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m.bushey

Dryer thermal fuse blows repeatedly.

by m.bushey Last activity date:
May 6th, 2013

Kenmore Electric Dryer model110.64972301

Over the last 2 years the dryer has intermittently become nonfunctional. In other words it completed the previous cycle and then could not be started whether recently used or cold.
Sears technicians have replaced the thermal fuse and verified that the exhaust was not obstructed on at least 3 occasions. I have replaced the thermal fuse on at least 4 additional occasions. The dryer runs after replacing the fuse for 2-3 months in most cases before it blows again. It never blows during a cycle but we always discover that it has blown when attempting to start the dryer.
I have recently verified that the short wide exhaust is not obstructed or impeded in any way.
I have recently replaced the thermistor, thermal cut-off, and thermostat.
I was informed by a Sears technician that this model "has problems". I am not willing to pay another $150 for a technician to replace the $15 thermal fuse.
Any suggestions?

Tags:
Dryers , Kenmore , Washers
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Answers (12)
Fred M
Mark, I am sorry for the problems with the dryer. As I understand the thermal fuse has blown multiple times but the vent are clean. My first suspicion is when the thermal fuse on the exhaust keeps blowing a cause can be opening the dryer door while it is running and heating to check if the clothes are dry. When the door is opened the element stays on till the drums stops rotating and this can blow the thermal fuse. The 2nd part of your description describes the clothes as practically on fire and smelled scortched. This is unusual and may be difficult to pin down. Were you using Time Dry or the Automatic cycle? Yje 155/135 temperatures you recieved are correct. Does the dryer load seem to run longer than it should in the automatic cycle? Let me know which cycle you are using and if you have not tried the Time Dry cycle give it a try and see if things work better.
by Fred M
May 6th, 2013
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Manage My Life
I found this conversation trying to reach a problem I've been having with my dryer, same make and model. In fact, my problems have been the same. I have not replaced the Thermal cut-off, only the thermal fuse (3x) and the Thermistor. I only realize the fuse is blown when I try and start another load. The vents are totally clear (replaced them just in case), the inside of the dryer is completely clean and lint free, with a new fuse and thermistor in, I ran the dryer for 3 loads unattached to the exhaust vent. I measured the air temp with meat thermometer, High=155deg, Low was at 135deg. Then I reconnected to the exhaust vent (confirmed clear), on blew the fuse on the second load. Both loads were done on Low, however after the second load the clothes were practically on fire and smelt scorched. If I have to spend $300 on a new control board, than its time for a new dryer. this one is about 8 years old, and I spent about $1K for it.

Please help if you can!
by Manage My Life
May 6th, 2013
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Fred M
I can't argue with anything you said. This web site is a project of some executives in Chicago who regularly read the site and the comments. Your comments about the previous calls will most likely be noticed by the right people.

In the past I was never a fan of maintenance agreements but with all of the new machines using electronic controls and sensors that can be expensive the agreements look better.

The main agreement sold by Sears protects against multiple repairs or lemons by offering replacement of the appliance if the same failure occurs.

My last thought is that fabric softener as built up on the lint screen reducing air flow.

I’m so sorry you had this problem and this experience.
by Fred M
September 8th, 2011
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m.bushey
I did replace the thermistor a couple of thermal fuses ago as well as the thermostat and thermal cut-off. I believe that the last load we did was overdried, i.e.- had a slightly scorched aroma to it. At this point I have thrown up the white flag and we have ordered a new dryer. I very much appreciate your attempts to help me solve this.
My most significant regret other than having to replace a relatively new dryer is that I tried unsuccessfully to get this repaired via Sears technicians 3 times before I even got involved. It is clear to me now that the first 2 service calls should have involved an attempt to diagnose the problem rather than just replacing the thermal fuse. I would have been happy to pay the additional charge for time spent on trying to determine what caused the blown fuse in the first place. If this had happened I could have made a decision to either pay for repair or buy a new dryer prior to spending a lot of time and a lot of money on multiple thermal fuses, etc. If a circuit breaker trips or a fuse blows in your house and you pay an electrician you expect that he will do more than just reset the breaker or replace the fuse.
Again, thanks for your help on this.
by m.bushey
September 7th, 2011
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Fred M
This is a tricky one. It's hard to pin this on the control or relay since the problem is so intermittent. The control might cause the heat relay to stay closed or the relay itself might fail in the closed posistion.

What I would suggest next is checking resistance of the thermistor. At room temperature it should have approximately 1100 ohms or resistance. If the thermistor is off then the temperatures will not be correct.

I don't have any parts to suggest you change just yet. Let me know how the thermistor check goes.

