Whirlpool Dryer Not Heating? 7 Common Causes

Whirlpool makes a range of electric, gas, front-loader, and top-loader dryers. If your dryer is heating but heating slowly, it is most likely because of a lint blockage. If the dryer is not heating at all, it is most likely because of a fault with the heating element or thermal fuse, which should be tested with a multimeter and replaced if found to be faulty. Follow this guide for instructions and other possible reasons why your Whirlpool dryer is not heating.

This guide applies to the following Whirlpool models:

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1LE4900XKW0

1LE4930XKW0

1LE5700XKW0

1LE5920XKW0

1LE7800XKW0

1LG5701XKW0

7EWED1510YM0

7MWED1800EM0

7MWED1900EW0

WED4616FW0

WED4810EW1

WED4915EW1

WED4916FW0

WED4950HW0

WED5000DW2

YWED4616FW0

YWED4815EW1

YWED4915EW1

YWED4916FW0

YWED49STBW1

1. Tripped Circuit Breaker

The first thing to check when the dryer stops heating is the circuit breaker panel or fuse box. An electric dryer has two breakers, one for heating and one for power. Sometimes, the breaker responsible for heating gets tripped, which means the dryer runs but does not heat.

  1. Check your electrical panel for tripped circuit breakers or fuses.
  2. Reset any tripped circuit breakers and replace any blown fuses.
  3. The dryer’s breakers can also be checked with a multimeter to make sure each circuit is delivering the 120 volts (110 volts on some models) that the dryer needs to work properly.

2. No Gas

If you have a Whirlpool gas dryer, make sure to check the gas is turned on and connected properly.

3. Blocked Lint Screen

If your Whirlpool dryer is still heating but heating slowly and generally doing a poor job of drying your clothes, cleaning out the lint screen may solve your heating issue. When the lint screen is blocked up, the moisture in the air stays in the dryer drum longer, causing the dryer to take longer to dry your clothes. A blocked-up lint screen can also cause lint to block up other parts of your dryer, so make sure it is emptied regularly.

  1. Take out the lint screen and wash it in the sink with soap and warm water.
  2. While the screen is drying, use a vacuum attachment to get into the slot the lint screen goes into.
  3. Put the lint screen back.

4. Ventilation Blockage

Like the lint trap, if the ventilation is blocked, your clothes will take longer to dry. There is also a greater chance of lint damaging other parts of your dryer. If you can access the outside vent, you can test that the ventilation is working by checking for a warm, consistent airflow. Cleaning out the ventilation will improve your dryer’s heating performance and reduce the risk of a fire starting due to a lint blockage.

  1. Disconnect the dryer from the power source. If you have a gas dryer, turn off the gas.
  2. Take out the ventilation hose by removing the metal tape, unscrewing or unclipping it from the rear of the dryer. Removing the panel surrounding the ventilation area may provide better access to this area.
  3. Clean out the ventilation hose and area.
  4. Clean out the ventilation duct with a ventilation cleaning kit, vacuum attachment, or leaf blower.
  5. Reattach the ventilation hose to the dryer, making sure it is not scrunched up so that air can flow freely through the hose.

5. Defective Heating Element (Electric Dryers)

If your Whirlpool dryer is not heating at all, one of the most common reasons is a fault with the heating element. The heating element consists of a coil of wire inside a metal chamber. If the coil breaks, the heating element will no longer heat and will need to be replaced.

  1. Unplug the dryer from the power source.
  2. Consult your dryer’s manual to locate the heating element. Depending on the model, you will need to remove the front or rear access panel.
  3. Examine the heating element for signs of burning or coil breakage. If the coil is broken, the heating element will need to be replaced. 
  4. Use a multimeter to test the heating element for continuity. If the heating element fails the multimeter test, it will need to be replaced.

6. Blown Thermal Fuse

If your heating element is working, another common reason for a Whirlpool dryer not heating is the thermal fuse. The thermal fuse is a safety device designed to prevent your dryer from catching fire. On newer models, if the dryer temperature exceeds a certain level, the thermal fuse is tripped, and the dryer stops working. On older models, the dryer may continue to work but without producing heat. If you determine the thermal fuse is at fault, make sure to determine what caused it to blow and fix the issue.

  1. Disconnect the dryer from the power source. If you have a gas dryer, turn off the gas.
  2. Consult your dryer’s manual to locate the thermal fuse. Depending on the model, you will need to remove either the top, front, or rear access panel.
  3. With the access panel removed, locate the thermal fuse, usually on the blower housing or at the dryer’s heat source, and remove it.
  4. Test the thermal fuse for continuity with a multimeter.
  5. Replace a defective thermal fuse with a new one.

7. Defective Gas Valve Solenoid

Gas dryers have two or more gas valve solenoid coils. The coils are responsible for allowing the gas to flow into the burner assembly. A defective gas valve solenoid will not allow the dryer to heat. Like an electric dryer, gas dryer coils can be examined and tested with a multimeter to determine if they are defective. The igniter can also be checked to see if it glows and goes out but does not ignite the gas, which indicates the gas valve solenoid is defective.

  1. Disconnect your dryer from the power source.
  2. Turn off the gas supply to the dryer.
  3. Use your dryer’s manual to locate the gas valve solenoid. Remove the appropriate access panel.
  4. Remove the coils from the gas valve solenoid.
  5. Use a multimeter to test the coils for continuity.
  6. Replace any defective coils.

Other Possible Reasons

If you have ruled out the causes above, a fault with the following parts may also cause your Whirlpool dryer to not heat properly. Each part should be tested with a multimeter and replaced if found to be defective. Remember to disconnect the dryer from the power source and turn off the gas before accessing the parts.

  • Cycling Thermostat
  • High-Limit Thermostat
  • Igniter (Gas Dryers)
  • Flame Sensor (Gas Dryers)
  • Timer
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