Model #11096595420 KENMORE Residential Dryer

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Question and Answers


1996 Kenmore solid state electronic dryer is drying slowly how do I trouble shoot the controls, heating element and thermostate, no manual seems to be avail?


The wiring diagram for your dryer is shown in the image below. The 120 volt L1 leg of 240 volt power is traced in red and the L2 leg (also 120 volts) is traced in green. The electronic control board senses the temperature of the dryer through the thermistor. The high limit thermostat in the red circuit is a safety component that will normally "open" if the temperature on the side of the heater box rises above 250 degrees. I recommend that you first determine the cycling temperature of the dryer in the dryer. Remove the vent on the back of the dryer so that it will vent directly into the laundry room. Position the dryer so that you can measure the temperature of the air coming out of the middle of the exhaust vent in the back of the dryer. Ventilate the laundry room as much a possible. Fill the dryer with a medium load of wet laundry so that it will cycle normally. Start a cycle on the highest heat setting. Measure the temperature of the air coming out of the back of the dryer. It should heat up to about 165 degrees and then cycle between 130 and 165 degrees. If it is cycling at a significantly lower temperature than this, then you could have a problem with the thermistor, the high limit thermostat, heater relay or the electronic control board. If it never heats up to 150 and the heating element stays on constantly then you could have a weak heating element.

You can check some of the components in this dryer by unplugging it and removing the bottom front service panel as shown in the second image below. You can measure the resistance of the heating element. It should measure between 7.8 and 11.8 ohms. You can also check the resistance of the thermistor (beside the thermal fuse on the blower housing. The thermistor should measure around 10K ohms (10,000 ohms) of resistance at room temperature (75 degrees). If the resistance of either of these components is way off, you will likely need to replace that component.

If the dryer cycles at the proper temperature and dries the load normally while venting directly into the laundry room then you have an undetected restriction in the exhaust vent duct system to the outside of your home.

These tips may help you determine the cause of your dryer failure. If you need more help, resubmit your question with additional details (cycling temperatures).

A drying problem in this model of dryer may not be that easy to diagnose. If you do not feel confident repairing this problem yourself, then you can have it repaired at your home by a Sears technician. Here is a link for the website: Sears Home Services .

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Lyle W -
Sears Technician
April 26, 2010

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