Is there anything about the loads being dried when the fhermal fuse opens? A load that is to small might cause a problem as well as a load that is to big. The fuse is about airflow.
by Fred M
September 7th, 2011
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m.bushey
The blower and drum seals appear fine. The last Sears technician (3rd visit) did not cost me anything because the previous two visits failed to resolve the problem. He again replaced the thermal fuse, but suggested that I should replace the electronic control for about $289. He could not explain why a bad control could cause the thermal fuse to blow and he told me that replacing the electronic control might not solve the problem. Under those circumstance I chose not to replace the control which meant that the failure of the replaced thermal fuse several weeks later was not warranteed. Is the control a possibility?
by m.bushey
September 6th, 2011
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Fred M
The dryer and thermal fuse have been in service for several years with no issues.

Other possibilities are the front and rear drum seals. You can visually check them with the top up while you rotate the drum.

There is a seal on the blower.

The vent screen is cleaned after each load.

Check the blower wheel and blower housing for any obstructions.

I understand how frustrating this kind of problem can be. I glad at least it blew the fuse before paying someone to clean the vent out.

The problem could even be a bad motor switch not opening when it should.

What makes the problem especially difficult is the fact it will run 6-7 loads or a couple of months before blowing the fuse.

I'd check the drum seals and blower before deciding to give up.
by Fred M
September 5th, 2011
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m.bushey
I vented the dryer directly into the garage without a duct for the last week and did 6-7 loads without a problem. We did the last load last night and I intended to reconnect to the duct today, but before I could do this I noticed that the dryer would not start. I have not checked the thermal fuse, but suspect that this is again the culprit (or victim of whatever the problem is). At this point I am afraid I will have to give up and buy another dryer. I have never had a Kenmore lemon in the past. The predecessor to this dryer (circa 1993) still works fine at my son's house. Just out of curiosity I would love to know what the problem is, but I am afraid that this may remain a mystery.
by m.bushey
September 4th, 2011
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Fred M
Good luck with the vent off. Vents can be very difficult to diagnose. This style dryer and thermal fuse have been in use for several years with no history of problem with the thermal fuse. Keep running it with the vent off. If the fuse doesn't blow then the vent is the most likely suspect. Good Luck. Let me know how things work out.
by Fred M
August 29th, 2011
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m.bushey
I recently became aware of the problem related to opening the door while the dryer is heating. Although I do not think that this was a big problem with us, we will not do it in the future. An appliance guy told me that the thermal fuse most likely blows during the cycle and the heating element shuts down while the motor continues to run until the cycle is completed. We become aware that the fuse is blown the next time we try to start the dryer because once the motor stops in the presence of a blown thermal fuse it cannot be started.
At this point I have the dryer venting into the garage without a duct to make absolutely certain that the vent is not the issue. The heating element cycles on and off and I have never observed it to be on when the motor is not running. I have periodically checked the vent temperature by hand but have not actually put a thermometer on it. We only use medium heat and I have not felt that the vented air is too hot. I will check it with a meat thermometer tomorrow. We have done about 6 loads with the duct disconnected without a problem. My plan is to do a few more this way and then carefully reconnect the duct to make sure that there are no kinks or obstructions. Most likely this will be the last thermal fuse I replace if it blows again. Although the dryer looks virtually new I have reached the point where the time and money I have into it is getting tough to justify. It kills me to toss a mechanically sound machine, but if I can't fix it at this point I will probably replace it.
Thanks for your help. Hope the above info is useful to you.
by m.bushey
August 27th, 2011
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Fred M
One thing you mention is that the fuse never blows during a cycle and that you discover it blown the next time you use the dryer.

The vent is clear and I'm sure you don't overload the dryer to the point of restricted air flow.

There is one thing I would like to ask you. Do you ever open the door while the dryer is running to check if the clothes are dry?

If you open the door while the dryer is heating to check the clothes then the lack of air flow during the few moments the motor continues to turn may be what is causing the thermal fuse failure.

If you are opening the door then try stopping the dryer first before opening the door and see if this helps.

You can also use a meat thermometer to measure the temperature of the exhaust air. It should cycle between 135 to 160 degrees.

You can respond with your answer and we will go from there.
by Fred M
August 27th, 2011
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Manage My Life
I'm sorry that you are having some difficulties with your Kenmore Electric Dryer. I did some research for you at Managemylife.com and found an expert answer to a similar question that may help until your expert can respond to your specific question. The link is attached below. Remember that your expert can walk you through a repair like this and even verify any required parts you may need to order.
Answered in 1 hours
by Manage My Life
August 26th, 2011
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