August 1, 2014

How to replace a dryer push-to-start switch

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dryer push-to-start switch

This DIY dryer repair guide has step-by-step instructions for replacing the push-to-start switch. When you push the start button, the dryer push-to-start switch completes an electrical circuit to start the drive motor and begin the drying cycle. If the electrical contacts in the push-to-start switch fail, the dryer either won't start when you push the button, or it starts as soon as you close the door, even though you don't push the button. If the push-to-start switch fails, replace it with the manufacturer-approved dryer part.

The video below shows a gas dryer, but the repair is the same for electric. These basic repair steps work for replacing the push-to-start switch in Kenmore, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Frigidaire, Amana and GE dryers.

Quick links
Tools required
1/4-inch nut driver
Slot screwdriver
Work gloves
Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
Replacing a push-to-start switch on a dryer

This video explains how to replace a push-to-start switch on a dryer.

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Shut off the power

    Unplug the dryer. If it's a gas dryer, shut off the gas.

  2. 02.

    Pull the knob off

    Pull the control knob straight up and off of the front of the push-to-start switch.

    PHOTO: Pull the push-to-start switch knob off.

    PHOTO: Pull the push-to-start switch knob off.

  3. 03.

    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.

    PHOTO: Remove the screws from the panel at the back of the dryer console.

    PHOTO: Remove the screws from the panel at the back of the dryer console.

    PHOTO: Remove the back panel and set it aside.

    PHOTO: Remove the back panel and set it aside.

  4. 04.

    Remove the push-to-start switch

    Note the location of wires attached to the back of the push-to-start switch. Label the wires or take a digital picture so you know how to correctly reconnect them later. Then remove the wires.

    Release the locking tab and slowly rotate the push-to-start switch while pulling it, to release it from the control panel.

    PHOTO: Remove the wires from the push-to-start switch.

    PHOTO: Remove the wires from the push-to-start switch.

    PHOTO: Release the switch locking tab from the control panel.

    PHOTO: Release the switch locking tab from the control panel.

    PHOTO: Remove the push-to-start switch.

    PHOTO: Remove the push-to-start switch.

  5. 05.

    Install the new push-to-start switch

    Push the new switch into the panel and rotate it to lock it in place. Attach the wires on the back of the push-to-start switch, following the labels or digital photograph.

    Warning: For safety and to avoid damage to the new switch, the wires must be properly connected. If you are unsure how to connect the wires, have a service technician complete this repair.
  6. 06.

    Reattach the back panel

    Position the panel on the back of the console. Line up the mounting screw holes, insert the mounting screws and tighten them firmly.

  7. 07.

    Reinstall the control knob

    Push the control knob down on the stem of the new push-to-start switch.

  8. 08.

    Restore power to the dryer

    Plug the dryer into the wall outlet. If it's a gas dryer, turn on the gas supply to the dryer.

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: 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
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

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 drum support roller

If your dryer thumps or squeals, replace the drum support roller to restore quiet to your home.

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

The thermistor senses the air temperature in the dryer. If your dryer overheats or doesn't heat at all, the thermistor could be the problem.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
August 1, 2014
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dryer idler pulley

The idler pulley exerts pressure keeps the drive belt tight so it can rotate the drum. A worn idler pulley squeals or squeaks when the dryer is running. Follow these instructions to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 90 minutes or less

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