How to Repair a Whirlpool Dryer That Won’t Start

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Nothing can ruin a good day like a malfunctioning appliance, especially when it’s your electric dryer and it won’t turn on. Unfortunately, there are several possible component failures that can cause a non-starting Whirlpool dryer model WED4616FW. However, first and foremost, you need to rule out a power supply issue by checking the circuit breaker. If everything is fine on that front, it’s time to troubleshoot and repair your dryer’s faulty components. To help you get started, we’ve created a guide of potential malfunctions and the steps to fix them.
Before you start your repair, either unplug your dryer or turn it off at the circuit breaker. To ensure your safety, wear work gloves and safety goggles while you fix your appliance.

The Thermal Fuse

Your dryer is equipped with a safety device called a thermal fuse. If your appliance begins to overheat, the thermal fuse interrupts its flow of electricity, which causes the dryer to shut down. Unfortunately, a faulty thermal fuse can stop your appliance from turning on all together. Replacing the defective component is the only way to get your dryer running, once again.

How to Replace the Thermal Fuse in Your Whirlpool Dryer

  1. Get started by removing the screws securing the rear panel to the dryer. Once all screws are out, lift the panel off your appliance and set it down somewhere safe and out of the way.
  2. Locate the thermal fuse, which is near the bottom of your appliance, and disconnect the two wires running to the fuse terminals.
  3. Use a nut driver to unthread the mounting screw securing the thermal fuse to your dryer. After you take out the screw, remove the fuse from the back of your appliance.
  4. Now you can replace the faulty thermal fuse with a new one. Insert the fuse into the opening on the back of your dryer, and secure it with the screw you removed earlier.
  5. To finish installing the new fuse, simply reconnect the wires to the thermal fuse terminals.
  6. With the new component in place, reattach your dryer’s rear panel and plug your appliance back in. Before patting yourself on the back for a repair well done, throw some wet clothes into your dryer and hit the start button to find out whether or not your appliance turns on.

The Door Switch

When your dryer door is open, the door switch stops your appliance from turning on, and when the door is closed, a signal is sent to the control board telling the component it’s safe to start the dryer. If your dryer door is closed and your dryer isn’t turning on, a defective door switch is a likely culprit. Replacing the switch is the only way to resolve the issue.

How to Replace the Door Switch in Your Whirlpool Dryer

  1. Pull out the lint filter from the top of your appliance, and remove the screws found underneath it. On the right and left side of your dryer, slide a putty knife in-between the main top and front panel to disengage the locking mechanism holding the two panels together. Flip the top panel up, and support it by gently leaning it against a wall.
  2. Find the door switch wires and disconnect the wire harness.
  3. Open the dryer door and unthread the mounting screws holding the door switch in place. Then, reach into the dryer and pull out the defective door switch.
  4. Grab the new door switch, and place it in your dryer. Use the mounting screws to secure the part to the inside of the dryer cabinet. Finally, reconnect the wires running to the door switch.
  5. Close the main top and push down on the panel to snap it into place. Reattach the screws you took out of the lint filter housing and replace the lint trap.
  6. To test out your new door switch, shut your dryer door and hit the start button.

The Terminal Block

The terminal block, which is located underneath your dryer’s rear access panel, connects the appliance power cord to the dryer’s internal wires. A damaged terminal block can trip your home’s circuit breaker during operation, or it can stop your dryer from turning on all together. To correct the malfunction, you’ll need to swap out the broken terminal block for a new one.

How to Replace the Terminal Block in Your Whirlpool Dryer

  1. To reach the terminal block, take out the screws securing the power cord access panel to the back of your appliance.
  2. Now that you have a clear view of the terminal block, snap a photo of the wire connections. The picture will help you reattach the wires to the correct terminals during the installation process. Once you have photographic evidence of the proper connections, use a Phillips screwdriver to unthread the screws holding the power cord wires in place.
  3. Next, remove the screws securing the terminal block to the back of the dryer, and then pull the component out of the appliance. At this point, you’ll want to take another picture to help you remember where each terminal block wire goes.
  4. Using a flat head screwdriver, push down on the tabs, which lock each wire into the terminal block. Pull the wires out of the block and remove the three terminal nuts from the component.
  5. Begin installing your new terminal block by inserting the terminal nuts into the block. Then, after looking at the second picture you took, place the wires into their correct slots in the terminal block.
  6. After the wires are secure, reattach the terminal block to the dryer with the mounting screws you removed earlier. Now take a look at the first photo you took, and then reconnect the power cord wires with their screws.
  7. Finally, replace the power cord access panel and plug your dryer back in. If your appliance turns on, your repair was a success.

Other Potential Malfunctions

The Start Switch. When activated the start switch sends power to the dryer’s motor, which in turn starts the appliance. If your machine isn’t starting when you push the button, but you hear a hum, the start switch is not the problem. On the other hand, if you push the switch and nothing happens, there’s a good chance a damaged start switch is preventing your dryer from starting.
The Drive Motor. Your electric dryer has a motor that rotates the dryer drum and the blower wheel. A malfunctioning motor will cause both the drum and the blower to stop working. If you hear a low humming sound when you try to start your appliance, you are likely dealing with a damaged drive motor.
Figuring out why your dryer isn’t turning on can feel like a daunting task, especially if you’re not familiar with all the components inside the appliance. If you’re not comfortable diagnosing and repairing your appliance, please contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our highly skilled repair technicians.
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