Should I repair or replace my dryer?

Dryer would not turn on yesterday. Went to reset the circuit, which had tripped, and the power to the house went out. Also there was a spark that came from the back of the unit. I did this two or three times (after resetting the house power, of course) and the same thing happened every time. I had not even turned the unit on; as soon as power is supplied to the unit it sparks and shuts down the power. I'm guessing that because I am not trying to run the unit when it sparks it is a problem with the electric supply - possibly a short. There was a saltwater spill recently on the dryer thanks to a saltwater fish tank being located on the floor above. Could have corroded the wires. This is a three-prong outlet with the odd-shaped prongs - sorry, don't know what that is called. Not the standard plug is what I'm trying to say as it takes a special outlet. Sparks do not come from the outlet; only the dryer. I am hoping that best case is that (while unplugged, of course) I can strip the wires to the dryer and reconnect the good ends. Second best is to replace the power cord. Third case, this being a 25 year old dryer (at least) would be to get a new one. Are there any thoughts as to why I may be barking up the wrong tree here?

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Priscilla V

Diagnosing Dryers can be difficult. While you wait for the expert to review your model I recommend visiting the SearsHomeServices.com were you can schedule a service technician to diagnose and make repairs, i have added the link below. Hope this helps!

http://www.searshomeservices.com?sid=mmlxexpertxmerch

Fred_crop
expert
Fred M expert

A model number would be helpful but from the description you give I suspect the heating element is shorted to ground.

To find a short can be a difficult project. One way to approach the problem is to disconnect various parts (while the dryer is unplugged) and see if the short still happens when the dryer is plugged in.

You might start with removing one of the wires on the control thermostat located on the blower housing. With the dryer unplugged try removing the wire from the control thermostat and tape it out of the way so it doesn't touch anything.

If the short still happens then the problem might be with the timer.

If the short doesn't happen then likely the element is the problem.

I hope this helps. You can reply with any additional details or questions dor further assistance.

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zeeter

Would this be true even if all I'm doing is plugging the dryer in to the electric socket? I'm not turning the dryer on at all, which led me to think it could be a short in the initial wiring to the dryer. I'll look into what you said.

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zeeter

I should also mention that around last summer I replaced the heating element in the dryer. It's worked fine since then.

Fred_crop
expert
Fred M expert

If all your're doing is plugging the unit in then I'd suggest you start by taking a look at the terminal block while the dryer is unplugged. A wire may have come loose and is causing the short. Even the power cord can be shorted. Let me know what you see at the terminal block.

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zeeter

I assume the terminal block is where the power cord attaches to the dryer. I did that the other day. The cover plate was black over top of one of the connections. After unplugging the unit I took off the cover plate and disconnected the wires. It was damp inside. I blew a shop-vac on it for around an hour and also on the wires themselves, which had a bit of lint on them, as well. After all this I reconnected and then plugged everything back in, flipped the circuit and it worked. There was a tiny spark at first - likely some residual liquid that hadn't dried, but the power stayed on. I put a few shirts inside and ran it for around 30 minutes. Seemed to work fine. While I'm not confident enough in it to leave it plugged in when not in use, I am confident enough to say this problem is fixed. Thank you for your input.

Fred_crop
expert
Fred M expert

Great job and you saved $129 dollars.

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George

Kenmore dryer model # 110-77632600 only 5 years old will not produce heat. Removed ignitor - no breakage, looks solid. Can ignitor look good and still be bad? What else could be the problem? Any tips?

Mark
expert
Mark T expert

First disconnect electrical power to the dryer. Pull the unit out in order to gain access to the rear panel. Remove the screws securing the rear panel in place & remove the rear panel. You will see the thermal fuse on the blower housing & the thermal cut off on the top of the heater box. Use a volt/ohm meter to check for 0 resistance across the 2 terminals. The one that shows open will need to be replaced. Be sure to check your exhaust venting for restrictions. If both check OK, you will need to check the operating & hi limit thermostats next. Both should read 0 resistance also. If everything checks OK in the back then you will need to reassemble the rear panel & now gain access from the front of the dryer. First pull out the lint screen & remove the 2 screws going down through the top panel. Lift the top panel up by pulling the top panel towards the front far enough to clear the front clips. Unplug the door switch from the wiring harness. Remove the 2 screws securing the front to each side panel. Lift the front panel up just far enough to disconnect from the lower clips. You will now have access to the flame sensor, gas valve coils & igniter. The flame sensor should read 0 resistance. The igniter 40 ohms, holding coil 1365 ohms, main coil 1220 ohms, assist coil 560 ohms. After replacing failed component reassemble in reverse order. I have posted a few images below to aid the repair. Once you determine what the problem is you can order the parts from the link below. Please let me know if you need further assistance. Thank you for using Manage my life. Mark T.

http://www.searspartsdirect.com?MML=MMLxexpertxmerch

Centinial_back_panel_therm_fuse_element

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