of the fuse’s terminals and the right lead to the other. If the meter display reads zero ohms of resistance, the fuse is good and the problem is elsewhere. In most cases, it means that your vent is clogged with lint. While cleaning this should resolve the issue, it may be necessary to contact a professional for additional appliance repair services.
Door Switch

If your dryer won’t start it could be a broken door switch. The switch detects the dryer door latch opening and closing to create a continuous circuit to power the relay and motor. If the door is open the switch can’t provide power to the control board and the machine won’t start.

The switch is easy to replace but it’s important that you know how it works before you do. First you must unplug the dryer or flip the breaker that powers it.

Next remove the lint screen. This will reveal two screws inside the lint trap housing. Slide a strong putty knife under the lip of the housing and pry upward to loosen. You will feel locking tabs resisting you and this is normal.dryer repair

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