Whirlpool Dryer Not Heating Up? top 6 Reasons why

So, you washed a load of laundry and put it in the dryer, only to go back an hour or so later and find that your clothes are still wet. Ugh!

This can occur with any brand or model of dryer, but this article will help you zero-in and fix the problem of your Whirlpool dryer not heating up.

There are several common reasons this can occur. However, the specific fixes are different for electric and gas dryers.

When a gas or electric Whirlpool dryer is not heating up, there are several possible causes:

  • Burnt Heating Element
  • Bad Gas Valve Solenoid
  • Burnt Thermal Cut-Off Fuse
  • Defective Cycling Thermostat
  • Burnt Gas Ignitor
  • Malfunctioning Flame Sensor

We’ve taken some work out of the equation for you by listing the main reasons this happens and how to fix it.

Whirlpool Dryer Not heating up (Electric)

Heating element is burnt out

Electric dryers need a heating element to heat the air that’s inside the drum.

Depending on what model you have, the element may be inside a housing that heats air as it passes through the blower.

If not, the element is directly behind the drum, and heats air while inside the drum.

Whirlpool Heating element

The heating element can burn out over time and this could be why your Whirlpool dryer is not heating up. If this is the case, you’ll have to locate the element and test it for continuity.

You can also determine if the element is burned by simply locating it, and seeing if any of the wires are detached or broken. However, the continuity test is the most effective.

If you notice there are broken wires on the element, or there is no continuity, you’ll need to replace the part.

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Thermal cut-off fuse (heater assembly) is blown

Thermal cutoff fuses (in some cases called thermocouples) have been installed on dryers since the 1980s. When operating correctly, they will “trip” the circuit upon overtemperature, and then automatically reset once the temperature has gone back down below a given threshold.

Imagine a fully automatic circuit breaker that breaks and resets according to temperature. That’s sort of how thermocouples work. They are required safety measures that keep the dryer from overheating and causing a house fire.

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The thermal cutoff fuse controls the dryer’s heating element. Therefore, if the fuse is bad, it is certainly a reason for your Whirlpool dryer not heating up.

This could easily explain why your Whirlpool dryer is tumbling, and yet not heating. You will need to replace the fuse.

Here is how to do that:

  1. Disconnect the power to the dryer
  2. Remove the dryer vent
  3. Pull the dryer away from the wall, so you can access the back of the machine
  4. Remove all the screws holding the rear panel in place
  5. Locate the fuse on the blower housing
  6. Remove the two wire terminals, and the screw holding the fuse in place
  7. Pull the old fuse out, and replace with the new part
  8. Put the wire terminals back in place and reinstall the rear access panel

You may also want to determine if there’s an underlying issue that caused this fuse to blow, especially if it happens more than once.

Defective cycling thermostat

Your dryer’s cycling thermostat monitors the temperature inside the blower housing, and also cycles the heating element on and off to help maintain proper temperatures.

If this part becomes defective, the heater may stay on too long, and create unsafe temperatures inside your dryer’s drum.

On the other hand, if it fails open, the circuit is broken. This would be the reason your Whirlpool dryer is not heating up.

dryer cycling thermostat

You will want to test the part for continuity, but keep in mind that this thermostat has closed contacts that don’t open until there’s a temperature rise.

Therefore, it can be tricky to test this part for continuity. Here are some tips to conducting this test:

  1. Unplug the power from the dryer
  2. Open your dryer’s back panel and locate the cycling thermostat (see below) – it should be attached to the blower housing
  3. Carefully remove the part from your dryer
  4. Set your multi-meter to Rx1 and place the prongs onto the terminals on the thermostat
  5. The reading should say either infinity (OL on a digital ohmmeter) or zero
  6. If the results give any other reading, you’ll need to replace this part

Here’s how to replace the part:

  1. Unplug the power, if you haven’t already
  2. Remove the dryer vent
  3. Pull the appliance away from the wall, so you can access the back
  4. Remove all screws holding the back panel in place
  5. You should see the cycling thermostat near the bottom of the unit with wires going to it
  6. Remove all wires
  7. Remove the screw that holds the thermostat in place
  8. Pivot the old part out of the hole
  9. Install the new part and reconnect wires and the rear access panel

Read: Why Whirlpool Dryer Won’t Start? Troubleshooting Guide

Power supply issue

If your Whirlpool dryer is tumbling, but not heating up, you may have an incoming power problem.

Electric dryers require 240V to operate. This voltage comes in the form of two 120V AC legs.

It’s not too uncommon for only one breaker or fuse to trip, which results in the dryer being able to turn on and even tumble…. yet not heat up.

You will need to refer to your circuit breaker or fuse box to look for potential problems.

Examine the dryer breaker to see if half of the double-pole breaker is tripped. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell visually. To be sure, turn it all the way OFF and then back ON.

Use a multi-meter to test the voltage at the dryer wall outlet. If you don’t get the proper voltage readings, there is a circuitry issue between the breaker and the outlet.

Dealing with electrical wiring can become dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

If you don’t find proper voltage, and you suspect an issue with your fuse box or circuit breakers, you may want to hire an electrician to repair the problem. 

Whirlpool Dryer Not Heating up (gas)

Ignitor is Burnt

Electrical current flows through the ignitor on a gas dryer. The ignitor subsequently produces heat which ignites the gas flame inside the burner assembly.

dryer Gas ignitor

The flame then heats the air that flows through the blower housing and into the drum. If the ignitor becomes burnt, it will be unable to light.

