Whirlpool is one of the most popular dryer manufacturers, well-known for their reliable and feature-rich products that have become a staple brand in many modern homes.
They produce a range of products, including electronics, top/front loaders, and gas dryers. So no matter your preference Whirlpool has something to fit your needs.
However, despite their stellar reputation and generally very favorable reviews, many users have reported running into an issue with their Whirlpool dryer suddenly stopping heating.
Needless to say, this renders the appliance pretty much usable. So in this article, we’re going to explain precisely why this problem happens and how to fix it with minimal effort so you can get your clothes dried as soon as possible.
Why is your Whirlpool Dryer not heating?
While at first glance, this might seem like a catastrophic issue, and the whole machine is now useless. In many cases, it’s just a small component failure that can easily be fixed for a minimal cost.
Most of the time, it doesn’t even require a technician to fix, so let’s go through all the primary reasons your Whirlpool dryer stops heating so you can get a better idea of what’s happening here.
1. The circuit breaker has tripped
Whenever an electrical fault may cause damage to a particular circuit, the internal sensor will detect this and immediately disconnect that circuit to protect you and the appliance from damage.
While it can be quite unsettling if a circuit breaker trips, you may not be sure what’s caused it; in many cases, it’s a benign one-off issue, and simply turning the circuit breaker back on can often fix it.
You should have two circuits for the Whirlpool washer, one is for the power, and the other is for the heat; you may find that the power is still switched on, which is why it appears the machine is working, just not heating. Check your electrical panel to ascertain whether the heating circuit has been tripped.
2. No gas is being supplied
This only applies to dryers that rely on gas heating. If the gas supply has stopped for any reason, the burner valve will not be able to release the gas and create heat.
This is generally not an issue with the Whirlpool gas dryer itself and is usually linked to the gas supply from your home.
It would be best to inspect the hose and the main gas valve to check they are in working order. If they are not functioning correctly, you should take the necessary steps to restore gas flow to the dryer.
3. The lint screen has become blocked
Any appliance that interacts with clothing or textiles regularly accumulates clothing fibers that bundle together to create little cloth balls, otherwise known as lint.
Lint is the bane of washers and dryers as it gathers and clogs various components within the appliance.
Manufacturers have been able to counter this to a degree with something called a lint screen, which is essentially a small filter that catches the lint to prevent it from causing a problem elsewhere in the machine.
However, these lint screens can become clogged over time and stop doing their job, which results in it collecting in various components and causing the Whirlpool washer to struggle to heat correctly.
The lint screen should be emptied and cleaned intermittently to stay on top of this problem.
4. Ventilation blockage or interruption
Good ventilation is a vital component in the ability of the dryer to expel the moist air; without it, your clothes may remain wet for prolonged periods, giving the impression that the dryer is not heating.
This can easily be tested by placing your hand at the exhaust of the outside vent, and you should be able to feel a warm, steady airflow coming from it.
If you can’t feel any airflow, it means that the ventilation has been blocked by something such as (once again) a lint blockage.
The ventilation system will need to be cleaned out thoroughly to restore this to working order.
5. The heating element is defective
Unlike gas-powered dryers, electric dryers use a dryer heating element or heater coil, which works the same way very much as an electric heater. Electric current passes through the coil, which heats it and dries the clothes.
However, if this dryer heating element gets too hot or the transformer powering it fails, the heating element will remain cold, and the clothes will not dry.
The heating element must be inspected for component failures and fixed accordingly.
6. The thermal fuse has blown
The thermal fuse is another vital component in the ability of the dryer to heat itself. It monitors the internal temperature of the dryer and tells the heating element when to turn it on and off.
When the temperature exceeds a certain threshold, it will disable the heating element to prevent a fire or any damage to the contents of the dryer.
However, if the thermal fuse blows, the dryer will receive no instruction to turn the heat on and will instead operate ‘cold’ and produce no heat. Or newer models will not turn on altogether.
The thermal fuse will need to be inspected and replaced accordingly.
7. The gas valve solenoid has gone bad
Applicable to gas dryers only. The gas valve solenoid is responsible for opening and allowing gas flow into the burner assembly, where it’s ignited and used to heat the dryer.
