August 1, 2014

How to install a thermal cut-off fuse kit in an electric dryer

By Lyle Weischwill
How to install a thermal cut-off fuse kit in an electric dryer

This dryer repair guide explains how to replace the thermal cut-off fuse in an electric dryer. The thermal cut-off fuse is a safety device that shuts down the dryer's heating element if the dryer severely overheats. The dryer severely overheats if the high-limit thermostat didn't shut off the dryer when the heating element began overheating. You can't reset the thermal cut-off fuse—you must replace it, as well as the failed high-limit thermostat. The thermal cut-off fuse kit contains both components, and the step-by-step instructions in this repair guide show you how to replace them in an electric dryer, using a manufacturer-approved replacement kit.

Use this procedure to install a thermal cut-off fuse kit in Kenmore, Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, Roper, Crosley and Estate electric dryers with a lint screen housing located in the top cabinet panel.

If you have a gas dryer, see the repair guide How to Install a Thermal Cut-off Fuse Kit in a Gas Dryer.

Quick links
Tools required
1/4-inch nut driver
slot screwdriver
Vacuum cleaner or shop vac
Work gloves
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Installing a thermal cut-off fuse kit on an electric dryer

This video explains how to install a thermal cut-off fuse kit in an electric dryer.

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Shut off the power

    Unplug the dryer to disconnect electrical power.

  2. 02.

    Remove the back panel

    Move the dryer forward and use a 1/4-inch nut driver to remove the screws from the back panel. Remove the back panel from the dryer and set it aside.

    Tip: While you have the back of the cabinet open, vacuum lint and dust from the cabinet.
    Remove the back panel screws.

    Remove the back panel screws.

    Remove the back panel from the dryer.

    Remove the back panel from the dryer.

  3. 03.

    Locate the components

    The thermal cut-off fuse is at the top of the heater box.

    The high-limit thermostat is at the bottom of the heater box above the connections for the heating element.

    Locate the high-limit thermostat and the thermal cut-off fuse.

    Locate the high-limit thermostat and the thermal cut-off fuse.

  4. 04.

    Remove the thermal cut-off fuse

    Remove the wires from the thermal cut-off fuse.

    Remove the mounting screws from the thermal cut-off fuse and pull it off of the heater box.

    Disconnect the wires from the thermal cut-off fuse.

    Disconnect the wires from the thermal cut-off fuse.

    Remove the mounting screws from the thermal cut-off fuse.

    Remove the mounting screws from the thermal cut-off fuse.

    Remove the fuse from the heater box.

    Remove the fuse from the heater box.

  5. 05.

    Install the new thermal cut-off fuse

    Position the new thermal cut-off fuse in place and mount it to the heater box. Connect the wires to the new thermal cut-off fuse.

  6. 06.

    Remove the high-limit thermostat

    Pull the wire off of the high-limit thermostat. Remove the high-limit thermostat from the side of the heater box.

    Disconnect the wire from the high-limit thermostat.

    Disconnect the wire from the high-limit thermostat.

    Remove the high-limit thermostat from the heater box.

    Remove the high-limit thermostat from the heater box.

  7. 07.

    Install the new the high-limit thermostat

    Position the new high-limit thermostat in place and mount it to the heater box. Connect the wires to the new high-limit thermostat.

  8. 08.

    Reattach the back panel

    Position the back panel on the back of the dryer. Line up the mounting screw holes. Insert the mounting screws and tighten them firmly.

  9. 09.

    Plug in the dryer

    Plug the dryer into the wall outlet to restore electrical power.

Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Symptoms common to all dryers

Choose a symptom to see related dryer repairs.

Main causes: door switch failure, lack of power, broken belt, blown thermal fuse, bad drive motor, control system failure
Main causes: clogged exhaust system, heating system failure, deposits on moisture sensor, control system failure
Main causes: bad drum support roller, damaged idler pulley, broken blower fan blade, worn drum glide bearing, bad drive motor
Main causes: bad gas valve coils, broken heating element, tripped safety thermostat or fuse, bad operating thermostat, control failure
Main causes: bad timer or electronic control board, door switch failure
Main causes: lack of electrical power, bad power cord, wiring failure, bad control board, blown thermal fuse, bad door switch
Main causes: clogged exhaust vent, bad motor relay, loose dryer door catch, bad door switch, control system failure, faulty drive motor
Main causes: damaged door strike, worn door catch

Repair guides common to all dryers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your dryer.

August 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dryer blower wheel

A rattling noise or lack of air flow through the dryer could indicate that the blower wheel is damaged. Follow the steps in this repair guide to replace the blower wheel in your dryer.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 60 minutes or less
August 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to install a dryer gas valve coil kit

If the dryer heats initially but then stops heating, the problem is usually the gas valve coils. This step-by-step guide explains how to replace the gas valve coils in a gas dryer.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 90 minutes or less
August 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dryer drive belt

If the drive belt breaks, the motor runs but the drum won't rotate. These step-by-step instructions guide you through the repair process.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 90 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all dryers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your dryer.

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Electric dryer won't heat troubleshooting video

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