You will be faced with the problem where, even though it will tumble, your Whirlpool dryer will not heat up.

If you suspect this is the problem, you’ll need to locate the ignitor (see below) and test it for continuity. If you find that it has no continuity, you’ll need to replace the part.

Here’s how to replace the ignitor on a Whirlpool gas dryer:

  1. Unplug the power from the dryer
  2. Pull out the lint remover screen
  3. Remove the screws around the lint screen
  4. Use a putty knife to release the spring clips on the top of the dryer
  5. Rotate the top up and flip it back
  6. Disconnect the door switch wire
  7. Remove the top, front panel screws
  8. Lift the panel up and out
  9. You may also have a lower front panel that needs to be removed as well
  10. Once you have the entire front panel of the dryer removed, you’ll need to depress the pulley to release the belt tension
  11. Unthread the belt from the pulley and motor shaft
  12. Use the belt to lift out the drum
  13. The ignitor is located on the burner tube
  14. Disconnect the wires and loosen the mounting screw to release the old part
  15. When handling the new ignitor, don’t touch the element itself
  16. Slide the new part into place and follow the steps backward to assemble the machine

Defective flame sensor

Your gas dryer is also equipped with a flame sensor that ensures the flame burns inside the flame chamber.

dryer flame sensor

If the flame sensor goes bad, your dryer will not ignite, so the part will need to be replaced. Before replacing you may want to test for continuity to ensure this is the problem.

If so, here’s how to replace the flame sensor:

  1. Disconnect the power
  2. Remove the lint screen
  3. Remove the two screws near the opening
  4. Use a putty knife to remove the top from the machine, rotate the top up
  5. Disconnect the door switch wires and remove the top, front panel screws
  6. Lift the panel up and out to remove from the machine
  7. Once you have the entire front panel of the dryer removed, you’ll need to depress the pulley to release the belt tension
  8. Unthread the belt from the pulley and motor shaft
  9. Use the belt to lift out the drum
  10. Disconnect the wires from the old flame sensor
  11. Remove the mounting screw
  12. Slide the old sensor out of the burner tube
  13. Install the new sensor by inserting the tabbed end into the slot on the burner tube and replace the screw
  14. Work backward through the steps to reassemble your machine

Malfunctioning gas valve

Is your Whirlpool dryer not heating consistently, or only heats intermittently? The coils may be defective.

Whirlpool dryer gas valve

To test if this is your problem, you’ll need to watch the burner.

If the ignitor glows for a short amount of time, and then turns off without igniting the gas, this is probably the issue.

Here’s how to replace the gas valve:

  1. Disconnect the power
  2. Remove the lint screen
  3. Remove the two screws near the opening
  4. Use a putty knife to remove the top from the machine, rotate the top up
  5. Disconnect the door switch wires and remove the top, front panel screws
  6. Lift the panel up and out to remove from the machine
  7. Once you have the entire front panel of the dryer removed, you’ll need to depress the pulley to release the belt tension
  8. Unthread the belt from the pulley and motor shaft
  9. Use the belt to lift out the drum
  10. Disconnect the wire connectors from the two solenoid coils and unthread the mounting screw
  11. Remove the old gas valve coils and replace with the new parts.

Blown thermal fuse

Just as there’s a thermal fuse on an electric dryer to prevent the machine from overheating and causing a fire, the same is true for a gas dryer.

Is your gas Whirlpool dryer not heating up, but will otherwise operate? Check for a blown thermal fuse.

Here’s how to replace the fuse:

  1. Disconnect the power and turn off the gas
  2. Remove the back panel from the machine
  3. Pull the wires off the thermal fuse which is located on the blower housing, and remove the mounting screw
  4. Replace the fuse, and reconnect the wires
  5. Move backward to reassemble your machine

After replacing the thermal fuse, you may want to go ahead and clean your dryer vent hose to prevent this from happening again.

Have you had issues with your Whirlpool dryer tumbling, but not heating?

What was the problem and how did you fix it? Leave us a comment and let us know.

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Related: Why gas dryer is not heating up

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Reader Comments (9)

  1. I have a whirlpool heavy duty super capacity 7 cycle 4 temperature dryer and it tumbles but no heat. I changed the plug to the wall. I changed the heating element and thermostat and the fuse and another part that came in the kit. then still no heat so I switched the breaker and still no heat. what else can I check?

    Reply
  2. Whirlpool gas dryer. On timed settings it produces heat from 70 minutes to 50 minutes but from 50 minutes till done, the drum spins but there is no heat. Problem getting worse. A couple of months earlier it would produce heat from 70 minutes till 40 minutes. A year ago there was no problem.

    Reply
  3. I have a brand new whirlpool commercial washer/gas dryer. After i have had it set up, i did a dry run of the appliance only to find out that the dryer is not producing heat at all. Should I troubleshoot the parts that you have mentioned even if brand new?thanks for any help or advice you could give me..i really appreciate it!

    Reply
    • Well, if its a brand new dryer i think it’s not completely related to your situation.
      1. Did you install a dryer by yourself?
      2. How do you know that gas is ON?
      3. Did you properly connected gas line to the dryer?

      Reply
    • If you checked continuity of the heating element, thermal fuses, but did you try to reset power breakers (it is a double breaker 240V for dryer)? If one of the breakers tripped, dryer will run but will not heating up at all, cause going to be supplied by only one phase 120V

      Reply

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