When this solenoid goes bad, it will not open properly and either restrict or completely cut off the gas supply to the dryer, making it run cold.
The solenoid can be tested with a multimeter to ascertain whether it’s working; if it’s deemed broken, it needs to be replaced.
8. The flame sensor is broken
The flame sensor in a dryer detects the igniter temperature to ensure it’s hot enough to ignite the gas before opening the gas valves to allow gas to flow into the igniter.
This is important because if the igniter is not hot enough, then gas will flood the dryer and not be ignited; then, if the igniter does suddenly light the accumulated gas, it may cause an explosion inside the dryer.
So when this component goes bad,, the gas valves will not receive the signal to open.
The flame sensor should be tested for continuity; if it’s deemed not working,, it will need to be replaced.
How to fix a Whirlpool dryer not heating
The primary reason why a Whirlpool dryer is not heating is usually something related to the gas flow or ignition.
We will have to go through and systematically check these components to make sure they are functioning and replace any that have gone defective to restore the Whirlpool Dryer to working order.
1. Check the power supply and circuit breaker
If there is a power supply problem and the circuit breaker has tripped, we will need to inspect the electrical panel in your home to ascertain the cause of the problem.
If any fuses have been blown, they will need to be replaced first; then, you can flip the circuit breaker back over to the ‘on’ position to restore power to the dryer.
This should fix the issue; however, if the circuit breaker continually trips, it may indicate a problem elsewhere on the dryer, and you should continue reading to ascertain the root cause of the problem.
2. Restore the supply of gas to the dryer
As this is not an issue directly related to the appliance, you should check your home’s gas supply instead. Ensure it’s both turned on and connected to the gas dryer, ensuring the hose is nice and secure.
If you still cannot get the gas running, you will need to contact your gas supplier for further assistance.
3. Clean out the lint screen
Keeping the lint screen clean is an essential part of maintaining a dryer. Here’s how to clean it out and remove the lint buildup:
- Locate and remove the lint screen from the dryer.
- Let it sit in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes to loosen up the lint.
- Run it under some warm water to remove the lint; if it’s particularly stuck, use a thin brush to help remove it.
- Vacuum out any lint that remains in the holder inside the dryer.
- Reinstall the lint screen.
4. Clean out the ventilation
Ensuring there is good ventilation is another essential part of the functionality of the dryer’s ability to heat.
Remove the ventilation hose by unclipping the metal tape, or you may potentially have to remove the rear panel to free it.
Clean out the duct using a vacuum; a leaf blower also works for this but remember to do it outside, so you don’t blow dust all over your home. Reattach the ventilation hose making sure there are no kinks so the air can flow freely through it.
5. Replace the defective heating element
To ascertain whether the heating element has failed, you should first locate it within your dryer; the exact location of the heating element differs based on your model, so consult your manual for the specific location.
Examine it for visual signs of burning or if the coil has physically broken due to overheating. You can also use a multimeter to test it for continuity. If it’s deemed that the heating element has failed, it will need to be replaced with a new one.
6. Replace the faulty thermal fuse
Start by locating the thermal fuse in your whirlpool Cabrio dryer, the exact location of which can change depending on which model you are using. Consult your dryer’s manual to locate it.
Test the thermal fuse using a multimeter for continuity. If it fails and is deemed broken,, replace the defective fuse with a new one.
7. Replace the defective solenoid
This is a relatively simple process where you should test teach of the gas valve solenoid coils for continuity using a multimeter. If any are defective, replace them with new ones.
8. Fix or replace the flame sensor
The flame sensor is vital to the dryer’s ability to heat. If it has gone bad, follow these steps to replace it with a new working one:
- Turn off the power to the whirlpool Cabrio dryer.
- Remove the lint screen.
- Remove the flame sensor opening screws.
- Disconnect the door switch wires and remove the top panel screws.
- The top panel should now be completely free; lift it and set it aside.
- Once you have located the old flame sensor, remove the wires connecting it to the dryer.
- Remove the mounting screw to free it from the chassis.
- Remove the old sensor and replace it with a new one.
- Reinstall the chassis, screw mount, and top panel by following this list in reverse.