August 1, 2014

How to replace an igniter in a gas dryer

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace an igniter in a gas dryer

This step-by-step dryer repair guide explains how to replace an igniter in a gas dryer. The igniter, located on the side of the gas burner funnel, glows white hot during the ignition process to the light the gas. If the igniter breaks or burns out, it won't glow or get hot enough to light the burner gas, and the dryer won't heat. Replace a broken or failed igniter using the manufacturer-approved dryer part.

Use these steps to replace the igniter in Kenmore, Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, Roper, Crosley and Estate gas dryers with a lint screen housing located in the top dryer panel.

Quick links
Tools required
Nut driver set
Phillips screwdriver
Putty knife
Slot screwdriver
Vacuum cleaner or shop vac
5/16-inch shallow socket and ratchet
Work gloves
Repair difficulty
Time required
60 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
60 minutes or less
Replacing an igniter in a gas dryer

This video explains how to replace the igniter in a gas dryer.

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Shut off the power and gas supply

    Unplug the dryer to disconnect electrical power. Shut off the gas supply to the dryer.

    Wear work gloves to protect your hands.

  2. 02.

    Raise the dryer top panel

    Pull the lint screen out of the housing in the top panel of the dryer.

    Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the 2 screws that secure the lint screen housing to the top panel. To release the clips that lock the top of the dryer in place, push a putty knife under the lid near the left and right edges of the front of the dryer.

    Lift the top and prop it securely against the wall behind the dryer.

    PHOTO: Remove the lint screen.

    PHOTO: Remove the lint screen.

    PHOTO: Remove the lint screen housing screws.

    PHOTO: Remove the lint screen housing screws.

    PHOTO: Release the panel locking clips.

    PHOTO: Release the panel locking clips.

    PHOTO: Lift the top panel.

    PHOTO: Lift the top panel.

  3. 03.

    Remove the front panel

    Use a slot screwdriver to release the locking tab on the wire harness plug for the door switch. Disconnect the wire harness.

    Use a 5/16-inch nut driver to remove the front panel mounting screws from the inside of the dryer.

    Pull the front panel forward slightly, and then lift and unhook it from the 2 bottom hangers.

    Pull the front panel off of the dryer and set it aside.

    PHOTO: Disconnect the wire harness for the door switch.

    PHOTO: Disconnect the wire harness for the door switch.

    PHOTO: Remove the front panel mounting screws.

    PHOTO: Remove the front panel mounting screws.

    PHOTO: Remove the front panel.

    PHOTO: Remove the front panel.

  4. 04.

    Remove the drum

    Note the configuration of the belt on the idler pulley and the motor pulley before removing it—take a digital picture of it so you know how to reinstall it.

    Push the idler pulley to the right to release tension on the drive belt.

    Pull the drive belt off of the idler pulley and the motor pulley.

    Pull the drum out of the dryer and set it aside.

    Tip: Use the drive belt that you just released from the pulleys to lift the drum up and out of the dryer.
    PHOTO: Release the drive belt.

    PHOTO: Release the drive belt.

    PHOTO: Remove the drum.

    PHOTO: Remove the drum.

  5. 05.

    Remove the igniter

    Release the locking tab on the wire harness plug for the igniter using a slot screwdriver. Disconnect the wire harness plug.

    Note the position or take a digital picture of the igniter before removing it.

    Remove the mounting screw from the igniter using the 5/16-inch shallow socket and ratchet.

    Pull the igniter out of the dryer and set it aside for disposal.

    PHOTO: Release the igniter wire harness plug locking tab.

    PHOTO: Release the igniter wire harness plug locking tab.

    PHOTO: Remove the wire harness from the igniter.

    PHOTO: Remove the wire harness from the igniter.

    PHOTO: Remove the igniter mounting screws.

    PHOTO: Remove the igniter mounting screws.

    PHOTO: Remove the dryer igniter.

    PHOTO: Remove the dryer igniter.

  6. 06.

    Install the new igniter

    Position the new igniter on the bracket and secure it with the mounting screw.

    Plug the wire harness back in. Make sure that the locking tab engages.

    Tip: Don't touch the new igniter element with your fingers. Oil from your bare fingers can damage the igniter and cause premature failure.
    Tip: While the front dryer panel if off, vacuum the dust and lint from inside the dryer.
    Warning: The igniter must be positioned exactly like the original igniter to achieve proper flame ignition.
  7. 07.

    Reinstall the drum

    Place the rear of the drum on top of the support roller that's on the rear panel inside the dryer.

    Lift the front of the drum to access the drive motor and idler pulley.

    Referring to the digital picture of the configuration, thread the drive belt through the idler pulley.

    Push the idler pulley to the right and loop the drive belt over the motor pulley.

  8. 08.

    Reinstall the front panel

    Position the front panel on the hangers at the bottom of the dryer.

    Line up the mounting holes and reinstall the screws in the top of the front panel to secure it to the dryer.

    Plug the wire harness back into the plug on the door switch. Make sure the locking tab engages properly.

  9. 09.

    Reassemble the top panel

    Lower the top panel and snap it into place.

    Reinstall the screws in the lint duct housing and reinstall the lint screen.

  10. 10.

    Restore power and the gas supply

    Plug the dryer into the wall outlet. 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

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August 1, 2014
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Repair difficulty
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Repair difficulty
Time required
 90 minutes or less

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