Gas Dryer Trouble Shooting – No heat or flame shuts down

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No Heat

The first thing to do is to gain access so you can see the burner area and watch it during start up. I will suggest that you wear safety glasses as a precaution.

The first thing that happens is an igniter usually glows. It takes a little while for this to happen, There could also be a spark igniter.

The next thing that happens is the pilot gas valve is opened and the pilot gets lit. At this point the pilot gas valve could be faulty or the igniter could be faulty.

Once the pilot is lit, the flame has to be proven. Usually this is done by a capillary tube that's heated. Once this tube is heated the main gas valve opens and the main burner ignites. This capillary thermocouple could be oxidized or the main burner valve could be faulty if the main burner fails to ignite. There also could be flame rectification to prove a flame.

Some of the main burner flame is re-directed to the capillarity tube by what I might call the “cobra head”. If the burner runs for short period and shuts off, make sure that head does not flex. This usually is an intermittent condition that will eventually fail.

Flame shuts down

Aside from the condition above, there should be a sensor located in the ductwork that looks at exhaust temperature. If this is excessive, the dryer will shut down.

The main cause is lint build-up. The exhaust tube and inside the dryer as far as you can reach from the exhaust opening should be cleaned annually.

A secondary cause relates to the blower assembly. The bearings may need to be cleaned or the belt is slipping. This requires more disassembly.

Notes:

I've maintained my own gas dryer since 1968. Very little maintenance is required:
1. Igniter replacement, probably about 4x
2. Burner head replacement 1x
3. Exterior paint 2x
4. Interior paint 1x
5. Clean lint annually
6. Service blower bearing 1x
7. Replace drum belt 1x
8. Replace blower belt 1x
There are usually diagrams on www.searspartsdirect.com . There are plenty of aftermarket parts available so don't panic if sears doesn't have the part or they say it's obsolete.