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Old 01-08-2012, 01:30 PM   #1
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kenmore 400 dryer no heat


Hello all,

I have a Kenmore 400 series dryer which has stopped producing heat. From what I could find online, I have purchased a multimeter and checked the fuses and thermostats for resistance, and could only find that the bottom thermostat(?) in the picture below, the one with 4 wires leading to it (i believe 2 pos 2 neg, i have checked all combinations of poles) has no continuity. Is this likely to be the culprit, or am I barking up the wrong tree?



Any help appreciated, thank you..

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Old 01-08-2012, 02:22 PM   #2
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kenmore 400 dryer no heat


I checked it again with wires unplugged, and found that there is continuity between the top and bottom (red wire) poles, but not the purple wire poles.

I checked the resistance on the heat coil (& attached thermostat?) as below:


and on the 2 main poles on the beige plug (i think this is the heat element), I am getting about 2 Ohms -- is this right? The other thermostat in this picture gets between 0 to 0.5 Ohms.

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Old 01-08-2012, 07:54 PM   #3
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kenmore 400 dryer no heat


you need to check the thermal fuse, I'll bet it is blown.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:37 PM   #4
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kenmore 400 dryer no heat


Thanks for the reply. I have checked the thermal fuse, and all other thermostats and heat element and everything shows continuity. The only thing I have not donee is remove the element to visually inspect - but I'm not sure that I should since there is continuity.
I was reading to check that the dryer is getting 240v - I'm not sure I'm doing this right but I set my meter to AC V and 250 (it's a cheapish analog meter) and unplugged the red and black wires at the place where the cord enters the dryer, and when I plug the dryer in and test those wires I'm only showing 50v? I tested the 4 prong socket itself (the 2 vert holes on each side) and that is also only showing 50v. It's an older house with the glass screw in fuses, and they aren't all labelled - I checked each one for continuity and they are all ok. Could the socket itself be fried?
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:17 PM   #5
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kenmore 400 dryer no heat


What do you get coming out of the socket on the wall?
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:37 PM   #6
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kenmore 400 dryer no heat


50 V. When I turn the meter down from 250 to 100 it shows a little over 50.
The needle goes about 1/5th of the way across.

The oven works fine.. But if it, the dryer, and the microwave are on at the same time, the breaker for the house pops (but that's another story-or is it?). I think I only have 50A service here- - that's what the main breaker box says, which leads to a breaker box marked "furnace", and another box marked D/R (?), and finally to the older glass fuse box (with maybe 12 fuses). This may be too much info.. but what the heck
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:11 AM   #7
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kenmore 400 dryer no heat


Dude! call an electrican before your hse burns down. you're supposed to have 240vac at receptacle. but based on your post looks like the dryer breaking was 'your warning' since you weren't listening when m/o & dryer on= pops fuse..
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:38 AM   #8
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kenmore 400 dryer no heat


Hmm I was afraid of that.. I guess I know now to call an electrician instead of a dryer repair person.
It isn't a glass fuse that pops with the microwave, oven, & dryer on, its the main service breaker- the whole house goes out. Its been like this since I moved in for about 4 years. I know its not ideal but I always just figured 50A (what it says on the main service panel) isn't enough for those 3 things to be on at once. I has under the impression that the dryer & oven circuit is going right to the breakers and the other 110 outlets are the glass fuses. I've only had to replace a glass fuse once when the gas furnace wasn't working... which is funny though because there is a breaker running off the main breaker that says "gas furnace". Also a "D/R" breaker box- don't know what that is. The electrical boxes look like this

(50A service breaker) ------> (glass fuse box w/10 fuses)
|
|
(gas furnace breaker)------(D/R breaker)

The house is small about 1000sq ft.
What would change that would cause the dryer outlet to go down to 50v? the wiring has overheated over time?
I guess its foolish to speculate I'm going to have to call someone..
We're planning major renovations in the next few years (possibly whole new house).. don't really want to spend $$$ updating the electrical on this house.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:40 PM   #9
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kenmore 400 dryer no heat


I realized that in the center of the panel with the glass fuses there is a black box that you pull out with 2 of those long 250V fuses in it. Neither was blown (showed continuity-although around 1-2 Ohms).. but i figure it can't hurt to replace them so I'll see what happens.
Then I'll take the 9V out of my multimeter and put it back in the smoke detector!
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:41 AM   #10
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kenmore 400 dryer no heat


Glad you're going to get it checked..i'm not an electrican [ask on that forum] but doubt you have 50amp service [prob' 60 or 100]. the two [you have two?] black pullouts are for 2-240vac appl. range/ac/water htr/dryer. the rest for hse. sounds like someone put a sub panel in for furnace? and D/R is dining room?
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:52 PM   #11
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kenmore 400 dryer no heat


No AC, water heater and furnace are gas. Never really seen 50amp service before either but that is what the main breaker box from the hydro company says..that and 1970- and it looks like the newest thing in there. There is only 1 pullout thing. It says 60amp 230v on the outside but both of the fuses (which I think I should try replacing) are 40amp 250v.

Last edited by Mark77; 01-10-2012 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:58 PM   #12
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kenmore 400 dryer no heat


Turns out that D/R breaker box was feeding the dryer socket. Didn't realize there was two glass fuses inside it- 1 was blown, the other had poor continuity. Replaced them both- dryer working again now. 2 loads gone through now so far so good..

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