August 1, 2014

How to replace a dryer thermistor

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a dryer thermistor

This step-by-step dryer repair guide shows how to replace a dryer thermistor. The thermistor, which is usually attached to the blower housing, measures the temperature inside the dryer. If the thermistor fails completely and stops sensing the temperature, the control panel usually displays an error code, and the dryer stops. If you suspect that the dryer thermistor isn't accurately sensing the temperature, you can check it with a volt/ohm meter. Consult the tech sheet that came with your dryer for information about thermistor testing and, if the thermistor is the problem, replace it with a manufacturer-approved dryer part.

This repair procedure works for Kenmore and Whirlpool dryers with the vent screen housing located at the bottom of the door opening. The basic repair procedure also works for similar dryers such as Maytag, Amana and GE dryers with removable service panels on the front of the dryer.

Quick links
Tools required
Socket wrench set
Putty knife
Work gloves
Vacuum (optional)
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Shut off the power

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

  2. 02.

    Remove the service panel

    To release the clips that hold the service panel in place, push a putty knife into the gap above the service panel on each end.

    Pull the top of the service panel forward and remove it.

    PHOTO: Release the service panel clips.

    PHOTO: Release the service panel clips.

    PHOTO: Pull off the service panel.

    PHOTO: Pull off the service panel.

  3. 03.

    Remove the lint duct assembly

    Pull out the lint screen.

    Remove the screws that secure the lint duct assembly to the lint duct housing.

    Pull the lint duct assembly out of the dryer and set it aside.

    PHOTO: Pull out the lint screen.

    PHOTO: Pull out the lint screen.

    PHOTO: Locate the lint duct assembly below the drum.

    PHOTO: Locate the lint duct assembly below the drum.

    PHOTO: Remove the screws from the lint duct.

    PHOTO: Remove the screws from the lint duct.

    PHOTO: Remove the lint duct.

    PHOTO: Remove the lint duct.

  4. 04.

    Detach the thermistor

    Locate the thermistor atop of the blower housing. Carefully remove the wires from the thermistor.

    Using a 1/4-inch wrench, remove the mounting screws that secure the thermistor to the top of the blower housing. Remove the thermistor and set it aside for disposal. 

    Tip: While the dryer is open, vacuum dust and lint from the base inside the dryer.
    PHOTO: Disconnect the wires from the thermistor.

    PHOTO: Disconnect the wires from the thermistor.

    PHOTO: Remove the thermistor mounting screws.

    PHOTO: Remove the thermistor mounting screws.

    PHOTO: Remove the thermistor from the blower housing.

    PHOTO: Remove the thermistor from the blower housing.

  5. 05.

    Install the new thermistor

    Position the new thermistor on the blower housing and fasten the mounting screws.

    Connect the wires to the new thermistor—it doesn't matter which spade connectors you attach the wires to.

  6. 06.

    Replace the lint duct assembly

    Place the lint duct assembly in its housing. Insert the mounting screws and tighten firmly.

    Reinstall the lint screen.

  7. 07.

    Reinstall the service panel

    Line up the bottom lip of the service panel with the base of the dryer.

    Push the top of the service panel to engage the locking clips.

  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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