shaken not stirred, sort of
January 4, 2010 5:37 PM   Subscribe

Whirlpool LEQ8000JQ dryer. Tumbles but won't heat up. Tried the factory web site, multiple help lines. I know it's a 240, we have fuses, not circuit breakers. Everything seems fine from the house panel down, I think it's an internal fuse. Hope me hive mind.

Boyfriend loves me and I'd like to solve this without any outside help. Major karma points if I don't have to call in support.
posted by yesster to Home & Garden (14 answers total)
Response by poster: Add-on: I pulled out about 5 pounds of lint from the vent hose. I thought that some internal fuse blew because it was trying too hard to exhaust the heat. I cleared out the outside vent which was iced over. I'm not stupid. I have a fluke multimeter available.
posted by yesster at 5:54 PM on January 4, 2010

Best answer: This has some helpful information about things to check.
posted by cecic at 5:56 PM on January 4, 2010

I'd think it was an internal thermostat, rather than an internal fuse, that, or the heating element itself.

Another possibility is that one of the two fuses (one for each phase) blew, and the motor is only powered off one phase. Still, I'd think that the thing would heat up, just not as much.
posted by Good Brain at 5:57 PM on January 4, 2010

I'm no expert, and in fact know very little about this stuff, so it's a shot in the dark, but:

On my dryer, this happens all the time. That's because the warm air apparently comes in through a big white plastic hose-type-thing on the back, and the hose-type thing gets mashed up against the back of the dryer and crimped. Invariably, if I pull out the dryer and un-crimp the hose, the dryer heats up fine.
posted by koeselitz at 6:35 PM on January 4, 2010

I have a strong feeling you're way, way ahead of me on this, though. Good luck, anyway.
posted by koeselitz at 6:36 PM on January 4, 2010

Step one: check that it isn't set to the "air fluff" setting. I've had this happen to me before.
Step two: It's probably a thermal fuse. Read up here: You can bypass the thermal fuse to test if that's the problem by following the instructions on that link.
Step three: If it works after bypassing the thermal fuse, order a new one online.

Your thermal fuse probably blew because the hose was clogged, causing the dryer to overheat.
posted by cosmicbandito at 6:41 PM on January 4, 2010

also, get rid of the hose and put real vent pipe in there. Hoses are much more prone to clogging and causing problems. If you're handy enough to attempt a dryer repair, you can put together some dryer vent.
posted by cosmicbandito at 6:43 PM on January 4, 2010

Check both fuses in your fuse box before messing with the high limit switch, if you have a volt meter you can check for continuity across the heating element terminals, then the high limit switch itself. My bet is one leg of your 240 is missing.
posted by hortense at 7:09 PM on January 4, 2010

You probably need a new thermal fuse. I would normally send you here but you seem to be across the pond with weird voltages. Just Google up the proper thermal fuse for your unit. You can check it first with a multimeter if you have one.
posted by caddis at 7:26 PM on January 4, 2010

If that machine were my machine, I'd be unplugging it, taking it the covers off, understanding how the electrical bits related to each other, then testing them with the multimeter until I figured out what was broken.

I suspect that what you'll find is that an internal thermal fuse has opened, probably due to overheating caused by the inability to expel heat through all that lint.

If you can't find any such fuse, you might find that the main heater element itself has gone open circuit, probably as a result of very localized melting at a hot spot. Depending on the design and how long you'd like it to stay fixed for, fixing that might be as cheap as twisting two bits of resistance wire back together or as expensive as replacing a heater element.
posted by flabdablet at 7:31 PM on January 4, 2010

If you disassemble the dryer, there may be a sheet of paper with the schematic diagram inside (it might be in the control panel on top, or near the bottom of the cabinet). That plus a voltmeter (~$20) should help you determine were the problem is.
posted by Doohickie at 8:28 PM on January 4, 2010

Nthing the suggestion to open 'er up. Dryers are so simple electrically and mechanically.
posted by zsazsa at 9:01 PM on January 4, 2010

Dryers are so simple electrically and mechanically.

So true. If you can fix the flap valve on your toilet you can fix your dryer.
posted by caddis at 12:59 AM on January 5, 2010

Response by poster: It appears to be the heating element. Thanks for all the input. Marking cecic's as best answer, the link in his answer is pretty good. Thanks to everyone though.
posted by yesster at 5:04 PM on January 6, 2010

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