Model #GEW9878PW1 WHIRLPOOL Residential Dryer

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Question and Answers

Q:

Why does my dryer stop running when I let go of the start button?

A:

From the description of your problem the most likely cause of this is a bad motor relay but the problem can also be a bad control or connection.

The good news is if the dryer runs when the start button is pressed then the timer, push to start switch, motor and door switch are all okay.

The image below contains the wiring diagram for this type of dryer and if you're comfortable and confident in your do-it-yourself abilities we can check and repair this problem without the cost of a service call.

A volt/ohm meter will be needed to check this problem properly but if you don't have one we'll tell you how to get around that but first check the image below for a picture of the motor circuit of this dryer.

The start sequence for this dryer is when you push the start switch it feeds 120 volts to the motor and to the control on a blue wire with black tracer (BU/BLK) on the P1-5 connector. This is the start sense voltage and when the control receives this voltage it knows the start button has been pushed.

Once the control sees the start sense voltage it immediately puts 48 volts DC to the motor relay on the pink/black wires. The relay closes the circuit between the two blue wires and the motor continues to run when the start button is released.

From the description of the problem most likely the control is not putting out 48DC volts or the motor relay is bad.

With a meter you can check continuity across the motor relay on the two pink/black wires. If the circuit is open then the relay is bad.

If the relay checks okay then most likely the control is the problem.

Any parts you need can be obtained from the following link: Sears PartsDirect .

If you're comfortable with a volt/ohm meter you can check the 120 volts on the blue/black start sense connection at the control and you can check for 48DC volts across the two pink/black wires at the relay. Use extreme caution check live voltage.

If you have no meter or don't know AC volts from DC volts then there is a way to checking this problem without a meter. The trick is that the motor relay and the heater relay are identical so they can be swapped. If you swap the heater relay for the motor relay and the dryer continues to run after you release the start button then the relay was bad. See the 2nd image for help with this.

If the dryer still shuts down then most likely the control is the problem because it is not likely both relays are bad.

I hope this information helps to resolve this problem but submit another question with any additional details for further assistance.

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Fred M -
Sears Technician
September 23, 2009
A:

Fred, thanks for this informative answer. I have the same problem, with my dryer stopping as soon as I let go of the start button. Mine's not a Kenmore but a Whirlpool GEW9878PW1 - very similar, it seems. It has identical motor/heater relays, that take 48VDC to close the circuit. I followed your instructions for checking the continuity on both relays, and found that neither one has continuity! Seems unlikely that both went out at once. I also swapped the heat relay and motor relay; that made no difference. Are you sure there's supposed to be continuity across the pink/black wires? Thanks, Lars

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Lars -
February 27, 2013
A:

can you please resend the diagram that illustrates how to switch the heater relay with the motor relay so I Can test out which one is bad? thanks in advance!

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Mike -
October 26, 2013
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Q:

dryer won't start

A:

A wiring schematic will be a big help when it comes repairing the Whirlpool electric dryer.  I researched and was not able to locate the schematic, however, an expert will research further and respond within two business days.  While waiting, I hope this link helps.  Click here to view link:  Dryer won't start. 

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Anna T -
April 19, 2013
A:

Thank you for your question.  I am sorry you are having a problem with your Whirlpool GEW9878PW1 dryer

Caution: Before attempting any repair, unplug the dryer from the wall first. 

When an electric dryer will not run the most likely cause of the problem and the first thing to check is the thermal fuse located on the blower exhaust behind the rear panel.  See images below. 

One feature of this dryer is that when the push to start switch is pressed the control and motor relay are bypassed for a moment.  If the motor doesn't run when the push to start switch is pressed then check the thermal fuse

The thermal fuse can be checked for continuity with a meter or bypassed to check if no meter is available.  Let me know if you wish to know how to check the thermal fuse without a meter. 

 

 

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Fred M -
Sears Technician
April 21, 2013
A:

Fred, Thanks for the info. The thermal fuse checked OK. The schematic didn't match so I couldn't determine which motor leads went to the windings to check them. I was trying to help a friend with this and after totally disassembling the dryer and thinking that the motor is probably bad he decided to just replace the dryer instead of ordering a motor ($65) and trying again. I do appreciate the effort, but please confirm the correct schematic or let me know if you aren't sure about it next time. Thanks, Bob

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bob -
April 29, 2013
A:

The diagram is correct. The new motor should have come with instructions. On this diagram the motor is powered by the blue and white wire attached to terminals 4M and 5M. The two red wires attache to the motor switch on terminals 1 and 2. I hope this helps.

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Fred M -
Sears Technician
April 30, 2013
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Q:

dryer stop running when I let go of the start button

A:

A dryer is definitely something we depend on and when it begins to malfunction it can be a huge inconvenience. While you are waiting for an expert to respond, I have attached some helpful links below that may provide information to assist you with your question. I hope the links that I provided are helpful. Have a great day and have a happy new year!

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Alina F. -
December 31, 2011
A:

There could be one of three possible failures preventing your dryer from continuing to run once the start button has been released.

  1. Motor relay
  2. Control board
  3. Thermistor

I added the wiring diagram and the motor circuit in the image below. I do not recommend checking any voltages unless you have experience and you feel safe and confident in doing so, otherwise I recommend calling a service technician.

  • When start is pushed the control board must see 120vac present at P1-5 (start sense).
  • The control board must provide 48VDC to the motor relay in order to close and keep the motor running.
  • There is a thermistor in the circuit that must have a resistance reading of 19.9 k ohms-2.5 k ohms depending on ambient room temperature or it will not allow the dryer to stay running also.

To diagnose the failure will require checking for the DC voltage at the motor relay after pushing and releasing the start button across the two pink wires with black stripes. If 48VDC is present, replace the motor relay.

If the 48VDC is not present, disconnect the P2 connector from the board and measure the resistance of the thermistor across the white and red wire. At room temperature of 70 degrees the resistance should measure 11.9 K ohms. If it measures OK, replace the control board. If it measures open or shorted, replace the thermistor.

I recommend calling a service technician to diagnose and repair your dryer.

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Mark T -
Sears Technician
January 03, 2012
A:

Alina F, your response is useless. And your encloses links are also useless. I guess you're just trying to pad your rating

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Eric -
January 09, 2012
A:

Mark T, your response is somewhat less useless, but still didn't answer my questions.
If indeed you read my post you would have seen the link which provided detailed instructions on troubleshooting the problem, but my questions did not concern why the dryer didn't work, but to double check that I checked continuity correctly and the chances of all three parts failing at the same time.
The attached link does a far better job at explaining the problem/solution

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Eric -
January 09, 2012
A:

I'm on exactly the same page as Eric. My dryer isn't a Kenmore (Whirlpool GEW9878PW1 - pretty similar, I understand), but it has identical motor/heater relays, that take 48VDC to close the circuit. I went through the same business with checking the continuity on both relays, and finding that neither one has continuity! Seems unlikely that both went out at once. (I also swapped the heat relay and motor relay; that made no difference.) Wondering if I checked the wrong leads on the relays, or if Fred M has given us a bum steer.

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Lars -
February 27, 2013
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